Skip to comments.Archbishop says nativity 'a legend'
Posted on 12/20/2007 5:43:47 AM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
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.
Dr Williams argued that the traditional Christmas story was nothing but a 'legend'
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."
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Take it whence it comes. This man is a heretic, the ArchDruid, presiding over a group of limpwristed fairies prancing around in dresses and women in pantsuits with dog collars.
Has made a comfortable life with this “legend”.
I actually wonder what his end game is. What is the object of this exercise?
So the Archbishop of Canterberry doesn’t believe the bible? Time to toss him out on his ear.
You do you reckon will be the first Muslim Archbishop of Canterbury, and when will he take office?
Does that mean Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey didn’t really carry Mary to Bethlehem either?
My entire belief system is falling apart.
The headline written by some Liberal POS is misleading.
I’ve heard that the three “wise men” may have not come until weeks after the birth of Christ, which means the “manger” scene may have not included them. Not a big deal, and the Christmas Nativity scene is symbolic of their patronage.
What is going on in this world?????
Sounds like he's trying avoid spending eternity in heaven.
The olny “myth” here is that of the World Wide Anglican Communion..
well, he is right about december. jesus wasnt born then, church officials way back when just took over a pagan holiday.
I wonder when Cardinal Rowan DOES propose that Christians celebrate the birth of Christ, if not at the annual celestial turning point from darkness into light? Or perhaps we will soon hear that he considers Christ, too, to be an allegorical figure. Is Jesus Christ’s name even mentioned anymore in Anglican church services, or have they become “inclusive”?
cant support the rest of that nonsense tho.
If you go to the website and read the comments, there is a good one, something like: “If the Archibishop had been there, there would have been at least one ass in the stable.”
just another drop in the erosion and attempted eradication of Christmas.
He hinted that decades ago he was not "too fussed" with the literal truth of the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. But as time went on, he developed a "deeper sense" of what the Virgin Birth was all about.
This guy is a Bishop? This guy is NUTZ!
I can not verify it’s claims, but it is interesting...
The Gospel accoding to Matthew is not a lightweight source.
I guess the ArchBs would dismiss Jeb Stuart’s ride around the Union Army because (of the early sources) it was mentioned in Lee’ Lieutenants by Freeman but not in the earlier source of the Rise and Fall of the Confederate States of America by Davis. It has been longer since said War than the time between Christ’s life and the completion of all four Gospels.
...’limpwristed fairies prancing around in dresses and women in pantsuits with dog collars’...???
LOL K! Tell us how you really feel. ;-)
The credibility of the CoE as a legitimate Christian church also works quite well as a legend, these days.
Good heavens, how DO idiots like this rise to such prominence?
(I initially wrote “ruse” instead of “rise.” Might’ve been better.)
He’s crazy. I’ve got the original Frankincense container in my safe at home.
The moment I saw the headline, I just knew this would be a U.K. story. How many times in the last few months have we read some stupid pronouncement from an English church official? Too many to count.
This is what the bible supports. Now it doesn’t say anything about kings or such, but it’s very clear. It also talks of a violent and overt government event - the slaughter of the innocents. Being this gospel was written within the living memory of some people that went through it, it would have been pretty brazen for it to be an out and out lie.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:
AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH,
ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH;
FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER
WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.
Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.
After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.
Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
This is an example of why England is destroying herself.
Who put this fool in charge?
Take note which prophet wrote this? And further note the land was called Judah and the people Israel. So the writings of this prophet? were made one and the same of the NEW and would no longer be consider OLD, the OLD is part of Christianity. Apparently the archbishop is unlearned.
Some spiritual leader... spoken like a man who has no faith.
The ABC is considered "first among equals"
Yup, and a Blessed Feast of the Nativity to each and every silly one of them, from the ArchDruid on down.
“LOL K! Tell us how you really feel. ;-)”
See how astonishing this person is that he could get such a reaction out of a simple, shy and retiring wallflower like me!?
The Archbishop has actually read the book. Have you?
What boggles the mind is how many so-called Christians have never actually read the bible to see what it says.
I’m not distressed by the kitschy claymation Three Kings, though. In a Christian culture, you’d expect to find Christian art and Christian themes from top to bottom. From Bottacelli to bobble-head angels, from the Pieta to hot cross buns.
