Tuesday, December 30, 2014

COG Heads Explode Over New Book Out Claiming Jesus' Birth Actually Being On December 25th.



There is a new book out debunking many of the pet theories of the various Armstrongite splinter groups that they use to defend their stance on not keeping Christmas. 

The book is entitled:  The Eternal City: Rome & and Origins of Catholic Christianity. by Taylor Marshall

Sadly, because this book is written from a Catholic point of view those steeped in the cult of Armstrongism will NEVER entertain a divergent view than what they were brought up with.  Never mind the fact that Marshall has more theological training than ANY of the COG leaders do.

Some of the points he discusses on his blog are:

Objection 1: December 25 was chosen in order to replace the pagan Roman festival of Saturnalia. Saturnalia was a popular winter festival and so the Catholic Church prudently substituted Christmas in its place.

Objection 2: December 25 was chosen to replace the pagan Roman holiday Natalis Solis Invicti which means “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.” 

Objection 3: Christ could not have been born in December since Saint Luke describes shepherds herding in the neighboring fields of Bethlehem. Shepherds do not herd during the winter. Thus, Christ was not born in winter. 





19 comments:

Anonymous said...

a few other items of interest from his blog:

1.Why You Should Wear the Miraculous Medal
2.Padre Pio’s Mysterious Encounters with Souls from Purgatory
3.How to Spring a Soul from Purgatory in 4 Steps
4.The Four Sins that Cry to Heaven (America Has Failed Four for Four)
5.Clapping in the Liturgy? Pope Benedict weighs in…
6.Which Act of Contrition Should We Pray in Confession?
7.How the Stigmata of St Francis differed from that of St Pio (fleshy nails)
8.Should We Say Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit? Is there a difference?
9.6 Reasons Why Contraception is Sinful and Contrary to God’s Will


and we're supposed to take him seriously when he says Jesus was born on Dec. 25???

Anonymous said...

Another book that has a lot of fundy heads exploding is Richard Carrier's, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Richard Carrier got his Ph.D. from Columbia in ancient history, and also has a lot more training than any COG leader has ever had.

On the Historicity of Jesus makes the mythicist case, that Jesus never existed as a literal human being, in the same way that the hero gods of many other religions never existed, though they too had stories written about them walking the earth and interacting with literal historical figures. It's actually the second part of a two-volume whole, the first part being, Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus, in which he explains how poorly the historicist case has actually been made, because it has only ever been made using criteria-based methods:

"All criteria-based methods suffer this same defect, which I call the ‘Threshold Problem‘: At what point does meeting any number of criteria warrant the conclusion that some detail is probably historical? Is meeting one enough? Or two? Or three? Do all the criteria carry the same weight? Does every instance of meeting the same criterion carry the same weight? And what do we do when there is evidence both for and against the same conclusion?
...
The quest for the historical Jesus has failed spectacularly. Several times. Historians now even count the number of times. With the latest quest (numbered “the third") and its introduction of criteria, the concept of Jesus we're supposed to believe existed is actually getting more confused and uncertain the more scholars study it, rather than the other way around.
...
More importantly, the many contradictory versions of Jesus now confidently touted by different Jesus scholars are all so very plausible—yet not all can be true. In fact, as only one can be (and that at most), almost all must be false. So the establishment of this kind of "strong plausibility" has been decisively proved not to be a reliable indicator of the truth.
"

Carrier then explains how to use Bayes's Theorem to assess the probability of historical claims, why it's so much better than any other method at removing one's biases (proof from criteria just winds up confirming your biases), and why the historicist position, which has never really been made, needs to be.

Though the mythicist view is at present a minority one, what will happen if a better Bayesian case can be made for it than for the historical view, and serious historians begin to conclude that Jesus was no more literal than Mithra, Osiris, or Jupiter Dolichenus? Some christians, like John Spong, will be okay with it. Other christians, even serious scholars, will fight it tooth and nail, until they are gone, and others come along who have never known anything else, to replace them.

Byker Bob said...

One of the things I've noticed over the years about Armstrongites is that the average member has a real shallow fund of knowledge surrounding the processes which went on during the early centuries of chuch history, or even the cast of characters involved.

As examples, in their descriptions, most of the members will roll the decisions from the later Council at Laodicea into the Nicean Council, they attribute some of the activities of Theodosius to Constantine, and they don't even realize what Constantine did to actually elliminate paganism after moving his headquarters to Constantinople. They know certain buzz names from hearing them for so many years in sermons, but are really just repeating a bare skeleton of the apologetics used to support Armstrongism.

