Christians outraged with BBC nativity drama
Christians have reacted angrily to a BBC production which portrayed the Virgin Mary as a prostitute.
According to the Daily Express, the Church of England has labelled the four-part nativity drama a "gritty interpretation". Written by Tony Jordan, who produces the script for EastEnders, the programmes see 15-year-old Mary attacked by people who do not believe that she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
Stephen Green, of the ministry Christian Voice, said that there was no justification for this version of the nativity story. "The BBC can't help themselves. Three-quarters of our population are Christian. At the BBC, this proportion is reversed." He said that the BBC was made up of a "huge proportion of militant, liberal atheists". "They wouldn't mock the birth of Muhammad , or anything to do with his life story. They wouldn’t ridicule Hinduism or Sikhism, but Christianity is their big target." This echoes other complaints about the way the broadcaster portrays Christianity.
Last year an ex-BBC presenter Don Maclean claimed that the BBC failed to show churches in a positive light, saying: "They seem to take the negative angle every time. They don't do that if they're doing programmes on Islam. Programmes on Islam are always supportive."
Posted by Amanda Hopkins
posted by Peter Steel on 21-12-2010
Yes I have complained on many occasions to the BBC about how they portray Christianity. This is just another example of how Satanic this institution is now and how far they have fallen in their standards. Why don`t they put on a program about how Mohammad married a girl called Aisha when she was 6-years-old and consummated his marriage with her when she was 9. Surely this is child molesting! But they won`t do this because of the backlash. This has more truth than a purely fictional story about Mary being a prostitute.
posted by Andrew on 21-12-2010
I don't doubt that in times such as those when Jesus was born that people would be very suspicious of a woman who fell pregnant by anyone other than their husband, as they are today, be it the man next door or the Holy Spirit. Nothing the BBC has shown has taken anything away from the wonder of Jesus's birth, or the importance of the message he brought. And if we have trouble thinking of the mother of God and her son as human people haven't we entirely missed the point of the Nativity? Mary was nobody special and as such would have faced the full wrath of society's judgement. That's the point.
posted by Gary on 21-12-2010
The BBC's treatment is exactly in line with famous and very Christian dramas of the Middle Ages--and indeed in line with early Christian theologians who were of course concerned to deny such charges about the Virgin and the Annnuciation and Nativity. A little sense of humour (which medieval Christians certainly had) might help. Perhaps people might also like to read The Illegitimacy of Jesus by the American Catholic theologian Jane Schaberg.
posted by Denise Langford on 21-12-2010
I wonder if 'Christian Voice' actually made those comments without seeing the programme. So far, it is accurate depiction of events, presented in a sensitive and believable way. It will enrich all our lives as Christians to be reminded of Jesus' arrival, but it might be the first time non-Christians have encountered the biblical truth of the nativity, and I think 'Christian Voice' should rejoice that the GOOD NEWS is on our screens for all to see.
posted by Andy Phillip on 21-12-2010
Few of us have much time to reflect on our Christian faith. The BBC have given the Nativity a human perspective that will appeal to many viewers.It is after all part of the greatest story ever told This is not a time for petty minded comment.Let us celebrate the Birth of Christ in a spirit of joy and celebration. The bible story has come alive.
posted by Anon on 21-12-2010
How could any of us know exactly what happened. This is simply an interpretation, take it as you will. We know no more about what really happened than the next person. Many are offended simply because this particular drama series is the opposite to the more traditional story. In reality, who is to say that back then, we reacted differently. We are no different emotionally. Rapists and murderers still infected their lands as much as they do now. Realistically, today, a woman such as Mary would be condemned as have so many women who have committed adultery. Maybe the difference is that they had more faith than we do now. And easily believed such a claim be it true or false in their eyes. What confuses me, is that we tolerate living amongst other cultures and religions yet difference of opinion causes such an uproar. It\'s just an interpretation....
posted by Irene on 21-12-2010
I am 64yrs old and have been a Christian since I was 12yrs old and did not find this new nativity drama to be offensive. I agree entirely with the comments made by Andrew and I think it is refreshing in this day and age to see a writer prepared to make a modern version of the birth of Christ and it warms my heart to be able to switch on the TV in this Christmas week and be reminded in a new way of the true meaning of Christmas. I work with teenagers at my church and will be recommending them all to watch this. Well done BBC for airing this at prime time ...
