New College, University of Edinburgh

The Birth Narrative Through The Centuries: Reading Matthew

Over the week leading up to Christmas, CSCO has planned a daily video featuring the birth story of Jesus as the tradition transformed through the centuries. In this first video, PhD candidate Sarah Agnew recites (from memory) the birth narrative from the Gospel of Matthew.

  • CSCO Team,
  • 19th December 2016


  • Trevor R Allin, 20th December 2016 at 11:59 am | Reply

    Excellent presentation. Thank you. It seems very similar to the NRSV, with some improvements. Is it a published translation or one prepared by Sarah Agnew?

  • Sarah Agnew, 20th December 2016 at 3:40 pm | Reply

    Hi Trevor. Thank you.
    It’s the NRSV translation, but in rehearsing and performing words get slightly rearranged. The method I follow is that of the Network of Biblical storytellers (, which aims for accuracy with the content of the story (95%) and with the words (75%). As you embody the story to perform / tell it, it becomes part of you, and when you speak it, you inevitably tell it slightly differently every time. So, rather than a recital from memory, what we do is best described as biblical storytelling.

    • Trevor R Allin, 20th December 2016 at 6:26 pm | Reply

      Thank you so much for your interesting reply and for the web address. I had never heard of them before but will now explore their website.

      • Sarah Agnew, 21st December 2016 at 1:36 pm | Reply

        You’re welcome, Trevor. Have fun exploring the Network of Biblical Storytellers – I have found this network to be a real gift.

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