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Nativity Nonsense: The Christmas Story

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Then there is the familiar story of the wise men coming from the east following a star. In Luke’s account there is no star; what we do have are shepherds watching their flocks by night which itself presents a problem. Shepherds are not out in the fields in December unless they have a death wish. But the yarn about the star itself should be looked at; here we have three “kings”, coming from the east, following a star from the east [can you follow a star that is behind you?]. Further, how is it that we have a star detaching itself from orbit, and no one, especially the Chinese astronomers who at this period were observing everything in the heavens, did not notice such an astounding and for many terrifying event? How did the Dogon of Mali or the Greek and Roman star-gazers fail to take note of this? Most Lay Xians are blissfully unaware that we are speaking about a period in which just about everything was documented and many of these historical documents are still around. Such abnormal phenomenon would certainly cause a noteworthy upheaval.

The American Atheists View Of This Star-Tale Is Worth Repeating Here:

How does one follow a star, anyway? If you start to follow a star, such as described here, shortly after its rising you will begin to head east (after all, it is said to have risen in the east). Thus, the Magi would have begun to head back home to Iran. By midnight, however, the star would have been south of our wise guys and the Magi would have been heading toward Saudi Arabia. As the night wore on toward morning, they would head westward toward the Mediterranean Sea. With the beginning of a new night of travel, this mad hatter behavior would replay again, the path of our unwise men describing a series of curlicues on the earth’s surface. Depending on how fast they walked how regular their rate, the absolute sizes of these curlicues would differ greatly, and the final destinations would be incredibly different.

Even allowing for the miraculous stopping of the star over the nativity scene — an impossibility of literally astronomical dimensions — how would the wise men know which house was under it? Every time they came to a house apparently under the star, if they just walked around to the other side of the house, they would find the star apparently had moved to be over the next house, and so on! If there are any true believers reading this message, I have a challenge. Tonight go out and try to follow a star — any star except the North Star. See where it gets you!

On second thought, don’t exclude the North Star. Go for it! When you get to Santa Claus’s house, give my regards to the elves.

It’s claimed that the Old Testament contains numerous prophecies foretelling the coming of Jesus. For instance, Matt. 2:23 speaks about Jesus and his parents returning from Egypt and going to Nazareth “this was to fulfil the words spoken through the prophet: ‘He shall be called a Nazarene'”. First off, the sect known as the Nazarenes were not given that name because of anything to do with Nazareth; judging by Roman maps, Nazareth did not even exist until the 4th century. Neither is there any such prophecy anywhere in the OT. Neither is there any credence in the view that Isaiah 7. V. 14 is foretelling Jesus’ birth by a virgin. The passage reads “Behold a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel”. However, the Hebrew text reads: “Behold the young woman [almah] is with child, and will give birth to a son, and she will call his name Emmanuel. This has nothing to do with any miraculous birth a few hundred years later. It is referring to a young woman who is already pregnant and it seems she has plans on naming him Emmanuel. Note that this passage was directed to King Ahaz and was not some reference to Jesus and Mary [who certainly did not name her child Emmanuel].

The term “virgin” also needs to be dealt with because, contrary to popular belief, it does not necessarily have to do with whether a woman had sexual intercourse. The Hebrews used two words to denote virgin – almah, which simply meant ‘a young woman’, and bathur which denoted a woman betrothed. The Greek writers, lacking a similar word in their vocabulary, used ‘parthenoi’ [hymen intact], thereby sowing the seeds for the misconception of the millennium. Also, in many traditional societies, ‘virginity had to do with one’s conduct, power, state of consciousness. So a woman who had five children would be called ‘virgin’ if here ways were pure, she embodied the values of the community, and every child she bore had an “Immaculate Conception”.