There is certainly effort put into understanding the symbolism of the seasons as they relate to the Old Testament holy days, but abyssimal failure in understanding the meaning of the winter solstice as the beginning of rebirth from the depth of winter. This was an annual celestial event, on the same level as supporting events for the holy days, such as the first crescent of the moon, or the wave sheaf! It actually makes sense that rebirth would be symbolized by rebirth! But, they invoke the "P" word, and reject the marvelous symbolism which would be underscored by Jesus' birth during that time. The birth of Messiah was an event that all of God's people had looked forward to for centuries. Yet Herbert Armstrong reduced it to being an unknowable gap, a blank spot, not commemorated or celebrated. And, the most pathetic aspect to this is that by their own methodology, the pagan "god-children" who were allegedly born thousands of years previously at this time of the year could easily have been seen not as reason to eschew Christmas, but as Satan's advance counterfeits! They certainly were not above invoking this methodology when it suited other of their purposes!

There is a wealth of information available on the internet, but one must be careful. I recently attempted a study on Nimrod, and most of what came up in response to my Google searches were apologetic sites, with not so much as a footnote! All manner of unprovable activities were ascribed to him, and most had no idea that Nimrod and Semiramis didn't even live during the same century!

BB

old EXPCG hag said...

You really cannot disprove facts...

The Nativity

According to Luke 1:24-26, Mary conceived Jesus in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy with John the Baptist. This means that Jesus was born 15 months after the angel Gabriel appeared to Elizabeth's husband, Zacharias, and informed him that his wife would bear a child.

According to Luke 1:5, Zacharias was a priest of the division of Abijah. Luke 1:8 says that Gabriel appeared to Zacharias while he was serving as a priest in the Temple.

We know from the Talmud and other sources that the division of Abijah served as priests during the second half of the fourth month of the Jewish religious calendar — which would have put it in late June (the Jewish religious calendar begins in March with Passover).

Fifteen months later would place the birth of Jesus in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. That would be in the fall of the year, in either late September or early October. His conception, not His birth, would have occurred in December of the previous year.

The seventh month of the Jewish calendar is the month of the Feast of Tabernacles. John 1:14, speaking of Jesus as the Word, says: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth." The word "dwelt" that is used here is the Greek word "skenoo" which literally means "to tabernacle"!

So, when God came to earth to tabernacle among Men it appears that He timed His arrival in the Bethlehem manger to coincide with the Feast of Tabernacles. That was only appropriate, for the Feast of Tabernacles is the most joyous of all the Jewish feasts. It is, in fact, their feast of thanksgiving.

The total meaning of that feast will not be fulfilled until the Lord returns again to tabernacle among Men for a thousand years while He reigns over the earth from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. Isn't the Word of God marvelous?

note: This was copied from http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_first3.php

Anonymous said...

"COG Heads Explode..."

LOL! That makes me think of the scenes in the movie Mars Attacks, where Grandma's music makes the martians' heads explode!

Anonymous said...

Uh, say, old EXPCG hag --

The sequence of events you shared is reasonable enough -- I've heard it before -- a classic of calm, "reasoned" anti-Christmas "logic" of a type many of us experienced. However . . .

BAD ASSUMPTION RIGHT AT THE START: that Elizabeth conceived RIGHT AFTER Zacharias finished his term of service. The Scriptural narrative is not specific about this.

Anonymous said...

Since the Talmud was compiled well after Judea Capta, I'm not sure the attestations to what would have been practice in the previous century would be particularly reliable in all cases?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:50 loves to pick and choose, so...

...I sure hope he/she doesn't deviate from the two Herbert-approved positions for sex. Because then we wouldn't be able to take him/her seriously, would we?

Or do certain religious ideas not necessarily cancel out others? It's all SO confusing....

:)

A said...

1. Christ could not have been born during feast seasons as they must be held in Jerusalem. There would have been uprisings if Jews were forced to return to home towns for a census.
2. Farmers could not/would not leave farms etc for a census during harvest/planting times.
3. Winter was the only time when there was little to do and families could make Augustus Caesar's trip to their home towns to be counted.

4. Sheep are always grazed outdoors, not kept in hotels for the winter. They are simply kept closer to home...hence they were in fields just by Bethlehem and not in the wilderness. This is why sheep grow massive woolen coats for winter.

I am an active member of church of God. I just know what I know.

The date of birth could be set from the course of Abijah.

It isn't just a matter of theological knowledge. My knowledge comes from just good sense and recognizing bad arguments when I hear them.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Say, can anyone answer this one little question:

If the Sabbath begins at sundown at night time, why wouldn't the beginning of the year be in the winter?

Isn't having the beginning of the year in spring equivalent to beginning the Sabbath at sunrise?

Just a question.

Anonymous said...

