Merry Christmas Eve everyone! And for a fun geek dive into the nativity: Most of us are familiar with Matthew’s story in which Herod orders the slaughter of all baby boys in Bethlehem at Jesus’ birth in order to eliminate the threat to his kingship. Revelation 12:1-5 depicts Satan as a dragon preparing to eat the baby Jesus in the sky (Jesus’ mother has “the moon under her feet”) but cannot because the baby is snatched back up to God. Thus, Matthew presents a Jesus on earth who an evil earthly ruler (Herod) tries to kill (but fails) while Revelation presents a Jesus in the sky who an evil heavenly ruler (Satan) tries to kill (but fails). Some relationship must exist between these two stories must exist, but the exact nature of that relationship is unknown. I personally suspect the celestial version in Revelation was believed as the fundamental story, just as the pagan theologian Plutarch thought Osiris’ earth stories were figurative but Osiris did exist as a real personal being in the sky. A similar comparison comes from the goddess Ishtar who descends into hell (‘Inanna’s Descent’) and is killed by being stripped naked and hanged on a nail and three days later returns to life and ascends to heaven. A terrestrialized and adapted form of this story is Esther, who fasts for three days to defeat the threat of death for the Jewish people (Esther 4:16). Notice the pattern: Ishtar dies in a mythological realm and is earlier, Esther is the later and is set on earth. I have previously written on the many clues internal to the book of Revelation that suggest mythical intent, and of course, there is plenty of evidence from other books of the Bible that this is the most primitive Christian belie (I think my commentary about “On the Historicity” substantiates this firmly).