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The Birth of Jesus: Two Gospel Narratives

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birth of jesus

After finishing their first online tutorial, The Death of Jesus: Four Gospel Accounts, Phil Cunningham and Barbara Radtke approached IDeS with an idea for a second mini-course that would enable participants to explore the nativity narratives in new ways. Their target audience for this tutorial included religious educators, liturgy planners, members of scripture study groups and preachers, as well as a general audience of anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the Gospel narratives. We helped them create a new website featuring interactive commentaries that guide users through a comparison of the two biblical accounts of Jesus' birth, supplemented by historical background materials and an introduction to reading the Bible in the Catholic tradition.

The IDeS staff collaborated with Steve Vetter, a photographer from Media Technology Services, to create a unique look and feel for the site by photographing a nativity scene and using the different styles of figurines to illustrate the differences between gospel accounts. Cunningham authored more than 20 PowerPoint presentations with embedded audio commentary, and Radtke wrote a series self-checks so that participants could evaluate their learning at the end of each section. This self-guided tutorial provides a valuable resources for users around the world to deepen their understanding of the scripture narratives, particularly in preparation for the Christmas season.

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Faculty Development Team

  • Philip Cunningham Executive Director Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, Dept. of Theology (A&S)
  • Barbara Radtke Program Coordinator C21 Online, STM, IREPM

Project Manager

  • Tim Lindgren Instructional Designer IDeS


  • Steve Vetter MTS