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    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 1,005, Reputation: 55
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    #1

    Sep 17, 2022, 11:10 AM
    Geneologies of Jesus
    There are two different genealogies of Jesus. Which one is the earliest? Why are they different?
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    #2

    Sep 17, 2022, 02:25 PM
    One is through Mary's line. The other is through adoptive father Joseph's line. I don't know which is earlier. I'll put on my librarian hat and do some research. I'm guessing Mary's is.
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    #3

    Sep 17, 2022, 03:15 PM
    Thank you - I know the Joseph/Mary thing, but why are they separated?
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    #4

    Sep 18, 2022, 09:34 AM
    Athos
    Thank you - I know the Joseph/Mary thing, but why are they separated?
    The authors had different purposes in mind. Matthew played with the genealogy a lot to make into sets of 14. Opinions differ as to why, but it's clear that he saw some significance in the number. Robert Gundry suggested he was doing a gematria-type thing, but evangelical scholars at least have rejected that idea. I don't know what critical scholars think of it, I didn't see anything in the literature when his book appeared. Still, I have yet to see a better theory. His commentary on Matthew caused quite a stir in the evangelical community, though. It's worth taking a look at.

    Luke, on the other hand, was tracing Jesus' human lineage and traced it all the way back to Adam to emphasize that this was a real guy with a real lineage, he's not a made-up character, or a deity appearing in a form that only seems to be human. He was a real dude, and this stuff really happened. The Roman Empire had tons of stories of gods coming to people in human form, usually Zeus and usually for somewhat less than honorable purposes. Luke is saying yes, this guy is divine. But he's also thoroughly human and experienced all the things that we humans do. A great older out-of-print book on that subject, if you can get your hands on it, is A. T. Robertson, Luke the Historian in the Light of Historical Research.
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    #5

    Sep 18, 2022, 09:48 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by dwashbur View Post
    A great older out-of-print book on that subject, if you can get your hands on it, is A. T. Robertson, Luke the Historian in the Light of Historical Research.
    I checked WorldCat, Athos. Five college/university libraries in your state own this title. If you have a valid library card with your home library, that library can do an interlibrary loan (ILL) and get the book for you.

    Dwashbur, this book by Gundry?

    Matthew : a commentary on his literary and theological art / Robert H Gundry
    1982
    English
    Book xviii, 652 pages ; 24 cm.
    Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.

    Athos, seven libraries in your state own this title.
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    #6

    Sep 18, 2022, 10:47 PM
    That's the one. His analysis of the infancy narrative got him kicked out of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). I was at that annual meeting and watched it happen. That was when/where I lost all respect for Norm Geisler.
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    #7

    Sep 26, 2022, 03:45 PM
    Thank you, WG and dwashbur.


    Are these genealogies evidence that the story of Mary being impregnated by a spirit is from an author who did not know of the descent line from Joseph? Or was it the author of Joseph's descent line who was unaware of the pregnancy story of Mary? Does it indicate a multiplicity of authors? It would be difficult to believe that one author wrote both stories – one story through Joseph and the other through divine intervention by a spirit.


    Could it have been added later to conform to the then current tales of virgin births from deities such as are found in Greek, Roman, and Egyptian religions, among others?
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    #8

    Sep 28, 2022, 12:00 AM
    Athos
    Thank you, WG and dwashbur.


    Are these genealogies evidence that the story of Mary being impregnated by a spirit is from an author who did not know of the descent line from Joseph? Or was it the author of Joseph's descent line who was unaware of the pregnancy story of Mary? Does it indicate a multiplicity of authors? It would be difficult to believe that one author wrote both stories one story through Joseph and the other through divine intervention by a spirit.


    Could it have been added later to conform to the then current tales of virgin births from deities such as are found in Greek, Roman, and Egyptian religions, among others?
    All good questions. Matthew played with the genealogy to make everything come out in 14s, and that may have something to do with why he traced the line that he did. We still don't fully understand what was in his head.

