According to most sources, the Gospel accounts were written (in part) in response to the popularity of Paul's letters. Peter gave a sermon in Rome and after he left, the church there asked Mark to write down what Peter had said.... I think there was another source for some of the stories. I think the early churches wrote plays about Jesus and performed them for new converts before the gospels were written. The plays were so popular and the lines so well known that they were written into the gospel accounts.... one of them by Luke, a man who said he used several existing sources to prepare his gospel. Doesn't this sound like a play that would be performed in a church? Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, there went forth a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world be enrolled - this enrollment first came to pass when Cyrenius was governor of Syria -- and all were going to be enrolled, each to his proper city, and Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, that is called Bethlehem, because of his being of the house and family of David, to enroll himself with Mary his betrothed wife, being with child. Luke 2:6 And it came to pass, in their being there, the days were fulfilled for her bringing forth, Luke 2:7 and she brought forth her son -- the first-born, and wrapped him up, and laid him down in the manger, because there was not for them a place in the guest-chamber. Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds in the same region, lodging in the field, and keeping the night-watches over their flock, ___________ Here's the line I like best. Imagine a narrator reading this from behind the stage, as the actors take their places. The messenger wears a white robe and steps out center-stage. _________________ Luke 2:9 and lo, a messenger of the Lord stood over them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they feared a great fear. Luke 2:10 And the messenger said to them, 'Fear not, for lo, I bring you good news of great joy, that shall be to all the people -- because there was born to you to-day a Saviour -- who is Christ the Lord -- in the city of David, and this [is] to you the sign: Ye shall find a babe wrapped up, lying in the manger.' ________________ We could add a chorus. Other actors join in, humming. ____________________ Luke 2:13 And suddenly there came with the messenger a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Luke 2:14 'Glory in the highest to God, and upon earth peace, among men -- good will.' Luke 2:15 And it came to pass, when the messengers were gone away from them to the heavens, that the men, the shepherds, said unto one another, 'We may go over indeed unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that hath come to pass, that the Lord did make known to us.' Luke 2:16 And they came, having hasted, and found both Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger, Luke 2:17 and having seen, they made known abroad concerning the saying spoken to them concerning the child. Luke 2:18 And all who heard, did wonder concerning the things spoken by the shepherds unto them; Luke 2:19 and Mary was preserving all these things, pondering in her heart; Luke 2:20 and the shepherds turned back, glorifying and praising God, for all those things they heard and saw, as it was spoken unto them. Luke 2:21 And when eight days were fulfilled to circumcise the child, then was his name called Jesus, having been so called by the messenger before his being conceived in the womb. Luke 2:22 And when the days of their purification were fulfilled, according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present to the Lord, Luke 2:23 as it hath been written in the Law of the Lord, -- 'Every male opening a womb shall be called holy to the Lord,'