Conclusions on the NativityA final note to add about the nativity is that the oldest extant Christian documents, the epistles of Paul and the gospel of Mark say nothing about the events surrounding Jesus birth.  All these, taken together, provide a very strong indictment against the historicity of the events depicted in the nativity.
But the gospel of Mark had, perhaps unwittingly, left a testament that, if historical, clinches our case. We find in this gospel behavior from his own family members that we would not expect had they known about the events of the Nativity and its meaning (as Joseph and, especially Mary should have). There is an episode related by Mark that occurred during the beginning of Jesus ministry that shows how his family (including his mother!) reacted when they heard he had started preaching:
The gist of the above incident is clear, his family including Mary upon hearing that Jesus had started preaching thought he had gone mad and went to take charge of him. Jesus, angered or perhaps embarrassed by his family's reaction, publicly denounced them.
Now if this passage is historical, the question here is obvious: why did Mary try to stop him when he started preaching? Didn't she consent to an angel to be the virgin mother of the "son of the most high"? Wasn't it her who sang the Magnificat and said that "all generations will call me blessed" because she will be the mother of Jesus?
Only one answer is possible, the historical Mary, who had at least seven children, knew nothing of the angels, the virgin birth, the slaughter of the innocents, the visit of the wise men and the star of Bethlehem because these events never happened!
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