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What did Santa bring for the baby Jesus?

It’s a simple enough story – baby born out of wedlock, in an outbuilding and in poverty did pretty well in the end and changed the world.

But The Nativity is apparently completely foxing up to three quarters of Britons who are finding it hard to get to grips with the Gospel versions of the birth of Jesus.

Pollsters have been testing people on their knowledge of the Christmas story and it appears only a quarter of adult Britons are aware Jesus was born out of wedlock and some even believe that Father Christmas was part of The Nativity scene.

Others seem to have confused the birth of Christ with the Battle of Hastings, mistaking Herod for “King Harold” and a handful suggested Mary and Joseph were “on their first date” when Mary became pregnant.

The ICM poll asked just over 1,000 children and 1,000 parents to take a short multiple-choice test to gauge their knowledge of the first Christmas on behalf of the Bible Society.

It seems that best-selling book isn’t being read quite so commonly as it used to be. At least, not by grown-ups who, at this time of year, aren’t taking part in nativity plays.

Overall 98 per cent of those tested correctly identified Bethlehem as Jesus’s birthplace according to the Bible – but a handful did suggest Beirut. Thankfully nobody offered that the only way was Essex. Meanwhile nine out of 10 remembered that he was placed in a manger – though some suggested a Moses basket – and 83 per cent singled out the Angel Gabriel as announcing the news to Mary that she was going to have a child.

But was that announcement delivered via a Twitter DM?

When asked about Mary and Joseph’s relationship status at the time, six out of 10 assumed that they were married.

When asked who first visited the baby Jesus, only 46 per cent correctly identified the shepherds while almost as many thought it was the wise men, and 13 per cent suggested angels.

In total 37 people thought that the answer was Father Christmas.

Notably, parents were more likely to inject Father Christmas into the nativity story than children... and that really is a puzzle.

But at least they didn’t assume Willy Wonka had delivered chocolate to the Christ Child.

Have your say

Haha! I wonder how many thought "he was born" on 25th December?

And what did Mary do with the gold? We should be told!

Posted by Alan Crowe on 1 January 2013 at 16:25

All together now, lets sing:-

Once in Willy Wonka's fact'ry,
Stood a lowly storage shed,
Where a mother laid her baby,
And with chocolate he was fed.

... or not, as the case may be... sorry 'bout that...

Posted by Expat Marra on 31 December 2012 at 20:25

View all 4 comments on this article

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