Another step reaches the Cabinet
15 minutes ago
Now, let’s turn to the Christian record. What do the Gospel writers say about Jesus? When it comes to his birth, as a group, they say nothing. The Gospels of Mark and John never mention the Nativity. Only Matthew and Luke describe it."Contradict" does not mean "a detail found in one story is missing from another." But that's a post for another day. What the author
But it’s misleading to say “Matthew and Luke.” One might better say “Matthew vs. Luke,” for the Gospels bearing their names contradict* each other on almost every detail. The popular image of shepherds and wise men side by side before the cradle? Matthew says wise men. Luke says shepherds. Neither says both.
The star in the East? Only in Matthew.
“Hark, the herald angels sing” . . . but only in Luke. Matthew never heard of them**.
So here's a fact appropriate for the day: Americans are three times as likely to believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus (83 percent) as in evolution (28 percent).That number, according to Kristoff, includes not only 91% of Christians, but 47% of non-Christians as well. Now, what made me laugh is not that more non-Christians believe in the Virgin Birth than believe in evolution, but that the American School system teaches one and not the other. If Kristoff and other lefties at the Times would follow the logic there, they would conclude that the best way to get Americans to believe in evolution would be to ban it. That's not really a recommendation. I'm just saying.
Jaroslav Pelikan, the great Yale historian and theologian, says in his book ''Mary Through the Centuries'' that the earliest references to Mary (like Mark's gospel, the first to be written, or Paul's letter to the Galatians) don't mention anything unusual about the conception of Jesus.Paul never mentions Mary in a single one of his letters - that Galatians gets included as an "earliest reference to Mary" just highlights Kristoff's ignorance here. The man simply doesn't know what he's talking about.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke do say Mary was a virgin, but internal evidence suggests that that part of Luke, in particular, may have been added later by someone else (it is written, for example, in a different kind of Greek than the rest of that gospel)."Internal evidence suggests..." is a nice way of saying "if you look really really hard...and twist." The fact is that all non-fragmentary copies of Luke and Matthew, including the earliest ones, contain the Virgin Birth stories. All of them. So there is no documentary evidence upon which to hang such a "may have been."
As the Catholic theologian Hans Küng puts it in ''On Being a Christian,'' the Virgin Birth is a ''collection of largely uncertain, mutually contradictory, strongly legendary'' narratives, an echo of virgin birth myths that were widespread in many parts of the ancient world.And it's sad because it's so undeniably deceptive. "Virgin Birth myths" do not appear in Jewish literature, not even (as I mentioned before) in Isaiah, which is absolutely necessary to square with the hebraisms mentioned above. Myths that appear "in many parts of the ancient world" do you no good if they do not appear among the Hebrews. Nor do the stories from the rest of the world square with the word 'virgin' - they are usually just stories of horny gods seducing beautiful women. What Küng and others do is generalize that Romulus and Remus were the sons of a god, and Jesus was the son of God, and therefore the stories are an 'echo.' That is not the way to do science, kids.
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