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Pope's book on Jesus debunks Christmas myths
November 22nd, 2012
02:25 PM ET

Pope's book on Jesus debunks Christmas myths

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) – It's Christmas, but not as you know it: a new book by released this week by Pope Benedict VI looks at the early life of Jesus - and debunks several myths about how the Nativity really unfolded.

In "Jesus of Nazareth - The Infancy Narratives," the pope says the Christian calendar is actually based on a blunder by a 6th century monk, who Benedict says was several years off in his calculation of Jesus' birth date.

According to the pope's research, there is also no evidence in the Gospels that the cattle and other animals traditionally pictured gathered around the manger were actually present.

Full Story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (577 Responses)
  1. Zahid

    The message of God has always been the same i.e to worship One God alone.
    The message of Jesus was to worship One God alone as well.
    Dates are minor issues. If we want to honor Jesus then worship the Creator of Jesus and not Jesus himself.
    May God guide us all to the truth (Ameen).

    November 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  2. Bishop Hairy Palms

    If you can't trust the Catholic Church with your children, why should you care what they say about when or how they say Christ was born?

    November 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  3. Bella

    I don't understand why this is "news" I have always been taught Jesus was not born on. December 25th. I think Coptic
    Christians have always known this. I find it hard to believe that everyone else was taught he was born on a Piegan day of the birth of the sun. It's silly

    November 24, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      yeah but I'm fine with Christians celebrating this has his birthday, as long as the sun gets her one day with out us killing each-other, just one day with out hatred.

      November 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  4. schoolsub

    One word is all that is required: FAITH

    November 24, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Hope

      Faith is ignorance

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y6daUp6DAY&w=640&h=390]

      November 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Damocles

      I can only hope that you don't sub at my kids school.

      November 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • I wonder

      schoolsub,

      Lunch-lady, or crossing guard?

      November 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Damocles

      Either one is still too close to my kids.

      November 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  5. twalk

    so this pope is rewriting history as we know it. Who asked his OPINION??? He needs to keep the priest from molesting the boys.

    November 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  6. tony

    Crucifixion is unhealthier. But you seem to like it.

    November 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  7. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    So what he is saying then is that there is no Santa Claus?

    November 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  8. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    So what he is saying is that there is no Santa Claus?

    November 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  9. tony

    It's just another step in towards full debunking of Judaism and Christianity, both.

    November 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  10. 200 TON HAMMER

    How could the Vatican let slavery go on for so long too the west from 1511 till 1808 via transatlantic slave route trade out of west Africa it shows the Vatican is a con artist buisness goons fake flakes falsehood systems of lies and more European lies my prayers are too see a super natural earthquake destroyed the Vatican into the earth deep into the earth forever

    November 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  11. Bishop Hairy Palms

    The Catholic Church is an international crime syndicate set up for the purpose of robbing the gullible and molesting the innocent.

    November 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Text 101

      I'm no defender of the Pope or for that matter any church but ... facts please to back your assertions.

      November 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  12. Bishop Hairy Palms

    There is no historical evidence that Jesus even existed.

    Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are also made up fairy tales.

    November 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Text 101

      I've heard that in the blog-a sphere that trolls exist for the soul purpose of creating controversy. Troll or no be you?

      November 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  13. Text 101

    Atheist, agnostics, believers, whoever, all have their opinion and put down. The Pope defines himself as a man of the Bible. So, if his positions and comments are to be judged fairly they should be judged using Biblical text to see how true he is to his calling. Here’s a challenge … who can find the gaps between his assertions and the Bible text? Won’t that carry more weight than blurting out assertions devoid of reference?

    November 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • tony

      Has he been watching the lights in the heavens for signs? (genesis 1:14), and more importantly, seen any?

      November 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      His statements should definitely be compared to the most authentic biblical texts (if at all) .. however, no matter the biblical accuracy, it still does not make either version of the story true.

