Friday, January 02, 2009

The Stupidity of Scholars

Sometimes scholars, for all their intelligence, haven't got the wit they were born with. While comprehending vast mysteries beyond most of us, they cannot get their heads around simple things.

Take, as an example, a recent programme on television about Christmas. I can't remember what channel it was shown on - I was in bed with the flu, and was drifting in and out of conciousness at the time. Nevertheless, the scholars were debating whether Jesus was born in a stable, as we find in the common idea of the Christmas story. It was one of the regular stock of anti-Bible documentaries we see around Christmas time.

One scholar made the (helpful) point that Jesus was probably born in a cave, and that the manger would have been carved out of the rock, rather than a wee rickety wooden manger that we see on Christmas card images. All fair enough. But then another scholar came on and said that Matthew refers to the magi / wise men 'going into the house' (Matt 2:11). Well, Luke and Matthew can't both be right - someone must be lying, so there you go, once again you can't trust the Bible.

How annoying! Can they not see that there is some time delay between Luke's account of the birth of Jesus, in the stable, and that later on, by the time the wise men arrive and the crowds from the census have dispersed, the family have moved into a house in Bethlehem? Surely this seems entirely reasonable and sensible? Yet it may be beyond the scholars...

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