posted by Christian Voice on 22-12-2010
Let's wait and see the rest - only two episodes have been broadcast as far as I know (or is this now a repeat?) - so Christian Voice may have seen a preview of the whole series, but the comments here are all so far by those who have not yet seen the episode where people find out Mary is pregnant. Surely we can only really discuss it when we've all seen the thing? So far I think it's probably quit realistic, except the skin tones and accents...and Mary certainly hasn't been portrayed as a prostitute. It is likely that people around her did not believe she conceived by the Holy Spirit (would you?) and so she probably would have been accused of promiscuity and unfaithfulness to her betrothed Joseph. Standing by her, Joseph would also received severe criticism and accusation. If the drama portrays people accusing them, I think that's realistic. If it suggests anything else except that she conceived by the Holy Spirit, then we have cause to complain, but the scene with Gabriel and Mary was very clear - the Holy Spirit supernaturally caused an innocent virgin to conceive.
posted by james on 22-12-2010
I have watched the first two episodes of this program and as a commited christian find nothing wrong with it. Whilst I agree that the BBC often pursue an anti-christian agenda this is not the case with this drama. I found it entertaining and there is nothing in it contrary to church teaching, in fact it sticks pretty acurately to the Gospel account. well done BBC! Christian Voice - yes 75% of us are christians but you don't represent us.
posted by Rob on 22-12-2010
I would say that Christian Voice needs to take a step back for a minute. I'm no fan of the BBC at all, but this is, as of this evening anyway (12/12/10), an fine piece of work and have to say well done to Tony Jordan. The fact of the matter is that as Christians we've needed a modern retelling of the Nativity to bring it back into public view outside of our churches for many years. The very fact that Mr.Jordan got the green light for this at all is a minor miracle in itself, especially from a lefty atheist organisation like the BBC. Let's thank God that the story of Jesus's birth is getting a, so far, truthful retelling and that people who would normally be under the rancid influence of people like Richard Dawkins may actually be inspired enough to seek the Lord out because of this series. The Good News needs to be put out there and shouting in an echo chamber is useless to us. This may help us to evangelise. We need to use the opportunity rather than shun it.
posted by Rev Mark Anderton on 22-12-2010
I am enjoying the Nativity, if people want a totally biblical account then read the gospels meanwhile this is a great way to highlight the true meaning of Christmas in a way that is relevant to our lives today. Jesus is Lord!
posted by Pete Jayes on 22-12-2010
I've just finished watching the first 2 episodes of this drama and I have to say that the first sentence of this news item is very misleading! Far from being portrayed as a prostitute, Mary comes across as a pious and God fearing woman. I am most impressed with the adaptation so far; as other posters have said, maybe folks should actually watch the programme in question before deciding to be outraged. What saddens me most is this tendency of fellow Christians to be automatically offended before checking their facts first - a case of "learn to make a correct judgement" perhaps?
posted by J on 22-12-2010
So far I, as a christian of 40+ years, have seen nothing offensive or incorrect in the BBC's portrayal of the Nativity. Rather it has brought home to me the huge effect this had on the human beings involved. We take this story so much for granted and don;t really think about the human aspect involved, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, wise men, they have become characters rather than people who actually exsisted. I think it is wonderful that the BBC are giving prime time this week to the real reason for Christmas and not just filling it with endless Santa movies....let us pray that people will see this story with fresh eyes, understand why it happened and accept the wonderful gift that Christ gave.
posted by felicity on 22-12-2010
Having watched 2 episodes I must say I am loving the modern take. It makes it seem so real to me. Like it would have been. A story that is normally shrouded in a holy veil shown for what it would have been. It has cetainly brought the story alive to me and appriciate Mary and what she went though to bring us the son of god
posted by Pete on 22-12-2010
I can't believe this. I have just watched the first 2 episodes and would like to congratulate Tony Jordan for his screenplay and the whole cast and crew. As a committed Christian, I have found it extremely moving and it has brought the Christmas story and the events surrounding it to life. I am not outraged in the slightest. Seeing Joseph's face and entering into his emotions at the sight of Mary was completely understandable. We would have all felt the same way surely. And what about Mary? She also must have felt terrible. Well done BBC!
