The Nativity

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Luke 1:1-4 . . Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us-- just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us --it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Luke's report is alleged to have been written somewhere around a.d.60, roughly thirty years or so after the conclusion of the facts. Plus, it's not an eye-witness report; rather, it's essentially hearsay. All I can say to that is Caveat Lector.

Also; Luke's report was written neither to or for a church, it was written to and for a specific person; which leads me to believe that Luke wasn't expecting his report to end up in the Bible. Apparently Constantine's committee felt it was "inspired" so there it is.
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Luke 1:26-27 . . And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

That particular sixth month wasn't a date on the Jew's calendar. It was relative to the second trimester of Mary's cousin Elizabeth. (Luke 1:24, Luke 1:36)


NOTE: Mary and Elizabeth were related by blood to Rachel's sister Leah by her two sons Levi and Judah.

The koiné Greek word for "virgin" is parthenos (par-then'-os) which basically means a maiden; particularly a daughter that's not married. In point of fact, at this juncture Mary was engaged.

Joseph's association with David is extremely important in matters related to theocratic royalty.
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Luke 1:28 . .The angel went to her and said: Greetings, you who are highly favored!

"highly favored" is translated from the Greek word charitoo (khar-ee-to'-o) which means to indue with special honor. It's a rare word that appears in only one other verse in the entire New Testament at Eph 1:6.

The angel wasn't describing Mary's character as if she was an ultra pious Jew. He merely stated that she was the object of a very special blessing; same as Christ's believing followers are the objects of a very special blessing at Eph 1:6, i.e. the angel informed Mary that she was extremely fortunate; though for the moment she had no clue as to why.


NOTE: Some versions have "blessed are you among women" but that phrase isn't translated from the Greek; i.e. editors took the liberty to insert it because in their opinion that's what the passage ought to say even though it doesn't, so we can safely ignore it.

Arbitrary editing can be troublesome at times because the practice erodes our confidence in the Bible as the inspired word of God. Sometimes arbitrary editing is helpful; but other times it just muddies the waters.
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Luke 1:29 . . She was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be.

Artists generally depict the angel as a celestial being with wings. But I don't think that's how this one came knocking. He probably looked to Mary no different than an ordinary man because the New Testament Greek word for angel is aggelos (ang'-el-os) which refers to all manner of messengers, e.g. prophets (Matt 11:10), delegates (Luke 7:24), church officers (Rev 1:20-3:14), and apparitions. (Rev 22:16)

I rather suspect that Mary was a little nervous that maybe this man talking to her wasn't some sort of crackpot.

Luke 1:30 . . But the angel said to her: Do not be afraid, Mary,

The New Testament Greek word for "afraid" is phobeo (fob-eh'-o) which basically refers to fright and alarm. Mary was scared; and who wouldn't be when a total stranger walks into your life out of nowhere, talking crazy, and knowing your name to boot?
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Luke 1:30 . .You have found favor with God.

The Greek word translated "favor" is charis (khar'-ece) a common word for "grace" which, in my estimation, is best understood as gracious; and can be defined as kind, courteous, inclined to good will, generous, charitable, merciful, altruistic, compassionate, thoughtful, cordial, affable, non threatening, genial, sociable, cheerful, warm, sensitive, considerate, and tactful.

The equivalent of charis in the Old Testament is chen (khane); for example:

"Noah found favor with The Lord." (Gen 6:8)

I think it fair to say that when someone has found favor with God, it probably means that He's taken a liking to them; or at least an interest; for example:

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you." (John 15:9)
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Luke 1:31a . . Behold,

The Greek word translated "behold" is idou (id-oo') which, in this case, means to listen up and pay attention 'cause this is important.

Luke 1:31b . . you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son.

The Greek word translated "conceive" means exactly what it says. We're not talking about a test tube baby here. The very same word is used at Luke 1:24 and Luke 1:36 in talking about Elizabeth's baby.

It's amazing the number of Christians I encounter online who honestly believe that the baby Jesus was an implant. i.e. that his mom was a surrogate mother instead of his biological mother.
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Luke 1:31c . .You are to give him the name Jesus.

The Greek word for "Jesus" is Iesous (ee-ay-sooce') which is the Hebrew equivalent of Yehowshuwa' (yeh-ho-shoo'-ah) and/or Yehowshu'a (yeh-ho-shoo'-ah) which essentially mean: saved by Jehovah. (Note the grammatical tense: it's past rather than present or future.)

