Beyond Bethlehem

Beyond Bethlehem


(CBC Enterprises, 1989). With Peter Horsfield.
Margaret Horsfield came home to Nanaimo for Christmas. She looked at the greeting cards on her parents’ mantle and wondered aloud about the origins of the Three Wise Men.

Over Christmas dinner with her father, retired Anglican priest Peter Horsfield, she began discussions that have led them to co-write Beyond Bethlehem. “We’ve mostly inherited cardboard cut-out notions of the story of Jesus,” she explains. “We want to popularize all the fascinating research that has been done about the origins of the stories about the birth of Jesus.”

Although religious fundamentalists frequently resent Biblical scholarship, the Horsfields say their investigative book has deepened their own appreciation of the Jesus legend.

“We’re not trying to make original conclusions. And we’re not dictating how people should think about Christ or the Bible,” says Margaret Horsfield, “We just hope to lay open the evidence.” Beyond Bethlehem provides a detailed Who’s Who of Biblical characters, with sections on the parents of Jesus, the Annunciation, stars, dreams, songs, the Magi, shepherds and Matthew and Luke–the only two of 25 New Testament writers who mention the birth of Christ.

And the Three Wise Men?

“There are many Kings mentioned throughout the Old Testament bearing presents to the rulers of Israel,” says Horsfield, “so possibly Matthew included the Wise Men’ in his account to emphasize how important Jesus was.”

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