    Luke probably consulted written genealogies in the temple and/or synagogues. I don't think anything was done to conform to the mystery religions. I'm not sure I follow the question about multiple authors. We know different people wrote the two books. Please develop that thought for me a bit more.
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    #9

    Sep 28, 2022, 08:45 AM
    I found this article very interesting. Here's part of it:

    [Matthew's] genealogy also mentions some kickass women by name. First Tamar, who is nearly killed for becoming pregnant out of wedlock but then praised for her cleverness and resourcefulness. (Check out her story in Genesis 38). Then there’s Rahab, a Cananite prostitute whose shrewdness saves Joshua and his soldiers. Then Ruth, a Moabite who shows tremendous dedication and love to her mother-in-law. Both Tamar and Rahab could be condemned by a patriarchal society, but they are held up as models. Both Rahab and Ruth are foreingers (sic) coming to nations thought to be condemned by God. Their presence in Jesus’ lineage reinforce God’s love for the immigrant and foreigner and are part of a trajectory of understanding God from exclusion to full inclusion.

    And, of course, there’s Mary. Pregnant by the Holy Spirit before she is married to Joseph, she might have received a lot of grief and scorn from her contemporaries. But in referencing other women whose sexuality is not condemned but praised in scripture, Matthew’s Gospel subtly begins to subvert some the patriarchy.
    https://www.ravenfoundation.org/the-...ustful%20rages.
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    #10

    Sep 28, 2022, 09:25 AM
    in referencing other women whose sexuality is not condemned but praised in scripture,
    Perhaps I am somehow missing the point here, but that would seem to be a pretty questionable statement. Their sexuality not only is not praised in Matthew, it is not even mentioned. There is certainly no endorsement of prostitution there. Ruth is a woman of great character to be sure, but that, again, had nothing to do with sexuality. Strangely missing from the author's list was Bathsheba. She was an adulteress, but that would hardly be an endorsement of adultery.

    but they are held up as models
    Being named is a far cry from being held up as a model. Ahaz and Manasseh are named, yet they could scarcely be called models of Godly behavior. The positive side of the stories of the named women is not that they are praised for sinning, but that they were used by God in spite of their sin.
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    #11

    Sep 28, 2022, 09:51 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    The positive side of the stories of the named women is not that they are praised for sinning, but that they were used by God in spite of their sin.
    As was Mary, a sinful creature like each of us is.
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    #12

    Sep 28, 2022, 10:09 AM
    What was Mary's sin?
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    #13

    Sep 28, 2022, 10:23 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    What was Mary's sin?
    Being human ("like each of us is" as I pointed out).
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    #14

    Sep 28, 2022, 10:50 AM
    You entered the "like each of us is" after I had responded. At any rate, I don't recall seeing that, so my bad. Still, being human is not a sin.

    We're going too far afield. My primary observation was simply this. "Perhaps I am somehow missing the point here, but that would seem to be a pretty questionable statement. Their sexuality not only is not praised in Matthew, it is not even mentioned. There is certainly no endorsement of prostitution there." I think the author was reading his/her own beliefs into the text by saying, "... in referencing other women whose sexuality is not condemned but praised in scripture, Matthew’s Gospel subtly begins to subvert some the patriarchy." I don't see where their "sexuality" is praised in the Bible. Do you?
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    #15

    Sep 28, 2022, 07:14 PM
    I don't see where their "sexuality" is praised in the Bible. Do you?
    I wouldn't say "praised" so much as "not considered a problem". Judah was ready to have Tamar put to death until she revealed who the father was and what he had done, so she was considered a sinful woman. Rahab was a known prostitute in a pagan city but she's never even slightly bad-mouthed about it.

    And Mary was born a person prone to sin just like all of us. Even Joseph considered her a fornicator until God used some extreme means to get his attention. Samson spent the night with a prostitute in Gaza and neither is condemned for it. The list goes on and on.

