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


Terrence Berres said...

The CNS account says "The Vatican office in charge of the creche's construction originally had taken its inspiration from an account in Matthew's Gospel: 'When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.'" That sounds more like bad proof-texting than scholarship. Matthew 2:1 says Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

Maybe people need to be brought out of the 20th century.

Faithful Catholic said...

TB, usually I view you as more well-balanced than others, but you seem to have had trouble reading ALL of the article from CNS, such as the lines where it referred to how there "was the revision of an earlier description by the Vatican which had planned to place the birth of Christ in Joseph's house in Nazareth." I thought what the Vatican said was gold among the conservative Catholic element. Welcome to the cafeteria, I guess.

Terrence Berres said...

In your earlier post, and this one, you endorsed the claim that Jesus was born in Nazareth, but did not point to any specific basis for it. The CNS article you linked in this post gives two sentences from Matthew's gospel as the only basis for this. So why do you (or you and "20th century biblical scholarship") dismiss Matthew 2:1?

Dad29 said...

Terry, de-mythologizing Mt. has been Priority #1 for the Bultmann crowd since....Bultmann.

CW may or may not actually know that, but that's the genesis of this folly about Nazareth.

Terrence Berres said...

Farrer: "There's no greater theological myth than Q."

Holtzmann: "Than Q?!"

Farrer: "You're welcome."