Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Why one man refused to celebrate Christmas the way some do – Part 2

Published:Saturday | January 7, 2017 | 1:00 AMTamara Bailey

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

In continuing to look at the myths surrounding the birth of Jesus and the traditional Christmas celebrations, these are the reasons why Nicordo Wilson says he simply cannot regard the season as many do, having been armed with the truth.

Last week, we looked at Myth #1 - Jesus born in a stable - and this week, the graduate student from Northern Caribbean University (NCU) will explain two other myths.

He says a common myth is that Jesus was visited by three kings.

"The visit of a group of men who followed a star in the north is intimately connected to Christmas traditions. Within many circles, the hymn We Three Kings is sung and often used as a means of reflection. This hymn echoes the sentiments that three kings visited the baby Jesus."

According to Wilson, the book of Matthew must be visited for the biblical account.

"Firstly, these men were not kings, but were 'magi'. E. W. Bullinger in his work A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament posits that the word 'magi' is of Persian origin and was used for the characterisation of a member of a class of priests and wise men whose learning was chiefly astronomy, astrology and enchantment. Understandably, Matthew employs and makes use of the word in this context."

He continued, "There is, therefore, little to no biblical evidence for identifying them as kings. In addition, none of the early church fathers suggested that the 'magi' were kings.

The second thing we discover is that since the plural form of the word is employed by Matthew, there were apparently at least two men, and there could have been more - even several more. The Bible simply mentions three costly gifts which they presented - gold, frankincense and myrrh - but this does not necessarily indicate the number of 'magi'."

Wilson also says that according to law readers and scribes, by the time Jesus was visited, he would have been a walking and talking toddler and not a newborn.

DIFFERENT STORY

Over the years, we have held dear to the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus, but Wilson is dispelling quite a few, even material that purports that Mary arrived in Bethlehem the night she gave birth.

"The story in Luke seemingly suggests that this is what happened based on the wording - 'there was no room for them in the inn'. However, doesn't that paint a cold and selfish picture of the citizens of Bethlehem? The book Holy Axiom: Truth Exposed helps us to understand that they arrived in Bethlehem a few days or weeks before the child was due. This is demonstrated by an in-depth analysis of chapter 2:6," Wilson stated.

He explained that with new media promoting misinterpretations and skewed accounts of Bible stories, it is imperative that individuals seek truth from the Bible.

"It is important for us to test everything we hear, see or even know against the biblical account. The final source of authority on any matter is the Bible. Secondly, regardless of human misconceptions, which are many, the actual facts about Jesus are more marvellous than anyone can imagine. The person Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem, conceived by Mary and lived as an itinerant teacher leading others to find hope and joy," he ended.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com