If you like dubious conclusions based on largely irrelevant facts, well, this is the show for you. If I claimed that the messiah had been born in Leeds, and a star guided wise men from France, who brought him gold, frog's legs and snails, and left conflicting information over the date so it could have happened at any point in the nineties, in two thousand years time would anyone give me the credence that this show did to the writer of Matthew? If not why not? In 1997 the halle bop comet was visible over France and the UK, so that's the star sorted out. Plus in France frog's leg and snails are a popular delicacy so that's more "evidence" that there is something to my story.
Easy this myth making lark isn't it. The writer of Matthew associated frankincense and myrrh with the east, as I do frog leg's and snails with France. Thanks to he and the writer of Luke contradicting each other over the year of the birth (in Matthew its during the reign of Herod who died 4 B.C. in Luke, Quinnas is in an office he did not hold until 6 A.D) the Christians have got a ten year period to play with when trying to discover a "star" i.e. any celestial event that could be witnessed from the middle east, which by definition involves some sort of light in the sky. It would have been more surprising if the Christians had failed to find something to pass off as the star of Bethlehem. Why is this programmed giving any credence to the story of the wise men anyway. They are only mentioned by the writer of Matthew (they're not part of Luke's nativity, his featured the shepherds that Matthew forgets to mention)and they play a part in an event that was patently invented - the slaughter of the innocents.Which Luke, and secular sources, most notable Josephus's unfavourable biography, which outlines Herod's many actual crimes, make NO mention of. Of course the child in danger is a popular part of many religious stories so the writer of Matthew obviously didn't want Jesus to be left out. Who know though, maybe Matthew was more observant than the other gospel writers and all contemporary secular sources. I mean if it was not for Matthew's gospel we would no nothing of several deceased people rising from the dead, in the aftermath of Jesus's death, and strolling down into Jerusalem. Check your bible if you don't believe me. This programme could, and should, have been an impassive look at how the historical Jesus was sadly buried under a mound of myths and legends. Instead it is this years Walking with Dinosaurs. A chance for the BBC to show off it's new technology and enjoy a healthy return through overseas sales.
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