Is the Christmas Story Based on a Lie?

Friends from the Middle East are some of the kindest, most accommodating and hospitable people I’ve met. I don’t know if this is true of everyone from the region, but many have told me this attitude is intentionally cultivated within their culture.

So here’s what doesn’t add up about the Christmas Story: the innkeeper’s response.

Sorry, there’s no room.  Not tonight.

Really? For a pregnant woman about to give birth?

From a culture that so highly esteems hospitality, this seems odd.

Mike Erre suggests the reason is because gossip about how Mary’s baby was conceived preceded her. In those days, her claims would have raised eyebrows and cast Jesus as a “mamzer”. The Septuagint translates the term mamzer as son “of a prostitute” and the Latin Vulgate translates it as “born of a prostitute”.

In English, it is translated as “bastard”.

So what if the town’s people (including the innkeeper) turned Mary and Joseph away, not because of a lack of space, but because they did not want to associate with a bastard?

Although there is no biblical proof for this notion, does the idea make you feel differently about the Christmas Story?

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About David Rosendahl
Husband, father, co-founder of MindFireInc, two-time Inc500 software company. I love building things.

3 Responses to Is the Christmas Story Based on a Lie?

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t know, but the music they played at the shelter that granted ME respite that night, was, in fact: The Lady is a Tramp.

    I chuckled, not so quietly to myself. My interview with the OC Rescue Mission was just a few days away.

    I love your blog. A sense of humor & lots of grace, keeps me positive.

    • Hi Elizabeth, thank you for stopping by.

      What you’ve said is so true: sometimes it’s the oddest things that speak to us 🙂

      How did it go with the Rescue Mission?

      Thanks for the kudos, I appreciate your input and I’m glad you’ve found the material positive!

      All the best,
      -dr-

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