In his new calendar, Julius Caesar decreed that the year start on Jan 1 thanks to his favor of the god Janus, but not all Christians in later centuries
bought into that- some delayed the start of the new year until the Annunciation (March 25- 9 months before Dec 25). Pope Gregory settled the matter by
siding with Caesar, but he concocted a Christian justification: Jan 1 is the 8th day counting from Dec 25 and would represent the day Jesus was to be
circumcised and formally presented at the Temple.

The Bible says Christ's empty tomb was discovered on 1st Sunday after Passover, but Easter doesn't always follow Passover on the Jewish calendar...
Folks at the Council of Nicaea didn't want to be bound to a debated-to-this-day Jewish calendar, so they concocted a Christian reckoning for Passover-
the first full moon after the equinox (Moon on or after Mar 21) with Easter being the 1st Sunday after that.

Herbie said Christ was born in the Fall, so that probably makes it wrong right out of the chute. Someone mentioned earlier that the Census would
not likely have been called near the FOT and that's a good point against Christ's birth at that time. Since no one agreed for sure when Christ was
born, early folks might have manufactured yet another Christian justification: Chanukah (starting on 25th of Kislev) is also known as the Feast of
Lights, and Jesus claimed to be the light of the world, and the Hebrew month Kislev falls on or just before Dec, so let's just declare Christian
Chanukah to be Dec 25 and to hell with Saturnalia or whatever. Just another theory...

Ronco

old EXPCG hag said...

Anonymous said...

Uh, say, old EXPCG hag --

The sequence of events you shared is reasonable enough -- I've heard it before -- a classic of calm, "reasoned" anti-Christmas "logic" of a type many of us experienced. However . . .

BAD ASSUMPTION RIGHT AT THE START: that Elizabeth conceived RIGHT AFTER Zacharias finished his term of service. The Scriptural narrative is not specific about this.

December 31, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Uh, say, Anonymous--

Well then, tell me this is a BAD ASSUMPTION RIGHT AT THE START: People that post as Anonymous, usually do so because they are HIDING...don't want anyone to know who they are for one reason or another but the underlying intention is to HIDE,as in >AFRAID<

Marina Jackman said...

No Hag, people post anonymously because there are spies and gossips and because exposure on the net with real names can damage careers and jobs.
People have a right to anonymity. People have a right to privacy too. Calling them cowards is a tactic used to bait them into declaring who they are.
A name like Old Expcg Hag is hardly much more than anonymous either, unless you are telling us that is actually on your birth certificate.

old EXPCG hag said...

To Jackman said..

Why would you even want to post at all if you have that many fears and phobias?

Marina Jackman said...

You don't use your own name, why? Are you afraid? Do you have a phobia?
Or are you simply preserving your privacy?

Your pseudonym is the same as 'anonymous'.

What you label as fear and phobia can just be good sense in this day of intense scrutiny.

Marina Jackman said...

" Anonymous said...

a few other items of interest from his blog:"

This list you personally do not agree with does not negate historical facts.

old EXPCG hag said...

Marina Jackman said...

You don't use your own name, why? Are you afraid? Do you have a phobia?
Or are you simply preserving your privacy?

Your pseudonym is the same as 'anonymous'.

What you label as fear and phobia can just be good sense in this day of intense scrutiny.

January 4, 2015 at 6:02 AM

OPEN MOUTH...INSERT YOUR BIG FAT FOOT!

Have you ever clicked on my call name Jackman? If you had, you would see my name Jackman. This IS my name (middle name)...Jackman. And look, Jackman you see my wonderful smiling face right back at you Jackman. Now PROVE this is YOUR real name Jackman...because it sounds REAL PHONEY...JACKMAN!!!.

Marina Jackman said...

Old hag,
I need prove nothing.
I can post with a pseudonym or as anonymous if I see fit.
Your insistance notwithstanding.
Whether you like my surname or not, or if I have an internet presence or not is no one's business. I am not selling anything, requesting anything, just adding my 2cents to a discussion.
If my comments are of use, good and if not, no one has to bother reading them.

old EXPCG hag said...

Marina Jackman said...

Old hag,
I need prove nothing.
I can post with a pseudonym or as anonymous if I see fit.
Your insistance notwithstanding.
Whether you like my surname or not, or if I have an internet presence or not is no one's business. I am not selling anything, requesting anything, just adding my 2cents to a discussion.
If my comments are of use, good and if not, no one has to bother reading them.

January 4, 2015 at 3:16 PM

Jackman...Don't get on here and accuse me of things if you don't want to hear back from me because I will defend myself. Now Jackman if you just got on here to try and stir things up, it's getting a little old. I realize your young so I'll take that into consideration as I have been looking you up and your really very easy to find. Why don't we just end this going nowhere feud now, OK? Shalom.