Acknowledgements and Sources

Grateful Hat-Tips

Sources, Scenes, and Props
In the Manger
Star of Bethlehem

Originally appeared as Daily Doodles, 2013 Dec 22nd through 27th, and 29th, and 2014 Jan 6th.

Sources, Scenes, and Props

Some works by others were incorporated with more or less distortion:

Panel 3: Mary Packs
• Stone table top from Travis Equipment.
• Blanket pattern (Unique Textile to Ürümchi) from Quizlet.
• Basket, 1st to 4th Century, c/o Rama Blair on Pinterest.

Panel 4: Travelers
• Israel Trail landscape by Diana Barshaw.

Panel 5: Arrival in Bethlehem
• Pack donkey from a photo by Josh Ackerman at Travel Earth
• Donkey in crowd rt of Mary by Melody McFarland at I Like Pigeons.
• Bits of scenery c/o Bible Archeology
• That Hebrew-looking English font was linked to in an amusing discussion on why not to use a Hebrew-looking English font, which I did anyway, at Typophile. Here's the Tanach font, ©Typographer Mediengestaltung 2003.

Panel 8: Innkeeper
• Innkeeper's robe from a painting of the Pharisees (by whom I have not yet learned) c/o Man in the Maze blog.

Panel 19: Birth of Jesus
• Angels from Sandro Botticelli's Mystical Nativity, c/o

Panel 33: Leaving Herod's
• Model reconstruction of Herod's Palace in Jerusalem in 66 AD showing the view from within the courtyard, by Anonymous, adapted for this portrayal, is available for purchase as prints from (no relation to Mindful Webworks).

Panel 35: Steam Bath
• Steam Bath for Herod's pals, a Turkish bath from Son of a Duck blog.
• Towels c/o Donna Karan Home Collection. (No washcloth was received for that unsolicited product placement.)

Panel 36: Run!
• Leather bag, much distorted, from Ancient Roman Purses, c/o

Panel 38: Flight
• Night Sky
• Moon phase for mid-October 6BC, calculated with 1st New Moon of 1AD, per the moon phase calculator at, then working backward using modulo 29.530588853
per Wikipedia: Lunar Phase but I might not have been exactly accurate.

Rafael's Sistine Madonna


In order of appearance
Mary — Mary's face after giving birth, inspired by Rafael's Sistine Madonna, c/o Always steal from the best.
Stable Boy
Innkeeper was affectionately based on the actor Charles Lane (1905–2007)
Abe the Shepherd from a character in Jews in Jerusalem 1895 (Wikipedia) (also Man with donkey in crowd, to the right of Mary in Arrival in Jerusalem panel is from the same photo)
• Women attending Jesus' birth
Ruth, Abe's wife
Woman #1, "She having that baby yet?"
Woman #2, "Didn't I say she looks close" loosely based on Maia Morgenstern as Mary in Passion of the Christ (2004).
Woman #3, "You'll do fine, honey" based on Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary in The Nativity Story (2006).
Husband #1 - Stan Lee (just kidding) (maybe).
Baby in Manger from I Can't Look at that Cross by Danny Stephens.
Phil, friend met in Jericho, look inspired by the actor Stephen Tobolowsky.
Roman at desk loosely based on Roman military tribune re-enactor (Wikipedia).
Roman legionnaires from Súbor:Legione romana parata (WikiMedia)
• Other men in line to register for census (L-R)
Young Shepherd in tan with white headscarf, based on the fellow, Philip, shown at Nazareth to Ilaniya in First-Century Costume, by Betsy Fisher Rhodes on
♂ Husband #1 again.
Young Zealot with arms in air, from an image of Jesus teaching from a boat at
Old man finished registering is based on Palestinian Muhammed Bader, 85, photographed by Adel Hana (AP).
Well-to-do Gentleman inspired in countenance and attitude by Donald Marsh Tyler.
Phineas the gentleman's manservant, from an illustration of attire of Bible times at Into the King's Garden blog.
The Wise Men first appeared in Exploring the Foreword, UB Comix #8, 1995. Yes, one is in drag here.
Ardnon, "strange preacher," was played by Mindful Webworks' resident guru, Radd Dadd Upanishadd.
Roman Guard who stops the Wise Men previously portrayed a Roman Guard decades later, in Jerusalem Report, UB Comix, 2013 April.
Towel Boy previously portrayed young John Mark in Jerusalem Report, UB Comix, 2013 April.
Zacharias Priest from a painting at God's Outreach Ministry Int. Inc.
Boy Clinging to his Mother from Blogs.UBC.CA.

Yes, creative license was employed in making one of "Herod’s court attachés" and Zacharias' "dispatched… messenger" into the Towel Boy. Isn't it still a more faithful adaptation than the Harry Potter and Hobbit movies?

Phil and Don

In the Manger

Certain wise men of earth knew of Michael’s impending arrival. Through the contacts of one world with another, these wise men of spiritual insight learned of the forthcoming bestowal of Michael on Urantia. And the seraphim did, through the midway creatures, make announcement to a group of Chaldean priests whose leader was Ardnon. These men of God visited the newborn child in the manger. The only supernatural event associated with the birth of Jesus was this announcement to Ardnon and his associates by the seraphim of former attachment to Adam and Eve in the first garden.

119:7.6 Informational: first printing; These men of God visited the newborn child in the manger. — "in the manger" removed at the second printing. Presumably, this change was made because the original seems to be inconsistent with the narrative of Jesus' birth in 122:8, which states that three wise men from the east visited Jesus when he was almost three weeks old—about the time the family left the inn and over two weeks after they had moved out of the stable. However, it is certainly possible that Joseph and Mary might have taken the manger with them up to the room in the inn in order to continue to have a cradle for Jesus. The need for a cradle would have been no less in the room than in the stable, and if the manger was portable, as small feed-boxes often are, moving it along with the family seems quite reasonable.

Future sectarian conflicts

The Star of Bethlehem

122:8.7 These wise men saw no star to guide them to Bethlehem. The beautiful legend of the star of Bethlehem originated in this way: Jesus was born August 21 at noon, 7 B.C. On May 29, 7 B.C., there occurred an extraordinary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. And it is a remarkable astronomic fact that similar conjunctions occurred on September 29 and December 5 of the same year. Upon the basis of these extraordinary but wholly natural events the well-meaning zealots of the succeeding generation constructed the appealing legend of the star of Bethlehem and the adoring Magi led thereby to the manger, where they beheld and worshiped the newborn babe. Oriental and near-Oriental minds delight in fairy stories, and they are continually spinning such beautiful myths about the lives of their religious leaders and political heroes. In the absence of printing, when most human knowledge was passed by word of mouth from one generation to another, it was very easy for myths to become traditions and for traditions eventually to become accepted as facts.

"I have modelled them on a computer, and the one which I favour is a triple conjunction (ie three successive conjunctions) of Jupiter and Saturn, in 7 BC." -Star of Wonder by David Le Conte [PDF file]

Triple Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (Encyclopedia Urantia)