The Pope has written a book about the early life of Jesus. I should have thought that once you've got as far as the flight into Egypt, there isn't much to say until the episode with the elders in the Temple, but then I guess he knows more about that sort of thing than I do.
However, he states definitively that there were no animals – horses, camels, sheep, cattle or donkeys – present at the nativity because they are not mentioned in the gospels. I thought Jesus was said to have been born in a stable; animals in a stable are standard and so surely don't merit a mention. If there was a manger, it would be likely that that there would be a horse or donkey (not necessarily in the same stall). If the inn was full, people would have travelled there – on horses, donkeys and even camels.
What I would be interested to read is his take on a Roman census for which there is no record other than the gospels and which would be a unique and uncharacteristically chaotic event in the history of the Roman Empire.
He also mentions that angels didn't sing the "good news" but spoke it. One wonders if they also danced on the head of a pin.
Well, the Holy Father has certainly made a lot of small children redundant from their school Christmas plays. Bless.
absentgrana Fri 23-Nov-12 09:37:47
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