Anyway, that was Joshua's name; the Jewish military commander who led Moses' people during the conquest of ancient Palestine.

I think it's pretty safe to assume that Jesus' name was chosen specifically rather than arbitrarily because of it's historical significance.


NOTE: Joshua wasn't the only military commander in charge of the conquest. There was another of higher rank, superior to Joshua.

Josh 5:13-15 . . As Joshua approached the city of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man facing him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked: Are you friend or foe?

. . . Neither one; he replied. I am commander of Yhvh's forces.

. . . At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. I am at your command; Joshua said. What do you want your servant to do? The commander of Yhvh's forces replied: Take off your sandals, for this is holy ground.

. . . And Joshua did as he was told.
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Jesus' mom was instructed to give her miraculous baby the name Jesus.

Luke 1:31c . .You are to give him the name Jesus.

Joseph was instructed to do the same.

Matt 1:20-21 . . An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said: Joseph son of David . . . you are to give him the name Jesus

Joseph complied.

Matt 1:25 . . And he gave him the name Jesus.

So Christ went in the books as Joseph's son because that's how it worked in those days when a man stood with a woman to name her child (cf. Luke 1:59, Luke 2:21).

From that day on; Joseph was identified by all, including Mary, as Jesus' father. (Matt 13:55, Luke 2:27, Luke 2:41, Luke 2:48)

Now; the thing to note is that adopted children have just as much legal right to an inheritance as a father's biological children; especially a right to the father's name; and that's how baby Jesus got into Joseph's genealogy at Matt 1:1-17. Had the little guy been Joseph's foster child, or his stepchild; then it would've been fraud for Matthew to place the boy in Joseph's genealogy.
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Luke 1:1-4 . . Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us-- just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us --it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.


Luke's report is alleged to have been written somewhere around a.d.60, roughly thirty years or so after the conclusion of the facts. Plus, it's not an eye-witness report; rather, it's essentially hearsay. All I can say to that is Caveat Lector.

Also; Luke's report was written neither to or for a church, it was written to and for a specific person; which leads me to believe that Luke wasn't expecting his report to end up in the Bible. Apparently Constantine's committee felt it was "inspired" so there it is.
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So -- apparently you feel that the book of Luke didn't really need to be included in Scripture.

You Do know / understand the concept of God's Word being 'inspired'. God told a person to write through the Holy Spirit. So -- the author of Luke wrote exactly what he was Supposed to write. And it ended up in the Canon of Scripture just as it was supposed to.

Yes, it was written to Theophilus -- and it's also a companion to the book of Acts.

Why would Any of the authors of Any of the books 'expect' them to end up in the Bible. They were simply 'writing' what they were being 'inspired' To write. Much, Much later in human history -- this manuscript would end up in book form and part of the Bible as we know it now.
 
Matt 1:21 . . He shall save his people from their sins.

The word "save" is from the koiné Greek word sozo (sode'-zo) which basically means to rescue and/or protect.

Rescuers typically provide their services to desperate people who are thoroughly incapable of getting themselves out of overwhelming difficulties.

"his people" refers to the Jews.

Heb 2:16-17 . . Assuredly he does not give help to angels, but he gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, he had to be made like his brethren in all things, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Baby Jesus wasn't related to Aaron, so his high priesthood would not be in accord with the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Jesus' high priesthood would be in accord with a Gentile high priest; in point of fact, baby Jesus' high priesthood would be in accord with a man whose ethnic identity isn't known, nor is anything known about his family or his ancestors.

Baby Jesus was to become a high priest in accord with a man that the Jews have heard of, but never actually seen for themselves. The man's name is Melchizedek; he's mentioned way back in the past in association with Abraham. (Gen 14:18-20, Ps 110:1-4, Heb 6:20-7:22)

Now, unless "his people" extends all the way back to Abraham, then the rescue referred to in Matt 1:21 would be limited to some of his people but not all. But according to Isa 53:6, it's all; which is a tremendous improvement over Aaron's high priesthood. His isn't retroactive that far back. It only extends to the year of the installation of the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Deut 5:2-4 . .The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. It was not with our fathers that The Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today.
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Adz --- well -- as human beings 'we' Are incapable of getting ourselves out of the overwhelming penalty for our sinfulness. Without the shed blood of Christ at calvary, Everyone would be doomed to everlasting time in hell.

