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Christmas 2002 (delayed)
I remember the time when Christmas was Christmas. Christ-mass has become Santa Claus day, and even he is in trouble. Candidates for the job are being investigated to make sure they do not have a criminal record. The cult of fun has swept Latin America. Hundreds of young people have been killed in fires in night clubs in Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. The Church in Mexico has been rocked by a burst of publicity asserting that Juan Diego, recently canonized by the Pope, never existed. Posters proclaim "Juan Diego, 500 years of lies". This must be the work of the same anti-clerical movement which `produced the film "The Crime of Father Amaro".
In the US officials are careful to avoid references to Christianity. At a Washington ceremony, Lynne Cheney and two children were hoisted up in a huge cherry-picker to the top of the public Christmas tree for the topping of the tree, first done by Amy the daughter of President Carter. The topping consists of putting a large star on top of the tree, but of course no reference to the Star of Bethlehem. The tree in the White House will be decorated with birds from the fifty states. There were no birds in the original story, certainly not from the fifth states.
Jews were not as bothered by the separation of Church and state. Before an imposing "National Menorah" erected in a park (possibly private property). the Friends of Lubavich held a ceremony. I was led to find out more about this group. Here is a partial explanation, which seems to express a belief similar to that of Jews for Jesus:: "The Hebrew Roots Movement is based upon the false premise that the original Gospels were written in Hebrew, or possibly Aramaic, and that the Greek New Testament is a mere translation of Hebrew or Aramaic originals. The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, which has influenced the Messianic ministries on a broad scale, is a major source of this error. The theory of Hebrew originals of the Gospel accounts was propounded in a book published by the JSSR titled The Difficult Words of Jesus. Authors David Bivin and Roy Blizzard first cast doubt upon the original inspiration of the Greek gospels:
"Why are the words of Jesus that we find in the Synoptic Gospels so difficult to understand? The answer is that the original gospel that formed the basis for the Synoptic Gospels was first communicated, not in Greek, but in the Hebrew language. In spite of this, today's modern translations are all based upon a Greek text, derived from a still earlier Greek text, which is itself a translation of an original Hebrew Life of Jesus. This means that we are reading an English translation of a text which is in itself a translation. Since the Synoptic Gospels are derived from an original Hebrew text, we are constantly bumping into Hebrew expressions or idioms which are often meaningless in Greek, or in translations from the Greek.
"Our reasons for writing this book are not only to show that the original gospel was communicated in the Hebrew language; but to show that the entire New Testament can only be understood from a Hebrew perspective." 2. The JSSR is a non-Christian, Jesus-Seminar type of institution which has connections with and sponsors seminars for various Messianic and Hebrew Roots ministries such as Moriel Ministries and Messengers of Messiah. It is not surprising, therefore, that Peter Michas of Messengers of Messiah takes the position of the JSSR with respect to the lack of originality of the Greek gospels, as he expressed in the Preface of his book, The Rod of An Almond Tree in God's Master Plan".
Ronald Hilton - 1/1/03