Does "The Nativity" Movie Get It Right?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Marcia, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. Marcia

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    I know some might think this should go in the film discussion forum, but I am asking about the theology and Biblical accuracy of it and would like Baptist responses. TTT, I have not checked to see if another thread has come up on this.

    Has anyone here seen this movie? The previews I saw on TV made it look like Mary was villified for being pregnant outside marriage, but that is not in the Bible. I could be wrong, but that is what it looked like.

    I am particularly interested in knowing if this movie added in things not in the Bible and/or changed the Bible's account.
     
  2. Scarlett O.

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    I haven't seen the film, but am looking forward to seeing it.

    As for Mary being treated badly for being pregnant without being married, even though the bible doesn't directly mention it, it is quite logical that it did happen.

    Here's what the bible does say.

    Matthew 1:18-19

    "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

    Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

    I feel that once her pregnancy was disclosed to the general public, those who knew that they were not married were probably at the least, very rude, and at the worst, shunned them both.

    Human nature hasn't changed much over the years. Young girls are still getting pregnant before marriage and people still call them vile names and treat them as trash.

    But again, the bible doesn't mention her treatment by the public, but one has to assume that there were those who knew Mary and her family who mistreated her.
     
  3. TaterTot

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    I am sure she was villified. She went away for a while, ya know? Imagine a teenage girl coming up pregnant and claiming "nothing happened".
     
  4. Marcia

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    Exactly! I read the passages in Matthew and Luke the other day. The passage above indicates that no one knew except Joseph and Mary. And Joseph then married her after the visit from the angel.

    So nothing in the text indicates anyone else knew.




    What makes you think it was disclosed to the general public? I think that we should not assume this since the evidence in the text indicates otherwise - it was kept quiet by Joseph.

    That is why it bothers me if the movie shows her being shunned. I don't like filmmakers adding to scripture. People will see this and think it is in the Bible. People are already believing there were 3 kings/wise men, Mary rode a donkey to Bethlehem, an innkeeper said "there is no room at the inn," etc. None of this is in the Bible. People don't know the Bible well enough and now they will just add more false information.

    I think we should remain faithful to what the Bible tells us and not speculate, especially since the evidence is that Joseph kept it quiet. If he was going to divorce/send her away quietly, I think he would have kept the pregnancy quiet when he married her.

     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    Well, in my experience, you can't keep things like this quiet. I don't interpret those verses to mean that no one knew. I interpret it to mean that Joseph, for Mary's sake, didn't want anyone to know. He loved her and even though he didn't believe her until God spoke the truth to him, he wanted to protect her.

    Elizabeth knew. And she knew it was not Joseph's baby. She knew that Mary was carrying the "Lord".

    Don't you think Mary's mother knew?

    And don't you think that friends and neighbors who knew Mary personally and saw she and Joseph break off their engagement and then saw her "showing" after just suddenly getting back together figured it out?

    This is all suppostion on my part.

    The bible is silent about a lot of things. It's silent on Mary's telling her mother, father, and siblings. It's silent on just exactly what she told anyone as to who the father of her child was.

    But some things are implicitly understood. Again, it just my opinion.
     
  6. Allan

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    I embolded some specifics you stated and WHOLE HEARTLY agree with you. There Nothing in scripture that INSINUATES ANYONE else know other than those specified in scripture (Joseph, Mary - at that time) Having children quickly was considered a sign of Gods blessing, so 9 months after marriage and giving birth was great! We know she was not shamed nor was she shunned by anyone for THAT would be a great mockery of Christ throughout His ministry to be know as the Bastard from Nazareth. He is known and is even refered to by others as the Son of a Carpenter.
     
  7. Allan

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    For one we go according to the Word of God and not experiences, especially those we assume.

    Second Elizabeth knew she was pregnant AFTER the marriage (Matt - states immediatly after the angel spoke with him, he married her and the in Luke it states that after Marry's visit she went to her cousins house and greeted her and at that moment Elizabeths babe lept in her womb). Where is scripture does it say Elizabeth KNEW this child was not from Joseph or that Mary said such?? It doesn't (it can be argued that in this greeting Mary said something and maybe so).

    Elizabeth uses the reference of Lord in conjuction with the Messiah of the Davidic Lineage of whom IS Lord in authority due to the blood line. Not that this babe is of God via the Holy Ghost. No one as of yet knew Christ was God but that He was being watched over by God.

