Friday, December 21, 2007

Nativity is a legend according to Archbishop of Canterbury

It seems Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th after all and that little holiday that has come to be known as Christmas was timed to coincide with Solstice celebrations. And apparently that ubiquitous nativity scene that clutters courthouse lawns across the country is simply a legend. That’s according to no less an authority than Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Here is what he says in today’s Telegraph:
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."
Now, about that virgin birth….

1 comment:

Comrade Kevin said...

Yet, War on Christmas types think there's some sort of fundamental purity in clinging to superstitions and fabrications.

Are they saying there's a tradition of lies which must be protected?