Posts Tagged ‘Mary’

Nazareth Uncovered

Monday, December 21st, 2009 by JEL

In the Gospel of Luke (1:26-33) there is an account of the angel Gabriel visiting Mary. Given that we’re only four days away from Christmas, I thought it might be nice to share it here:

Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. Having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’ He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.”

For those of you trying to picture this scene in your head, archaeologists might be able to lend a hand. They have just discovered the first dwelling in Nazareth dated to the time of Jesus. They describe Nazareth as an “out-of-the-way hamlet of around 50 houses on a patch of about four acres (1.6 hectares). It was evidently populated by Jews of modest means who kept camouflaged grottos to hide from Roman invaders.”

Jesus’ genealogy

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 by PJM

Now that we are in the Christmas season, I have been spending some time in the margins of What He Said. The Gospels of Mark and John begin when Jesus is an adult, but Matthew and Luke both give accounts of Christ’s birth. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting about some aspects of the two birth stories that interest me.

The New Testament begins with the genealogy of Jesus, as told by Matthew. Jesus is the son of Joseph who was the son of Jacob who was the son of Matthan who was the son of Eleazar… But, Luke (in Chapter 3) tells us that Jesus is the son of Joseph who was the son of Heli who was the son of Matthat who was the son of Levi… What’s going on? Was Joseph the son of Jacob or Heli?

I’ve read that Jesus’ ancestry in Matthew is through Joseph and His ancestry in Luke is actually though Mary. When Luke says that Joseph was the son of Heli, he really means “son-in-law.”

This seems to be consistent with another difference in the two accounts of Christ’s birth story. Matthew has an angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph (whose ancestors he has just listed). The angel explains to Joseph the circumstances of Mary’s motherhood and tells Joseph to name the child Jesus. But, Luke tells us that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to reveal the mystery of her being with child and tells her to name the child Jesus. So, it makes sense to me that Luke would trace the genealogy of Christ through Mary.

I would love it if a more astute Biblical scholar would step in to let us know if my thinking is off-base.