    Mary's mother nor anyone Knew she was pregant. Scripture NEVER states Joseph broke of the engagement but that He got up immediately and married her. He was CONSIDERING breaking off the engagement which was a public affair before the judges if a violation of the engagement had occured but COULD still be done quietly. We see no where in scripture there was months worth of time here but most likely within days (2 to maybe 4).

    It is silent because about Mary saying anything to anyone (family and friends) because if she had they were obligated under the law to bring her before the Judges for whoredom. She didn't HAVE to tell them and accordingly she didn't but left shortly after the Word of the Lord came to her for her cousins house. Since Joseph married her upon arising from his vision he was with her when she journeyed there as scripture nevers states they came back any time soon.

    Implicity understood?? Not what you are talking about. It is something assumed and is contrary to the events scripture puts forth in chronology of events and therefore though people can have assumptions, these need to be more bible based than on experiences or our personal imagery of added details.
     
    #7 Allan, Dec 6, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2006
  8. Baptist Believer

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    Well, Mary making the trip to Bethlehem for the census when she was full-term is certainly a hint. As far as I know, women were not required to make that trip - only the head of the household. Seems to me that Joseph did not want to leave her alone in the village when he wasn't around to look out for her.

    Where did you get the idea that the birth of Jesus was a full nine months from their marriage date? Matthew and Luke indicate that Jesus was conceived before the marriage, probably in the months before the ceremony. People in those days "counted months" too.

    Jesus was mocked and shunned for many reasons during his ministry. I don't know why you would expect Him to escape mockery for the circumstances of His birth...

    And the scribes and Pharisees also seemed to be aware of the stories surrounding His birth. They seem to reference it in the gospel of John:

    John 8

    18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
    19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

    ...

    39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
    40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
    41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
     
  9. Allan

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    Mary making the trip to Bethlahem at full term was not indictation ANYONE knew she was pregnant from anyone other than her husband.

    I get the idea that it was nine months later since I don't think God waited a couple of months into her pregnancy to let her know she was with child. The Lord via an angel told Mary she IS with Child, who in turn would have to tell her husband before others would find out. He most likely did not believe her as he was considering divorcing her quietly, but did love her and did not want to disgrace her. THEN the angel came to him as well. After THAT encounter Joseph arose and married her according to scripture and not MONTHS later. You have no scripture to even assume that one. And yes they counted months but a couple can marry at ANY TIME within the year betrothal period but could not extend beyond that year. Otherwise if your accertain is true Jesus would have been born BEFORE Joseph married Mary.

    Uh, hello! Do you not read in context... Jesus FIRST accerts His Father 'sent' Him (They knew His [earthly] father was dead) so they asked a very specific question: Where is he?
    THEN Jesus states that His Father is the One in Heaven and He does what His Father asks of Him, just as a Son would. However THEIR father was the Devil and not God. In context this next remark of not being born of fornication IS NOT toward Jesus birth but that THEY are ligitimate Children of God (because of Abraham - or bloodline) and not some other type of offspring (ie of the Devil).

    Come on, read in context and stop trying to spout what IS NOT THERE.
     
    #9 Allan, Dec 6, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2006
  10. dan e.

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    Her growing stomach was probably a clue to everyone.
     
  11. donnA

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    If Mary went away to see Elizabeth then we don't know that her and Joseph were married immediately.
    According their laws she could have been killed. And you aren't going to hide a pregnancy for long.
     
  12. LeBuick

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    I read the story very different from ya'll

    I read this to say Mary and Joseph had just gotten married.

    but had not consummated their marriage.

    he figured out she was already with child.

    He did not want to make a public example of her for this could have meant stonning her to death.

    but he did consider divorsing her privately

    While he was considering divorce, an Angel came to him and explained the conception of the child and forbid him to divorce her.

    He woke from his dream and being forbidden to divorce her he took and treated her as his consummated wife. Remember, true marriage does not begin until after consumation. He did not consummate their marriage yet he treated her as if he did.

    He did not consummate their marriage until after she had her firstborn son who he named Jesus from the instruction of the Angel.
     
    #12 LeBuick, Dec 6, 2006
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  13. Allan

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    True she could have been killed but at the same time her husband could have divorced her and her father pay according to the law as well.
    However, that fact that immediately after Joseph had the vision he got up and married her. Scriptures does not say he went to find her or went to her but that he married her. This is indicitive with the text as to her being near by. The fact she left to see her cousin and Jewish etiquete mandating a woman have another person with her (especially on a journey) garentees that Joseph was the one with her as she traveled. Do you think Joseph would have let her make that trip alone being with Child?? As her husband it behoved him to make sure her travel was a safe one.

