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Away with the manger

The majority of Britons do not believe the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus, a survey has suggested.

Of 1,000 people questioned, 70 per cent doubted the account, according to the British Market Research Bureau. Almost a quarter of people who described themselves as Christians shared their scepticism.

St Helen’s Church in Bishopsgate, London, which commissioned the survey, has produced a film of “sound evidence” supporting the Bible’s account.

Simon Gathercole, a new testament scholar at Cambridge University, said people were sceptical because they were not aware the origins of Christianity were anchored in real history.

“Jesus was born while Augustus was emperor of Rome just before Herod died... we’re talking about events that are anchored in real history not in ancient Greek myths.” [BBC]
It should really be redundant for me to point this out, but apparently the fuck not: what Simon Gathercole seems to have done, despite being a “new testament scholar”, is confuse the issue of the apparent existence of a historical Jesus with people’s heartening reluctance to accept that he was born by MAGIC.

Here are a couple of other beliefs regarding Christ’s conception that we, as a nation, disgracefully do not propagate at this time of year.
During the early centuries of Christendom, it was widely held that Christ had been born by emerging either through Mary’s breast or navel in order to avoid contact with what the Germans call to this very day “the parts of shame”. So widespread did this belief become that a book was written by Ratramnus attempting to prove that Christ had indeed been born though the normal channels. […]

It was, of course, difficult for many to accept the notion that Mary could have been impregnated by the Holy Ghost and still remain a virgin. The myth obtained that she had been impregnated through the ear. In some early paintings the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove, is seen descending with the sperm in its bill. Still another painting shows a lily through which the seminal words pass before entering Mary’s ear.

[Ben Edward Akerley, The X-Rated Bible]
Honestly, it’s almost as if we don’t want to believe.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
carsmilesteve
Dec. 22nd, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
OMG is that a playmobil nativity scene!!!
webofevil
Dec. 22nd, 2008 11:52 am (UTC)
carsmilesteve
Dec. 22nd, 2008 11:59 am (UTC)
hahaha, that's excellent!

sorry for ignoring the very important point yr making, but DUDE! playmobil nativity!!! ;)
matgb
Dec. 22nd, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC)
a film of “sound evidence” supporting the Bible’s account.

Which one? Don't the 4 gospels contradict each other and have completely different versions?

And doesn't the main accepted one talk about an empire wide census of all Roman subject? Um, wouldn't there been some evidence of such a census in at least one roman records archive somewhere in the empire?
mrslant
Dec. 22nd, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
Um, wouldn't there been some evidence of such a census in at least one roman records archive somewhere in the empire?

There is - it took place in 5 AD. Eight years after the death of Herod the Great in 4 BC. So much for the dating of Christ's birth...
addedentry
Dec. 22nd, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
Mm. I once made the first point at an Alpha meeting and was politely thanked and ignored. In the lift afterwards another attendee thanked me and said she sometimes used the same tactic to improve her 'witnessing'. FAIL.
moleintheground
Dec. 22nd, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
The myth obtained that she had been impregnated through the ear. In some early paintings the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove, is seen descending with the sperm in its bill. Still another painting shows a lily through which the seminal words pass before entering Mary’s ear.

I've seen a lot of research on the internet as to whether this method can cause impregnation. Pictoral, mainly.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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