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Farmer Geddon

"The Nativity"

Out of all the 'Nativity' stories in the Gospels, which is your personal favorite?
Powwow

The one and only of course. Do you mean which complimentary narrative perhaps?

http://www.cbn.com/special/TheNat...ticles/Bekker_Birth_of_Jesus.aspx
Farmer Geddon

No.. I mean which of the "narratives" is your favourite?
Jim

Well, we've only two to choose from...so I'll choose the third!
John 1, 1-12!
Lexilogio

Well it has to be a choice between Matthew and Luke, surely?

In which case I'd go for Matthew. But to be honest, they compliment each other, and both build up the story.
cyberman

Lexilogio wrote:
Well it has to be a choice between Matthew and Luke, surely?

In which case I'd go for Matthew. But to be honest, they compliment each other, and both build up the story.


I like Luke. I think the inclusion of Shepherds to represent Christ's mission to the poor and marginalised is a very valuable narrative.

Of course, much a Matthew's story is set much later - the wise men are not said in his story to have been present at the nativity. And then he has the whole flight to Egypt thing, which doesn't say much to me at all, and is all part of Matthew's plan to make people think of Jesus as a new Moses.
Ketty

Jim wrote:
Well, we've only two to choose from...so I'll choose the third!
John 1, 1-12!


Amen!  
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The Boyg

Floo wrote:
The nativity is a pretty story which lacks any sort of credibility, imo. I bet the real story of the birth of Jesus was pretty squalid.


Born in a barn full of animals, laid in a feeding trough, how much more squalid do you want Floo?  
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The Boyg

Floo wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Floo wrote:
The nativity is a pretty story which lacks any sort of credibility, imo. I bet the real story of the birth of Jesus was pretty squalid.

Born in a barn full of animals, laid in a feeding trough, how much more squalid do you want Floo?  

Agreed that is the squalid bit which might just be credible, the rest is make believe, imo.


And why do you hold the opinion that the other bits (by which I presume you mean the angels, the star, the adoration by the Magi) are make believe Floo?
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
Floo wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Floo wrote:
The nativity is a pretty story which lacks any sort of credibility, imo. I bet the real story of the birth of Jesus was pretty squalid.

Born in a barn full of animals, laid in a feeding trough, how much more squalid do you want Floo?  

Agreed that is the squalid bit which might just be credible, the rest is make believe, imo.


And why do you hold the opinion that the other bits (by which I presume you mean the angels, the star, the adoration by the Magi) are make believe Floo?

Occam's Razor would fit the bill here very nicely.
cyberman

The Boyg wrote:
Floo wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Floo wrote:
The nativity is a pretty story which lacks any sort of credibility, imo. I bet the real story of the birth of Jesus was pretty squalid.

Born in a barn full of animals, laid in a feeding trough, how much more squalid do you want Floo?  

Agreed that is the squalid bit which might just be credible, the rest is make believe, imo.


And why do you hold the opinion that the other bits (by which I presume you mean the angels, the star, the adoration by the Magi) are make believe Floo?


The story of the magi does not have them present at the Nativity, by the way.
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Floo wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Floo wrote:
The nativity is a pretty story which lacks any sort of credibility, imo. I bet the real story of the birth of Jesus was pretty squalid.

Born in a barn full of animals, laid in a feeding trough, how much more squalid do you want Floo?  

Agreed that is the squalid bit which might just be credible, the rest is make believe, imo.

And why do you hold the opinion that the other bits (by which I presume you mean the angels, the star, the adoration by the Magi) are make believe Floo?

Occam's Razor would fit the bill here very nicely.


I'm not sure that Floo is allowed sharp objects.
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
I'm not sure that Floo is allowed sharp objects.

Far more so than some on here.
Farmer Geddon

Doesn't alter the fact that the 2 nativity tales tell 2 different stories.

Matthew has nothing about the birth of John the Baptist, the Annunciation, the census, the trip to Bethlehem, the shepherds, the presentation in the Temple.  

Matthew’s version, as a result, is much shorter than the one in Luke.

Ergo - most of the nativity stories, favoured by Christians, are found only in Lukes account.

For sake of continuity, we'll ignore the genealogy nonsense in both stories..

Chapter 1 starts straight off with the notion that Mary has become pregnant in some mysterious fashion; Joseph is not happy about this and wants to divorce her quietly; but he learns from an angel in a dream that she has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that it has all been in order to fulfill the prophecy of Isa. 7:14, which Matthew quotes as saying “a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.”   They don’t actually call him Emmanuel, of course (a Hebrew term that means “God is with us”) but Jesus (which means “salvation.”)

