Last week on December 1, Cathy Grossman ( who is described as “USA TODAY’s beat reporter for religion, spirituality and ethics”) wrote an article for USA TODAY online about AiG’s Live Nativity program called “Bethlehem’s Blessings.” The article headline stated “Creation Museum Nativity scene to upset 'stable' images.” The Creation Museum sent out a press release stating that the look of our live nativity will be a little different this year. Yes, there will be a manger. Yes there will be Mary and Joseph, and yes there will be a child (representing the baby Jesus) in the manger. So what is the difference? Well research has shown that in those days (and even today) houses are built so the animals could be brought inside at night. The manger was often build into the first floor and the animals located in a lower level to this floor. Also, the Bible does not say there was an innkeeper, and the word translated “inn” in many translations basically means house—or can mean “upper room,” etc. Also, the text of Scripture makes it clear Joseph and Mary were already in Bethlehem—they didn’t arrive at night looking for a place to stay:
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. (Luke 2:4–6)
Joseph and Mary could have been in Bethlehem for a number of days or even weeks before she gave birth. To understand all this, I encourage you to read the article from the Associates for Biblical Research (the main conservative archaeological group in the world—they will be speaking at our Defending the Faith Conference next year in Tennessee).
Cathy Grossman, in her USA TODAY article stated:
The Creation Museum, the showplace for illustrating a literal understanding of the Bible, has a Christmas surprise for visitors. There will be no Christ child in a stable in the annual Nativity display.Some people may get the incorrect idea (because of how this was written) that there will be “no Christ child” at all in our live Nativity. Regardless, I believe it’s clear in the piece that the author is trying to sensationalize things a bit because of the way our live nativity has been constructed; it is a little different to what Westerners have done over the years. The stable won’t be a separate building, but be a part of a typical 1st century house in Bethlehem where the “stable” was inside the house.
It is interesting though that the writer—or her editor—also tried to put an “edge” on her article at the end by stating:
Do you find it intriguing that the museum, devoted to literalism, would push the envelope this far into "cultural interpretation?" Where else could that lead?
She commented on this when she interviewed me a few weeks ago. Her idea seems to be that because we take Genesis as literal history and reject fallible people’s ideas outside the Bible about millions of years, etc., that it is inconsistent of us to use archaeological research to help throw light on the Bethlehem scene. However, this is comparing “apples” with “oranges” and shows a gross misunderstanding.
You see, we are taking the Scriptures as written regarding the events that occurred in Bethlehem concerning the Christ Child—we take it as real history, just as we take Genesis as real history (as did Jesus; e.g., Matthew 19). However, the Bible doesn’t give all the details. But from recorded history (witnesses who lived at this time), we find out more about how people lived in that era of history—in fact, they even live like that today in certain areas. Also, as archaeologists unearth ancient homes and mangers, we can see what they looked like.
This is very different to secularists looking at fossils and then interpreting their history as supposedly millions of years ago when no witness was there to see them, and there is no recorded history from that time!! Now we can certainly dig up a trilobite and see what it looked like (as we can dig up old houses in Bethlehem to see what they were like)—but—no human witness was there to see the trilobites supposedly millions of years ago. However, there are historical records from the time of Christ (e.g., the historian Josephus), and thus we have eyewitness accounts of how people lived. This is so so different to secularists attempting to interpret fossils as supposedly millions of years old!!
You can read the entire USA TODAY article at: content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2009/12/nativity-creation-museum-jesus-bethlehem/1
Find out more about the Creation Museum Live Nativity at: CreationMuseum.org/special-events/Christmas-2009/
Free Nativity Opens This Friday
The Creation Museum’s spectacular Free Nativity opens this Friday evening. Be one of the expected 20,000 visitors on one of the nine nights that this outstanding event will be available. See the promotion below for this event
A Free Nativity and Garden of Lights
Come to the Creation Museum to experience a unique program featuring a Live Nativity, Dramatic Actors, and a First Century Bethlehem Village. Be amazed at the historical account of the humble Christ’s birth at the Creation Museum’s Live Nativity and Garden of Lights.
Here are just a few highlights of this life-changing program:
- Live Nativity
- The centerpiece of this year’s program is the dramatic live nativity, presented in the Museum’s impressive Grand Plaza.
- You’ll visit a first century house to hear an unforgettable presentation that will bring a deeper understanding of the events surrounding the night of our Savior’s birth.
- Experience the joy and wonder that Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, felt when both she and her cousin Mary were told they would bear children of promise. Listen as she shares the truth of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus and the part she played in the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.
- Witness a life transformed—from shame to hope—as Hyam shares his story, beginning with his search for the “child born King of the Jews.” Faced with the life-changing realization that this child could be the Messiah, Hyam battles through guilt and anguish to find hope at last in the most unexpected end.
- The Magi, the “wise men,” traveled a long and weary road to seek the Messiah, He who was “born King of the Jews.” As you journey through the Garden of Lights you will hear the story of the Magi’s Journey.
Bethlehem’s Blessings Dinner
Last Friday and Saturday evenings, the Creation Museum hosted a couple of hundred guests at two special dinners that were fundraisers for the Live Nativity program.
(Deuteronomy 33:16) the good will of him that dwelt in the bush
Man naturally feels God is offended by his sin & seeks revenge, but our gospel message is that God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ has good will to save.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,