Our class will deal with Matthew 1:18-25 (the Annunciation to Joseph) and Luke 1:26-38 (the much more famous Annunciation to Mary). We will look at the cultural and religious backgrounds of these stories within Judaism and the wider Greco-Roman world.
I look forward to seeing you at Binkley on Sunday morning!
In the class, The First Christmas, we will look at the two stories of Jesus’ birth found in the Bible, considering their politico-religious context in the first century CE and what they mean for today’s world. We will neither try to defend the stories as factual nor dismiss them as non-factual, but rather read them as narratives with both political and personal meanings for the ancient world and for our own. They presented a strong challenge to the empire of their time. What are their implications for our nation’s role in the world? On a personal level, they offer a challenge to live in communion with God. What does that mean for today’s church and today’s Christians? Join us for a lively discussion!
I recommend the book of the same title by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan as a way to extend your exploration into the topics we sill discuss. There is no need to read it in advance of the class.