1. Ryan Lanier

    Fascinating how everything points to Christ (Moses 6:63; 2 Nephi 11:4), which of course makes perfect sense – we miss so much of this when we gloss over Matthew’s account of His birth, as well as Luke’s account of the angel appearing to Zacharias. Everything sent through the veil from God to man is intended to testify of Christ.

    You might also note that nowhere in Matthew’s account does it say that there were three wise men – some traditions hold that there were four. Also, Margaret Barker makes a case that the original Matthew account could possibly have been written in Hebrew, explaining the word “east” to describe the origins of the wise men could have meant “ancient times”. Elder Bruce R. McConkie in The Promised Messiah stated plainly that these men were not diviners or astrologers but prophets.

    Margaret Barker provides excellent insight into the gifts brought to Christ in one of her papers on her website (see http://www.margaretbarker.com/Papers/FragranceintheMakingofSacredSpace.pdf).

  2. Amanda

    Margaret Barker’s new book, Christmas – The Original Story, is an excellent treatment of the subject. I have read it several times and dog-eared many pages. I had my copy shipped from the UK in October, but it is now available in the US. Highly recommended if you want an academic/theological study.

  3. D. Thorpe

    Included in the Christmas stories are the many different hand & wrist grips that Christ is greeted with as he wanders about the earth during his post-resurrection teaching tours, often done during Christmas times, according to traditions & many art works. Christ is depicted as a pilgrim, teacher, homeless wanderer, man of sorrows – making different interesting gestures while displaying his wounds; & other guises. His world wanderings are often during Christmas times, cause Mathew 25 says he would be out testing the world to see if the “least of these his brethren” would be accepted, helped, taken care of, etc. Monks & other Christian orders, would greet people, with different types of hand greetings, because they saw in strangers, etc., Christ in different guises. These traditions were passed down to later Christ-child wanderings, German blond hair female versions, Christkindl, Christkind = Christ=child, etc. Which became Americanized into Kriss Kringle & eventually Santa Claus, (“santa” = female saint, instead of Santo for male, Santa Claus being male).

    Earlier cases of Santa Claus show him as a blond long hair female, wandering through the woods. She wanders about the earth, testing different ones to see who would help, greet, & give shelter to the wandering Christ-child = Christkindl. In earlier centuries, it’s Christ who is the wanderer, because it’s derived from prophetic types of Christ world mission as the Good Shepherd, or as a rolling stone rolling forth; or as the life giving water that flows into the 4 corner parts of the earth; or as a vine, branch or tree that extends down into the underworld, & branches that spread out into all nations. These types are what early Christian writers used to present the doctrine that Christ did go to other nations. Christ is also a gatherer & drawing in his people by different types of hand & wrist grips, as seen in early Christian art works too, as he draws in people of all types from the 4 corner parts of the earth. When Christ appears to different witnesses & groups of people, he invites them to come & feel his wounds so. Thus, art works show people in Russia feeling, with their hands, Christ’s hands. Or like Christ as a Pilgrim by Fra Angelico; or ancient America art of the corn God being raised by Head Band twin; etc. Or Russian painter, Nesterov late 19th century, early 20th century paintings derived from Russian traditions of Christ in Russia, where Christ is greeted by peasants. Christmas stories that go back to Christ’s world mission thus relate to the Temple in these types of ways because of how they offer testimonial witness of the restoration. If posting sources here are acceptable, I could give a lengthy list, but will only do so if requested & they are allowed. Other wise, I’ll keep my posts short.

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