pre-ref 52  

Ref. 52:
This reference is to a website page by Bridge Builders Christian Church (Sw.: Brobyggarna Kristen Församling) in Gothenburg.  The original article was published in The Gothenburg Post on January 2, 2002.  The article discusses some astonishing pronouncements by the Archbishop of the Swedish Church (Sw.: Svenska Kyrkan) 

Translated into your language the article reads (in part):  


Was not Jesus born by a chaste young woman, the virgin Mary?  Did it not happen in a manger in Bethlehem?  Was it not in connections with a census that Josef and Mary went there?  Did not the wise men come from the East, guided by a star, to behold the newborn King of the Jews?

If Archbishop KG Hammar, and his ‘Christmas Thoughts’ in TV1 on Christmas Eve, is to be believed  we cannot be certain today on one thing or another.  But instead to believe in the "Christmas Gospel" that the Archbishop presented, namely that

  • The talk about the virgin birth expresses a yearning of mankind, especially the Jews, to connect with God.
  • The attention surrounding Jesus’ birth is to be understood from the perspective of those days under oppression by the Romans.
  • Jesus was not the ‘only’ son – The Psalms describes Israel’s king as the son of God.  That Jesus would be so labeled has more to do with his qualifications than with a real divine recognition.
  • The visit by the wise men from the East is by and large an expression of mankind’s longing for a God than a historic fact.
When the representative for theology and the Church denies the authenticity of the historic facts left behind by the first eye witnesses, the apostles, then the testimonies from secular authorities invade us.  The British astronomers David Clark, John Parkinson and Richard Stephenson revealed a few years ago that they had plowed through all the astronomy historic documents of the world for the years 10 BC and 13 AD.  In the records of astronomy observations in China and Korea they had found information about a strange ‘nova’ that had been seen in the space above the Middle East about the year 4 BC, in other words at the time of the birth of Christ.

Unfortunately, the declarations by the Archbishop are not an accident in his line of duty.  Just the opposite.  It’s but one fragment of a bigger picture presented in his book published last year: ‘Ecce Homo-Jesus after two thousand years’.  Therein he basically rejects the authoritative sources about the historic events from which our Christian faith was born.  None of the information of what Jesus said and did need to be taken literally and seriously.

This denial of the authenticity of the Biblical record comes from the archbishop at a time when authoritative Swedish Bible research – using secular research method – has shown the opposite, namely the trustworthiness of the Biblical record. (See Professor Emeritus Birger Gerhardsson’s treatise ‘Memory and Manuscript’, 1961).

The fact that it is the archbishop himself who makes this denial, makes it so much harder to swallow.  The prefix of his  title (i.e. the ’Arch’ in Archbishop) suggests that he, more than any other person, is supposed to guard (episkopos) the pure faith and the untainted preaching of the Gospel.

By: Samuel Svensson, Pentecostal pastor and doctoral candidate in New Testament exegetic (Bible research that explains the books of the Bible).

For a look at the original text in Swedish click here (file size: 64 k)