Another discrepancy has to do with Herod. Now we are told that Herod murdered every male child in a grisly attempt to eliminate the infant Jesus. Remember now, we are told that all this actually happened, it is not to be read allegorically [which it should have been]. So if Herod did indeed do all this then how could he have done it from beyond the grave, because this man did after all die in the year 4 BCE? Now Herod was indeed guilty of killing infant children – his own. These children were murdered so that there could be no legitimate challenger for the position of High Priest. Note also that the many chroniclers of Herod, such as Josephus, who never hesitated to point out Herod’s many crimes, made no mention of what would surely have been the piece-de-resistance. In fact given the nature of such a crime, someone, whether in Syria, Rome, India or Egypt was bound to have recorded it. But we have nothing at all.

But wait, it gets better; Jesus was a baby during the reign of Herod and Quirinius, governor of Syria. Another problem arises here; if Herod died in the year 4 BCE and Quirinius did not become governor until the year 7 CE, Jesus remained a baby for 11-odd years! Then we have the census to deal with, the same census where “all the world” [the whole world?] was to be taxed. What census was this? We have no record of any empire-wide census by Augustus and Quirinius did conduct a census, but it was in Judea, not Galilee. And, given the militancy of the Hebrews, they would have been moving away from their villages, not towards them. Had the authors and redactors been more versed in history, they would have gotten away with it. Further, had the Romans really conducted a census and instructed everyone return to his ancestral village and city, the Empire would have collapsed. What with the state of transport in those days, having Spaniards return to Spain from Egypt, Africans returning to Egypt, Carthage, etc, it would have been utter chaos.

The purpose was not to mock anyone’s religious beliefs [though it could do with a kick in the backside], my aim as always is to shed some light on certain aspects of history so that there could be some discussion, research and deep introspection. Faith is no excuse for ignorance. The insistence by Eurocentric religious authorities that we simply accept these biblical stories on the basis of faith [the implication here is that these events are to be taken as historical] had and still has nothing to do with any god or piety. It has everything to do with political power and who holds it. This has been noted not only by Africentric scholars such as Dr. Marimba Ani but by such outstanding Eurocentric religious scholars as Elaine Pagels and Robert Eisenman.

In another article I hope to expand upon the allegorical interpretation of the Nativity by showing its origin in the Egyptian funerary rituals and that culture’s astronomical observations.

 

By: Corey Gilkes

Suggested reading

¨ Echoes of the Old Darkland -Charles S Finch
¨ ANCIENT EGYPT: The Light of the World– [2 vols.] Gerald Massey
¨ Gerald Massey’s Lectures – Gerald Massey
¨ African Origins of Major “Western Religions” – Yosef ben-Jochannan
¨ Black Man of the Nile – Yosef ben-Jochannan
¨ African Origins of the Major World Religions – Amon Sakaana [Ed]
¨ Civilization or Barbarism – Cheikh Anta Diop
¨ The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality – Cheikh Anta Diop
¨ Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth – John Jackson
¨ Man, God, And Civilization – John Jackson
¨ Pagan and Christian creeds – Edward Carpenter
¨ The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviours Christianity Before Christ – Kersey Greaves
¨ The Passover Plot – Hugh Schonfield
¨ African Presence in Early Europe – Ivan Van Sertima
¨ African Presence in Early Asia – Runuko Rashidi, Ivan Van Sertima
¨ Egypt Revisited – Ivan Van Sertima
¨ Rituals of Power & Rebellion – Hollis Liverpool
¨ Who is this King of Glory? – Alvin Boyd Kuhn
¨ Forgery in Christianity – Joseph Wheless
¨ The Dark Side of Christian History – Helen Ellerbie
¨ The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets – Barbara G Walker
¨ Sex and Race: A History of White, Negro, and Indian Miscegenation in the Two Americas [vol. 1] – J A Rogers
¨ When God Was a Woman – Merlin Stone
¨ The Dictionary of Bible and Religion– Stan Getz
¨ The Gods of the Egyptians – Sir E A Wallis-Budge
¨ The Theban Recension – E A Wallis-Budge
¨ From Fetish to God in Ancient Egypt – E A Wallis-Budge
¨ The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Ani – E A Wallis-Budge
¨ The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion [13 vols.] – James Frazer
¨ Black Athena [vol. 1] – Martin Bernal

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