Crossan understands the canonical birth narratives to be theological fictions, as Mark, Q, and the Gospel of Thomas, which he views as the earliest historical sources, do not contain any form of birth narrative. Drawing Jesus into parallel with Caesar Augustus, Crossan writes concerning the miraculous birth narratives that, “greatness later on, when everybody was paying attention, is retrojected onto earlier origins, when nobody was interested. A marvelous life and death demands and gets, in retrospect, a marvelous conception and birth.” Crossan understands the birth narrative of the Lucan account as comparing the birth of Jesus to that of John, who Crossan argues to be more historically prominent. Similarly, the Matthean birth and flight narrative seeks to portray Jesus in light of the life and exodus of Moses, reflecting a theological rather than historical origin. Crossan argues that certain canonical gospel narratives, including the birth narrative, are not historically accurate but rather are theological narrative based upon a reading of Old Testament prophecies and events into the life and times of Jesus. Accounts of the virgin birth, the Davidic line, the magi, shepherds, angels, role of King Herod, and flight to Egypt are all derived not from historical events, but instead a specific reading of Old Testament texts and general chronological data about the life of Jesus that would have been known by his earliest disciples. Thus, Crossan places little historical importance on the birth narratives of Jesus, arguing that in all likelihood he was born and raised like every other Galilean Jewish peasant in the first century.
Wright actually pens very little concerning the birth narratives of Jesus in the sources that we are employing for this series. When considering the context of Jesus, Wright tends to compare him not to Octavian but to Jewish leaders and revolutionaries of a similar context and chronology, including Judah the Hammer, Simon the Star (or Simon son-of-the-Star), Herod the Great, and Simon bar-Giora. Comparing him to these revolutionaries casts the historical Jesus as rather meek or even pathetic character, for compared to these leaders his bland historical accomplishments are of far less consequence. Notably Jesus’ relationship with John the Baptist and their apparently shared vision (shared enough for Jesus to be baptized over) are not fully explored by Wright. It may be that where Jesus comes from does not fit Wright’s perspective on the significance of the end of his life, or that there remains too little evidence outside the canonical gospels concerning the narratives presented to warrant a historical critique. Whereas Crossan takes lack of external evidence to mean that the narratives are fiction, Wright seems to understand the same lack of counter-example as demonstrating that the canonical accounts had no oppositional claims in the ancient world from whence they came. Thus, Wright has little to say about the birth of the historical Jesus in our sources, only that proper contextualization within his group of peers remains important.
 John Dominic Crossan. Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1994. 6.
 Ibid., 5-10.
 Ibid., 10-15.
 Ibid., 15-28.
 For example, that he was likely born around the time of the reign of Herod the Great.
 Even in the opening volume of Wright’s Christian Origins and the Question of God series, The New Testament and the People of God (Fortress Press: Minneapolis, 1992) shockingly little directly concerns itself with the birth and early life of Jesus of Nazareth.
 Tom Wright. Simply Jesus. New York: Harper Collins, 2011. 104-116.
 Though the relationship of Jesus and John is considered with regards to Jesus’ prophetic status (see Jesus and the Victory of God, 160-2).