The First Christmas: A Story of New Beginnings

The First Christmas: A Story of New Beginnings

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"I love The First Christmas. What a charming way Stephen Mitchell has found to tell my favorite story of all, the Nativity, character by character (I love the donkey and the ox), with wise and thrilling interludes about God, reality, truth." -Anne Lamott

In The First Christmas, Stephen Mitchell brings the Nativity story to vivid life as never before. A narrative that is only sketched out in two Gospels becomes fully realized here with nuanced characters and a setting that reflects the culture of the time. Mitchell has suffused the birth of Jesus with a sense of beauty that will delight and astonish readers.

In this version, we see the world through the eyes of a Whitmanesque ox and a visionary donkey, starry-eyed shepherds and Zen-like wise men, each of them providing a unique perspective on a scene that is, in Western culture, the central symbol for good tidings of great joy. Rather than superimposing later Christian concepts onto the Annunciation and Nativity scenes, he imagines Mary and Joseph experiencing the angelic message as a young Jewish woman and man living in the year 4 bce might have experienced it, with terror, dismay, and ultimate acceptance. In this context, their yes becomes an act of great moral courage.

Readers of every background will be enchanted by this startlingly beautiful reimagining of the Christmas tale.

Title:The First Christmas: A Story of New Beginnings
ISBN:9781250790699
Format Type:

    The First Christmas: A Story of New Beginnings Reviews

  • Matt

    Always one to enjoy some unique reading during the festive season, I turned to this short piece by Stephen Mitchell. It pulls upon the Nativity story, told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and offe...

  • Staci

    Definitely a unique approach to sharing the Nativity story. The author shares in the forward that his intent is to inhabit the characters. Each chapter is shared from the perspective of a person, grou...

  • Shane

    A different take on the Nativity story, told through the eyes of the supporting cast, with no focus on the Messiah.Each chapter is devoted to one of these members of the cast: the Innkeeper, Joseph, M...

  • Darla

    Rounding up to 4 stars. There are seven chapters highlighting characters from the Nativity scene: the innkeeper, the ox, the shepherds, Maryam, Yosef, the Wise men, and the donkey. My most favorite we...

  • Luvtoread

    This lovely and interesting book was based on a different take of the Nativity story.The writer Stephen Mitchell did a wonderful job of combining biblical history with his own view of how the Nativity...

  • Darlene

    This is such a sweet, in-depth, telling of the Christmas story from multiple points of view. The author digs deep into the thoughts and emotions that Mary and Joseph would have faced and does a good j...

  • Carla Johnson-Hicks

    I'm not sure what I was expecting as I began this book, but this was not quite it. I did enjoy this book, some chapters more than others. This is the story of The First Christmas as viewed through the...

  • Michael Burke

    "First Christmas" by Stephen Mitchell is a portrayal of the birth of Christ as told by the players present. We open with the Innkeeper and see how he finds it in his heart to help Mary and Joseph. Thi...

  • Literary Redhead

    MAGICAL RETELLING Stephen Mitchell, revered author, translator, and anthologist, offers a poetic view of the first Christmas. It’s a fictional retelling, with chapters voiced by the Innkeeper, the O...

  • Athena (OneReadingNurse)

    Thank you so much to St. martin's Essentials for the early reading copy of The First Christmas!Stripping away the lens of Christianity through the decades, Mitchell takes a look at the Nativity and An...