Research Articles: All posts tagged 'christmas'

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THEY’RE BAAAAACK!: The American Atheists' Christmas Billboard 2013 12/5/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

During the Christmas season of 2010 there was a billboard in New Jersey on one of the approaches to the Lincoln Tunnel to New York City. It had three wise men riding their camels in the starlit night toward an open-sided shelter with a gabled thatched roof next to a couple of palm trees; a donkey was tied to the stall, a bright star overhead, and Mary and Joseph watching over the new-born Baby Jesus. Then I saw the words: “You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season, Celebrate REASON!” It was signed by the American Atheists and said they were “Reasonable since 1963.” Well, they’re baaaack! This Christmas season the same signs have been spotted in Sacramento, California.

Advancing the Kingdom: A Look Back at 2013 12/4/2013 - by Scott Lanser MA

The holiday season is before us with all of its blessings and joys and with a little busyness and stress mixed in! We hope you will experience the peace and joy of Jesus in this season as you walk as an “overcomer” in the kingdom of God. It is so important to remember that amidst all the madness around us that our citizenship is in heaven, and that the testings and trials we must experience are only for a season. Let us draw every ounce of joy from the knowledge that Christ has come to this world to bring us life and freedom, and His peace that passes understanding. And may your family gatherings and shared family traditions fill you with the warmth and love from these treasured experiences together.

Come Over and Help Us... 11/19/2012 - by Scott Lanser MA

A special Christmas season message from ABR Executive Director Scott Lanser.

The Christmas Story: How Well Do You Know It? Part Five 11/6/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers discusses the historical context and archaeological background surrounding the Birth of Christ. Part Five consists of a summary and a question and answer session.

The Christmas Story: How Well Do You Know It? Part Four 11/2/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers discusses the historical context and archaeological background surrounding the Birth of Christ. Part Four continues with more of the relevant Biblical texts and houses from the 1st century AD.

The Christmas Story: How Well Do You Know It? Part Three 10/30/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers discusses the historical context and archaeological background surrounding the Birth of Christ. Part Three continues with more of the relevant Biblical texts.

The Christmas Story: How Well Do You Know It? Part Two 10/26/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers discusses the historical events surrounding the Birth of Christ. Part Two includes a further discussion of the relevant biblical texts.

The Christmas Story: How Well Do You Know It? Part One 10/19/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers discusses the historical events surrounding the Birth of Christ. Part One includes an introduction to the relevant biblical texts.

The Thundering Christmas Voice 12/1/2011 - by Scott Lanser MA

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’” Job 37:5-6

The Christmas Myth as Displayed by the American Atheists 12/21/2010 - by Gordon Franz MA

At the beginning of this Christmas season (2010), I was going into New York City to do some research at the New York Public Library. As usual, I took public transportation into the city (it’s less stressful than driving and you don’t have to worry about parking). As we were approaching the Palisades in the bus lane to the Lincoln Tunnel, I saw out the left-hand side of the bus a billboard that caught my attention. It had what looked like a scene from a Christmas card. I thought to myself: “That’s nice; somebody is wishing us a joyous Christmas.” As the bus got closer, I saw the three wise men riding their camels in the starlit night toward an open-sided shelter with a gabled thatched roof next to a couple of palm trees; a donkey was tied to the stall, a bright star overhead, and Mary and Joseph watching over the new-born Baby Jesus. Then I saw the words: “You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season, Celebrate REASON!” It was signed by the American Atheists and said they were “Reasonable since 1963.” Their web address was also given.

Christmas Reflections 12/9/2010 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14, KJV).

King of Kings 12/8/2010 - by Scott Lanser MA

"He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thought..." Luke 1:51

The Ultimate Sign: Isaiah 7 12/17/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

In Isaiah chapter 7, God demonstrates His faithfulness to a promise that He made with King David concerning the Davidic dynasty by giving the ultimate sign to the House of David. The sign would be a virgin born Son named Immanuel, God with us. As we examine this passage carefully, we will see from the historical context that Matthew is not taking verse 14 out of context in order to “proof-text” the virgin birth of Jesus. Moreover, the context is clearly pointing to the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus as the fulfillment of this passage in Isaiah 7. The Lord Jesus Christ is the sinless Immanue and God manifest in human flesh.

The Slaughter of the Innocents: Historical Fact or Legendary Fiction? 12/8/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

In the December 2008 issue of National Geographic there was a well illustrated article on the recent excavations at the Herodian. This was the final burial place of Herod the Great, located 5 ½ kilometers southeast of Bethlehem as the angels fly. In the article, the author made this bold statement, reflecting current historical and theological understanding: “Herod is best known for slaughtering every male infant in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill Jesus. He is almost certainly innocent of this crime” (Mueller 2008:42). Was Herod the Great really innocent of this crime, or did this criminal act actually happen?

Jesus Celebrates Hanukkah! 11/17/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival that commemorates the purification and rededication of the Temple by Judas Maccabeus on Kislev 25, 165 BC (usually in December). Three years prior, Antiochus IV, the Seleucid (Syrian) king, defiled the Temple by erecting an idol to Baal Shamen (the Canaanite counterpart for the Greek god Zeus), sacrificing a pig on the altar in the Temple and proclaiming himself to be a god...

The Pastor and the Christmas Story 11/8/2009 - by Gary Byers MA

It was my 12th year as pastor of the same church. I had done a Christmas series of messages every December each year. Over the last couple of years it became increasingly difficult to come up with a new take on the old story. You might not have considered it before, but finding new material for every Christmas is not an easy task for a pastor – especially after being in the same church for a dozen years!

Away In a Manger But Not In a Barn 10/26/2009 - by Gary Byers MA

We all know the Christmas story…or do we? I would like to suggest a slightly different view on the subject, based on a careful reading of the Biblical text and insights from archaeology.

The Angelic Proclamation to the Shepherds 12/23/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

I would like to draw back the curtains on the Drama of World Redemption and take a peek at what was going on behind the scenes...

Who Is Immanuel? 12/17/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

The Incarnation is at the heart of the Christmas message. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tm 3:16). The only way the Second Person of the triune God could take on human flesh without being tainted by Adam’s sin was to be conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin...

Mary's Magnificat: The Mercy of God 12/11/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

I would like to tell you a story that is true. I am not making it up...

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem 12/7/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

During the Christmas season, we are inundated with images of Bethlehem from Christmas cards or Sunday School material that depicts somebody's imagination of what Bethlehem looked like 2,000 years ago. Some Christmas cards...

Incomprehensible 12/7/2008 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

As the pages of redemptive history unfold, they reach a culmination in the early pages of the Gospels, at the birth of Jesus Christ, the mysterious incarnation of the Lord of Glory...

The Manger and the Inn 11/8/2008 - by Kenneth Bailey PhD

Our understanding of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus are usually formed by our exposure to the traditional Christmas story. Upon further examination of the Biblical references, archaeological evidence and 1st century cultural context, the details surrounding Jesus' birth may be quite different than we have traditionally thought...

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