Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Know Which Christmas Story I Believe

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Know Which Christmas Story I Believe

Article excerpt

Byline: MELANIE MCDONAGH

THE season of goodwill is on us. Cue, then, for the BBC to sow doubt and confusion in the minds of believers with a programme about the Virgin Mary, suggesting that, in fact, she wasn't a virgin at all.

In The Virgin Mary, on Sunday, there were theologians saying that Christ was born of God in a very real sense, but not in a vulgar literal sense. Then there were scholars who had dredged up early polemics against Christianity for an alternative take on the Virgin Birth - Christ was illegitimate, or the result of Mary's rape by a Roman soldier called Panthera, a theory put forward by a scholar named Jane Schaberg several years ago.

In other words, we're presented with an alternative series of myths and speculation to replace the unsettlingly literal Gospel accounts of Christ's conception by Matthew and Luke. But because our myths and speculation are modern, they're bound to be truer, more plausible, at least so far as documentary-makers are concerned. …

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