by Rachel Ogbu
Decades of tradition turned into dust recently when Pope Benedict XVI shocked Christians saying that there were no donkeys or any other animal for that matter at the original nativity scene.
And remember the famous Christmas carol, ‘Hark! The herald angels sing?’ Well the pope said that’s rubbish too, angels never sang to the shepherds to proclaim Christ birth.
These and other revelations were exposed in the Pope’s new book on the life of Jesus, released November 21. ‘Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives,’ became available in 50 countries, it is the third and final volume of a project the 85-year-old envisioned a decade ago and began writing soon after he became Pope in 2005.
His first two books which topped the bestseller lists in Italy focused on Jesus’ public ministry and his death, leaving just Jesus’ birth to complete the series.
Predicted to become a worldwide bestseller, the narrative comes in three volumes.
The pope said that angels delivered to good news of Jesus’s birth to shepherds by speaking to them, not singing to them as the gospels say.
‘According to the evangelist, the angels “said” this,’ the Pope writes, adding: ‘But Christianity has always understood that the speech of angels is actually song, in which all the glory of the great joy that they proclaim becomes tangibly present.
‘To this day simple believers join in their caroling on the Holy Night, proclaiming in song the great joy that, from then until the end of time, is bestowed on all people.’
And he also admits that Jesus would have been born years earlier than the Christian calendar states.
For years, many historians have said Jesus would have been born around 4BC, but for the Pope to admit a flaw in something so fundamental to Catholic faith is surprising.