Chapter 2 is mainly about the coming of the wise men and what happens in their wake.  The wise men have come from the east, following a star, to find the place where the new King of the Jews has been born so they can worship him.  

Why anyone would want to worship a new Jewish king is never explained (did people worship Solomon?  Or Herod?).  

I'm guessing that the author assumed his readers would assume that this was “the” Jewish King, the Messiah, who will save people, not from foreign oppressors, but from their sin - as the angel itself pointed out earlier.  

As it happens, the wise men are led to Jerusalem, but when they get there the star apparently stops or disappears.  So they make inquiries, word gets to the king Herod, he asks the jewish scholars where the messiah is to be born, they tell him Bethlehem – since it is predicted in Scripture — he tells the wise men, and asks them to come back to tell him when they learn the child’s whereabouts, and lo and behold, the star reappears and leads them to Bethlehem and stops “over the place” where the child lives.

The wise men worship him with three gifts of gold frankincense and myrrh (we’re not told that there were three wise men, only that they had three gifts).  They then are warned in a dream not to return to Herod who wants to kill the child, so they go another way.

Herod realizes he’s been duped and sends out the troops to kill all the boys two years and younger in Bethlehem, the so-called “Slaughter of the Innocents,” said again to fulfill Scripture.  

But Joseph had been warned in a dream and fled before the troops came, taking the child and his mother to Egypt.  They stay in Egypt until Herod dies.  But when they come back to the land, they are unable to settle again in Judea, because Herod’s son Archelaus is ruling there, and he’s worse even than his father had been.  
So they resettle in the north, in Nazareth, to fulfill the Scripture that said he would ba a Nazarene.

So according to Matthew, Joseph and Mary actually live in Bethlehem before, during, and after the birth; they leave to escape the king’s wrath. They cannot come back to their home town after they hear that the nasty king is dead because they fear the wrath of its son, so the father decides they have to relocate to Nazareth.

This is radically different from the author known as Lukes version....
Farmer Geddon

So what does Luke bring to the table.. well this account begins with the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist to Elizabeth and Zechariah, followed by the Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary that she will conceive without having sex, through the Holy Spirit.  Mary visits Elizabeth, breaks into song, John the Baptist is born, and Zechariah speaks a prophecy. None of which was known to the author of Matthew, I'm guessing because it hadn't been conceived at the time.

Now in Chapter 2 we are told that before Jesus was born that there was a decree that went out from Caesar Augustus that “all the world should be registered,” and we’re told that this was the first registration, and that it happened while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  

And so everyone went to their own homes to register (presumably this is for tax purposes).  And since Joseph – who with Mary lived in the northern city of Nazareth — was descended from King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea.  Even though Matthew assumes his readers knew the family already lived in Bethlehem.

Mary had to make this fictional journey fully pregnant, and while she’s in Bethlehem, she gives birth to Jesus; and since there was “no room in the inn” she laid him in a manger.   We’re not told if they are in a stable out back, a cave, or something else.

There is then the scene of the angels appearing to the shepherds, who come to see the savior/messiah who has been born.   Eight days later the child is circumcised.  And “when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses “ came, Joseph and Mary went to the Temple to offer the required sacrifice.   This is referring to a law in Leviticus 12, that after 32 days a woman who has been made ceremonially impure by giving birth is to offer a sacrifice for cleansing.   Infant Jesus is recognized there by Simeon and Anna.   And when they did their sacrifice, they then returned home to Nazareth, where Jesus was then raised.

Surely even you can see the major differences in the stories...
Powwow

What, the each gives details the other didn't?  Ever observe court proceedings Luci?

http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/harmnatv.html
Powwow

What, the each gives details the other didn't?  Ever observe court proceedings Luci?

http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/harmnatv.html
cyberman

Farmer Geddon wrote:


Surely even you can see the major differences in the stories...


But differences are not necessarily contradictions, are they?
Farmer Geddon

I didn't say they were contradictions.. I said they are two different stories..
I'm sure even you, if the read the stories independently, can see the major differences and admit that either it happened one way or the other, but they both can't be the truth..
Or can't you see that?
Farmer Geddon

So which of the "Nativity" stories is your personal favourite?
Farmer Geddon

Jim wrote:
Well, we've only two to choose from...so I'll choose the third!
John 1, 1-12!


Seriously..  You believe that is a historical narrative about the birth of Jesus?

