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If my people, who are called by my Name, humble themselves and pray (Part One)

The text, for those who have trouble with a rather individual cursive, reads as follows: Scandal after Scandal. No institution safe....

Friday, 20 September 2013

Chag Sameach and Merry Christmas!

Oh yes. Finally, I've got to Succoth, and have I got some treats for you? You'd better believe it.

First off, there is £20.00 for anyone who can prove, from the New Testament, that Jesus was born in a stable. Bear in mind that the 'inn' was a guest-room and the manger was, until recently, standard kitchen equipment across the Mediterranean and before then just about everywhere. You can email me, where it says 'Email me' on the right. I used to do this when I was teaching. I have never paid out yet.

People can live with that challenge, but what upsets everyone is the following: prove to me that Mary rode anywhere on a donkey. There is no donkey in the Birth stories of Jesus (The Christmas Story). That really gets people upset. Teachers don't like it because it messes up their unbiblical Nativity stories and the kids because they want a donkey. Sorry, no deal until Passover.

So where did that stable come from?

christmas nativity photo: Nativity Nativity.jpg

You can view the second, by Edward Burne-Jones in Birmingham Art Gallery. Make the trip. It's worth it.

Now take a look at a  couple of Succoth booths

Notice the similarity between the pictures of the "stable" and the pictures of the booth. 

Take the Stable out of December, take it out of Mid-winter, take it out of Middle Europe and the Middle Ages. The cut-away is not to see the Nativity. It is how you build a Sukkah!

File:Sukkah meduvlelet.JPG
copyright Ori 229
The Gospel of John says, "And the Word became flesh and pitched His tent (a literal translation of  he Greek word) among us..." which is to say 'Tabernacled' . John 1:14

Put it another way. Take a sukkah, remove it from Israel and move the celebration to December 25th. In no time flat, you will get a strong tradition of a Stable that has no basis in scripture. Mistranslate 'guest-room' to inn and you have 'No room in the inn'.

What is worth noticing is that the Burne-Jones picture is more of a sukkah than a stable. He was part of the same artistic circle as Holman Hunt. You can see an axe in the bottom right. The small white flowers are 'Star of Bethlehem' You will note that the Star is being held by an angel. It is not meant to be a literal star.They knew more of the gospel in those days than many a Christian now. 
Matthew, from whose gospel the story of the Magi comes, was a Levite. He is paralleling their journey with  the journeys of Abraham and then the Israelites to the Promised Land. They are from the same area as Abram and they are led by a Light as were the Israelites.

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