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Jesus: the beginnings

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Cecilia Weigel

on 30 September 2013

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Transcript of Jesus: the beginnings

Infancy Narratives
Stories of the birth of Christ
Infancy Narratives and Genealogies
Found in 2 synoptic Gospels:
Luke & Matthew
What is a synoptic gospel?
Synoptic comes from two Greek words that mean to see together with.
They are three Gospels that are very similar in structure and wording, to the point that some parts of them are repeated word for word in each Gospel.
They have a different chronology and way of speaking than the fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John.
Matthew 1:1-17
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king.
David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah.
Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
Luke 3:23-38
When Jesus began his ministry he was about thirty years of age. He was the son, as was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Yoda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Genesis 38:13-26
Then Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” So she took off her widow’s garments, covered herself with a shawl, and having wrapped herself sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the way to Timnah; for she was aware that, although Shelah was now grown up, she had not been given to him in marriage. When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, since she had covered her face. So he went over to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me have intercourse with you,” for he did not realize that she was his daughter-in-law. She replied, “What will you pay me for letting you have intercourse with me?” He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” “Very well,” she said, “provided you leave me a pledge until you send it.” Judah asked, “What pledge should I leave you?” She answered, “Your seal and cord,* and the staff in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had intercourse with her, and she conceived by him. After she got up and went away, she took off her shawl and put on her widow’s garments again.

Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to recover the pledge from the woman; but he did not find her. So he asked the men of that place, “Where is the prostitute, the one by the roadside in Enaim?” But they answered, “No prostitute has been here.” He went back to Judah and told him, “I did not find her; and besides, the men of the place said, ‘No prostitute has been here.’” “Let her keep the things,” Judah replied; “otherwise we will become a laughingstock. After all, I did send her this young goat, but you did not find her.”

About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has acted like a harlot and now she is pregnant from her harlotry.” Judah said, “Bring her out; let her be burned.” But as she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “It is by the man to whom these things belong that I am pregnant.” Then she said, “See whose seal and cord and staff these are.” Judah recognized them and said, “She is in the right rather than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” He had no further sexual relations with her.
Joshua 2:1-15
Then Joshua, son of Nun, secretly sent out two spies from Shittim, saying, “Go, reconnoiter the land and Jericho.” When the two reached Jericho, they went into the house of a prostitute named Rahab, where they lodged. But a report was brought to the king of Jericho: “Some men came here last night, Israelites, to spy out the land.” So the king of Jericho sent Rahab the order, “Bring out the men who have come to you and entered your house, for they have come to spy out the entire land.” The woman had taken the two men and hidden them, so she said, “True, the men you speak of came to me, but I did not know where they came from. At dark, when it was time to close the gate, they left, and I do not know where they went. You will have to pursue them quickly to overtake them.” Now, she had led them to the roof, and hidden them among her stalks of flax spread out there. But the pursuers set out along the way to the fords of the Jordan. As soon as they had left to pursue them, the gate was shut.

Before the spies lay down, Rahab went up to them on the roof and said: “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that a dread of you has come upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land tremble with fear because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites beyond the Jordan, whom you destroyed under the ban. We heard, and our hearts melted within us; everyone is utterly dispirited because of you, since the LORD, your God, is God in heaven above and on earth below. Now then, swear to me by the LORD that, since I am showing kindness to you, you in turn will show kindness to my family. Give me a reliable sign that you will allow my father and mother, brothers and sisters, and my whole family to live, and that you will deliver us from death.” “We pledge our lives for yours,” they answered her. “If you do not betray our mission, we will be faithful in showing kindness to you when the LORD gives us the land.”

