Questions about Christmas I Answered Wednesday on Catholic Answers Live

by Steve Ray on December 24, 2015

Fun, fun, fun! I love doing the Catholic Answers Live call-in show. Wednesday the topic was Bethlehem and the Nativity. We started out with my description of what it was like for Mary and Joseph to arrive in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. 

You can listen on-line HERE; for other listening options like podcast, click HERE.

Here are some of the questions I answered: 

1. Are there any sources outside the Gospels that attest to the birth and life of Jesus Christ? (see book list below)

2. In Matthew it mentions that Mary remained a virgin UNTIL the birth of Jesus. Does that mean Mary had marital relations with Joseph after Jesus’ birth?

3. Did the Magi go to Nazareth or Bethlehem? What was the situation with their arrival?

4. When did the wise men come to visit Jesus — immediately after his birth or several years later?

5. The wise men are referred to as Casper, Balthazar and Melchias. Where did these names come from?

6. Can you provide some deeper insight as to why King Herod wanted to kill baby Jesus, and again when he agreed to have him crucified?

7. Were the shepherds and wise men considered of low esteem — outcasts?


– The Historical Jesus, by Habermas
– Jesus Outside the New Testament, by Van Voorst
– Case for Christ, by Stroebel (very good)
– Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, by Habermas
– Evidence for Jesus, by Dunn
– Christian Origins Outside the New Testament, by Bruce
– Evidence for Jesus, by France 



{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

DB December 26, 2015 at 6:35 AM

I would like to read these books, but I have no money to buy them, and likely won’t be out of debt for decades. What would you recommend?

By the way, I recall reading the Case for Christ, and was surprised to hear you recommend it: I did not think highly of it at the time. I recall finishing it thinking he only asked a lot of foolishly simplistic questions that one could easily answer ‘Yes’ to, like, “Would Roman crucifixion really kill you?” I think he also only interviewed Christian sources — or, at least, went to sources where he’d be sure to get a positive answer to his questions.

DB December 26, 2015 at 6:37 AM

Sorry, I meant to add that I also don’t have access to a library that would have these books, and I don’t know when I would gain access to such a library in the future — I’m not currently living in an English-speaking country.

(Perhaps you could edit my previous comment to include this detail without publishing this one.)

DB December 29, 2015 at 4:44 AM

Have you listed Habermas’s book twice?’s only listing is “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”, and I have not been able to find a second book by Habermas entitled this subtitle, even on his website*, although there appear to be additional resources there!


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