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. Bishop Hairy Palms

    The Catholic Church exists for two purposes:

    1. Robbing the gullible
    2. Molesting the innocent

    November 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Correct. We need to make it illegal to drag children into church for this brainwashing. "Religious freedom" has gone too far. Religion is the reason our test scores are lower than other countries. Forcing a child into a religion is child abuse.

      November 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      The Freedom From Religion Foundation has a fund and support group for the many many preachers and ministers who are now admitting that faith in a "god" is a sham. Becoming an atheist is the most wonderful thing that can happen to a person, but for these "pastors" it means losing friends, family, and the income they made by telling their lies.

      November 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  2. Bishop Hairy Palms

    Oh no!

    Next they'll be telling us their is no such thing as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny!

    November 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  3. Mac

    18 Major Events in the Geologic Theatre is what made the air we breath according to the experts OK

    November 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  4. Reality

    "The Two Universal Sects

    They all err—Moslems, Jews,
    Christians, and Zoroastrians:

    Humanity follows two world-wide sects:
    One, man intelligent without religion,
    The second, religious without intellect. "
    Some wisdom from the past:

    , born AD 973 /, died AD 1058 / .

    Al-Ma'arri was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer.[1][2] He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion and rejecting the claim that Islam possessed any monopoly on truth."

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/resalat-al-ghufran#ixzz1lI6DuZmZ and http://www.humanistictexts.org/al_ma'arri.htm

    November 25, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  5. JustSaying

    ALL RELIGION has it bases from Kemet (Ancient Egypt). The Book of Living and Dead predates the Torah. The reason most cant find a clear history of people from biblical events is because the characters were taken from Kemet writings. Too much to type, but look at the similarities between Moses and Thutmose for a brief example. No one ever questions where many of these so called poor desert biblical heroes get their armies, their many wives, etc.

    November 25, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • JustSaying

      By the way, the elite masons and other secretive groups know this. They didnt choose to take Egyptian ideals for the heck of it. Just go visit Washington D.C., or turn over your dollar bill. Whatever works.

      November 25, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • SixDegrees

      I see it's Internet Access Day at the group home.

      November 25, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Reality

      Many OT, NT and koran thu-mpers are actually thu-mping the rules and codes of the ancients like King Hammurabi and the Egyptians who wrote the Book of the Dead and who did NOT need revelations from angels or mountain voices to develop needed rules of conduct for us h-o-minids.

      "Hail to thee, great God, Lord of the Two Truths. I have come unto thee, my Lord, that thou mayest bring me to see thy beauty. I know thee, I know thy name, I know the names of the 42 Gods who are with thee in this broad hall of the Two Truths . . . Behold, I am come unto thee. I have brought thee truth; I have done away with sin for thee. I have not sinned against anyone. I have not mistreated people. I have not done evil instead of righteousness . . .

      I have not reviled the God.

      I have not laid violent hands on an orphan.

      I have not done what the God abominates . . .

      I have not killed; I have not turned anyone over to a killer.

      I have not caused anyone's suffering . .
      I have not copulated (illicitly); I have not been unchaste.

      I have not increased nor diminished the measure, I have not diminished the palm; I have not encroached upon the fields.

      I have not added to the balance weights; I have not tempered with the plumb bob of the balance.
      I have not taken milk from a child's mouth; I have not driven small cattle from their herbage...
      I have not stopped (the flow of) water in its seasons; I have not built a dam against flowing water.
      I have not quenched a fire in its time . . .
      I have not kept cattle away from the God's property.
      I have not blocked the God at his processions."

      "The Book of the Dead was written circa 1800 BCE. 2 The Schofield Reference Bible estimates that the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt and the provision of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai occurred in 1491 BCE., some three centuries later. Many religious liberals, historians, and secularists have concluded that the Hebrew Scripture's Ten Commandments were based on this earlier docu-ment, rather than vice-versa."

      November 25, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  6. NorCalMojo

    This pope is the worst thing to happen to the Catholic Church since Martin Luther. I think he has apsergers.

    November 25, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  7. 200 TON HAMMER

    Hey white Americans go ahead get you a nice Halley Berry Lisa bonet jasmine Guy TIA and tamia morwey Lisa raye raven samone.thadie Newton they are all mixed black Hebrew Isrealite.

    November 25, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  8. 200 TON HAMMER


    November 25, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • AvdBergism source of filthyRainerBraendleinism, filthyIslamism, filthyYawehism©

      Absurdity of Hammer time. Idiot caps goon. Lives in pool of santorum.

      November 25, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  9. Truth seeker

    There are no verses in any scripture specially Bible, which would say Jesus was God. To fine who was Jesus please follow the link:


    November 25, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Truth seeker


      November 25, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Jim

      16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
      17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 16:16 and17 also found at Mark 8:27–30 and Luke 9:18–20

      Have you ACTUALLY read the Bible or are you merely regurgitating a line "critics" have recited for the last 2000 years?

