Dec 6, 2004 / 22:00 pm
An article in this week’s Newsweek on the birth of Jesus goes tete-a-tete with what the magazine’s most recent poll says Americans believe about Christmas.
The events surrounding the birth of Jesus, their historical accuracy and theological interpretations are the focus of the top story in the Dec. 13 issue of Newsweek, simply called “The Birth of Jesus,” which hit newsstands yesterday.
In his article, Newsweek’s managing editor, Jon Meacham, examines the ongoing scholarly debate over the historical accuracy of the Nativity narratives and their theological meaning. He also examines whether some of the central images and words of the Christian religion owe as much to the pagan culture of the Roman Empire as they do to apostolic revelation.
But what the magazine’s poll proves is that this scholarly debate is just that – scholarly. In fact, the survey results demonstrate that Meacham’s report does not reflect the beliefs and day-to-day reality in the United States.