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Dr.Bedlam

Things I Hate About Christmas

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Things I dislike, besides the obvious maddening Stupid People And Maddening Songs:

 

1.  The Magi were Parthian, not European.  Stop drawing them as flowingly-bearded Italians.

1a.  We don't know how many there were.  Please stop insisting on two Caucasian and one African, plus obligatory camel, in your promotional materials.

2.  Same with Mary and Joseph.

3.  Jesus was probably neither white nor glowing.

4.  The Magi were NOT AT THE MANGER, so please, Church sunday school curricula, STOP PUTTING THEM THERE.

 

I ended up doing Sunday School last Sunday due to a lapse in scheduling for the traditional service.  I ended up ad-libbing a kids' gospel message from the historical and theological context and implications of The Massacre of the Innocents.

Don't forget that according to astronomers, Jesus would have been born sometime between March and June...

 

I was about to say. If we want to be terribly technical about who was there for the manger display, shouldn't be technical about Jesus being born in Springtime, rather than at the Winter Solstice (or, to be even more precise, Saturnalia)? I mean, we're all kinds of inaccurate at this end of the year, so it's not like it matters.

 

And I'll have you know my manger display has three camels, a lion, a polar bear, and tiger! Because everyone wanted to be at the birth of Christ! :lol:

 

 

Edited for added italic emphasis ^_^

Edited by redambrosia
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Things I dislike, besides the obvious maddening Stupid People And Maddening Songs:

 

1.  The Magi were Parthian, not European.  Stop drawing them as flowingly-bearded Italians.

1a.  We don't know how many there were.  Please stop insisting on two Caucasian and one African, plus obligatory camel, in your promotional materials.

2.  Same with Mary and Joseph.

3.  Jesus was probably neither white nor glowing.

4.  The Magi were NOT AT THE MANGER, so please, Church sunday school curricula, STOP PUTTING THEM THERE.

 

I ended up doing Sunday School last Sunday due to a lapse in scheduling for the traditional service.  I ended up ad-libbing a kids' gospel message from the historical and theological context and implications of The Massacre of the Innocents.

 

I saw a photo (from..  :unsure: .. an architectural dig?) of a middle eastern manger. It was a raised stone platform, with walls on two or three sides. It was the cube-age where hay was piled inside the stable. So, the little crib-like, medieval manger should probably go on the anachronisms list.

 

So, if the story is that the innkeeper (completely out of rooms) put the very pregnant lady in the stable, and the heap of hay it contained was the warmest most comfortable option available...

 

...camels and assorted other beasts of burden (Joseph's donkey?) sound historically appropriate.

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As for birth dates, December 25th was the birthday of Mithras, an important rival religion to Christianity in Roman times.

 

It clearly got assimilated along with various other religion's accouterments.

 

I think is was known quite some time ago, and may have been part of why the English and Puritans banned Christmas celebrations as, well, kind of pagan.

 

There's a reason why most English and all American Christmas traditions trace back to Germany date to the 1840s or later when German Prince Albert brought his family's love of Christmas into the English royal family.

 

Which is also why Colonial Williamsburg's Christmas extravaganza is ahistorical and utterly fictional. They had to make it up, because no one at the time did much especially.

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Yeah, I've always found it funny how A bunch of scholars from the east almost always end up looking like some dudes from the west, or south wearing what I think looks more Moorish clothing than anything.

 

Also, the three gifts mentioned where actually very symbolic, and may or may not have actually been the gifts, or parts of gifts given. Especially the frankincense and myrrh. Frankincense was for anointing a leader, priest, or king, and myrrh was for anointing the dead for burial. Other than the gold, not really the sorts of valuables that one is inclined to give.

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Yes, which makes sense. Does make one wonder just how literal one should take the gifts of the magi as recorded. It is after all, quite likely that whatever the gifts where they where sold, at least in part, to live on while they where away from Judea.

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So, if the story is that the innkeeper (completely out of rooms) put the very pregnant lady in the stable, and the heap of hay it contained was the warmest most comfortable option available...

 

...camels and assorted other beasts of burden (Joseph's donkey?) sound historically appropriate.

 

 

I have heard it postulated that a more accurate translation of the 'original' is "guest house" as opposed to "inn" and "store room" as opposed to "stable/manger".  With the story then being that Joseph went to the town of his family, only to find the family guest house already occupied by relatives, and was then put up on a cot in the store room instead.  

 

And how many of us have been in that situation on Christmas? Sleeping on a fold-out in the den or the spare room? 

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So, if the story is that the innkeeper (completely out of rooms) put the very pregnant lady in the stable, and the heap of hay it contained was the warmest most comfortable option available...

 

...camels and assorted other beasts of burden (Joseph's donkey?) sound historically appropriate.

 

 

I have heard it postulated that a more accurate translation of the 'original' is "guest house" as opposed to "inn" and "store room" as opposed to "stable/manger".  With the story then being that Joseph went to the town of his family, only to find the family guest house already occupied by relatives, and was then put up on a cot in the store room instead.  

 

And how many of us have been in that situation on Christmas? Sleeping on a fold-out in the den or the spare room? 

 

I read the bit in Luke that talks about this the other day on a webpage called bible-gateway.org (I think). Anyway they had about 12 translations to select from. I think it defaulted to something called NIV and the way it was phrased in that one it sounded rather like they tried the entire town and had to settle for space in a stable. Sorta like trying to get a hotel room on Superbowl weekend without reservations.

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NIV= The New international Version.

 

We have a dual King James - New International (KJV-NIV) that we've always called "Kiv-niv".

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I want a hippopotamus for Christmas just came on the radio here at the store, my first thought was "poor kid if they actually get one!" Especially since hippos cause more deaths in Africa each year than any other animal, including lions and crocodiles.

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~puts on theological historian hat~

 

At the time, Rome instituted a pretty much Empire wide census in order to tax the people of the provinces better. This is something we have a fair bit of information on from sources other than the Bible. In order to do this effectively, all men over a certain age had to go to the place their family comes from. It is suspected that rather than have the census takers go out to all the towns and villages, they made everyone come to the cities. For Joseph this was Bethlehem, which was a fairly major center in that time as he was of the lineage of David, who's family also came from that region. As a result of the census there where many hundreds of people travelling to a bunch of places. Some from nearby villages, many from further afield, and a few like Joseph who had to travel a long ways (something in the neighborhood of 60 miles on foot) So most of the city's population was there still, and then came the influx of people from outside the city. It really is no surprise that they could not find any place to stay. Also, what most people don't realize is that an Inn's stable was probably a clean, dry, and fairly pleasant place to stay for the short term. With the abundance of travelers, it might have had a fair number of animals, mostly donkeys, but because it was an Inn, inside the city, it would be kept very clean to prevent the smell from being a problem

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Mandatory office Christmas parties.

 

:rock:  Mandatory?  Really?  My workplace is having its Xmas party the same day as my friend is having his birthday party.  I told them I'm going to that instead.  One person doesn't believe me :rolleyes:  but whatever.  I would deliberately not go to a party deemed 'mandatory' lol!

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NIV= The New international Version.

 

We have a dual King James - New International (KJV-NIV) that we've always called "Kiv-niv".

 

That sounds nifty. Did they place each verse side-by-side in adjacent columns?

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NIV= The New international Version.

 

We have a dual King James - New International (KJV-NIV) that we've always called "Kiv-niv".

 

That sounds nifty. Did they place each verse side-by-side in adjacent columns?

 

It's interlinear, with Greek too.  Kind of huge and burdensome actually.

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