Two versions of the Christmas story
I know that we’re about philosophy here, not religion, but perhaps we can make an exception and get into the right mindset for Christmas. Here, then, is Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus. After that, you can read how the Quran describes the same scene. By the way, the cover image is a nativity scene painted on cardboard cut-outs by our family.
The birth of Jesus in Luke 2
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
The birth of Jesus in the Holy Quran
So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree.
She said, ‘I wish I had died before this, and had been long forgotten. [Mary was worried that people would think badly of her as she was not married.]
Then (baby Jesus) called her from below her, saying, ‘Don’t be sad. Your Lord has provided a stream under you.’ Shake the trunk of the palm tree towards you, and it will drop on you fresh ripe dates. So eat and drink and be happy. And if you see any human, then say, ‘Indeed I have vowed a fast to the Most Merciful so I will not speak to any human today.’
Then she carried him and brought him to her people.
They said, ‘O Mary, indeed you have done a great evil.’
‘O sister of Aaron, your father was not an evil man, and your mother was not a fornicator.’
So she pointed to him.
They said, ‘How can we speak to a child in the cradle?’
(Jesus) said, ‘Indeed, I am a slave of God. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I remain alive. And (has made) me kind to my mother, and did not make me arrogant or miserable. And peace be upon me the day I was born, and the day I will die, and the day I will be raised alive.’ (Quran 19:22-33)
Peace to everybody and a happy Christmas time!
The Bible quoted according to the Bible Gateway. The Quran is quoted according to Islamreligion.com.