Margaret Barker

Biblical scholar

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Margaret Barker
Christmas. The Original Story  
Older Testament
The Lost Prophet
Gate of Heaven
The Great Angel
On Earth
The Risen Lord
Great High Priest
Temple Theology
Hidden Tradition
Temple Themes
Temple Mysticism
Mother of the Lord
King of the Jews

The story of Christmas is loved by all Christians, and its cultural influence is felt far and wide, not only in the art and literature of the Church but also in the Qur’an. Much of the original story, however, is not found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and so some of the detail in Christian art and literature is not always understood.

Margaret Barker uses her knowledge of temple tradition and Jewish culture in the time of Jesus to set the story in its original cultural and literary context. By examining the widely used Infancy Gospel of James, and by uncovering layers of allusion in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, she reveals what the Christmas story originally meant. She then goes on to show how this understanding can be found in later texts such as the Arabic Infancy Gospel and legends known in mediaeval Europe.

  "Like a magnet applied to a tray of filings, Margaret Barker’s Temple researches reveal previously undetected patterns and fresh significance in the New Testament references to the birth of Jesus Christ. She is one of the most inspiring Christian teachers of our time."

The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, Bishop of London

Published by SPCK in October 2008. ISBN 9780281060504







(c) Margaret Barker 2006.