While a careful reading will place them AFTER the nativity, arriving from their search when Jesus was a young boy, the fact that they are recorded in the KJB is good enough for me. That is what Christians call “faith”, and I wish somebody would expand this hedgerow bishop’s education by introducing him to it. Looks like there were some gaps when he went to seminary.
1) His Lordship the Archbishop is a purse-lipped pedant and a pastoral poltroon.
2) The Telegraph enjoys giving people little shocks.
Matthew makes it clear that the Magi didn't find Jesus until quite sometime after his birth. It may have been as long as two years, given that Herod asked when they first saw the star and deduced from that that Jesus would be around 2 years old.
The text states that the star they were following "stopped over the place where the child was" and "On coming to the house they saw the child with his mother Mary" so I've got no problem with the manger scenes showing Joseph, Mary, Jesus, the shepherds but the wise men are another issue ... the shepherds showed for a bit (see Luke 2) but the "wise men" were NOT there.
As far as December 25th goes, the date wasn't settled on until well into the 3rd century and not celebrated officially in western Christianity until 336 ... when Constantine declared Christianity the religion of the empire ... so, again, no need to get your panties in a wad.
For me, December 25th is CHRISTmas .. and I will gratefully worship God for redeeming me through the incarnation ... as I try to do every other day. This particular day I will gather with family, gifts will be exchanged and a good, God blessed, time will be had by all.
Getting all wound up over what Rowan Williams has to say is, for me, running down the path of straining at gnats and swallowing camels" ...it's a distraction from who I'm really called to be.
See the tagline
It is not a “so-called” Christian religion....it is part of the body of Christ.
Not to parse words on ya, but Anglicanism is a very beautiful expression of love to the Lord.
Please don’t paint a whole Anglican Communion in a negative light based on one bad apple. This is yet one more example of progressives within the church attempting to strip away the divinity of Christ.
We all know Rowan Williams is a bleeding heart liberal....comments such as these that come from him in regular intervals do nothing more than to damage Christ’s body on earth and our ministry in HIS service.
Lets face it, remove God from society....there is no accountability, where there is no accountability, satan has his way.
“Take it whence it comes. This man is a heretic, the ArchDruid, presiding over a group of limpwristed fairies prancing around in dresses and women in pantsuits with dog collars.”
LOL. Great Post. Sounds like something I wish I said.
Please expound on your great knowledge of the Holy Bible.
Constantine declared religious tolerance. It did not declare Christianity the religion of the empire. This is a myth used well by the DaVinci code crowd.
It is true that there are no wise men to be found in the modern Church of England....any reports to the contrary are no more than legend.
“...deduced from that that Jesus would be around 2 years old...”
Herod made no such determination that the child would be two years old. His declaration was that all male children two AND UNDER would be destroyed. The Wise Men found Jesus in Bethlehem and there is no reason to believe that he would have stayed there for a long period of time.
I can hear one braying ignorantly in Canterbury Cathedral.
Actually, some theorize that it may have been just the opposite. Depends on whether Constantine or Julian the Apostate officially instituted the "Natale Solis Invictus," December 25th.
Julian's Calendar of 354 institutes a festival "N(atalis) Invicti" listed for 25 Dec. with 30 chariot races. The difficulty is that both Julian and the Calendar post-date the celebration of Christmas on this date in Rome. What we need to see, is data that clarifies whether this was a pagan reaction to Christmas (i.e. Julian trying to coopt an established Christian celebration) or vice-versa.
Others argue "of course the pagans celebrated it first, because it's the winter solstice and they *must* have celebrated it," but there's no incontrovertible written proof either way.
BTW, Mssr. Archibishop, this allegedly non-Christian Mormon cultist believes implicitly the Gospel nativity narratives. It is one of the most powerful and inspiring factual events ever recorded.
He should read the book of Matthew.
There are some other aspects like looking through a prism say ... Is not December 25 most usually the shortest day of our year... meaning least amount of ‘sun’ light. Well another Scripture says the heavenly lights were to be used as signs, and for the Christian what sign is it to them to know the giver of life eternal would come to be with them in flesh on the shortest day of ‘sunlight’ in a year.
More than that also demonstrates when ‘life’ begins... at conception. Now I also know that our calendar is not the same calendar used from the ‘beginning’, but there is the shortest day of the year every year, so not even calendar makers can remove what that day symbolizes.