I mentioned earlier this year that I hoped to publish this book by year’s end. The book is a compilation of my earlier work in history as an undergraduate student, posts and debates that had been published on this blog and my own, and material from my most current Master’s class in theology.
The book sets a foundation on the historicity of the gospel texts within the vein of a proper understanding of historicism. An understanding of the influence of both era and culture of the authors in their proper contexts. It expresses agreement with Pope Benedict XVI that the writers do not give a video camera recording of the Gospels, but rather gives a substance of the historical truth. The book sets out to explain why there is good evidence to believe the Christmas date is of Christian origin. It explains via Thomas Aquinas why Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem, what Bethlehem was like when Jesus was born, and whether there is any veracity in the claims of a census found in Luke’s gospel account. The book examines the traditions of Mary–the Mother of God, Old Testament typology and prophecy, different historical figures found in the infancy narratives, Finally, what is the importance of the genealogies found in the texts of the gospels.
The conception of this book began a few years back, originating from a course I took in college called “The History of Christmas”. The course introduced me to many of the written sources presented in this book as well as fostering a great interest in the infancy narratives of Jesus Christ. After some years, I decided to present some of the material in a discussion group at my local parish to discuss some of the historic legitimacy of infancy narratives found in the Gospels. The book’s text expands on my notes and outlines from this discussion group.
My goal for this book is to distill the many arguments about and ideas on the infancy narratives into one, easily accessible analysis, as well as to shape the dense academic historiography and theological typology into something more palatable for lay readers. Naturally, in this project some generalizations are needed to summarize the extensive academic scholarship on the subject, so I fully encourage readers to look beyond this book and to explore all sources that I’ve presented here.
The book’s release date is December 17th. You can preorder a copy at the link below.