      November 25, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Truth seeker

      How about these verses Jim,

      * Matthew 4:10: "Jesus said to him,'Away from me, Satan! For it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."'"
      * John 17:3: "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
      * 1Corinthians 8:5-6: "For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."
      * 1Timothy 2:5: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus"
      * James 2:19: "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder."

      Here is some more:

      * John 17:20-23: "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
      * John 20:17: "Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them,'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

      November 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

      Isaiah 9:6

      November 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

      John 1:1-4

      November 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

      John 8:56-59

      November 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

      Phillipians 2:5-11

      November 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

      Hebrews 1

      November 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  10. 200 TON HAMMER

    No where too run too DNA no where too hide European DNA. EUROPEAN DNA can run but you can't hide from BLACK DNA Y CHROMOSOME ha ha ha nice DNA SONG here's another song its a DNA world after all its a DNA WORLD after all its a DNA WORLD

    November 25, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  11. 200 TON HAMMER


    November 25, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Sane Person

      Newsflash there Einstein : http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/chromosome/Y We've already figured out the Y chromosome thing. In other news, the world is round and we revolve around the sun.

      November 25, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Truth seeker

      There are no verses in any scripture specially Bible, which would say Jesus was God. To fine who was Jesus please follow the link:


      November 25, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  12. Jeff

    "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." ... BAHAHAHAHA!

    Is this guy for real? Dear Mr. Pope, please provide your "EVIDENCE" for the following:
    1) That his mother was a virgin
    2) That angels visited her
    3) That he turned water into wine
    4) That he could cure the blind
    5) That he could raise the dead
    6) That he walked on water
    7) That any historical records exist about "Jesus" outside the bible itself.
    8) That he rose from the dead
    9) That he ascended unto heaven (full body no less!)
    ... I could go on but I think you get the idea ...

    November 25, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • nisroc00

      Why could Jesus not heal? Faith healers do exist amount us as do people that sense the futures and past as I happened to someone else. We have people that can produce a walk on run on water today. I do know however what you mean and if Jesus did all of what you listed then he had Amazing life and in just 32 year-ish.

      I did notice you listed a few things that make you look totally ignorant. No existence of Jesus outside the bible? Given his name has made it to this age is quite impressive for a man who is a fraud don't you think? The bible is roughly 2000 year old and has been translated several times meaning yes it is inaccurate.

      It is possible Jesus rose from the dead. If I am right he did so as a ghost, hence Holy Ghost, but I could be wrong. I he did rise from the dead as a ghost then we look at evidence and many different ghost stories around us.

      I could go on about your post and how ignorant you are but I won't.I will say a few things, first you need to open your mind and study, not bash and disbelieve the second something second someone suggests something that seems unreal. Second if you have no or little knowledges the subject it is wise to shut up or just ask a question.

      I am not a disbeliever however I do not practice religion.

      November 25, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  13. Lokust

    There's no evidence that Jesus even existed in the first place. It is all made up. Jesus, Allah, Thor, Loki, Bast, Osiris, etc. All just imaginary friends for people that can't cope with mortality.

    November 25, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  14. Stu

    Religion itself is a myth, created for man to control weak-minded men, back when morals and ethics were not yet commonplace. Religion has nothing to do with the concept of god.

    November 25, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  15. David

    This does NOT change anything of the story of Jesus and why he came to die for us.
    The main thing is that he came from his glorious throne in Heaven to send a message to all of humanity.
    That he is a God of love and that he is willing to die for us so that we can live in Heaven with him when we die.

    The whole dates thing is not an issue at all, but there are atheists and religionists who will try to make this an obstacle to Jesus.

    November 25, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • SixDegrees

      1) Jesus is not God.

      2) There is no God.

      3) There is no Jesus.

      November 25, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • 200 TON HAMMER

      And too religious people who can't stand the fact that the real truth is coming out.it hurts them that their European dagon miter fish hat wearing Pope is not comfortable in telling the truth about the real HEBREW ISREALITE

      November 25, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • SaltyBob

      How is that a big deal if he knew that he was gona be sent to a glorious throne in Heaven, so his sacrafice wasnt really a sacrifice. Now if he knew that there would be no glorious throne in Heaven and he still went thru with it then it might meant something. If you attached meaning to something the reward is knowledge that you sacrifice will go unrewarded for yourself but carry meaning for those able to understand that what you did was without expectation of reward.

      November 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  16. khan

    This is true. According to the Islam, birth days are not supposed to be celebrated. It is never too late, please worship only Almighty Allah [God] not messengers. All these those messengers were sent to show oneness of Allah.

