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View Full Version : Archbishop says nativity 'a legend'



S0Noma
12-20-2007, 06:42 PM
The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the Christmas story of the Three Wise Men was nothing but a 'legend'.

Dr Rowan Williams has claimed there was little evidence that the Magi even existed and there was certainly nothing to prove there were three of them or that they were kings.

He said the only reference to the wise men from the East was in Matthew's gospel and the details were very vague.

Dr Williams said: "Matthew's gospel says they are astrologers, wise men, priests from somewhere outside the Roman Empire, that's all we're really told. It works quite well as legend."

The Archbishop went on to dispel other details of the Christmas story, adding that there were probably no asses or oxen in the stable.

He argued that Christmas cards which showed the Virgin Mary cradling the baby Jesus, flanked by shepherds and wise men, were misleading. As for the scenes that depicted snow falling in Bethlehem, the Archbishop said the chance of this was "very unlikely".

In a final blow to the traditional nativity story, Dr Williams concluded that Jesus was probably not born in December at all. He said: "Christmas was when it was because it fitted well with the winter festival."

His comments came during an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live with Simon Mayo yesterday. Later on in the show, the Archbishop was challenged by fellow guest Ricky Gervais, the comedian, about the credibility of the Christmas story.

Gervais told Dr Williams he was concerned about "brainwashing" of children who are sent to faith schools at an early age, comparing teaching that God exists to belief in Father Christmas.

Dr Williams said faith schools expose children to the full range of human experience and values and he did not believe they indoctrinated people. web page (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=JHPSTTVO4EG5FQFIQMGCFGGAVCBQ UIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/20/nwise120.xml&6=7)

pooltchr
12-20-2007, 07:07 PM
If someone wants to change the teachings of the Christian religeon, they have every right to do so. I do not believe that if they choose to do so, that they can still be considered Christians. If you want to change the rules, change the name! I hardly think a real Christian would deny the birth of Christ.
Steve

S0Noma
12-20-2007, 07:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> If someone wants to change the teachings of the Christian religeon, they have every right to do so. I do not believe that if they choose to do so, that they can still be considered Christians. If you want to change the rules, change the name! I hardly think a real Christian would deny the birth of Christ.
Steve <hr /></blockquote>

Steve, I didn't get that he was denying the birth of Christ as much as he was suggesting that many of the popular details around Christmas and the Nativity do not hold up well to close inspection.

There are many who argue that the birth of Jesus didn't actually coincide with December 25th. There is evidence to suggest that the December date was chosen in the early years of the church because it coincided with Pagan celebrations - celebrations that came at a time of year when night's are longest and days shortest.

Likewise Easter (http://www.religioustolerance.org/easter.htm) which is always celebrated in the spring time coincides with ancient Pagan fertility celebrations.

I don't think the arbitrary choice of dates in either case denies the birth or resurrection of Christ. It's much more likely that they simply didn't know what the actual dates were and chose an appropriate time of year to maximize the celebration.

Qtec
12-20-2007, 08:50 PM
web page (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rBJSSbfCLo)

?

Q

S0Noma
12-20-2007, 09:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> web page (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rBJSSbfCLo)

?

Q <hr /></blockquote>

It's true Q. There are some similar stories.

web page (http://www.bandoli.no/nooriginaljesus.htm)

Qtec
12-20-2007, 10:54 PM
There's a video that got flagged at youtube. Same theme but with 10 other historical figures with the same story, same birthdate etc [ can't find it now] Saw it a few days ago. pretty interesting.

Who knows?
Q