Jim

Seriously:
I believe it to be an accurate summary as to who Jesus is, and why He came.
Farmer Geddon

Awww bless you Jim, has your carer left you alone on the lap-top again?

Shame on them..

You think John 1 is a nativity story.. if you do, then you are you in a minority of idiot..
Jim

I don't have a laptop.

And I think John 1 is a tretise on the Incarnation.

Do you have a problem (other than your rejection of the Johanine material in Scripture) with that?
cyberman

Farmer Geddon wrote:
I didn't say they were contradictions.. I said they are two different stories..
I'm sure even you, if the read the stories independently, can see the major differences and admit that either it happened one way or the other, but they both can't be the truth..
Or can't you see that?


If you are saying they can't both be true, then you are saying that they are contradictory. that is what it means.

Specify for me which bit of Matthew's story makes which bit of Luke's story impossible, and/or vice versa.

Don't simply point out (again) the differences. Specify where they make each other impossible.
cymrudynnion

The Boyg wrote:
Floo wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Floo wrote:
The nativity is a pretty story which lacks any sort of credibility, imo. I bet the real story of the birth of Jesus was pretty squalid.

Born in a barn full of animals, laid in a feeding trough, how much more squalid do you want Floo?  

Agreed that is the squalid bit which might just be credible, the rest is make believe, imo.


And why do you hold the opinion that the other bits (by which I presume you mean the angels, the star, the adoration by the Magi) are make believe Floo?
Now I would also like to know Floo's answer to this
Shaker

We're back to Occam's Razor again.

What's unusual about a baby being born? Absolutely nothing. What's extraordinary even about a dirt-poor woman in the ancient middle east being caught short as it were and giving birth to a baby in squalid circumstances? Nothing. These things don't strain my credulity in any way whatever. They don't expect me to believe anything which reason and a lifetime of experience about the world both tell me is false. These things are perfectly plausible - we all know that. More than merely plausible, actually - we know that the first happens everywhere all day every day. We can be confident that the second happens a great deal too, given a large enough sample size.

If however you expect me to take seriously, to give credence to, to give head-room to, assertions such as that a woman became pregnant without ever having had sexual intercourse; that her pregnancy was announced to her by a being not made of matter and energy operating outside of time and space and so forth, then I shall of course tell you that I believe absolutely no such thing because I have no grounds to do so. If you tell me that a man gets into a yacht and sails across Derwent Water, you tell me nothing remarkable in any way whatever. In point of fact I strongly suspect that this very thing happens every day, the Lake District being the tourist trap that it is. Boat design, fluid mechanics - even intuitively all these things and more feed into our experience of the world. (Boat floats on water; man sits in boat which floats on water; boat supports weight of man).

If however you tell me that a man has walked across Derwent Water, I know that you've just told me something which violates all experience of the laws of nature, which has never been reliably observed and credibly confirmed by anyone, anywhere, ever, and which most likely belongs to the realm of myth and legend, and thus my scepticism not to say outright disbelief is pitched accordingly. If I hear second-hand about a man walking on water, I make fewer and safer assumptions about the world by taking it that the report is a fabrication or an honest mistake than taking it to be true. If I see with my own eyes a man walk on water, I make fewer and safer assumptions about the world by taking it that my senses are deceived or deranged in some way - which we know that they can be without great difficulty - than by taking it as true that a, let's say, 13-stone man can have his weight borne by a Newtonian fluid such as water.

Of course, if Derwent Water was full of custard then it would be a very different story altogether.

Worldviews are a bit like machines: the more ornate and complex they are, the more working parts and 'bits' they have, the more likely it is that they'll go wrong and break down. My laptop for instance can have far, far more go wrong with it than one of these:




Daniel Harbour wrote the extremely good An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism in which he talks very little about arguments for and against God's existence (and this in a trim little book anyway) and concentrates on the disparity between two worldviews which for the sake of discussion he calls the Spartan meritocracy (make as few unfounded assumptions about reality as you absolutely, possibly can get away with in order to function; assumptions have to be tested by some consistent and reliable method and have to earn their - provisional - place on merit and not based on the four great anaesthetics of the human mind, viz., faith, tradition, so-called revelation or authority) and the Baroque monarchy (make as many assumptions about reality as you personally feel like doing; make them as ornate and as complicated as you please). Spartan is as the name suggests: bare, spare, lean, stripped-down, minimalist. Baroque is like a Baroque cathedral: fussy, gaudy, over-elaborate, with uncountable jots and tittles and gewgaws and curlicues. The Spartan meritocracy, we're left in no doubt, is the more cautious but for that reason the safer, the more rational, the humbler way to go about things.
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
if Derwent Water was full of custard then it would be a very different story altogether.
.


