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What! No Donkey for Mary to ride on?

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What! No Donkey for Mary to ride on?
Imagine a strictly Biblical Nativity Scene.

There would be no stable or any animals at all attending the nativity of the infant Christ. The stable is an assumption based upon the fact that He was ‘laid in a manger’ and modern mangers are usually found in stables. The animals at the scene are a biblically unsubstantiated assumption also. Mary (actually Miryam), would not have a donkey to ride on. There would be no ‘Wise Men’ at the manger, only shepherds. There was no singing from an ‘angel choir’, their praises were spoken not sung, Luke 2:13. When they had arrived at Herod’s Palace seeking ‘The King of the Jews’, Jesus had already been born perhaps some weeks or even months previously. Matt. 2:2. They found the ‘child’ Jesus in ‘a house’ not a stable. Matt. 2:10. There were not necessarily ‘three’ of them, (there could have been any number between 2 and 4 or more), 3 is an assumption based upon the number of ‘gifts’ they offered.

There are MANY other possibly factual inaccuracies perpetuated in every Nativity Play, if the Biblical account is to be regarded as the only acceptable evidence.

But does it really MATTER?

And wouldn’t it spoil any good Nativity Play to take all these Biblically unsupported characters out of the scene for the sake of ‘Biblical accuracy’?

Has anyone else in Praize inquired deeply into just exactly what can be ‘known’, rather than what we choose to ‘believe’ about the mysterious birth of ‘Emman’u-el’, which means ‘God with us’. Matt. 1:23.

Could perhaps ‘The Mystery’ be an essential ingredient of ‘The Experience’? Perhaps, like Mary, we should more often 'Ponder these things', in our hearts. Luke 2:19.

A Merry and Blessed Christmas to everyone at Praize. Love to all, Chris.
In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Cor. 5:19. Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

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rdrcofe: Dec 21, 2016, 2:40 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] What! No Donkey for Mary to ride on? In reply to
Hi Chris.

Not a hill of beans does it matter.

I thought the general consensus was that the folk of that area made use of the caves for their animals, as well as for themselves if need be.

The tale told through the novel, "Ben Hur, a Tale of the Christ" by Lew Wallace, indicates such time frames as you describe. The census apparently took a long, long time. Did you know that it was the first novel to be accepted as something that was not sinful to read here in the US. Only religious works (Christian) and approved newspapers and educational texts…sometimes only the Bible... were allowed into Christian homes? I don't remember if reading was as restricted in Europe and would have to gather that information again.

-Jeanne
"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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Re: [jeanne53] What! No Donkey for Mary to ride on? In reply to
Hi, Jeanne,
I'm sure many did use caves for their animals when available.

Several years ago I wrote "The Christmas Story" from Mary's perspective. I felt it was something that was never discussed. So many things with women were put on the "back burner"... so to speak. It began with the Holy Spirit "coming upon her", Mary having to tell her parents of her pregnancy, and ended with the birth of Jesus and the wise men meeting in the stable. In between was Mary's trip on the mule while enduring hard labor! (And I thought MY labors were difficult!) There was a stable because they were in a town. God's blessings were all over that birth. The Bible description left out so many of the important facts (like Mary's parents reaction to the news) that I felt led to write Mary's side of the story. :)

And don't we each have our own thoughts and views on the matter?
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [praizeop2] What! No Donkey for Mary to ride on? In reply to
praizeop2: Hi.

and ended with the birth of Jesus and the wise men meeting in the stable.

This is what the thread is about Sarah. Where did the notion that the 'wise men' actually Magi, meaning Eastern astrologers, ever met Jesus or anyone else 'in a stable'. The Bible says they found the 'child' in a 'house'.

But if that fact was incorporated into Nativity Plays and we dropped the wise men from the 'stable scene' along with all the various animals also not mentioned in the Bible, would it improve the plot or ruin it?

Your point is also valid though. We don't pay sufficient attention to the dangerous position that 'Miryam' was in. Women were stoned to death for less serious crimes than getting pregnant during a betrothal. God's plan of salvation for mankind was first threatened and endangered by enthusiastic religious bigotry in her own village, before even Herod could know and get involved.

Regards Chris.
In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Cor. 5:19. Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

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rdrcofe: Dec 22, 2016, 1:05 AM
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Re: [praizeop2] What! No Donkey for Mary to ride on? In reply to
Hi Chris and Sarah.

The interesting aspect of Lew Wallace's novel is his knowledgeably accurate detailed description of the area. What did the "towns" actually look like and consist of. His architectural description is very detailed, as is his description of the sections and buildings of "towns" during that time and in that geography.

I only added this as an interesting bit of information. Whether the birth story of Jesus begins in a stable or lasts a few days or in a cave and lasts months is irrelevant to the rest.

-Jeanne
"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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Re: [jeanne53] What! No Donkey for Mary to ride on? In reply to
Hi All:

I have found a fascinating study on this subject at this link:

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/...the-Inn.aspx#Article

I particularly like the conclusion:

Quote:
What, then, does all of this mean for the faithful as we look forward to the recollection of the miracle of the incarnation


We all face the enormous weight of church tradition which surrounds us with the “no room at the inn” mythology. If our conclusions are valid, thousands of good Christmas sermons, plays, filmstrips, films, poems, songs and books will have to be discarded. But is the traditional myth of a lonely birth in a stable a help or a hindrance to the reality the text proclaims? Surely a more authentic cultural understanding enhances the meaning of the story, rather than diminishing it. Jesus was rejected at His birth by Herod, but the Bethlehem shepherds welcomed Him with great joy, as did the common people in later years. The city of David was true to its own, and the village community provided for Him. He was born among them, in the natural setting of the birth of any village boy, surrounded by helping hands and encouraging women’s voices. For centuries Palestinian peasants have been born on the raised terraces of the one-room family homes. The birth of Jesus was no different. His incarnation was authentic. His birth most likely took place in the natural place for a peasant to be born—in a peasant home.
We can and should theologize on the glorious resurrected Christ who meets us in the Eucharist. But a proper understanding of the story of His birth forces us to not lose sight of the One who “took upon himself the form of a servant and was found in the likeness of man.” And, after all, it is still possible for us to sing:

Ox and ass before Him bow,
For He is in the manger now,
Christ is born to save,
Christ is born to save.

Regards Chris.
In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Cor. 5:19. Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

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rdrcofe: Dec 22, 2016, 10:06 AM
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Re: [rdrcofe] What! No Donkey for Mary to ride on? In reply to
Are you out of your mind? How did you come to this theory? it is stupid