posted by Peter Phillips on 22-12-2010
I'm sorry but it's a fantastic re-telling. I've taught New Testament for two decades, I am an evangelical Christian. It keeps to the story really well and is relatively close to historical accuracy. I am fed up my fellow Christians being so negative!
posted by Barbara on 22-12-2010
Christian Voice - I am a Christian but you do not speak for me. Of course Mary would have been accused of these things - and her awareness that she would, because she understood the culture she lived in, was sensitively and movingly portrayed in Tuesday's episode. This gave me a deeper understanding of the significance of her acceptance of the role she had been assigned - an honour but also setting her outside traditional respectability and dependent on God to resolve that for her. Let's face it, throughout Jesus' life God behaves in a radical way, overturning expectations and breaking barriers. So exciting! I am loving this dramatisation of the nativity and am thrilled by the impact it had on Tony Jordan as he researched and wrote it.
posted by Graham on 22-12-2010
Who are the so-called "Christian Voice" and who do they claim to be speaking for? I'm a Christian (I'm actually a priest) and I never feel that "Christian Voice" are speaking for me. Well done to the BBC for broadcasting such a well-balanced and thought-provoking dramatisation of the first Christmas. It provides a healthy remedy to the secular festivities that so often dominate our screens.
posted by Angela kent on 22-12-2010
Am I missing something here? Where in these first two episodes of the nativity has Mary been portrayed as a prostitute? I have been both moved and charmed by the characters of both Mary and Joesph. They are real, believable l and in no way offensive and I am a practising catholic. I am amazed at how anyone could read it differently. Well done BBC. An absolutely beautiful adaption of the nativity which both I and my children are enjoying very much.
posted by Andrew Graystone on 22-12-2010
Having been closely involved with the relationship between this production and the Christian community perhaps I can clarify the situation. There are some points that should be made clear. 1) In the BBC's Nativity drama Mary is NOT presented as a prostitute, but a devout Jew. Some villagers ACCUSE her of being a prostitute...but that's a very different thing. 2) Christian Voice is actually a single individual whose name is Stephen Green. He has not seen the series. I haven't yet found a second Christian anywhere in the UK who is outraged. So I believe the headline is inaccurate. 3) Green was contacted by a mischievous journalist who asked him "If the BBC said that Mary was a prostitute what would you think?" He foolishly made a comment. 4) Green has a grudge against the BBC. He took the BBC's Director-General to court in 2008 in a private prosecution for blasphemy. He lost, and was made to pay costs of £55k (plus £35 to a Channel 4 exec). 5) Green's "ministry" Christian Voice has not submitted any accounts to the Charity Commission for over two years. Could I suggest that journalists stop using him as an easy route to an angry Christian, and that Christians and others wise-up a bit to the games that lazy journalists play?
posted by Dr David Harwood on 22-12-2010
As an evangelical Christian I am not at all outraged by the series so far. It has demonstrated a factual account of the birth of Jesus. Mary would have been condemned under the law of Moses for being an adulteress by being pregnant before marriage. However, Isaiah foretold of a virgin birth. That cannot be guaranteed following a marriage; can it!? I don't see that she is portrayed as a prostitute in ant way shape or form. . Joseph would have been dismayed, as he is demonstrating, with the fact that his betrothed was pregnant; what was he supposed to think, he would only have understood the traditional route.......would he not? I fear that those who tread lightly over the Holy Word of our Lord do little for our faith. Let us also remember that it is the time of year when we celebrate Jesus's birth, a Christian celebration; not for any other religion. Why bring them into the article at all. We do well to remember John chapter 14 v 6. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.......
posted by Jane on 22-12-2010
This is a great re-telling, I'm actually quite hooked I have to admit. And seriously how would people react nowadays if an unwed woman claimed she was pregnant by the holy spirit, let alone then when pre-marital sex was much more frowned upon. Why do people get so hysterical?
posted by Peter Thomas on 22-12-2010
Is "Christian Voice" so named because it represents the views of one person? It would seem so according to these comments on a brilliantly produced and touchingly cast programme.
posted by Wendy Edwards on 22-12-2010
I'm a lifelong committed Christian and so far I've found the nativity drama refreshing and moving.
posted by Karen Jones on 22-12-2010
This has so far been a fantastic retelling of the Christmas story that we read in Scripture - Thankyou BBC for taking 'a step of faith' and putting this on the prime time slot. What an Amazing God we have - lets pray that many will come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour as a result of the seeds planted by this.