    November 25, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • 200 TON HAMMER

      Yeah and black Muslims sold black Hebrews into slavery too the Portuguese European in 1511 the black Muslims called the black Hebrews YAHOODEE AKA BLACK HEBREW ISREALITE

      November 25, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • SixDegrees

      They're talking about the year, not the date.

      November 25, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Edweird69

      Your handle fits you well Khan... you truly are a con.

      November 25, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  17. Wuttttt

    So there were no cattle???
    This changes everything!!!

    November 25, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  18. ronvan

    LOVE IT!! Don't you just love arguing over religion? BELEIFE & FAITH, two words that mean alot! BUT, there is another word that applies here, and that is, "INTERPRETATION". WE, the ordinary people, EXPERTS, and Religious leaders, continue to "interpret" what we read & what is written. The bible was written by humans, stories, facts, etc., passed down through time. HOWEVER, who can say, without qestion, that todays bible is totally accurate? This applies to ALL religious matters & writings. Through time, humans, have rewritten religious materials, AND, have "interpreted" what they read or were told. Stories embleshed, facts, stories, left out or changed! This "interpretation" is evident in the Popes new book!
    A man of extreme influence, which is evident as we write our comments here, and to the fact that people are already talking about changing the manger scene for christmas based on his "interpretation"! While I, personally beleive and have faith in my savior, my mind, has no problem in that he could have been white, black, pink or purple, had a wife which gave birth to one or more children, etc.. HE is STILL my saviour and guiding light!

    November 25, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Edweird69

      Your saviour? Why would anyone want to spend eternity with someone/something they had to be saved from? Bizarre.

      November 25, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  19. NyebyeBill

    Yo! 200 Ton Hammer, Meth BAD!

    November 25, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • 200 TON HAMMER

      Yeah Meth was made by people who are into fake witchcraft pharmacy sorcery which is mostly European wannabe the ones with the dominant Y Chromosome in which black people have you think all those HEBREW YISREALITES JUST VANISH HUH

      November 25, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  20. The Jackdaw

    Yeah, No 5hit. The entire thing is garbage!

    November 25, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • 200 TON HAMMER

      @@@@Jack off fact is European will never hold the key Y chromosome
      King David had it king Solomon had it Abraham had it Issac yacoob had it his 12 Hebrew Isrealite sons had it
      And when you was buying Michael Jordan shoes back in the day you enjoyed that Hebrew Isrealite jumping and slamming the ball huh

      November 25, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Sane Person

      "European will never hold the key Y chromosome" ? Wth does that even mean? Typically born males have one X and one Y chromosome. Country of origin, s.exual preference, religion, color, ethnicity, favorite shoes or hair color has nothing to do with it. You are a grand spokesperson for the republican science committee. For our next trick, we shall prove that woman is a witch by drowning her!

      November 25, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • 200 TON HAMMER

      @@@@ Sean p.OK none of your people came on a slave ships the blacks in America are Hebrew Isrealite the song kombiyah is Hebrew not African and you read Deuteronomy chapter 28:68 its talking about the transatlantic slave trade not the first physical real Egypt in north Africa look at Washington DC look at the Washington monument that is not European that's from first Egypt USA is second spiritual Egypt

      November 25, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Sane Person

      20 Ton Moron : You have no idea who "my people" are. Deut and the rest of your fable book mean slightly less than a JRR Tolkien story. I could not care less what the chapter is talking about. We are not discussing slaves. I've already debunked your inane Y chromosome statement, which you ignored. "looking at washington" or "looking at monument" makes absolutely no sense. You make no sense. Your tin foil hat is leaking.

      November 25, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • 200 TON HAMMER

      @@@@sane lame explain why Muslims called my people YAHOODEE And here is the truth my people in the USA built the white house and capital in Washington DC and invented the stop light and gas mask Gary Morgan.first open heart surgery shoe sole hot comb the clothes dryer clothes pin train breaks the light bulb the super soaker water gun.they invented rag time dance rock and roll George Washington Carver invented over 300 use with the peanut there hundreds more famous Hebrew black Isrealite who built the usa

      November 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      George Washington Carver was a devout Christian – what's your point, 200 Ton Moron?

      November 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • 200 TON HAMMER

      @@@Save the world he was Hebrew Isrealite by slaves Desendents he knew that he was not African our people came through HAMITE Africa after the Latin speaking Roman army invasion into Jerusalem ad 70 my people fled into west africa and settled there for about 1400 years until black Arabs Muslims took my people into slavery and sold my people too the Portuguese and the black Muslims Arab called us YAHOODEE even too this day

      November 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      So who gives a fvck, limp hammer? It doesn't make your religion any more valid than any of these other ones that have fable as its base.

      November 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
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About this blog

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.