Julie's Reviews > A Not-So-Silent Night: The Unheard Story of Christmas and Why It Matters

A Not-So-Silent Night by Verlyn D. Verbrugge
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's review
Dec 02, 2009

liked it
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Read in January, 2010

Unfortunately, I was not able to finish this book before Christmas and I wish I had because it does succeed in making you think differently about our traditional perceptions of the Christmas story.

Although I was initially unhappy with the writing style and assertions made in the first few chapters (mainly that Christmas was the beginning of a war and the vague references to words and passages that may have a war connotations) the book held my interest in the later chapters. Some of the examples I found to be more interesting included the extent of humiliation that Mary suffered for having become pregnant out of wedlock, the explanation of the word katalyma (which means 'guest room' more than the 'inn' that we normally picture) and that it could very well have been Joseph's own relatives that turned them away, the description of the extent to which Jesus humbled himself by coming as a completely dependent infant and leaving the glories of heaven, and the alternative picture of the 'chorus of angels' that very well may have been like a host of heavenly soldiers announcing the arrival of their 'chief'.

Although I do think the book succeeds in its purpose of presenting a perhaps more truthful view of the birth of Christ to the reader, I did have some issues with parts of it. For one thing, the writing was not always very clear. There were too many quotes and references just thrown into the text. They made reading cumbersome and would perhaps have made better footnotes for the reader to investigate if they so desired. I also thought the use of the word "Devil" was childish and that "Satan" would have been more appropriate and scholarly.

I do not think this book is going to be enjoyable for everyone simply wanting to learn a little more about Christmas because it does presuppose a decent knowledge of scripture and Biblical history. Catholics may also find it a bit offensive due to the Protestant view of Mary-how she was not a perpetual virgin, had other children besides Jesus, and needed Jesus to be her savior as well. Nevertheless, it was an interesting read and discusses some things that all Christians should contemplate. If you are not easily upset by other views that do not completely agree with yours, and are willing to read with an open mind, the book will not disappoint.

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Reading Progress

12/14/2009 page 53

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