Skip to comments.What the Pope Really Said About Christmas
Posted on 11/30/2012 3:00:48 PM PST by NYer
The Popes new book, Infancy Narratives, was released on November 21. The days headline of the Daily Mail? Killjoy Pope crushes Christmas nativity traditions: New Jesus book reveals there were no donkeys beside crib, no lowing oxen and definitely no carols. CNNs online story followed suit. The New York Daily News repeated the claim about the animals, adding not that the pope agreed with some historians on an earlier dating of the birth of Christ but that the Christian calendar has Jesus birth year wrong, Pope Benedict XVI claims in a new book.
But those who have read Pope Benedict at length know that such conclusions would be uncharacteristic of his thought. Had they even held the book? My curiosity was particularly stirred when I noticed the following quotation in the Time story, which they apparently took from the Telegraph (U.K.) rather than from the book: No one will give up the oxen and the donkey in their [sic] Nativity scenes.
Any book editor worth his or her salt would notice the obvious pronoun disagreement. No way is that in the English edition, I thought. In comparing the stories, I noticed that the Daily Mail and others instead rendered the quotation: No nativity scene will give up its ox and donkey. In the book, the sentence in question seems to be on page 69: No presentation of the crib is complete without the ox and the ass. This is different from both representations. Which was it? I sought to find out for myself. Random House confirmed via email that neither of the first two quotations listed is in the book; rather they are poor translations from the Italian. Not only have they misquoted the book, perhaps hastily translating the work from Italian, but these unofficial quotations have circulated among multiple publicationssecular and religious.
Likely a select few misread the sense of the popes text and informed the journalistic community, who then informed the world how they misread the text. A Reuters story published Wednesday helped clarify things a bit. An excellent headlineRead all about it: Pope has not cancelled Christmasshould help this necessary corrective analysis gain exposure. Nonetheless, there remains much to clean up.
Back to that Daily Mail headline: . . . no donkeys beside crib, no lowing oxen and definitely no carols. Lets have a look.
First of all, what did the pope actually say about the nativity scene animals? He wrote, The manger, as we have seen, indicates animals, who come to it for their food. In the Gospel there is no reference to animals at this point. But prayerful reflection, reading Old and New Testaments in light of one another, filled this lacuna at a very early stage by pointing to Isaiah 1:3: The ox knows its owner, and the ass its masters crib; but Israel does not know, my people does not understand.
Benedict actually affirms the image of the ox and the donkey present at the manger by pointing to Old Testament imagery and, later, to iconographic tradition that complement the Gospel source. His words justify, rather than call into question, the presence of the animals in the manger scene. This is the beauty of Benedicts writing, and why he is perhaps better read in the study or in the adoration chapel than in the newsroom. On the one hand, he points out what is obvious: the absence of the animals in the Gospel narrative. On the other, he shows why Christians came to understand that the animals were there, adding, No representation of the crib is complete without the ox and the ass.
And those talking, non-singing angels? What did the Pope actually say? He writes concerning the gloria, According to the evangelist, the angels said this. That must be about as far as some in the secular press read, because the very next sentence is: But Christianity has always understood that the speech of angels is actually song, in which all the glory of the great joy that they proclaim becomes tangibly present. And so, from that moment, the angels song of praise has never gone silent (p. 73). To paraphrase, the pope is saying that when one reads Luke and sees that the angels said their glorious words, the angels were of course singing (because that is what angels do).
As for the calendar, well, compare the brusque way in which the New York Daily News says it: Jesus birth year is wrong: Pope with the way in which the pope actually wrote it: One initial problem can be solved quite easily: the census took place at the time of King Herod the Great, who actually died in the year 4 B.C. The starting point for our reckoning of timethe calculation of Jesus date of birthgoes back to the monk Dionysius Exiguus (+ c. 550), who evidently miscalculated by a few years. The historical date of the birth of Jesus is therefore to be placed a few years earlier. I used to write headlines for a living, and so I am on the one hand sympathetic to the challenge; nonetheless, I can also spot an unsympathetic rendering of Vatican news.
As should be painfully evident, there is a big difference between what the media says that the Pope says and what the Pope himself actually says. Each time the waves settle from their slipshod coverage, the media should find that it has displaced a bit more of the public trust, trust that they will deliver the truth about Vatican news. They forfeited my trust a while ago. If anyone were to ask me, How should I read news about the Vatican from the secular press? I would say, It can be useful for information, but must be read with a fundamental principle of uniformly applied suspicion and doubt. In other words, read it in the same way in which they would have us read the Bible.
Jesus was probably born in the summer.
Why is that a big deal? I thought everyone pretty much agreed to that.
Does it really matter when it is celebrated?
