The birth of Jesus has been depicted since early Christianity, and continues to be interpreted in modern artistic forms. Some of the artforms that have described His Nativity include drama (including television and films) and music (including opera).
- Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Part One (1880)
- The Nativity appears in many cycles of the Mystery Plays, dating back to medieval times.
- Laurence Housman (Bethlehem, 1902; musical accompaniment by Joseph Moorat c.1919).
- Lucjan Rydel (Polish Bethlehem, 1904).
- Cicely Hamilton (The Child in Flanders: A Nativity Play, 1922.
- Dorothy L. Sayers (He That Should Come, 1938). The first play of her radio-play cycle The Man Born to Be King deals with the birth of Jesus.
- Jean-Paul Sartre's first play was Bariona ou le fils du tonerre, a nativity play performed on Christmas Eve 1940 while a prisoner of war in a German stalag. Sartre saw Christ as part of the Jewish Resistance to the Roman Empire's occupation, mirroring the French Resistance of Nazi Germany's occupation.
Opera and musicals
- Rutland Boughton, English composer and founder of the original Glastonbury Festival, wrote a very popular Nativity opera in 1915 called Bethlehem. In 1926, in sympathy with the General Strike and the miners' lockout, he restaged it in London, in modern dress, with Jesus born in a miner's cottage and Herod as the top-hatted capitalist, flanked by soldiers and police.
- Two From Galilee - A musical of Mary and Joseph leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ
- Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Monetti
- Ben-Hur (1959) recounts the Nativity in its prologue, and Balthasar (a major character) also recounts it in the third person later in the film.
- The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) begins with the Nativity.
- Monty Python's Life of Brian (1978) depicts Magi at the wrong stable almost giving their gifts to the infant Brian.
- The Nativity Story (2006)
- Nativity! (2009)
- The Star (2017)
- A scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) shows Linus recounting the Christmas Story involving the Nativity as told in the Gospel of Luke.
- Jesus of Nazareth (1977) begins with the Nativity
- The Nativity (1978)
- An episode of the Christian-themed anime series Superbook (1982) involves Chris, Joy, and Gizmo witnessing the Nativity
- The Liverpool Nativity produced by BBC Three in 2007, featuring Liverpool's music
- Hunt, J. (March 1975). "Moorat". The Musical Times. 116 (1585): 228. doi:10.2307/959098.
- Quinn, Bernard J. (Spring 1972). "The Politics of Despair versus the Politics of Hope: A Look at Bariona, Sartre's First pièce engagée". The French Review (Special Issue, No. 4, Studies on the French Theater): 95–105.
- Liner notes to Hyperion Records, Russell Boughton, The Immortal Hours