posted by Anne Twisleton on 22-12-2010
I couldn't believe that there were negative comments from Christian Voice! The Nativity is fantastic and places the short Biblical narratives in a realistic context we can relate to. I've been a Christian for over 40 years, studied and read the Bible throughout that time and as a missionary striven to strip away my own cultural baggage to enable people to meet Jesus in their own context. Mary and Joseph were real people with all the feelings anyone would have in those circumstances - the gospel writers assumed any reader would understand that. Seems not!
posted by Keith Judson on 22-12-2010
The BBC put on a brand new drama about the Nativity and show it on prime TV in the run up to Christmas - Mary is clearly portrayed as a devout Jewish girl who remains a virgin and conceives miraculously - She is visited by an angel and has a profound experience of the light, warmth and love of God - and the self-appointed "Christian Voice" of Britain COMPLAINS? With Christians like this who NEEDS militant atheists?
posted by Roger (Luton) on 22-12-2010
I stopped by to congratulate the BBC for this fabulous drama and am shocked by the negative criticism from the "Christian Voice". Please be brave enough to do something equally acurate to the biblical story every christmas and easter. It's wonderful because Tony has captured the emotions and reactions beautifully. Thank you, Roger.
posted by Rev Martyn Travers on 22-12-2010
As a Baptist minister I've been watching The Nativity with fascination. The BBC are to be commended in showing this prime-time in Christmas week. Whilst it is true that some aspects have poetic license, the Gospel story comes through loud and clear. It's wonderful viewing!
posted by Judith Deeks on 22-12-2010
I have complained to the BBC on many occasions about foul language and blasphemy. They do not seem to mind offending Christians by letting broadcasters, presenters, actors etc use "Oh my God", Jesus Christ and worse. I have found the Nativity a breath of fresh air for the BBC as the only token Christian programme seems to be Songs of Praise. We have no idea what Mary's neighbours said about her but calling her a whore for being pregnant doesn't sound too far from reality. Put Christ back into Christmas is what I say.
posted by ed on 22-12-2010
listen 'Christian voice', you have no right to complain against a very accurate portrayal of what would have happened in the time. Mary most likely would have been considered a whore and ridiculed for seemingly being pregnant outside of marriage. can you imagine your own fiance coming to you pregnant and saying she is a virgin and it is a child of god? back then, im guessing mary didn't walk around pregnant, claiming to be a virgin, and being accepted by the community?? realise that it is no different now, in fact 10 times worse back then. for a woman to be pregnant outside of marriage. the bbc do not portray her as a whore, they depict the scene as it would have been. i am apalled that you are claiming ON BEHALF OF CHRISTIANS NO LESS that this is an attack on our religion. you have no right.
posted by Russ on 22-12-2010
This show is the best thing to hit the screens in defence of the Christian narrative for many years. Sadly, a minority of so-called Christians claiming to represent all Christians, speak in a narrow way about it in a negative way. I am a Christian and can only praise to production. The Church should be embracing this not complaining. Having studied the Bible I know that this is a brilliant interpretation. I suggest the other 'Evangelical' etc. Christians return to their ghetto of counter-cultural obscurity.
posted by Kennedy on 22-12-2010
So a wholly unrepresentative person/body expresses outrage allegedly on behalf of UK Christians; the Daily Express laps it up and Christians, once again, appear to the rest of society as unthinking and ungrateful. Thanks Stephen. Personally, I think this retelling of the nativity story will speak of God's love to the world far more than any body bleating that we have been marginalised or why we need to be exempted from just and fair equality legislation.
posted by Andy B on 23-12-2010
Well done to the vast majority of comments supporting this production. It gives me the faith to carry on being part of a church that is more broad minded than we are portrayed.
posted by Marie on 23-12-2010
I would just like to say as a devout Christian credit where credit Is due. Well done BBC for allowing this to be shown at prime time tv.The Nativity Is looking to be a wonderful series, as others have said It Is a breath of fresh air at this time of the year, to truly see and hear the true meaning of Christmas instead of Santa Clause and all the other rubbish that Is sometimes on. Well Done and God Bless!
posted by Fiona Graham on 23-12-2010
I'd like to add my voice to those that commend Tony Jordan for this perceptive account of the nativity. It's so down to earth, yet reverent and brings into sharper focus the whole humanity of the situation. I hope Tony Jordan gets the opportunity to develop it into a trilogy. I recommend his interview with Aled Jones for anyone who'd like to hear more about his thoughts and research on the nativity. Well done, BBC... more please!
posted by Priscilla Reid on 23-12-2010
As a committed Christian I have so enjoyed the Nativity series so far. It is so refreshing to go beyond the usual sentimental rehashing of the story and be challenged to consider what it would have been really like for those involved. Well done BBC and thank you.
posted by Paul Richardson on 23-12-2010
I am so relieved to read the overwhelmingly positive responses in the comments section. "Christian Voice" seems to be way out of line with the contributors here at least! We have been completely spellbound by this amazingly real and human portrayal of the story. Some very serious thinking has gone into trying to portray these remarkable events happening to everyday people - which obviously they DID. Thank Go do for somebody bold enough to do it!
posted by Joy on 23-12-2010
I was offended and insulted at not only the poorly scripted production but also the portrayl of the Magi, in particular the African Magi as being stupid, buffoonish and subordinate to the two white Magi, as if he were a slave rather than a wise man. I could not believe it, dare I say it, 'racist' attitude in the script, in particular when one of the white Magi actually kicks the African magi, to which the African Magi, says in a pathetic childlike voice, "You kicked me?" the white magi answers, "Shut up or I'll kick you again". My goodness, I could hardly believe it? Who wrote this rubbish? And who cleared it???? What an overall INSULTING and RACIST portrayal it lacks any respect to practising Christians and is also very, very insensitively written.
posted by Bruce on 23-12-2010
As an evangelical Christian pastor I want to congratulate both the BBC and Tony Jordan for this excellent screening of the nativity. Mary is never portrayed as a prostitute but rather as a devout Jewish girl. That she would have been vilified by the villagers for whoredom, and her parents found her story as implausible as Joseph did is precisely what Mary would have endured. Tony Jordan has captured the essence of the reaction of Jewish people of that time, and no Bible scholar could find anything to criticise here. There may be a few places where dramatic licence is displayed, but taken as a whole this production takes us to the heart of the Biblical story and I rejoice that it is being shown so well.
posted by Ann Cross on 23-12-2010
Mary was not portrayed as a prostitute - the film was simply showing what the people of the time were thinking. Some wires have been crossed somewhere. It is a remarkably beautiful production and deeply moving.
posted by andy on 23-12-2010
This is my first ever 'post' on any webpage & neither have I ever written on any programme before but I am so moved by this excellent mini series which is so much enhancing my faith of 33 years that I want to heartily agree with the vast number of positive comments endorsing this excellent programme. To date I have been saddened that apart from Songs of Praise & the odd 'christian' programme there is precious little on mainstream TV & now suddenly this at prime time tv - well done & thank-you BBC
posted by Carol Gray on 23-12-2010
Christian Voice needs to calm down. At least watch the series first! I am an evangelical Christian and am glad that this hasn't denigrated the Virgin Birth.
posted by Mike on 24-12-2010
It is probably exactly the reaction from the crowd then as it would be today... It may not have been EXACTLY Scripturally correct but it was on BBC tv.. and may have got the message of the Light into a heart of just one person.. Is this not a good thing?
posted by David on 24-12-2010
Let us all get out our magnifying glasses and look for something to critisise? No wonder the world laughs at us, swallowing a camel and strainning out a gnat. Taken as a whole, I found this a good and moving series.
posted by Barbara on 24-12-2010
Thank you Andrew Graystone for unmasking the destructive individual calling himself 'Christian Voice'. I am also greatly encouraged to read in these comments the positive response that this excellent series has received. At the end of last night's episode, I just wanted to see the rest of Jesus' story told in the same sensitive, humane way. How interesting to consider the reception the family will have back in Mary's home town.. Another series by the same author and director please BBC.
posted by AfricanBluebird on 24-12-2010
Oh dear, the bitter and twisted Stephen Green attacking a wonderful BBC programme which was both moving and thought provoking - did he actually see it or did he just 'assume' it would have some kind of other agenda? During the making Tony Jordan actually found faith but hey Stephen is not interested in that as he is only interested in things that provide fuel for his hate peddling agenda.
