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    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,137, Reputation: 173
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    #1

    Apr 15, 2019, 09:06 AM
    Zacharias and Mary
    Here's a question to play with. Pure speculation, but why not. In Luke 1, when Zacharias questions Gabriel, the angel gets miffed and strikes him mute. He'll stay that way until John is born.

    Further on, the same angel gives his message to Mary. Mary questions him, and Gabriel patiently explains the answer.

    If he didn't like humans questioning him, why didn't he punish Mary the way he did Zacharias?
    Oliver2011's Avatar
    Oliver2011 Posts: 2,606, Reputation: 746
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    #2

    Apr 15, 2019, 09:39 AM
    If memory serves me correctly, Zacharias' question was one of doubt while Mary's question was not in doubt but that she was astonished.
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 481, Reputation: 52
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    #3

    Apr 15, 2019, 08:16 PM
    What Oliver said. Works for me.
    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,137, Reputation: 173
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    #4

    Apr 16, 2019, 08:29 AM
    If memory serves me correctly, Zacharias' question was one of doubt while Mary's question was not in doubt but that she was astonished.
    I've heard that as the usual answer, but I'm wondering where it comes from. I don't see any indicators regarding either question in the immediate context.
    Oliver2011's Avatar
    Oliver2011 Posts: 2,606, Reputation: 746
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    #5

    Apr 16, 2019, 09:04 AM
    It's probably lost in translation from Hebrew to English. The English interpretation doesn't match up well to Hebrew.
    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,137, Reputation: 173
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    #6

    Apr 17, 2019, 07:27 AM
    Uh, it's in Greek, not Hebrew, and the texts are pretty straightforward.
    Oliver2011's Avatar
    Oliver2011 Posts: 2,606, Reputation: 746
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    #7

    Apr 17, 2019, 08:14 AM
    Well there you go. I have exhausted my knowledge on the subject.
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 481, Reputation: 52
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    #8

    Apr 17, 2019, 10:47 PM
    Maybe the Hebrew (Aramaic) originally spoken by the actors in the story had the answer but not the Greek. Or maybe Zachariah was an old curmudgeon who was often cranky, while Mary was a sweet young thing whose youthful innocence appealed to all - even angels. In other words, I don't know.

    I went back to read the story never really having read it carefully. I was struck by how beautiful Luke's imagery is - how the baby "leapt in the womb" and how Luke described Mary as "the handmaid(en) of the Lord". Beautiful phrases. Good post.
    waltero's Avatar
    waltero Posts: 68, Reputation: 5
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    #9

    Apr 18, 2019, 03:41 PM


    Zechariah had apparently prayed specifically that God would allow he and his wife to have children.
    So, Zechariah's prayer, like Abraham's, Isaac's, Rachel's, Hannah's and others, was heard. The angel was merely announcing to Zechariah that his prayer would be answered. So, he actually doubted God's proclaimed provision and answer to his prayer.


    Mary, however, had certainly not ever prayed that she would have a miraculous child out of wedlock, and a virgin had never given birth before, so her questioning is a quite a bit more understandable than that of Zechariah.
    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,137, Reputation: 173
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    #10

    Apr 19, 2019, 09:14 AM
    Zechariah had apparently prayed specifically that God would allow he and his wife to have children.
    So, Zechariah's prayer, like Abraham's, Isaac's, Rachel's, Hannah's and others, was heard. The angel was merely announcing to Zechariah that his prayer would be answered. So, he actually doubted God's proclaimed provision and answer to his prayer.



    Mary, however, had certainly not ever prayed that she would have a miraculous child out of wedlock, and a virgin had never given birth before, so her questioning is a quite a bit more understandable than that of Zechariah.
    Very good point. I had not thought of it from that angle. Thanks!
    jlisenbe's Avatar
    jlisenbe Posts: 3,249, Reputation: 153
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    #11

    Jun 12, 2019, 09:23 AM
    Really a fascinating question. I would venture this.

    The questions the two asked were different. Zechariah asked, "How can I be sure of this?" In other words, he was saying that the angel's word for it was not sufficient.

    Mary asked, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" It would seem that Mary's question was more concerned with the process of how she would become pregnant and not so much with the accuracy of the angel's statement.

    You could also suggest that the angel would have expected a higher level of faith from Zechariah because of his age and position in ministry. "To whom much is given..."
    jlisenbe's Avatar
    jlisenbe Posts: 3,249, Reputation: 153
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    #12

    Jun 12, 2019, 12:21 PM
    Zechariah had apparently prayed specifically that God would allow he and his wife to have children.
    So, Zechariah's prayer, like Abraham's, Isaac's, Rachel's, Hannah's and others, was heard. The angel was merely announcing to Zechariah that his prayer would be answered. So, he actually doubted God's proclaimed provision and answer to his prayer.


    Mary, however, had certainly not ever prayed that she would have a miraculous child out of wedlock, and a virgin had never given birth before, so her questioning is a quite a bit more understandable than that of Zechariah.
    WalterO, I thought, like others, that was a great answer. Never thought of it that way before. Well said.

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