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IN BRIEF

PASSAGE

Luke 2:1–40

THEME

Christ’s humble origins

SETTING

c.6–4 BCE A cave or barn on the outskirts of Bethlehem.

KEY FIGURES

Mary A young woman from Nazareth, Galilee.

Joseph Husband of Mary, a carpenter, possibly descended from the royal House of David.

Jesus Mary’s newborn baby, who is the Messiah and Son of God.

Three shepherds Herdsmen watching their sheep through the night near Bethlehem.

Simeon An old and devout man in Jerusalem.

Anna An 84-year-old widow in Jerusalem.

The story of the birth of Jesus, widely known as the Nativity, is presented as a simple tale in the Gospel of Luke. Probably writing in the early 80s CE, the ...

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