What could be more familiar than the Christmas story -- and yet what could be more extraordinary? The cast of characters is strange and exotic: shepherds and magicians, an emperor and a despot, angels, and a baby who is Almighty God.
The strangeness calls for an explanation, and this book provides it by examining the characters and the story in light of the biblical and historical context. Bestselling author Scott Hahn who has written extensively on Scripture and the early Church, brings evidence to light, dispelling some of the mystery of the story.
Yet Christmas is made familiar all over again by showing it to be a family story. Christmas, as it appears in the New Testament, is the story of a father, a mother, and a child - their relationships, their interactions, their principles, their individual lives, and their common life. To see the life of this "earthly trinity" is to gaze into heaven.
There are many reasons that we love the celebration of Christmas, but two stand out: it is a time for joy and it is a time for family. We rejoice in the birth of Jesus Christ and the salvation He came to bring us, and we take time to be with our families during this special season. In this wonderful book, Scott Hahn beautifully explains that the Christmas story is foremost a family story. You will learn about the deep Scriptural meaning of the Nativity of Jesus Christ and come to more fully appreciate the unique role played by the ﬁgures we know so well from the Gospels’ accounts. From Mary and Joseph to the Magi and shepherds, this book will help you discover anew the joy of Christmas!
- Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York
Scott Hahn crosses ‘boundaries’ that are sometimes used to separate history from Scripture and both from doctrine in order to give us a more adequate grasp of the boundaries God has crossed in the mystery of the Incarnation. This book is a joy to read and to ponder.
- Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago and author of God in Action
Let Christmas come alive this year! With the help of his daughter, Hannah, who accompanied him to Bethlehem, Scott Hahn sees beyond the category of ‘only for children’ storytelling to provide a narrative for people of all ages about the day the Word became ﬂesh—the birth of Jesus. Joy to the World: How Christ’s Coming Changed Everything (and Still Does) is great Christmas reading, especially for families.
- Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., Archbishop of Louisville and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
I greatly enjoyed reading Scott Hahn’s Joy to the World. In a spirit of joyful discipleship and with his command of Scripture, he leads us step by step into the heart of God’s plan for the world’s salvation and thus into the heart of the New Evangelization. What a wonderful resource for those seeking to deepen their discipleship and those seeking truth and love in their lives.
- Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore
Let Scott Hahn, one of Catholicism’s most talented biblical scholars, take you more deeply into the Christmas story. In a work both scholarly and accessible, he answers the most common questions about the story of Jesus’s birth, ‘opens up’ some all-important Gospel passages, and overall, helps us understand why the birth of a poor child 2,000 years ago has the power to change our lives today.
- James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage
Scott Hahn welcomes the reader to see various levels of the importance of Christmas, using new developments in scholarship that move the reader away from cheap and easy skepticism toward the abundant data from Scripture, Jewish sources, and pagan historians. While skeptics consider it an accomplishment to question the Bible in order to make you doubt, Hahn leads readers to think carefully, meditate more profoundly, pray more earnestly, and discover joy in the world.
- Mitch Pacwa, SJ, author of How to Listen When God Is Speaking
The danger of the familiar is that we can walk all our lives right past that which God has given to draw us closer to Him. In Joy to the World, Scott Hahn helps us slow down and rediscover, as if for the ﬁrst time, the life- changing gift of Christmas through the lens of the family.
- Marcus Grodi, president of the Coming Home Network
Pope Francis says we can’t have pickled pepper Christians. Instead it is our joy that will attract people to the Church. In Joy to the World, Scott helps us get closer to the source of that joy with a beautiful journey through time and history, a journey taking us back to where it all began. This book reminds us that Christmas should be celebrated in our hearts all year long. Joy to the world indeed.
- Teresa Tomeo, author of God’s Bucket List
In the Incarnation of the Word made ﬂesh, joy entered the world at Christ-mas and continues its merry invasion of our darkness with each celebration of the Eucharist. Dr. Scott Hahn, with his customary blend of biblical erudition, plain English, and heartfelt love for Jesus Christ is a glad herald, a deep thinker, an accessible teacher, and a loving guide into this profound and happy mystery. May his tribe increase!
- Mark P. Shea, author of By What Authority?: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition