Monday, December 07, 2009
Yes it's that time of year: the Nativity and the Press
USA Today has a recent article on the Nativity contrasting Borg and Crossan's view in their 2007 book The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus' Birth that Luke and Matthew shaped stories of Jesus' birth with Darrell Bock's notion that "early Christians would have taken the Nativity stories as historical accounts that tell us something real about Jesus; they are an important part of understanding who Jesus is." How we might know this isn't clear.
There's a "Living Nativity" on Staten Island and what looks like a wonderful display of international nativity carvings put on by the Mormons in Montgomery, Alabama. I am drawn, however to one in Tampa, Florida featuring a water buffalo as part of a 4-day event that has drawn thousands.
Some parents are spending too much money on "Manger chic," according to a News Lite article from the UK: A high-street store says parents are buying new bridesmaid dresses for angels, fleeced duffle coats for donkeys and jewelled turbans for the wise men. They claim that opting for a 'designer' nativity costume can easily take the cost from almost nothing to £50. In some cases they have seen parents are shelling out up to £150. Apparently, parents whose children have minor roles are outdoing the appearances of Mary and Joseph. Not sure about the "shepherd" shown here though.
Meantime, the BBC has announced that Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, will be one of the commentators in a forthcoming new series: The Bible, A History on Channel Four. Mr Adams is to investigate Jesus' teachings on love, forgiveness and repentance. Mr Adams, "as a former supporter of political violence" would also examine the "contradiction between Jesus' teachings and the involvement of Christians, and followers of other faiths, in conflict the world over". Can't wait...
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