    Why is it so hard to believe what scripture says rather than the imagination of how the world thinks it could have happened?
     
  14. Allan

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    There is a diffenence in being espoused and being married, however I could go more easily with this veiw than the other ...um...notions.
     
  15. LeBuick

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    I think you're wrong here Marcia;

    Luke 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
    37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
    38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
    39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
    40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
    41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:


    Imagine how surprised the virgin Mary was to hear she was pregnant. Then the Angel said and oh, your cousin Elizabetht the barren woman is also pregnant by the holy spirit. Soon as the Angel leaves, Mary zooms over to Elizabeth's place and no sooner than she says hello a baby in it's 6 month "leaped" in Elisabeth womb.

    Now I didn't have to be a fly on the wall to consider much of the discussion that took place but I am sure at the least they both said, "and you too?" Yes Girl, I'm pregnanat too... You a virgin? But what about you being barren? Girl, whose yo babies daddy? etc...
     
    #15 LeBuick, Dec 6, 2006
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  16. Allan

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    Unless you mean Elizabeth concieved John via the Holy Spirit the same way Mary concieved, it may be a good thing for me to add that the Holy Spirit enabled Both pregnancies but in differing fashion (conventional and emaculate)
     
  17. LeBuick

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    You have a point I can't proove either way. Who is John's daddy? I leave that question unanswered just as the Bible does... I did correct my spelling of the word THE.
     
  18. Martin

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    ==I am going to see this film tommorow so I will be able to say more, and I will say more, tommorow night.

    ==It's not directly stated in the Biblical text however I would ask you to consider two things.

    1. Joseph did consider a divorce (Matt 1:19). Normally he would have had good grounds for one and, under the Law, more than a divorce (Deut 22:20-24, 24:1-4). So there does seem to have been some level of controversy over her pregnancy.

    2. A unmarried, probably devout, Jewish girl getting pregnant would have caused some friction in her family.

    So while the Bible does not directly mention any controversy over this, it does hint that there was some.

    ==Of course it added things, otherwise they could not have made a full-length movie out of it. The movie added three wise men (the Bible never says there were three), it added Joseph and Mary riding to Bethlehem on a donkey (the Bible never mentions a donkey), it added them riding that donkey alone through the desert (the Bible does not say how they got to Bethlehem though they probably traveled with a group), the Bible does not say she was very pregnant when they set out for Bethlehem or that she had the baby as soon as they got there (it only states that while there the time came for her to have the baby, how long they had been there is not known), the movie shows them almost drowning in a river (not Biblical), and I am sure I will find more such scenes.

    How should we respond to this?

    1. If you look through the list I wrote you will see that many of those additions are made by Christians and Churches every Christmas season. Don't deny it, you have a nativity scene that includes Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the three wise men all together in a barn! :laugh: I will not deny it, I have one on top of my bookshelf right now (it stays year around). We had a live nativity at our church a few days ago and, guess what, we made many of the same additions (as do all live nativities). Look at the children's stories that the churches use, same additions. Point? Don't condemn the movie for doing what we in the church have been doing for longer than I, or my parents, have been alive. If we don't like the above additions then it is "our" job to make sure that "our" presentations are Biblically/historically correct.

    2. You should ask yourself if the above additions are important enough to condemn the film? Personally I don't think they will be. As I said I will see the movie tomorrow and thus I will have more to say on this then.

    3. We need to realize that all movies that take up historical subject matters will add material (in one way or the other). This should be expected.

    Personally I think this will be a great movie and I can't wait to get to the theator tomorrow and see it. Sadly between now and then I have a major final exam (working on my MA/History) in the morning so I have to focus on that today. :praying: I would be thankful for any, and all, prayers.
     
  19. Marcia

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    She and Joseph were married by then!!

    The Scripture tells us that Mary conceived by the HS, an angel told Joseph about this and to marry her, and he immediately married her. Look at the relevant passages in Matthew and Luke. The time lapse indicated here is not a long time but rather very immediate. By the time she was "showing," she and Joseph were married.
     
  20. Marcia

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    When Mary visited Elizabeth, she was married.

    You are wrong when you say Elizabeth was "pregnant by the Holy Spirit." Only Mary conceived by the HS!!! Otherwise, John the Baptist would also be a God-man! Elizabeth conceived miraculously, but God was not the Father of John the Baptist and Elizabeth was not a virgin.
     

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