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Jesus, Mary, & Joseph

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Hello, and welcome to a collection of comments related to the holy family in ways which will probably never be seen mentioned in pageants, plays, movies, and/or television specials.

Reactions and responses are welcome as I sincerely believe that viewers are entitled to not only their own opinion, but also a second opinion.

Buen Camino
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Matt 1:18-19 . . Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away quietly.

A righteous man is defined by Luke 1:6 as observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. The word "all" suggests to me that Joseph wasn't compliant with just some of the Lord's wishes, nor even most, rather, the whole ball of wax. That's an amazing track record.

FAQ: Wasn't Joseph supposed to have his betrothed stoned for sleeping around? (Deut 22:23-27)

A: The covenanted law that Moses' people agreed upon with God in the Old Testament requires the testimony of a minimum of two witnesses for the prosecution in capital cases.

Deut 17:6-7 . . At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.

Sans witnesses even Joseph himself became a suspect; in point of fact, the prime suspect.

NOTE: Compare the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:1-11). Jesus had to dismiss the woman because there was no one willing to testify against her. And even had he known by omniscience that the woman was guilty, the Lord couldn't testify against her because he wasn't a legitimate witness; and besides, he would've been the only one, whereas the Jews' covenanted law requires a minimum of two.
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Matt 1:19 . . And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man,

Curiously, the Bible doesn't say one way or the other whether Mary was righteous. By means of a judicious blend of extrapolation and fact; we might at least suggest that she was.

For example:

Luke 1:30 . . Mary, you have found favor with God.

The Greek word translated "favor" is also translated grace in quite a few places. So we could translate Luke 1:30 like this:

"you have found grace with God."

That wasn't the first time someone found grace with God. Noah did too.

Gen 6:8 . . Noah found grace in the eyes of The Lord.

And:

Gen 6:9 . . Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time,

I might be taking liberties here; but if Noah found grace with God, and he was righteous and blameless among the people of his time; then seeing as how Mary found grace with God, then maybe we can say that she too was righteous and blameless among the people of her time.
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Continuing from post No.3

Righteousness-- as it's presented in the story of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph --is exemplified by the righteousness attributed to the Jewish parents of the Lord's cousin; John the Baptist.

Luke 1:5-6 . .There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

The apostle Paul was another Jew who walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Phil 3:5-6 . . Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews . . . touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

It sometimes surprises people that Jesus Christ wasn't a Christian; he was a Jew-- born under the law, circumcised the eighth day --as such he was yet another Jew whose righteousness was defined by the righteousness which is in the law.

I really don't think it's a good idea to inject Christianity's by-faith righteousness into the story of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph seeing as how those folks were all Jews whose righteousness is measured by the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God in the Old Testament-- a.k.a. the law.

Now, it's true that the righteousness which is in the law isn't righteous enough to attain heaven. However, the righteousness which is in the Jews' covenant is just as righteous in our day as it was in Moses'.

Rom 3:31 . . Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Rom 7:12 . . The law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
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FYI:

Luke 1:31-35 . . Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call His name Jesus. . .Then Mary said to the angel: How can this be, since I do not know a man? And the angel answered and said to her: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy one who is to be born will be called the son of God.

The laws in the Bible regulating the use and abuse of sex pertain only to humans and animals; none that I'm aware of pertain to God.

Also, according to the Bible; where there is no law, there is no breaking the law. (Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13)

Therefore; seeing as there is no law forbidding God to impregnate a women that He's not married to, then if and/or whenever He chooses to do so; for Him it's not a sin.

NOTE: For most folks, the issue addressed in this post is a non issue; but there are toxic critics out there always watching for opportunities to denigrate Christianity and/or poison a thread so I thought it best that we get the jump on their attack.
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Matt 1:18 . . When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

Webster's defines "betroth" as to give in marriage and/or to promise to marry. The very same Greek word for betroth is employed again to describe their relationship on the road to Bethlehem. (Luke 2:5)

The Greek word translated "came together" means conjoin. I should think that word needs no defining. (Well, maybe for underage children it might need defining.)

Matthew 1:18-24 refers to Joseph and Jesus' mom as husband and wife. But I have it on good authority that it was the custom in those days for couples to be known as someone's husband and/or someone's wife during the engagement period; which could be up to ten or twelve months prior to the actual nuptials.