    And Bathsheba was essentially raped. Even if she submitted, she knew she had no choice. It's funny; here in the sex-obsessed west we see the story of David and Bathsheba as one of adultery. The rest of the world sees it as abuse of power.
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    #16

    Sep 28, 2022, 07:27 PM
    And Mary was born a person prone to sin just like all of us
    True, but she has no specific sin listed in Matthew.

    And Bathsheba was essentially raped.
    Speculation. It is also possible she was a willing partner. She certainly never seemed to hold any bitterness against David. Still, there is evidence to point towards at least an improper use of force. The way Nathan described the situation with the lamb parable could point in that way, but it's just hard to say.

    I don't know if this is actually being suggested or not, but I think it's really going far out on a limb to suggest that prostitution is fine since, after all, Rahab and Tamar are included in the lineage of Christ. You would also have to conclude that extreme idolatry is OK since Ahaz and Manasseh, two prominent idolaters, are also mentioned. Solomon was a major violator of the Law during his time, but that's not OK either. Jeconiah was a very ungodly man, but that's not being endorsed in the passage. Naming someone is far removed from endorsing their lifestyle. Rahab married and it is safe to assume her sex trade days were over with. Tamar was really never a prostitute to begin with.
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    #17

    Sep 28, 2022, 07:57 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by dwashbur View Post
    Luke probably consulted written genealogies in the temple and/or synagogues. I don't think anything was done to conform to the mystery religions.
    The mystery religion question referred to the source of Mary's pregnancy, not the genealogy.

    I'm not sure I follow the question about multiple authors. We know different people wrote the two books. Please develop that thought for me a bit more.
    I'll try.

    Both Gospels have Joseph as the father of Jesus, but they both also have the Spirit as the father of Jesus. It doesn't seem possible that was never questioned at the earliest times when the Gospels were initially being read. If not, does that indicate that one of the stories (genealogy or impregnation) is a later addition to the Gospels? Both stories in one Gospel would have been seen as a contradiction, ultimately leading to one or the other being added to the narrative.

    I don't think there's any direct way of checking this since the earliest complete manuscripts are dated much later, time enough to create the Virgin birth story by the theologians to offer a way to explain the two stories being shown side by side in a Gospel.

    This connects to the other question about deity-birth in other religions. In the above scenario, the Virgin birth (and the pregnancy announcement by the angel) was needed to assure a pagan world awash in unusual birth stories of famous men.

    This gives me a segue to WG's comment on Mary's sin. That one will bring me to modern times.
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    #18

    Sep 28, 2022, 08:40 PM
    Originally Posted by jlisenbe

    What was Mary's sin?

    from WG
    Being human ("like each of us is" as I pointed out).

    Mary was sinless.


    The Catholic Church declared this on December 8 in 1854 when Pius IX promulgated the doctrine in Ineffabilis Deus. It is called The Immaculate Conception, not to be confused with the Virgin birth of Jesus.

    We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.


    Ten years later, partly to ensure acceptance of the Immaculate Conception, Pius IX convoked the First Vatican Council where, on July 18 in 1870, the doctrine of infallibility was declared and accepted.

    This is binding only on Catholics, but many non-Catholics are in general acceptance of Mary's sinlessness.
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    #19

    Sep 29, 2022, 12:02 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    Mary was sinless
    If Mary was sinless, then her mother Anne was sinless, and her mother was also and her mother too and back through the generations until we get to Eve, who was sinless before the Fall and must have had a sinless daughter then too who was at the beginning of that line of sinless women that ended with Mary.
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    #20

    Sep 29, 2022, 12:10 PM
    Yeah. The "sinless Mary" idea is pretty much a Catholic invention. It has virtually no support in the protestant world, and no support at all that I'm aware of in the Bible.

    If Mary was sinless, then her mother Anne was sinless, and her mother was also and her mother too and back through the generations until we get to Eve,
    Pretty good reasoning. And so far as I know, no one has any idea what her mother's name was. The "Anne" name was pretty much a Catholic invention based upon a questionable second century manuscript.

    Martin Luther would have been proud of you, WG! I finally finished plowing through the biography of his life. It was a good read.

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