The nativity scenes celebrated each Christmas bear little resemblance to history.
The inn, the shepherds, angels and animals: pretty much everything we think we know about the Christmas story is historically wrong.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stands during a service at the International Church of Las Vegas in Las Vegas in Oct. 2016.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
Trump embraced evangelicals in his first year as president. Here, scholars provide historical context to how the religious right has shaped American politics over the past decades.
Do you believe in the virgin birth?
Belief in miracles such as the virgin birth of Jesus are surprisingly persistent – even in the 21st century.
Biblical principles have provided an understanding on how to help the needy.
New economic realities have raised new challenges in applying Biblical principles to economic life. But they could still provide guidance on how to help those in need and how to levy taxes.
A Christmas Carol can be seen as a mirror to biblical parables.
(Bleeker Street Media/Elevation Pictures)
When writing A Christmas Carol, did Charles Dickens get his inspiration for Scrooge, Marley's ghost and Tiny Tim from the Bible?
It’s big, but it might not feed 5,000.
A sausage roll standing in for the Christ Child? It's not as weird as you might think.
The holy family.
The Alabama state auditor defended Roy Moore, citing Mary and Joseph. A scholar goes back to early Christian texts texts to explain lesser-known beliefs about the relationship.
The Hindu god Ganesha.
Anant Nath Sharma
Offering food to deities in Hinduism has deep religious significance. And most Hindu deities are not served meat.
Kyle, Kenny, Cartman and Stan.
How Trey Parker and Matt Stone made it for the long haul. Parental Advisory: explicit content.
A Moral Monday protest led by a preacher, Rev. William Barber.
AP Photo/Martha Waggoner
The 19th-century social gospel, which emphasized how Jesus’ ethical teachings could address poverty and inequality, continues to live on in the activism of the religious left.
Churches in the global South, especially Africa are growing.
The particular brand of masculinity promoted by Africa's influential male church leaders tends to devalue women, re-inscribe male domination.
The nativity offers an enticing opportunity to discover how words and interpretations have shaped the story and our understanding of it.
Why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus on 25 December?
Adoration of the shepherds (1622) by Gerard van Honthorst/WIkimedia Commons
Before Christmas became child-centred, Father Christmas was the personification of a mid-winter feast of merrymaking for adults – and he brought no presents.
Brendan McDermid/ Reuters
The Christian left has played a strong role in America's history. In this election too, it is not silent.
Detail Da Vinci’s The Last Supper by Giacomo Raffaelli. Judas seated second right.
Alberto Fernandez Fernandez [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons
Judas has had a 2,000-year raw deal. Here's why it's time for a rethink.
Peter Gertner Crucifixion Walters.
The sources offer an intriguing – and surprising – insight.
It's regarded as a Biblical myth, but what the magi are supposed to have seen is rooted in astronomy.
In the Netherlands, the tradition goes that Sinterklaas lives in Madrid, wears a red clerical robe and a bishop’s mitre, and has servants called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Peters).
The celebration of Christmas has distinct variations around the world, with many of these local traditions arising from particular historical circumstances.
The virgin birth at the heart of Christianity has many corresponding versions in other ancient traditions.
Detail from a panel by Conrad von Soest, 1403. Wikimedia Commons
Biblical scholars and theologians have long discussed, debated and disputed the virgin birth of Jesus, with some arguing that there is no imperative to link it to the doctrine of the Incarnation.
The method used, until recently, by a large proportion of scholars of the New Testament and Christian origins, is flawed.
Traditions about Jesus cannot be separated out into the categories of early and late, primary and secondary, authentic or inauthentic, fact and interpretation. One might as well try and unscramble an omelette.