A critical, non-denominational discussion of the gospel accounts of Jesus' birth with a view to educating readers and broadening their perspectives. Freed's highly accessible introduction, directed to students and interested non-specialists as well as scholars, explains and examines these well-known stories from a critical perspective. 'Critical' is taken in the sense of judging among altermative answers to problems that arise from such study and arguing for the preferred solution. The aim of this book is to draw the reader to the gospel accounts for the purpose of evoking critical thought rather than to persuade the reader of a particular interpretation. In pursuit of this goal, the author shows how many diverse factors, including earlier traditions, literary styles, and the theological convictions of each gospel writer have contributed to the composition of the narratives.
Edwin D. Freed is Emeritus Professor of Religion, Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania.