Dec 25, 2009

Baby Jesus Wrap Up

Advent is over! We did it.

Now a quick recap. Here's some issues I've come across this month, some plot holes - if you will - with the whole Baby Jesus story.

First off, Mark being the first of the synoptic gospels, makes no mention of Jesus being born of a virgin. But, it's possible the Mary was the virgin birth... but that's according to arcane fan fiction. John. Matthew & Luke also fail to mention Mary is a virgin. The other two synoptic gospels, have differing reasons for Jesus’ birth to a virgin.

Then, Matthew, a Greek speaking non-Jew, goes to extraordinary lengths to match Jesus’ life to Old Testament prophecy. His inadequate Hebrew linguistic skills cause him to make more than 20 interpretative errors of the Hebrew Bible. The glaring error being he cites Isaiah 7:14 as a messianic prophecy, which it is clearly is not. Further, he mistakes the Hebrew word ‘alma’ to mean virgin. Thus the Jesus myth of a virgin birth is nothing more than a translation error. Oops. I'll try to remember this argument when someone says the Bible is 100% the Word of God, or when the phrase Gospel Truth is used in polite conversation.

Luke, the only other gospel to mention virgin birth, does not make any reference to the prophecy as being the reason for Jesus’ non-sexual conception. Also, Luke writes that Jesus was born when Quirinius was the governor of Syria. You'll note that the problem is that Quirinius did not become governor of Syria until 10 years after the death of Herod, which messes up all the calenders. Either Matthew isn't correct when he says that Herod was king at the time of Jesus’ birth, or Luke is wrong. Weren't these guys in the same writer's meeting?

Despite extensive records of King Herod’s reign there is no mention of a baby killing edict of children under the age of two in the Bethlehem vicinity. Again, as Mel Brooks will tell you, it's just too Jewish. And despite extensive accounts of Caesar Augustus’ reign there are absolutely zero mentions anywhere that an empire wide census for which all citizens had to return to their ancestral home to register. You'd think there'd be a pamphlet or something laying around?

Just for fun, let's pretend that it did happen, how could such a thing ever logistically take place? You couldn't even pull that off today - have you been to the Denver airport for Thanksgiving? The Bible says that Joseph must return to Bethlehem because his ancestor David was born there, but David lived 1000 years before Joseph. So now every citizen living under the Roman empire was required to return to the homes of their ancestors from 1000 years ago? It seems that this whole bit about Jesus’ birth place to be in Bethlehem so to fill in a plot hole to match the prophecy of Micah 5:2...

But if you really stop and think about it, if Jesus was born to a virgin, then his genealogy, and specifically Joesph’s ancestry becomes irrelevant and therefore cannot be used to fulfill Old Testament prophecy. Why go through all the trouble to say that the Messiah descended from King David, if you're going to abandon the storyline next season? It's like that Russian hitman story in the Soprano's that they never tied up.

Matthew writes that Joseph was more than a little bit put out upon discovering that 14 year old Mary was pregnant. He retires to bed that night, presumably with intentions to kill her the next morning as per Mosaic Law, but an angel appears to him in a dream to comfort him that she is carrying the Holy Spirit’s child. Would the modern equivalent to this this would be Maury Povich? according to the New Testament, violates the laws of the Torah, which specify what constitutes adultery. Mary, according to the New Testament, did not conceive by her betrothed, Joseph. Therefore, she committed adultery "under law" (Deutronomy 22:23-24). As a result, the Christian claim that Jesus was born of a woman engaged to a man, yet had God as his father, must be considered to refer to an adulterous union.
Whereas Luke writes that Mary is unaware that she is pregnant but an angel appears to her to advise she is carrying God’s baby. I guess to ruin the surprise? In Galatians 4:4 Paul claims that "God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law."

And about that "born under Law" crack, if we go ahead and presume a birth without a man's assistance, we still have the problem that Jesus was not born in accordance with the Law. His birth, God's law does not allow for God to seduce a maiden, even through the medium of the Holy Spirit. What would be the worth of a moral code that is violated by God Himself? "Oh, it's okay if I do it..." The seduction of a female by a god fits, at best, in the realm of pagan mythology or the Phantom Menace. Such a statement made in reference to the God of Israel is an abomination. Ooops again.

Oh, and remember when Luke wrote that shepherds are lead to the new born baby Jesus by an angel that visited them in a nearby field? Matthew wrote something completely contradictory. Matthew wrote that three wise men are guided by a star from the east that leads them to Jerusalem. The star takes a breather. Starts up again and leads them to the very house that baby Jesus was born in. A star! Maybe it's one of those cute cartoon ones from Dora the Explorer? I have remarked earlier that it is also a question mark to the validity of this celestial apparition since it shows up in no other culture or record -- Specifically in China, Druid, or Inca, Aztec or Mayan - who were all excellent astronomers/astrologers. You'd think they'd made a note of it?

Another couple review notes, caroling, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, nativity scenes and candy canes, stockings and trees are all completely unrelated to Christmas - but somehow were adapted all the celebrating. Christmas cards are nothing more than 1843's answer to cutn'paste.

Well, happy day off everyone. I hope you enjoyed the Blasphemes's Advent Calender this year. I think I learned a lot - very much wish that everyone else did too.

Remember, Axial Tilt is the Reason for the Season!

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