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Reading the Bible Anew: The Birth of Jesus


An Advent study
By Donald Schmidt

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This 5-session study – designed for use in the Advent and Christmas seasons – explores in depth the biblical stories of the birth of Jesus. Throughout the study, people are invited to suspend what they think they know about the story and explore more fully the biblical accounts. As you do so, you will find yourself going deeper into the stories to explore some of the deeper meanings the authors may have intended.

Rather than simply telling us a wonderful story of a miracle, the gospel writers wanted us to grasp some of the profound realities of who Jesus was and can be for our troubled world. Why does Matthew begin his gospel with a lengthy genealogy – and how does it differ from others in the Bible? What might Luke want us to understand about the roles of Mary and Elizabeth in the birth story? How does the story of the magi invite us into the story? As we free ourselves from tradition and literal interpretation, we can focus more clearly on what the gospel writers want us to see.


Donald Schmidt has had a love affair with the Bible for many years. Rather than something to be worshipped, he sees it as an amazing tool and way to learn more about God and ourselves. He holds MDiv and DMin degrees and an undergraduate degree in Jewish studies. He has been in active ministry in a variety of churches in both Canada and the USA for over 40 years. He lives in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada.