For students of Chinese, here’s something to read during Advent 降临节： text from the four Gospels mashed together into a single Christmas narrative, then divided into four readings. If that doesn’t make you cringe, then you obviously weren’t paying attention in Intro to Exegesis. But we’re not doing exegesis here, we’re reading the Christmas story in Chinese! (Five different Chinese translations!)
I read one per week during December. The hard copy is nice, but I also drop the text into my Pleco. It’s the same deal as we did with the Resurrection Festival 复活节 (a.k.a. “Easter”) readings. Download the PDFs below or read online by clicking the BibleGateway.com links.
Zechariah is going about his priestly duties when an angel appears to him, saying that his barren and aged wife Elizabeth will have a son. Zechariah doesn’t believe it and loses his ability to speak. Elizabeth gets pregnant. Meanwhile an angel appears to Mary and Joseph separately, saying Mary will conceive. It’s awkward, as they aren’t married, but Joseph chooses not to break their engagement. Pregnant Mary visits pregnant Elizabeth and sings a song praising God.
Elizabeth’s child is born, and the name him John. Zechariah, no longer mute, speaks a prophecy over John about John’s future role and the coming of the Messiah.
Joseph and very-pregnant Mary travel to Bethlehem for the census. They settle in a stable since there’s nowhere else to go. Jesus is born. Angels appear to shepherds, and the shepherds go visit Jesus.
Wisemen from the East come looking for Jesus and inadvertently alert King Herod. They visit Jesus but avoid telling Herod Jesus’ location. Jesus’ family flees to Egypt, Herod orders the Massacre of the Infants. After Herod’s death, Jesus’ family returns and settles in Nazareth in Galilee.
Lots more Christmas-in-China fun on this blog. You can start with these:
From John Lennox, author and Professor in Mathematics and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Oxford:
Is there anything worth believing in? Oh, ladies and gentlemen– I’m an old man. Let me speak to you directly.
In all my life studying different philosophies and ideas and mathematics for the sheer fun of it, I’ve never come across an idea that remotely touches this one:
“The Word became human, and dwelt among us.”
It’s not every world-class academic who could also make a good Santa. Merry Christmas!
Christmas in general:
Christmas in China:
You can see all our Christmas stuff here.
(P.S. – That’s Merry Christmas 2011, not 2012. Ooohh… someone’s asleep at the switch!)