In this issue...
Of all the Bible stories, the Christmas story is perhaps the best known and best loved across the world, by Christians and non-Christians alike. The struggling couple, the drama of the birth, the elevation of the lowly shepherds — it’s a gripping tale even before you throw in angels and a guiding star.
But away from the celebratory tinsel, what do Bible scholars make of the story of the infant in the manger? In this issue, Dr Peter J Williams takes a closer look at the historicity of the accounts in Matthew and Luke, and asks how confident we can be that events unfolded in the way they were recorded.
In Bible Toolkit, Christopher Ash looks at another passage that many readers will be familiar with, and discovers how Bible scholarship can help us look again at well-loved verses and see more than we realised was there. Who knows what you might find out if you bring a bit of research to bear on your favourite chapter?
For those who have wondered what physical evidence lies behind the Bible texts we read today, Dr Dirk Jongkind has a beginners’ guide to New Testament manuscripts, explaining how many there are, when we think they were written, and why researchers are grateful for even the smallest fragment of Bible witness.