Thursday, December 20, 2007

Archbishop: Jesus Was Never Born (Not)

This article was passed around for scorning purposes at work today (HT: Adam Graber). Now, faithful readers know that the Right Reverend Lord Archbishop Williams is not my favorite thoroughly boring scholar with bushy eyebrows and a neck beard. However, the great injustice that this article does to him arouses my sympathy. Williams is simply debunking the post-biblical legends that have crept up around the nativity story through centuries of (legitimate) artistic depiction. He doesn't say a word, as far as I can tell, about whether the gospel accounts themselves are legendary.

If I ran the Telegraph, Ms. Sophie Borland would be on probation until she could explain the difference between "the nativity" and "a nativity scene." Of course, her article probably drove more traffic to the Telegraph website than any other today, which is probably why I'm not being asked to run the Telegraph. Nonetheless, she should also be required to read Ben Witherington's article in the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels about the gospel birth narratives.

Speaking of Witherington, he debunks another element of post-biblical nativity legend here (HT: Jon Schindler).

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