The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand

Nativity

When was Jesus born?

It comes as quite a shock to many people to discover that Jesus was not born on December 25th, at the end of the year 1BC. Our current system of numbering the years can be traced back to a Roman monk by the name of Dionysius Exiguus (Denis the Little).   He was commissioned by Pope…

The ‘Star’ of Bethlehem

The star that is connected with the birth of Christ, as recorded in Matthew 2, features in just 12 verses of the gospel and yet has given to rise to acres of theories and speculations.  So, before we look at what this star could have been, let’s examine the biblical text. First, Matthew tells us…

How did the Magi travel?

Christmas pageants which are so popular at this time of year, even in churches,  usually involve three fabulously dressed kings on camels, travelling at night as they follow a star across the desert.  Yet there is so much in this familiar scene that is, at best, unlikely.  First, as we have already noted, these men…

The Inn that wasn’t inn the story

I remember the first dramatic presentation of the nativity I ever saw. It was somewhere in Calcutta, India, I believe, shortly before I, then aged 12, and my family returned to the UK. It had all the usual cast of characters, but the one I remember best was the surly, uncaring inn keeper who rudely…