Then she let them down through the window with a rope; for she lived in a house built into the city wall.
Ruth 3:7-11
Boaz ate and drank to his heart’s content, and went to lie down at the edge of the pile of grain. She crept up, uncovered a place at his feet, and lay down. Midway through the night, the man gave a start and groped about, only to find a woman lying at his feet. “Who are you?” he asked. She replied, “I am your servant Ruth. Spread the wing of your cloak over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” He said, “May the LORD bless you, my daughter! You have been even more loyal now than before in not going after the young men, whether poor or rich.Now rest assured, my daughter, I will do for you whatever you say; all my townspeople know you to be a worthy woman.
2 Samuel 11:2-5
One evening David rose from his bed and strolled about on the roof of the king’s house. From the roof he saw a woman bathing; she was very beautiful. David sent people to inquire about the woman and was told, “She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, and wife of Uriah the Hittite, Joab’s armor-bearer.” Then David sent messengers and took her. When she came to him, he took her to bed, at a time when she was just purified after her period; and she returned to her house. But the woman had become pregnant; she sent a message to inform David, “I am pregnant.”
Gentile Audience
Jewish Audience
Focuses on Jesus as the one who comes to minister women, gentiles, the poor, and sinners.
Focuses on Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy
Luke's Infancy Narrative
Contains 5 Old Testament prophecies and an explanation of how they are fulfilled:
1. Isaiah 7:14
2. Micah 5:2
3. Hosea 11:1
4. Jeremiah 31:15
5. Isaiah 11:1

In Matthew, it is enough that Joseph is the legal father of Jesus, because adopted parents count when tracing birthrite, thus Jesus is a "Son of David" through Joseph, and Matthew can instead emphasize how He is the Son of God like the covenant with David foretold. Matthew also emphasizes Jesus' kingship; He is the new David, who receives tribute from foreign kings and upsets the current government.

Most of Matthews main characters were men, which would have appealed to his primarily Jewish audience. In the Jewish culture, women seldom could read and write and the husband made the primary religious decisions, so this written Gospel was aimed at reaching the heads of the families.

Matthew draws a parallel between the prophesy of Balaam in Numbers 22:17 and the star announcing Jesus' birth:
I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob;
a scepter will rise out of Israel.

In Matthew, Jesus' life is full of danger and catastrophe from the very beginning. He causes uncomfortable descent from normalcy:
an unexplained pregnancy
non-normal marriage situation
Herod trying to kill baby Jesus
fleeing to Egypt
a return to Nazareth

Titles of Jesus from Matthew's Infancy Narrative:
Messiah (1:1, 16-18; 2:4)
Jesus (Yahweh saves) "for he will save his people from their sins" (1:21, 25)
Emmanuel: "God with us" (1:23)
King of the Jews (2:2)
"A ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel" (2:6)
Nazorean (2:23)
Luke was a physician, and his gospel description is the most physically descriptive and "scientifically" accurate. He took note of the details of healings and situations.

Tradition says that Luke interviewed Mary, and based on the detail he has about Jesus' birth and the Annunciation, that seems likely.

Luke tries to show that Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies in order to prove His divinity. He emphasizes Mary's role in God's plan and her own dignity as a descendent of David, since she is the biological mother of Jesus.

Luke was a Macedonian, a missionary to the gentiles. He emphasizes that Jesus was the way in which the Jewish God was not coming to all people.
In the story of the presentation in the temple, Simeon announces that Jesus will be
"A light to reveal [God] to the nations, and the glory of [God's] people, Israel."

Luke is particularly interested in demonstrating how Jesus comes for the members of society who were considered second class. The first people to see the baby Jesus were poor shepherds. His coming was made known to an old man in the temple, Simeon, as well as two women: Elizabeth and Anna.

Luke also draws Old Testament parallels to birth stories, including the birth of Samson in Judges 13 and the Birth of Samuel 1 Samuel 1-2.

Luke emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit, the divinity of Christ, a concept more familiar to his Greek audience who was used to believing in Greek philosophy's Spirit of Wisdom.
St. Luke wrote a Gospel and a follow-up book: The Acts of the Apostles.
He is usually shown with an ox based on the tradition that the four beasts in the book of Revelation symbolize the four evangelists. Matthew - man; Mark - lion; Luke - ox; John - eagle.
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