      November 24, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  14. sybaris

    "I find it hard to believe that the gospel writers would die for what they *knew* to be a lie."

    You do realize that MMLJ were not the authors of the gospels. Since it is unknown who wrote the gospels then it is also just fantasy that anyone died for writing them.

    November 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Chris

      Do you realize what you said makes not sense at all.

      November 24, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Text 101

      References please, so I can know you are not blowing smoke. :)

      November 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Text 101

      And so why shouldn't the reader understand that these books weren't written by there named sake?

      November 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Baret Fawbush

      Its still a valid argument regardless if he misquoted it :P

      November 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  15. mnjrupp

    The birth of Jesus is found in only Matthew, and Luke. If you read it carefully you will also find out that the wise men showed up 2 years later at His mother, and Joseph's house. So get rid of the wise men from the nativity scene as well.

    November 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      November 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  17. Text 101

    The only Christian observance I’ve found recorded in the Bible is the memorial of Jesus death. Not his resurrection … as in Easter, but his DEATH. Jesus started his memorial on Passover and so it logically should occur once a year. According to Paul at 1 Cor. 11:24 Jesus commanded this to be so. Christmas, Easter … all others have no Biblical basis for celebrating, and as practiced today, are a travesty of the principles Jesus lived by and taught. Don’t you think that If any other event where important to Jesus or God that that date would be as discernible as the Passover? What was important to Jesus was to teach about the coming world government by God. The whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation points the reader to the establishment of a government by God on earth … better to write a book about that!

    November 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Atheists are just plain wrong and dumb

      It says that he had risen and taught for 30 days and nights before assending to heaven. This was after Mary went to his tomb and noticed the giant rock covering the entrance removed and Jesus not inside.

      November 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • I wonder

      Atheists are just plain wrong and dumb:
      "It says that he had risen and taught for 30 days and nights before assending[sic] to heaven. This was after Mary went to his tomb and noticed the giant rock covering the entrance removed and Jesus not inside."

      You don't know what your own book of silliness says, do you?

      1. How many women went out to the tomb that morning, one (Jn 20:21) two (Matt 28:1), or three (Mk 16:1)?

      2. Did Magdalene alone go to just Peter and John (Jn 20) or did the several women go to the Apostles (Matt 28; Mk 16)?

      3. How many angels did they see there that morning, one (Matt 28:2; Mk 16:5) or two (Lk 24:4; Jn 20:12)?

      4. Did the women run to the other disciples and tell what they had seen (Mt 28:8; Lk 24:9) or did they say nothing out of fear (Mk 16:8)?

      5. Did Jesus see them first in Galilee (Mk 16:7; Mt 28:9) or in Jerusalem (Jn 20; Lk 24:36)?

      6. Among the Apostles, did he appear to Peter first (Lk 24:34), all eleven at once (Mt. 28:16), or the eleven minus Thomas (Jn 20:24)?

      7. Did Jesus appear to them in a room (Jn 20:19) or a mountaintop (Mt 28:16)?

      8. Lastly, did Jesus ascend on Easter Sunday (Lk 24:50-53; Mk 16:19) or forty days later (Acts 1:3,9)?

      November 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  18. Cool

    It must be nice to have full authority on re-writing the same nonsense you use to control the masses. It's alright for them to do it but others? NEVER THAT.

    November 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  19. John

    He is the infallible one! But, what I really want to know is did Jesus wear $5000.00 hats and live in a mansion?

    November 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  20. zero discipline

    To know that there is a God all you simply have to do is look in a mirror. Its really that simple.

    November 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Maybe, but it's pretty uncomfortable to look in the mirror, so...

      November 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Damocles

      Ok, so I looked in the mirror for the very first time and I have a couple of questions. Am I the deity or is the reflection the deity? Is the deity where me and the reflection meet?

      November 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      zero, your name is apt. Although 'zero intelligence' or 'zero education' might be more accurate.

      Why would you think your visage in the mirror proves god exists, you moron?

      November 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.