Author and historian Paul Maier aims to “return the Christmas focus where it belongs”–on the story and spirit surrounding Jesus’ birth. Thus, The Very First Christmas doesn’t follow the prescribed children’s Christmas-book themes–with fairy-tale winter settings in quaint, old European towns. Maier instead sets the story in the American West, where a curious 8-year-old boy named Christopher wants a “real” bedtime story. His mother then tells him the miraculous story of the Nativity. (Ages 4 to 8 )
From Publishers Weekly
This informative gift book is much better than its introduction might lead readers to suspect; Maier lays out a traditional Christian apologetic approach, using tools such as archaeology and history to prove the trustworthiness of the Bible. In the chapters that follow, he analyzes the Nativity through the lenses of economics, law, literature, geography and even meteorology, claiming that this composite reveals the “unfamiliar story” of Christ’s birth. Some readers may quibble that Maier bases his claims on a rather selective reading of the evidence, but most will enjoy the rich detail he offers about daily life in Palestine around the year 5 B.C.
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