posted by elaine on 24-12-2010
I was moved to tears by this adaptation, especially the final episode. I don't believe it was a wholly biblical account - after all, I think most Christians recognise that the unspecified number of wise men arrived around 2 years after Jesus was born. Does it detract from the story to have those wise men kneeling before Jesus in worship, acknowledging him as being God become flesh? As for Mary being portrayed as a prostitute, I must have missed that bit! We need to get a grip with the written text of the bible and realise that there must have been other "happenings" - of course Mary would have been under threat in that culture and must have been subject to an arranged marriage etc. The characters in this story were REAL, ordinary people (mary included), who were alert enough to hear God and partner with Him in His plan. I think the BBC has done Christianity a great service in not undermining the key biblical point: that this was a virgin birth of a saviour sent from heaven for people "such as us" (to quote a shepherd!). Instead of getting on a high camel & undermining it, Christian Voice should be rejoicing in the fact that this Christmas the message of Christmas has been shown & watched up & down this country!
posted by Mbololwa on 25-12-2010
I have been so excited by the Nativity series on BBC, and am so happy that it was shown on prime time television. I have been praying that many people see it, and are touched by the story. It is a chance for many who would not normally go to Church and who do not know much about Christianity to learn about the birth of Our Lord in a way that makes the story relevant and touching. I think the portrayal, whilst generally keeping true to the Bible, helps us understand what it must have been like for the people at the time. I am also amazed at the inclusion of bible prophecies that predicted the birth of the Messiah- giving greater credence to the story. I only hope and pray that the series is shown again!
posted by Hazel Manley on 26-12-2010
If Stephen Green really said what the above article says he did, I think he cannot have seen the film. What I saw tonight (episode 4) was deeply moving, mocked no one and went well beyond the usual cute Christmas play versions to challenge anyone who saw it to think again about why we still celebrate Christmas 2000 years on. Thank you, Mr Jordan, thank you, BBC.
posted by George Rutland on 26-12-2010
As professional actors and Christians, we want to congratulate the BBC for screening The Nativity at prime time and also congratulate Tony Jordon for sticking to the original script! The writing, acting, direction and photography was simply excellent. WE hope that the BBC will screen this every year at this time. It was beautifully sincere. Well done BBC. George Rutland & Barbara Brown
posted by simon jones on 26-12-2010
I cannot believe the ridiculous headline on this piece. I lead a 350 member evangelical church and everyone has said how marvellous this adaptation of the nativity is. Writer Tony Jordan has produced a deeply moving drama, full of scripture and illuminated by faith. Only the churlish or ideologically grumpy would attack the BBC for producing this excellent piece of prime time TV
posted by Rev J Clark on 27-12-2010
I loved The Nativity and was over joyed that agnostic and atheist friends were moved by this production.
posted by John Cortes on 30-12-2010
As a Christian, I am outraged at the outrage. The Nativity is the best portrayal of the birth of Christ I have ever seen. It did not offend me in the slightest, but served to strengthen my faith, and made me shed tears at the beautiful final scenes in particular. It showed a very real, human story, highlighting what it must really have been like for both Mary and Joseph to go through the challenge of such an unusual pregnancy. The whole point of Christianity is that Jesus was human as well as God, and had human feelings. If this is to make any sense at all, his mother and earthly father (Joseph) have to be human also, and the doubts and suspicions that Joseph had were just that - only natural. I would have felt the same. But they overcame this turmoil and all was well. Anyone offended at this portrayal misses the whole point, both of the series and of His birth. Congratulations, BBC on the best ever screen interpretation of the birth of Jesus Christ, God and Man!
posted by Trisha Horgan on 31-12-2010
Because of the snow I was unable to get to church at all this Christmas for the first time in 30 years . I am so grateful for this programme which became the central spiritual event for me. The whole interpretation was beautiful, creative and honouring of Jesus, in my view. I had always seen how His death was so redeeming as He took on our suffering - but this showed that even in His birth our shame and our pain is transformed in love. Thank you BBC.
posted by Katie Jones on 04-01-2011
This drama was astounding. It brought the whole human drama of the nativity to life and explained the meaning of Christmas to the nation. It was thought provoking and challenging to Christians and non Christians and to criticise the BBC and do it in the name of Christians, like myself, is not acceptable. I would like to thank all those involved and I hope that we will all have another opportunity to see this again next year. My faith is alive, based on the truths of the Bible and those that have gone before but it is a faith for today. I found the reactions of characters in this interpretation of the birth of Christ to be amazingly contemporary and can only help me to understand and explain the relevance of my faith now.
