2014 Nativity Blogs as a PDF

All of the blogs I posted throughout the Nativity Fast and Christmas Feast related to the birth of Jesus Christ are now available in one document at 2014 Nativity Blogs as a PDF.

You can find links to all my blog series as PDFs at Fr. Ted’s Blog Series.

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2 thoughts on “2014 Nativity Blogs as a PDF

  1. guy

    Father,

    i was just wondering–what do Orthodox Christians believe about the historicity of the nativity accounts? –claims about everyone having to register in their birthplaces and leaders all being in power at the same time and so forth?

    –guy

    1. Fr. Ted

      I suppose in the 2000 years of Orthodoxy’s existence you might find Orthodox writers believing many different things, not all of them compatible with one another. I would say the consensus is probably most believed on some level the historicity of the events described. However, most Orthodox writers also tended to regard the theological/spiritual meanings of scriptural events as being the true witness of scripture. So they probably assumed the events were historical but that may not have completely mattered to them as they were more interested in the theological truth of Jesus Christ rather than in every factual detail. Some no doubt went out of their way to try to harmonize every detail of the four Gospel writers with each other and with historical fact. Some were worried that any factual inaccuracy might call into question the truth of the entire New Testament. But many saw the scriptures as significant because they bore witness to Christ. Some occasional note a discrepancy and may try to harmonize or gloss over such things. The church interesting actually liturgically celebrates the discrepancies – accepting different accounts of the same event and celebrating them. One that comes to mind is on Holy Friday celebrating the Noble Joseph preparing Christ’s body for burial on Holy Friday but then on the 2nd Sunday after Pascha celebrating the Myrrhbearing women going to the tomb to do the rites regarding burial because they haven’t been done. We don’t have to choose between the two versions, we celebrate both in the Church.

      The ancients did not always have the same requirements for historicity and factualness as we moderns do, so it is sometimes hard to know what they would have thought about our questions and concerns. They don’t ask some of the questions we think are so essential.

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