It’s just another example of how hard the scum are working to spread divisions among Christians.
great analyst — and per the news, I also second the author’s point of view that the press should always be under “suspicion and doubt!”
And, in case I forget to send you this Christmas greeting,
“Gloria in excelsis Deo! Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis!
For those without faith no explanation is possible to those with faith no explanation is necessary
If journalists were slightly familiar with the bible, they would not that a manger is a place where feed is put for animals.
"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." - John 8:44
They are blinder - and uglier - than naked mole-rats.
Most of the press works overtime for the antichrist.
As should the cabal of ignorant freepers who take the bait hook line and sinker whenever the media, that they usually reject, falsely reports on anything Catholic.
The birth of Christ on December 25 ? Sukkot as the date is supported by Elizabeth's Zacharias served as a high priest and John would have been born on Pesach. Factor in when Miriam visited her cousin Elizabeth, John (1:14) tells us that Yah'shua was made flesh The word "dwelt" in the Koine Greek is: Eight days after the beginning of Sukkot is Eight days after a Jewish male is born he is circumcised. After the Eighth day comes the the most Joyous day: Nine months back from Sukkot is Chanukah
A clear reading of the Holy Word of G-d would lead to another date.
A date commanded by YHvH with clear Biblical meaning and understanding.
Chanukah is a great time for followers of the Jewish Messiah to celebrate.
The eight day Feast of Chanukah echoes of the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles
Chanukah was most likely when the "light of the world"
(John 8:12) entered human form and tabernacled among us.
Feast of Tabernacles is the birth day of Yah'shua.
This question is answered when you believe and trust
the Holy Word of Elohim in Luke 1.
Yah'shua's birth on Sukkot shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
(Sukkot is the Feast of Tabernacles or booths,
where we live in temporary shelters.
Sukkot is when YHvH took on a temporary
garment to be with His People
and to die as the Lamb of G-d on Pesach
in order to bring salvation to all
who would call on His Name:
(Romans 10:13 & Joel 2:32)
Yah'shua ( YHvH is become my salvation)).
Ps. 18:2, 46; 27:1; 35:9; 38:22; 88:1;
118:14; 119:174; 140:7; Isa. 12:2; 56:1;
61:10; Mic. 7:7; Hab. 3:18
pregnancy of John the Immerser.
The time sequence is outlined by the
Holy Word of Elohim in Luke 1 with Zacharias.
based on his tribe, we know when he served
(1 Chronicles 24:7-18) and when he was
struck dumb and when John was conceived.
Most Jews believed that Elijah
would come at Pesach to announce
the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5).
Elizabeth was six months pregnant (Luke 1:26)
Thus the timing of Yah'shua's birth can be ascertained.
and tabernacled among us.
σκηνόω Strong's G4637 - skēnoō
1) to fix one's tabernacle,
have one's tabernacle,
abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent),
2) to dwell
another Holy Feast Day called Shemini Atzeret.
Simchat Torah or
the rejoicing in the Torah (The Word of Elohim).
where the light entered the temple.
Sukkot as the date is supported by Elizabeth's
Zacharias served as a high priest and
John would have been born on Pesach.
Factor in when Miriam visited her cousin Elizabeth,
John (1:14) tells us that Yah'shua was made flesh
The word "dwelt" in the Koine Greek is:
Eight days after the beginning of Sukkot is
Eight days after a Jewish male is born he is circumcised.
After the Eighth day comes the the most Joyous day:
Nine months back from Sukkot is Chanukah
Scripture says the shepherds were in the fields outside Bethlehem. That means it was after the rains started and the grass was growing. The rainey season starts in November and the pastures are ready for grazing starting in December. Turns out December 25 could be correct.
Reading comprehension must not be a strength for many journalists.
I thought they normally collected their taxes/census in summer
One of my instructors at the seminary stated that it is even possible/ likely that there were shepherds that maintained the temple flock which was used for the regular sacrifice.
Luk 2:22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord Luk 2:23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") Luk 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."
Due to his station in life Joseph would have had to offer a smaller sacrifice as outlined in the OT. Wealthier people would have had to offer more or they could have been for the priestly sacrifices as well.
So true - far too many get so caught up in the minutia of details (verified or not) that they lose sight of the gist of the message - Jesus was born and walked the earth as 100% God and 100% Man to develop a personal relationship with us and then let Himself be tortured and murdered by sinners that sinners might know eternal salvation because of the spilling of His Holy Blood to wash away our sins.
I can't figure why folks let themselves get diverted from this message - I sat in a seat and tears ran down my face when I first heard and truly understood the message and that is the day i was saved.
You won't know that until your particular judgment, just as Scripture teaches.