I've said that many times.
Shaker

I can well believe it, cybers, I can well believe it  
LeClerc

Shaker wrote:
If however you tell me that a man has walked across Derwent Water, I know that you've just told me something which violates all experience of the laws of nature, which has never been reliably observed and credibly confirmed by anyone, anywhere, ever, and which most likely belongs to the realm of myth and legend, and thus my scepticism not to say outright disbelief is pitched accordingly.


Shaker

Shaker wrote:
If I hear second-hand about a man walking on water ... If I see with my own eyes a man walk on water

Water's the wet, moves-about-a-lot one, the one you can't walk on, as in Derwent Water  
cyberman

It's a lovely picture, though
Shaker

Certainly is ... if scary and foolhardy to the point of lunacy. (I wouldn't do it!).
LeClerc

Hi Shaker

Shaker wrote:
Shaker wrote:
If I hear second-hand about a man walking on water ... If I see with my own eyes a man walk on water

Water's the wet, moves-about-a-lot one, the one you can't walk on, as in Derwent Water  


Are you trying to tell us the picture does not show Derwent Water as being H2O ?  

http://www.scienceshorts.com/Ssw/060114.htm

Regards

LeClerc
Shaker

LeClerc wrote:
Are you trying to tell us the picture does not show Derwent Water as being H2O ?  

http://www.scienceshorts.com/Ssw/060114.htm

Regards

LeClerc

No idea if the picture is actually Derwent Water or not (not that it matters ...), but it shows a man walking on ice, alias frozen solid water which, if thick/strong enough can certainly bear a man's weight. People can sometimes walk on ice: they can't walk on water, therefore the alleged miracle of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee as recounted in Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21 (and not 'Jesus walking on the frozen solid Sea of Galilee,' unless you accept the research of Professor Doron Nof) didn't happen.

You're quite right that ice is H2O having undergone one of its phase transitions to a solid. Steam is another phase transition of H20 to a vapour and people don't walk on that either, do they now?
LeClerc

Morning Shaker

Shaker wrote:
LeClerc wrote:
Are you trying to tell us the picture does not show Derwent Water as being H2O ?  

http://www.scienceshorts.com/Ssw/060114.htm

Regards

LeClerc

No idea if the picture is actually Derwent Water or not (not that it matters ...), but it shows a man walking on ice, alias frozen solid water which, if thick/strong enough can certainly bear a man's weight. People can sometimes walk on ice: they can't walk on water, therefore the alleged miracle of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee as recounted in Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21 (and not 'Jesus walking on the frozen solid Sea of Galilee,' unless you accept the research of Professor Doron Nof) didn't happen.

You're quite right that ice is H2O having undergone one of its phase transitions to a solid. Steam is another phase transition of H20 to a vapour and people don't walk on that either, do they now?


I do believe your comment was as follows

Shaker wrote:

If however you tell me that a man has walked across Derwent Water, I know that you've just told me something which violates all experience of the laws of nature, which has never been reliably observed and credibly confirmed by anyone, anywhere, ever, and which most likely belongs to the realm of myth and legend, and thus my scepticism not to say outright disbelief is pitched accordingly.


The picture shows a man walking across Derwent Water  

Regards

LeClerc
Shaker

LeClerc wrote:
The picture shows a man walking across Derwent Water  

Regards

LeClerc

Since I haven't seen anything to confirm it as such, I shall take that assertion with a pinch of NaCl  
cyberman

I suppose the name of the location is Derwent Water, whether it is frozen or not.
LeClerc

Hi Shaker

Shaker wrote:
LeClerc wrote:
The picture shows a man walking across Derwent Water  

Regards

LeClerc

Since I haven't seen anything to confirm it as such, I shall take that assertion with a pinch of NaCl  


You will see the photo I posted is looking across Derwent Water from Friars Crag

http://www.mikes-eye.co.uk/shop/page/17?shop_param=Regards

LeClerc
Farmer Geddon

Why do Christians feel the need to 'harmonise' the two existing nativity stories?

Basically all they are doing is making up their own nativity story that is not contained in the Gospels...
Farmer Geddon

I have seen photos of men climbing buildings LC ... doesn't mean they are spiderman!!

I have to admit, you see thinks in a very special way L...

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