Matthew 1:24 is translated in some versions to say that Joseph took Mary home. But a Greek word for home isn't actually in the manuscript. It just says he took her; like this:

"And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife"

The Greek word for "took" has a variety of meanings, one of which is to accept. In other words: Matt 1:24 just means that Joseph changed his mind about the engagement; it doesn't mean they started living together.
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It's remarkable the number of people I encounter online who sincerely believe that
Joseph shared a home with Jesus' mom with no intention of ever having any
children by her. In other words; they actually believe that Joseph was celibate in
his own home; and consequently Mary too: a young girl in the prime of life no less.
I can't imagine a more dysfunctional marriage than that. (Imagine kids growing up
in a home where parents never hug, kiss, or display the slightest feelings of
romantic affection for each other.)

Some folk-- apparently inadequately schooled in the birds and the bees - need to
be told that Joseph and his best girl were engaged to be married before either one
of them were informed about a somebody named Jesus.

Matt 1:18-19 . . Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother
Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be
with child by the Holy Spirit.

Since Mary was already engaged to Joseph prior to Gabriel's announcement; the
logical conclusion is that she was marrying a Jewish guy for the usual reasons that
Jewish girls wanted a Jewish husband-- to settle down, cohabit with a Jewish man,
and raise a Jewish family.

And since Joseph was already engaged to Mary prior to the dream sequence, the
logical conclusion is that he was marrying a Jewish girl for the usual reasons that
Jewish guys wanted a Jewish wife-- to settle down, cohabit with a Jewish woman,
and raise a Jewish family.

Since the inspired Gospel narratives do not clearly, and without ambiguity, indicate
otherwise, it has to be assumed, from the normal round of human experience, that
those two adults fully intended to sleep together after their wedding just like every
other normal couple did back then.

Another point worth well worth the trouble to refute is that in Catholicism, it is a sin
to marry with no intent of producing children. That sin is based upon a very early
blessing in the book of Genesis a long time before the religions of Judaism and
Christianity.

Gen 1:28 . .God blessed them and said to them; Be fruitful and increase in
number

Catholicism regards that blessing as a commandment. Therefore, had Mary and
Joseph made no attempt whatsoever to produce children together, then they would
have been guilty of disobeying that which Rome regards as a divine fiat. It gets
worse.

The Bible's God tempts no man to sin (Jas 1:13). So if He had directed Mary and
Joseph into a celibate, platonic marriage-- thus forcing them to disobey His early
fiat --then according to Rome's thinking; God would have been guilty of leading
Jesus' parents into sin.

NOTE: A very serious ethnical point worth emphasizing is that Joseph and his wife
were both Abraham's posterity. God early-on blessed their paterfamilias with this
remark:

Gen 22:17 . . In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy
seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore.

Had Joseph not attempted to produce children of his own with his wife, he would
have failed to participate in Abraham's blessing and do his part in perpetuating his
ancestor's seed. In other words: it was Joseph's sacred privilege, and his sacred
duty, to make an honest attempt to have children with Jesus' mom.
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Matt 1:22-23 . . Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken
of the Lord by the prophet, saying: Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall
bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel

That prophecy is located in Isaiah 7:14 which is commonly believed to specifically
predict Jesus; but it primarily speaks into events back in the Old Testament.

Sometimes the word "fulfill" and/or "fulfilled" refers to applying a prophecy to
something other than what it was originally intended. For example; the virgin
spoken of in Isa 7:1-25 was initially a young girl in the southern kingdom during
king Ahaz's reign. In order for her to be of any use to him at all for a sign, it was
necessary for the girl to be someone with whom Ahaz was familiar.

FYI: The Hebrew word for "virgin" in Isa 7:14 is 'almah (al-maw') which simply
means a young girl, i.e. it has more to do with age than carnal experience. The New
Testament equivalent is parthenos (par-then'-os) which means pretty much the
same thing. Without some additional information, it is impossible to determine
whether an 'almah and/or a parthenos has, or has not, experienced carnal relations
with a man.

Take Rebecca for example. She was an 'almah (Gen 24:43). But she was also a
bethuwlah (beth-oo-law') which is another Hebrew word for virgins. In Rebecca's
case, the Bible informs us that she was an 'almah/bethuwlah who had not yet
experienced carnal relations with a man when Abraham's servant met with her.
(Gen 24:16)

Jesus' mom was a parthenos (Luke 1:26-27). If that were all that's said about her,
we'd only know that she was a young girl. However, Mary herself informs us that
she had not yet experienced carnal relations with a man when the angel met with
her. (Luke 1:34)

My point of all this is that we should never assume that the word "virgin" always,
and without exception, indicates someone who's never been to bed with anyone.