posted by Angela Ord on 21-02-2011
I was absolutely astounded to hear that certain Christians find 'the Nativity' offensive - I have been a Christian since being a very young child, and now aged 47, my faith has grown year after year. I would not like to think I would watch anything irreverent which would offend God - and therefore was completely at ease watching the aforementioned. I think it was told in a very down to earth way, but the story remained the same - when we read the bible, it is sometimes hard to comprehend what the people were like, we see many 'medieval looking' Christmas cards, that have very obscure and sometimes frightening faces, and don't resemble any of us in looks. I thought 'the Nativity' depicted the people looking the same as us, and acting like we do, going about their everyday life, and it really brought the whole story alive. Seeing what Mary's home and garden may have looked like, right down to the plants that may have grown there. I have never even contemplated Mary having parents, or what the inside of her house would have looked like. Seeing what Joseph may have been carpentering, like chairs and the like, and the surrounding areas, also the clothing they wore and so on - I felt everything was brought into a reality that we can comprehend. I felt the programme was very softly and sensitively written and performed, and a great choice to show to people who may have been none-Christian, without being to deep, or to obscure. It is hard enough to get through to non-Christians without them thinking we are 'bible-bashing' etc, but I would find it hard to think any non-Christian watching the programme would feel in the least bit uncomfortable. Well done BBC - I cant wait for it to come out on DVD. AND yes - too many times television shows Christians in a bad light, which I get so frustrated about, BUT on this occasion they have excelled themselves. God Bless and Peace to all. Love Angela xxx
posted by anon on 24-12-2011
I believe that people would of believed in those days that she was not pregnant with the Holy Spirit, how would they believe that? In those days people would have been stoned if they knew it wasn't by her husband or she wasn't married. I believe they portray Mary's struggle quite well, for I believe it would of been hard for Mary, she knew nobody would believe her. She wasn\'t a prositute but people would of believed that because they knew the baby wasn\'t Joesph but how would they believe that baby was God? They wouldn\'t One thing i don\'t think they did right was it says in the Bible that the reason Mary and Joesph had to go into a stable was because there was no room in the inn not because they knew Mary was pregnant with a child and the child wasn\'t Josephs.
posted by I am a Christian...what would I be outraged about with this great Drama? on 28-12-2011
I live in America, so I have only watched the first 2 episode's, but I thought it was brilliant. I am watching the rest tonight. We have to keep in mind that they were all humans and human feelings. I thought Mary was portrayed well and real. We will never know for sure, but I am sure she was scared and confused, she was a normal and ordinary woman that was chosen to do an extordinary thing. I wish America would feature more movies and dramas regarding the Bible for modern day families.
posted by Rachel Stanley on 15-09-2012
As a Christian, I am a little embarrassed that this article was published by a christian company. The person who wrote it clearly had not seen the Drama. In the BBC adaptation, Mary was not portrayed as a prostitute at all. The baby obviously came from God, and we even see the moment when Gabriel visisted her and she became pregnant. It was her society only that condemned her, because they were close minded and judegmental. A lot like this website.
posted by Brian Rea on 02-12-2012
I want to add my voice of congratulation to the BBC for commissioning and broadcasting The Nativity at Christmas in 2010. My family still remember it as the best TV programme over the whole of the Christmas holiday period of that year. We had hoped to see it again in 2011 but it didn't seem to be repeated. I hope the BBC have decided to show it again this year. We remember it being a wonderful, dramatic and deeply moving telling of the story of Jesus' birth, beautifully produced, sensitive, perceptive, with one of the most amazing climaxes of any programme I have ever watched - appropriate for the birth of the son of God! Belated thanks to Tony Jordan and the BBC and to all those involved in its making. Please commission Tony to write a telling of the Easter story!
posted by Alan Cossey on 16-12-2012
Actually it doesn't portray her as a prostitute. There are a couple of things which are out of chronological order, e.g. when Joseph accepts that Mary is telling the truth, but overall it is a very good program. I say this as an evangelical Christian. Knock the BBC when it does stuff wrong, but not otherwise, hey?
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