Religion: Who Has the Good News Straight?

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger. —from the Gospel According to Luke

This week, Christians around the world will hear the familiar words of Luke's Christmas story: the decree from Caesar Augustus, the shepherds in the fields, the "glory of the Lord" shining suddenly around them. But how accurate are those cherished images surrounding Jesus' birth? Luke, after all, comes third in the conventional sequence of the Gospels in the Bible—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. That is also the order in...

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