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"So those are separate from the texts that Joseph produces by revelation." The manuscript, published as part of the Joseph Smith Papers, also shows that the revelation was given on April 10 — not April 6.
The recent discovery of the Book of Commandments and Revelations manuscript of D&C 20, however, showed that the verse was actually an introductory head note written by early church historian and scribe John Whitmer — something he did for many of the revelations, Harper said.
In typical scholarly fashion, Mc Gowan brushes over the biblical information, mentioning only the detail of the shepherds being out with their flocks at night (Luke 2:8).
He snootily dismisses it, writing, "Yet most scholars would urge caution about extracting such a precise but incidental detail from a narrative whose focus is theological rather than calendrical." He quickly hurries on to extra-biblical findings, clearly believing them to be more credible.
In spite of his less-than-comforting dismissal of what the Bible says on the subject, Mc Gowan rounds up the historical facts with rigor.
(Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the ninth reindeer, was added in 1939, thanks to the poem of that name by Robert L.
May written for the Montgomery Ward department store chain.) Santa's modern look comes courtesy of a Coca-Cola advertising campaign in the 1930s.