CHRISTMYTHS

ESS Treasurer and science writer Steuart Campbell offers his observations on myths about the birth of Jesus Christ and suggests that schools should drop nativity plays and broaden their outlook

Historians and biblical scholars have long known that the Birth Narrative in Matthew and Luke (it doesn’t appear in either Mark or John), was invented to give Jesus a provenance commensurate with his deification. To do so they borrowed from other contemporary religions, where stories like that of the nativity could be found.
    Consequently, considering the high proportion of people who now have no religion, it is high time that schools dropped nativity plays and broadened their outlook (Scotsman ‘Fears for nativity plays at schools substitute footballers for baby Jesus’, 2 December).
    I was surprised that the chair of The Humanist Society of Scotland thinks nativity plays still relevant and that they show where ‘a religion comes from’. They do not show that in this case and are grossly misleading.

Letter to the Scotsman 2 December 2014. Not published but available at http://www.steuartcampbell.com/letters.html 

ESS Press and Communications Officer, Neil Barber, writes on the many other meanings of Yule in the Scotsman at the following link

http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/nativity-changes-1-3624369

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