Brushfire of Freedom
The Irritable Pundit
Most of you know that I am Jewish. I have not been terribly shy about it. Having said that, I have a son, and a best friend, and many dear loved ones & extended family that are not. So for them let me skip all politics, put aside all irritation, and say, "Merry Christmas".
Of course, you know I can't simply leave it at that. It is not my nature. So how about this?
Dates, and the reading & inter comparing between various calendars (Gregorian, Hebrew, Chinese et al…) as well as the basis & types of time/date/star measurements is an inexact science at best. This is most especially true as relating to Historical accounts greater than one thousand years old, where that account may be based on years-old eye witness testimonies or even oral legends that were shared for hundreds of years before their eventual scribing and subsequently error-prone rescribing. So how likely are you to successfully compare these tenuous measurements between foreign cultures, with all the language and inference issues implied?
Well, "Good luck with that."
If anyone gives you such a comparison that is perfect to the day/month or even year between those cultures, they are most likely wrong. It just can't happen (except by wild coincidence) simply by the inexactitudes of the method of capture, recollection itself, and interpretation. This doesn't even touch the unrestrained romantic dating rife in virtually all early cultures, whereby the great "Lord Whatshisname" was generally paying the little fellow who wrote the history. Events were often recorded as "In year 1 of the rule of the great Lord Whatshisname" or whatever was most auspicious for the leader in question. Fudging a season (or even a year or two) was nothing compared to the anger or gratitude of Lord Whatshisname.
In fact, if you can cross-date an event between cultures within half a generation (10 years) you've don't quite well -- spectacularly so. That's why I've always found the concisely documented Chinese & Korean chronicles of a virtually stationary comet in 5 & 4 BC (respectively) to be quite powerful. From a timing perspective, those 2 accounts are far too close to ignore -- as close to "dead spot on" as is possible within Mankind's historical record. They are a bulls-eye more compelling than if the dates had matched perfectly. The minor differences between these completely separated records are why they are believable.
For the rest of the story, it isn't for me to say. It's not my religion and I simply can't presume. But a stationary star appearing in the East at approximately the same time as another story from the Christian Bible?
Yes. I do not question that for a second.
Merry Christmas all.
See you next week! IP
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