The Birth of Jesus


Join Bishop John Shelby Spong as he takes us on a journey to the times of Jesus’ birth, focusing on Luke’s account. While Luke’s narrative, the most detailed account of the birth of Jesus, is lyrical and inspiring, in The Birth of Jesus, Spong persuasively demonstrates it is allegory. Layer by layer, Spong weighs every element of the New Testament stories against Old Testament legends building a convincing case. Spong’s 16 original essays step backward and forward through the scriptures demonstrating why each element was chosen by the early CE writers to establish Jesus’ lineage and divinity. It is a fascinating and persuasive journey and a remarkable illustration of Biblical scholarship.


Bishop Spong’s “Birth of Jesus” essay series* from his weekly newsletter- “A New Christianity for a New World,” has generated more comments from our readers than any other series he has written. As one subscriber wrote, “It all starts with the birth story—get that wrong and we probably get it all wrong.” No one does a better job of getting it right than Spong. And there is always the added bonus with Bishop Spong. He is the consummate teacher. He writes with the primary intention for readers, regardless of their training or background, to get it.


Bishop Spong is a writer for every reader- from the scholar to the lay person. He is clear, concise, inspiring, and vibrant. He is a master at interpretation and elucidation. The Birth of Jesus is an exciting adventure that challenges dominant assumptions and interpretations and is sure to stimulate and liberate readers.


Also available in Digital Download, Here! 


Published by 2014

96 pages
Price $18.00, our price: $15.00

*These essays were originally published in Bishop Spong’s subscription newsletter, “A New Christianity for a New World.” You can sign up for the newly re-named newsletter “Progressing Spirit” here.



About the Author


John Shelby Spong, whose books have sold more than a million copies, was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001. His admirers acclaim him as a teaching bishop who makes contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary layperson — he’s considered the champion of an inclusive faith by many, both inside and outside the Christian church.


A committed Christian who has spent a lifetime studying the Bible and whose life has been deeply shaped by it, Bishop Spong says he was not interested in Bible bashing. “I come to this interpretive task not as an enemy of Christianity,” he says. “I am not even a disillusioned former Christian, as some of my scholar-friends identify themselves. I am a believer who knows and loves the Bible deeply. But I also recognize that parts of it have been used to undergird prejudices and to mask violence.”


A visiting lecturer at Harvard and at universities and churches worldwide, Bishop Spong delivers more than 200 public lectures each year to standing-room-only crowds. His bestselling books include The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, A New Christianity for a New World, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and Here I Stand. 


Bishop Spong’s extensive media appearances include a profile segment on 60 Minutes as well as appearances on Good Morning America, Fox News Live, Politically Incorrect, Larry King Live, The O’Reilly Factor, William F. Buckley’s Firing Line, and Extra. Bishop Spong and his wife, Christine Mary Spong, have five children and six grandchildren. They live in New Jersey.


Also available in Digital Download, Here!

Review & Commentary

  • Rob

    When might the Birth of Jesus be in Kindle form? Tks! Rob

    • Timothy Andrew

      Rob, We do not have a schedule for releasing the new Spong book in digital format. We likely will do so but we don’t have a time-table as of yet. ~Timothy

  • Mike Sherer

    I wonder if it isn’t past time we retired the bathrobe-wearing shepherds, sheet-draped angels and cardboard crown wise men in our Christmas pageants. I have sometimes wondered what a Christmas pageant would look like if we simply focused on “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” That might open up some interesting new directions, and help parents and children escape mindless literal harmonizing of the New Testament stories.

    • mary jones

      the word dwelt among us – becomes even more interesting when considered from the ancient’s Greek knowledge of Logos’ learned at an early age – the very essence which held the cosmos together, the source/energy of all being, – something when they heard John’s words night even have led to expressions of “here we go again, the old hat stuff’…. Except when they heard that this logos was to become human. Then the WOW factor hit them. Earth reached up to heaven, the logos energy was not only part of the cosmos, the cosmos was part of the Logos, and always had been. Take that creatively a step further to the ‘ I am’ sayings, ” the Logos is the way the truth and the life” …..etc.

  • Can’t wait to read it. Wish it was on Kindle. I have a flight coming up. Would be perfect.

  • Bryan

    Can you tell us when this title will be available in the UK? The postage costs from the US appear quite high! Thanks you.

    • Hi Bryan,
      If you email us directly we can work out a more affordable shipping rate and send you an invoice to pay instead of purchasing online. Otherwise, we will keep you all posted on international availability as we know of it!

      • Ed. Branthaver

        Tell me more about a more affordable shipping rate and payment by invoice instead of ordering by email. What is the final price?

  • Janet Spindloe

    How can I purchase CD’s of Bishop Spong’s

  • Nancy Craig

    This wonderful man was my Bishop in north Jersey. He gave me God back. I love his work and respect him so much.

  • Kay Ojen