Matt 1:23 . . they will call him Immanuel-- which means "God with us"

Immanuel isn't supposed to be taken as a name for God, nor taken to mean that
God is on-site in person. It actually speaks of providence; for example:

Luke 7:16-17 . . And fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God,
saying: A great prophet has arisen among us! And: God has visited His people! And
this report concerning him went out all over Judea, and in all the surrounding
district.

It would be nice if God were with everyone following this thread just as He was with
Ahaz when the king and his people were in danger of invasion from the north; and
as He was with Judea when the great prophet Jesus went about restoring life to the
dead; and curing the sick, the lame, and the blind.
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Luke 2:1-5 . . Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from
Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the
first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all were proceeding to
register for the census, everyone to his own city.

. . . And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to
the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and
family of David, in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and
was with child.

Now, if so that Joseph and Jesus' mom were not yet fully married at that point,
then why was she traveling to Bethlehem with him; and why would she want to go
there anyway; especially in her condition? It's 68 miles one-way as the crow flies;
and no doubt quite a few more miles than that via the ancient road systems; which
were not paved.

The answer is pretty simple. Mary's family was biologically related to David just as
much as Joseph's. In other words; she had to go to Bethlehem for the census. So
then what is usually depicted on Xmas cards as a lone couple traveling to
Bethlehem was far more likely a joint venture consisting of both families: Joseph's
and Mary's.

So; how do I know Mary was biologically related to David? Well; it would be easy to
see were the language and grammar of the opening remarks to Jesus' genealogy--
per Luke's gospel --not so controversial. Since that route has been compromised,
we'll have to take another.

Rom 1:1-3 . . Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David
according to the flesh

The Greek word for "seed" in that passage is sperma (sper'-mah) which is a bit
ambiguous because it can refer to spiritual progeny as well as to biological progeny;
for example:

Gal 3:29 . . If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed.

That seed is obviously spiritual progeny; whereas David's is biological because his
seed is "according to the flesh" i.e. his physical human body.

Well; seeing as how Joseph wasn't Jesus' biological father, then we're left with
Mary's bloodline as the default trail of flesh to David; and if Mary, then of course
her dad too.

Now, there's a rumor going round that people's biological father is the source of
their blood. But if we keep in mind that Eve was constructed of material taken from
Adam's body, then we are assured that any child that biologically descends from
Eve's body descends from Adam's body too; whether virgin-conceived or normally
conceived makes no difference as all human flesh is Adam's flesh regardless of race
or gender; and if so, then all human blood regardless of type-- whether A, B, AB,
and O, and/or RhD --is Adam's blood regardless of race or gender.

In other words: the only kind of human blood that could possibly be in Jesus' body
was Adam's blood because there just simply isn't any other human blood to work
with.

Acts 17:26 . . He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face
of the earth.

There's also an ancient prediction in the book of Genesis that biologically relates
Jesus to Eve.

Gen 3:15 . . I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your
seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the
heel.

Well, if Jesus is biologically related to Eve, then he's certainly also biologically
related to Adam; can't get out of that.
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FAQ: Why was Joseph left out of Jesus' conception? Why couldn't he have been
Jesus' biological father?

A: There's a couple of popular theories going around.

One claims it was to protect Jesus from the so-called fallen nature, which is
believed inherited from a child's biological father. Well; whence did Eve get it? She
was constructed of material taken from Adam's body; but he tasted the fruit after
she was born, so it was too late for him to pass the fallen nature on to her via his
genetics.

Another theory posits that Joseph was left out of Jesus' conception in order to
protect him from the curse upon king Jeconiahs' royal posterity. (Jer 22:29-30, Matt
1:11)

But according to the language and grammar of the curse; its duration was limited
to an era when the land of Israel was divided into two kingdoms-- Judah in the
south and Samaria in the north --which came to an end when Nebuchadnezzar
crushed the whole country and led first Samaria, and then later Judah, off to
Babylonian slavery. When Christ takes the reins, the land of Israel will be unified,
i.e. it will no longer be Judah in the south and Samaria in the north.

And besides, Jeconiah's royal line and the curse were inseparable. Had the curse
been established in perpetuity, then when Jesus was placed in Jeconiah's royal line
via his adoption to Joseph, he would've inherited the curse right along with the line;
whether virgin-conceived or not would've made no difference.

