Great post from Paul Copan at the Parchment and Pen blog (re-post, actually, as it gets put up around this time every year) dealing with some of the false notions modern Christians have in our heads regarding the realities of the nativity:
I must confess that point #2 is a particular pet peeve of mine (Jesus was not born in a stable – I’m telling you!).
Also, I have the Kenneth Bailey book, “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes“, that Mr. Copan makes reference to on my coffee table at home – great resource, highly recommended. (and he just recently published the sequel, “Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes” – looking forward to getting to this one!).
Anyway, its a good post, and ’tis the season (for learning), so… enjoy.