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Publisher's Summary

What does the Bible really say about the birth of Jesus? How did the celebration of Christmas become associated with things like Santa Claus and decorated trees? In The True Meaning of Christmas: The Birth of Jesus and the Origins of the Season, biblical scholar Michael Patrick Barber offers an inspiring look at the Bible's accounts of Jesus' birth and the development of the Christmas season. Along the way, he answers numerous questions, including:

  • How is the Christmas story related to ancient Jewish expectations?
  • Why is Jesus said to be laid in a "manger"?
  • Who are the Magi?
  • What is the mysterious Christmas star?
  • How did December 25th become the date of Christmas?
  • How did Saint Nicholas become "Santa Claus"? 

As Dr. Barber will show, to find our way "home" at Christmas, we need to first return to Christmas' home in the story of the Bible. Only by carefully reflecting on the stories of Jesus' birth can we hope to celebrate Christmas in the way it is meant to be celebrated and discover the real joy it promises!

©2021 Augustine Institute, Ignatius Press (P)2021 Augustine Institute, Ignatius Press

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Amazing!

I didn't know what to think going into this book but I had some questions that I needed answered and I was generally curious as we approach Christmas to get a better understanding of the holiday. This was amazing! It is pretty exhaustive and does a wonderful job of laying all the facts out there, and deepening your understanding of Christmas! I'll re-listen to this every year.

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Superb!

What a lovely way to step into Advent and the Christmas season. Thank you Dr. Barber for walking with us on this path illuminated with the Word, though the land of Christmas music and traditions to the true meaning — the incarnation of our Lord! This books is beautiful, accessible and joyful. Our Bible study group and parish loved it too!

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Awesome exploration of the historicity of Christmas!

I really liked this book. Dr. Michael Barber lays out the history and theology of Christmas. After going through the old and new testaments, he shows how our modern day particulars, such as Santa and Christmas trees, came to be. I highly recommend to anyone who wants a deep biblical or historical understanding of Xmas.