A third theory, which to me seems the correct interpretation, is that it was simply
God's wishes that Jesus be not only Adam's progeny, but also His own, viz: Son of
Man and Son of God, in accord with the angel's announcement. (Luke 1:32-35)
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One claims it was to protect Jesus from the so-called fallen nature, which is
believed inherited from a child's biological father.

When Eve tasted the forbidden fruit, it had no effect. She went right on just as
naked as before without the slightest feelings of shame. It wasn't till Adam tasted
the fruit that she obtained a sense of decency. Prior to that, had someone walked
up and said; "Hey, put some clothes on; you're indecent." she would've stared at
them as if they were a man gone mad.

Eve was born before Adam tasted the fruit; so he could not, nor did he, give her a
sense of decency by means of procreation, nor by means of his body parts that God
used to construct her.

Since Eve didn't obtain a sense of decency from the chemistry of the fruit, nor via
procreation by means of Adam's body parts; then whence?

We're left with two alternatives: either God did it or the Serpent did it. My money is
on the Serpent, a.k.a. the Devil (Rev 20:2)

He has the power of death (John 8:44, Heb 2:14) and is able to tamper with the
human body and the human mind, e.g. Luke 13:16, Mark 5:1-5, and Eph 2:2.

The Serpent was apparently all set and ready to wield the power of death the
moment that Adam crossed the line and ate that fruit. It amazes me how quickly it
set in. As soon as Adam tasted the fruit, they both immediately set to work with the
fig leaves.

FAQ: Why wasn't Eve effected by the Serpent's power of death when she tasted the
forbidden fruit?

A: It was apparently God's wishes that sin and death come into the world via a
man's actions just as life and righteousness would later be offered to the world via
a man's actions. (Rom 5:12-21)

FAQ: When does the Serpent do his deadly work on people. . . in the womb or out
of the womb?

A: Adam and Eve demonstrate that it can be done on adults, but I'm guessing that
for most of us it's in the womb. (Ps 51:5)

In conclusion: even if Joseph had been baby Jesus' end-game biological father, the
child wouldn't have necessarily been born with the so-called fallen nature because
it's not passed on by one's biological father nor one's biological mother. It's
obtained from humanity's other father; the Serpent-- ergo: protecting baby Jesus
from the so-called fallen nature was just a simple matter of keeping the Devil's
paws off him.
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Luke 2:22-24 . . And when the days of her purification according to the law of
Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the
Lord. (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb
shall be called holy to the Lord) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is
said in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

The birds were for Jesus' mom (Lev 12:6-8). They were a "sin" offering; but I don't
think it would be wise to conclude from the wording of Leviticus that Jesus' mom
was a sinner because whether sinner or saint, God required it of Moses' people;
take for example Matt 13:13-15 where it's said:

"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried
to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? Jesus
replied: Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.
Then John consented."

John's baptism was "unto repentance" (Matt 3:11). Well; surely Jesus needed no
repentance; he was a saint in the extreme sense of the word: i.e. Jesus was 110%
sinless (John 8:29, 2Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, and 1Pet 2:22). However, it was God's
wishes that people in the Israel of that day submit to John's baptism regardless
whether they needed it-- not only because it was God's wishes, but by doing so
they publically acknowledged that repentance is a good thing.

In other words: Jesus' mom brought those birds; not because she was a sinner, but
primarily because it was the right thing for Jewish mothers to do.

Now, Jesus was circumcised on his eighth day (Luke 2:21). His mom brought her
birds thirty-three days later (Lev 12:3-4). Along with the birds, she was supposed
to bring a sum of money to redeem her boy (Num 18:15-16).

The redemption money was a buy-back; in other words: its purpose wasn't to save
Jesus' soul from Hell; rather, the money was a ransom; so to speak. All the
firstborn sons in Israel were God's private property to do with as He pleased. In
other words: the boys were all born into slavery to God. The redemption money
bought them their freedom.

It really wasn't all that much; just five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary,
which is something like twenty gerahs per shekel (Ezek 45:12) roughly equivalent
to 10 English pennyweights or 1/2 troy ounce of silver. So five shekels would be
about equal to 2½ troy ounces. The price of silver as of Aug 05, 2020 was 27 US
dollars per troy. So 2½ ounces troy would total about 67.50 US dollars (57.35 Euro).

I don't know the equivalent of $67.50 back in Mary's day but in our day, silver
prices fluctuate due to the activity of investors; back in her day silver's value was
no doubt strictly regulated by the government and thus probably worth a whole lots
less than it is now.
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