Monday, December 31, 2007

The "Virgin" Mary?

With tomorrow being The Solemnity of the Mary, Mother of God, I thought it may be appropriate to consider the virgin birth. While I disagree with atheist Paul Tobin's view of Jesus a whole, I think his view of the virgin birth is dead on.

1) The Isaiah 7:14 passage that Matthew and Luke use to "foretell" the virgin birth is a Greek mistranslation. In Hebrew it just means young girl.

2) The Isaiah passage refers a boy to born shortly, not some 700 years in the future after the death of Ahaz and Isaiah.

3) Neither Paul nor the Gospel of Mark, our earliest Christian sources mention the virgin birth.

4) It seems to be an import from the Roman mystery religions. It was a "creative" way for Matthew and Luke to demonstrate that Jesus was God's son.

Personally, I have no problem believing that Joseph and Mary had sex, conceived Jesus, and at conception, the Word became Flesh in a very special way that has never happened before or since, but I have a feeling that others may find that view horrific (but hopefully not).

Does it really matter to if Mary had a virgin birth within the greater scheme of the paschal mystery?

A Faithful Catholic

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Vatican Folds Under Pressure?

Last week, I was praising the Vatican for its scholarly honestly in its plans to portray the birth of Jesus in Nazareth via its annual Christmas creche. Per Catholic News Service, someone had the creche revised before its unveiling on December 24th to have the birth occur in Bethlehem instead, according to the tradition in Matthew's Gospel, that the holy family is from Bethlehem originally and did not travel there for the census (as in Luke's Gospel). As can be seen in my previous blog's comments, this is a surprisingly touchy subject, especially considering that I was praising the Vatican for its scholarly integrity. I received comments from distraught readers that for some reason were aimed at me instead of the Vatican that wanted to bring them into 20th century biblical scholarship.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jesus Had Christmas At Home In Nazareth

As reported at Catholic News, the Vatican creche this year depicts a scene of Jesus to be born at home. Whether this is at home in Nazareth or Bethlehem, Pier Carlo Cuscianna, director of technical services for Vatican City, did not say. His silence indicates that this creche represents Jesus being born at home in Nazareth, not Bethlehem.

What a breath of fresh air. The conflicting infancy stories in Matthew and Luke that both have Jesus being born in Bethlehem are beautiful, but obviously false. They were written in the creative spirit of the authors to fulfill Old Testament prophesies, but at some point we need to dispel the myths of our faith, so that we can look more honestly at the Gospels to see who Jesus really was.

So bravo to Pier Carlo! You made my Advent. This may also be a continuing sign that Benedict is truly a person of scholarly honesty.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, December 10, 2007

Can I Have Some of Your Kool-Aid Drew Mariani?

Last Wednesday afternoon, I made the mistake of turning on "Relevant" Radio. The Drew Mariani Show was on and Drew was trying to give me the special Kool-Aid. The show was on birth control. I believe that under most circumstances, the use of birth control is a good thing. Drew is of the traditional belief that birth control is an intrinsic evil - wrong in any circumstance.

He then explained that when you except birth control, you are not far from becoming pro-abortion, which means you are about to think that euthanasia is a good idea, which means that you are about to support genocide. Uh?

Logically then, since I think birth control is okay, I guess I also think that the genocide of all Native American tribes, Jews, Shiite Muslims, and any other group that I'm not a part of is a wonderful idea. The next logical conclusion is that almost every American would also think that genocide is okay. Unfortunately, he didn't explain at all how this sequence occurs, I would imagine because it does not make any sense. Also, if you look at my previous blog entry, the US and WI bishops appear to be swaying towards genocide themselves.

Someone please let me know when "Relevant" Radio is having another fundraising drive so that I can donate. (I'm being very sarcastic.)

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, December 3, 2007