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The Nativity Hymns in the Gospel of Luke

One of the highlights of the Christmas season is singing the Christmas hymns. Singing songs about the nativity of Jesus is one of the oldest traditions in the Christian church, and dates to the beginning of the New Testament church—even to the birth of Christ himself. Luke includes four such songs: Mary’s (1:46–55), Zechariah’s (1:68–79), Simeon’s (2:29–32), and the Angels’ (2:14).

In this episode, Glen Clary seeks to explain the redemptive-historical significance of the songs with reference to the temple cultus. These nativity canticles register a transition in the temple cultus from shadow to reality (type to antitype) in that they proclaim the arrival of the high priest of the heaven, who will bring the earthly temple cultus to its consummate fulfillment. They serve as a liturgical bridge between the old covenant and the new covenant and set the stage for the message of Luke, introducing significant theological themes developed in Luke-Acts.

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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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