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The Nativity: History & Legendby Geza Vermes
Synopses & Reviews
The Nativity is the very heart of the Christian tradition. For more than 2,000 years, the story of Jesus birth has been told and retold, mythologized and sentimentalized. In The Nativity, Geza Vermes untangles centuries of storytelling and places the birth and the events surrounding it within their historical context.
Vermes examines every aspect of the Christmas story: the prophetic star, the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, the miraculous birth in the stable, the arrival of the magi, and the murderous decree of Herod. Delving into all the available evidenceincluding the New Testament Infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke, Jewish documents of the period, and classical literary and historical sourcesVermes explains where actual history ends and legend begins.
A masterful work of biblical scholarship, The Nativity penetrates the deeper meaning of the New Testament. By clarifying what belongs to real history and what derives from mans hopeful and creative religious imagination, it gives readers a new and more powerful understanding of the events celebrated every Christmas season.
Vermes untangles centuries of storytelling and places the birth of Jesus and the events surrounding it within their historical context. A masterful work of biblical scholarship, this book penetrates the deeper meaning of the New Testament and clarifies what belongs to real history.
About the Author
GEZA VERMES is one of the worlds leading authorities on Judaism in the age of Jesus. His pioneering work on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the historical Jesus led to his appointment as the first Professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford, where he is now Professor Emeritus. His Complete Dead Sea Scrollsfirst published in 1962, since revised and edited, and now in its sixth printingis widely considered a classic and foundational text. Since 1991, he has been the director of the Forum for Qumran Research at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and he was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1985 and of the European Academy in 2001.
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