MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Defending the Faith

December 15th, 2004 Viewed 1486 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Defending the Faith

Wooden NativityThe headline to the December 13th issue of Newsweek is: “Religion: The Birth of Jesus

From Mary to the manger, how the Gospels mix faith and history to tell the Christmas story and make the case for Christ” I would like to take a break from our current study of contemporary Christian issues to look at this reading. I will probably address this with multiple posts, so make sure you read all of it! The link to the entire article is http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6653824/site/newsweek/ . I will use some quotes, but if you want the story in context here it is. I also believe it is the cover story for the Dec 13 issue. We bgein…

Jesus Seminar

December 15th, 2004 Viewed 1190 times, 3 so far today
This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Defending the Faith

Wooden NativityThe next segment of the article, page 2, devotes a whole page to people who do not agree with the Rev mentioned in the first page. Perhaps this is because the author believes that the common view is already out there enough that he needs to devote time to correct this view?

First, a little history of the Jesus Seminar (provided by The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict): p 562 under the section What is the Jesus Seminar?:

“The Jesus Seminar is a consortium of New Testament scholars… [they] meet twice a year to make pronouncements about the authenticity of the words and deeds of Christ. The seminar is comprised of liberal Catholics and Protestants, Jews and atheists.”

Second Vatican Council

December 15th, 2004 Viewed 1069 times
This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Defending the Faith

Wooden NativityThis next page of Meacham’s article starts with a pretty funny analogy. He said “In 1965, the Second Vatican Council held that while the Scriptures are ultimately “true,” they are not necessarily to be taken as accurate in the sense we might take an Associated Press wire report about what happened at a school-board meeting as accurate.” Now, I know the AP is considered pretty reliable, but I also know that they’re considered biased, just as Mr. Meacham. I digress… Here’s the summary of page 3:

Jesus’ Virgin Birth

December 22nd, 2004 Viewed 1498 times
This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Defending the Faith

Wooden NativityPage four.

From there, Meacham goes into how the virgin birth was a cause of ridicule in the early church times since people thought poorly of Christianity for it. He then introduces the claim that maybe Jesus was born to Mary and Panthera, a soldier. The account continues that Jesus picked up magic tricks in Egypt that he then used to proclaim to be God. He recounts a gospel passage in John that speaks of the belief that Jesus was illegitimate. This would, Meacham explains, make the virgin birth a good cover story for Joseph having a child with Mary before they were married or covering up for an affair. Meacham then goes on to say that Matthew and John did a lot of work of attaching biblical prophecy to Jesus, taking passages from the Old Testament to authenticate the birth.

Where Are You From?

December 22nd, 2004 Viewed 941 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Defending the Faith

Wooden NativityPage 5:

Meacham next goes to address two different problems. The first problem is in the translation of Isaiah 7:14– he states that there are scholars that think the rendering of the passage should be “a young woman” not “the virgin.” The next problem is geography. According to the Old Testament prophecies, the Messiah would come from Bethleham, but many were objecting to Jesus being from Nazareth, so he said Matthew and Luke had to get them there. He states that Matthew has Mary and Joseph as residents of Bethleham that had to move to Nazareth. He also says that Matthew added dramatic flair going having them go to Egypt. He states that there is no historical evidence for the Herodian slaughter.

No Local Census?

December 28th, 2004 Viewed 1100 times
This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Defending the Faith

Wooden Nativity Page 6

Summary: Meacham starts out by saying that Luke has a problem in getting Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem since he has them living in Nazareth, so Luke apparently grabs at history to select an event– a census– to get Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. Meacham quotes Brown who claims that Luke’s history is “dubious on almost every score.” Meacham claims there was no global or local census.

Defending the Faith (A Little Help?)

December 28th, 2004 Viewed 947 times
This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Defending the Faith

Wooden NativityLate on the scene, Answers in Genesis also takes on this Newsweek and the Time article. They have some useful information too: Comments on Times and Newsweek from AiG

Global or Known World?

December 29th, 2004 Viewed 1562 times, 2 so far today
This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Defending the Faith

Wooden NativityPage 7

Summary: Meacham continues his comparison with Augustus but notes that there are no other stories in history/mythology that completely parallel the Annuciation. He goes on to say that Luke and Matthew would resonate with the people of the times because of the familiar stories, and that there were many factions within Christianity at the time. He starts to discuss the heresy of gnosticism and their beliefs. He closes stating that Christians have to know and address these “mysteries” and that Christianity is worth while despite them.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.