That is what every person is being saved From. God is our creator and He provided a 'rescuer' -- His Son, Jesus Christ -- dying on the cross and taking our sinfulness with Him. He went to hell for us, in our place, and came back up From -- in our place. Otherwise -- we'd all be dying in our sins and going to hell / staying there / no way of getting out of hell simply because we don't like it there, after all. A lot of our friends Might be there , also. But it won't be a place of everlasting partying. And that's what a lot of people think it Will be. ya know -- get God and all those Christians 'out of here' and 'we' can start having some real fun. (that is satan's lie to us).

A person is being saved TO eternity in heaven with God and all the other believers from all the times / past , present, and future/ Book of Revelations tells us about the New Jerusalem.

And, yes, His people started out being the Jews. Jesus Christ was born a Jew and came to save His people from their sins. HOWEVER -- in the New Testament , salvation was extended to the Gentiles (everyone else in the world). Because His own people rejected Him.

Maybe we can drop the 'baby' Jesus because He hasn't been a 'baby' since He was born. He grew up to be our Savior. He was a religious teacher of that day -- but as we know -- He became much more than that. He died on the cross and became our Savior and hopefully our Personal Savior. While here on earth, He was directing us to His Father in heaven.

There were high priests in the Old Testament. They offered yearly pure lambs to take care of the sins of the people. Jesus Christ, in the New Testament , became the Final sacrifice. The Perfect Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

And, yes , there Was the man known as Melchizedek -- a type of Christ. After the order Of Melchizedek.

"We" are now living in the New Testament. We are in the age of grace. No works needed. Jesus Christ is our mediator. Our 'high priest'. The Son of God. There's no need for a human high priest or priest. We can go directly to God in prayer -- through Jesus Christ. We Can be praying with other people. In church we have prayer meetings -- at least we Used to. We'd have prayer requests and take turns praying in the group for those particular requests.
 
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Matt 1:18 . . His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

"through the Holy Spirit" really ought to be in parenthesis because up till then; nobody but Mary knew the identity of baby Jesus' father.

Matt 1:18-19 . . Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away quietly.

The covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy required women to be executed if they willingly slept with a man while engaged.

Deut 22:23-24 . . If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death-- the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife.

However, the covenant also states:

Deut 22:25-27 . . But if out in the countryside a man happens to meet a girl pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. Do nothing to the girl; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders his neighbor, for the man found the girl out in the country, and though the betrothed girl screamed, there was no one to rescue her.

But the law is very particular in capital cases. Nobody can be executed for any crime sans the testimony of a minimum of two witnesses.

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.

The Bible says that Joseph was a righteous man; which means that he was a stickler for due process in strict accord with the covenant.

Now at first glance it appears Joseph had a right to have his fianceé investigated for harlotry; however, without two witnesses, he had to let her slide the same as grown-up Jesus let a woman taken in adultery slide because no one stepped forward to testify against her. (John 8:9-11)
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Your references are Old Testament , but that took place in the New Testament -- Joseph Could have divorced her quietly. A footnote says that back in those days, betrothal was just like being married except with no sexual relationship. So - in order to end the betrothal period, there had to be a divorce.

vs 20 "But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said. "Joseph , son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit . She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save his people from their sins."

This passage shows that Joseph believed what the angel told him and had no problem taking her as his wife. But she had no sexual union with him until after Jesus was born.

Vs 22 "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: vs 23 " The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will can Him Immanuel" -- which means, "God with us."

You're talking about two very different situations. An angel told Joseph exactly what had happened with Mary. It was through the Holy Spirit. There was never any real question. Except for society today. Today's skeptics say that she was Really pregnant by a soldier and Joseph took pity on her and married her Anyway. And That would have taken away any stigma of Mary having an illicit relationship and having a baby out of wedlock.. And, as a result - Jesus would definitely have No ability to forgive anyone's sins.

The woman taken in adultery -- Jesus was telling her about herself -- the woman at the well -- how many men had she been married to and the man she was with now was not her husband. Jesus was offering her living water instead of the water she had been at the well to draw. Jesus told her to go and sin no more. His knowledge of her showed her that He was someone 'different'. She went and told people that He had told her everything that she'd ever done. They were amazed. That 'this' must have been Jesus.

I just looked at your reference -- we have two different cases of adultery being forgiven. Jesus is challenging the men 'who caught her in the very act Of' -- Jesus was being set up. To test what Jesus would do / tell them / her. He simply challenged the men who brought her with intention of stoning her. He who is without sin, cast the first stone at her. No one did and they left. Then he acknowledged that no one was there condemning her and neither was He. But He DID tell her to leave her life of sin. She was being given a second chance.
 
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