But even though I love the carols and songs, I have problems with many of them because they don’t follow the Scriptures accurately. For instance, we sing “We Three Kings,” yet the Bible does not tell us how many kings there were – only that they brought three gifts to the Christ Child.
Many carols sing about the angels singing, but most Bible translations refer to the angels “saying” not “singing” when they praised God. And do angels really play harps? A brief reference in Revelation 5:8 mentions “four living creatures” playing harps which many believe may be angels – so this may not be a fair conclusion either.
We sing “Away in a Manger” with “no crying He makes.” Does the Bible say anything about whether baby Jesus cried? I haven’t seen it anywhere.
Where in the Bible is the story about the “Little Drummer Boy?”
Did the shepherds “Follow the Star to Bethlehem?” The star led the wise men, not the shepherds. Bethlehem wasn’t very big at the time Jesus was born. All the shepherds needed to know was to look for a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. The shepherds knew their way around Bethlehem so it wouldn’t have taken all that long for them to find baby Jesus.
Please forgive me for raising these issues. I’m truly not trying to be a spoiler or a smart Alec. Our Christmas songs are a part of our Christian heritage and have a rightful place in our Christmas celebrations.
But I mention these discrepancies to make a different point. Where should we get our understanding about issues of our faith? Do we really know the Christmas story? Are we willing to read the Bible for ourselves, or will we settle for what the popular trends of the day want to teach us about what is in the Bible?
The secular world is doing everything it can to undermine the faith of Christians today – and they especially target our youth. Movies run the gamut with stories about the Bible – some are wonderful such as The Nativity Story, while others such as The Da Vinci Code deliberately contrive to deceive.
There is a wide range of organizations that claim to be Christian as well. While most share the basic Christian doctrines and differ on lesser issues, cults take off on tangents of all kinds. There is no substitute for reading the Bible for yourself. A good understanding of what the Bible says will give you the information you need to distinguish false teachings from the good.
In this day and time with access to the Internet, there are only a few people who can’t read the Bible in whatever translation and language they want. It only requires an honest desire to know what the Bible says, and a willingness to take the time to read it.
–written by Janice D. Green, author of The First Christmas.