The Holy Innocents by Giotto di Bondone
Yule Blog
The Hinge of Fate

The gospels make a point of saying that Jesus was born of a virgin, but there is more to the story than the absence of a biological father.

Published on: December 28, 2013
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  • Stephen Colby

    I am enjoying reading your Yule Blog (I just now got the pun).
    For another insight on the “room at the inn” part of the story, I recommend Kenneth Bailey’s book “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes”, chapter 1 of which can be found here: http://www.ivpress.com/title/exc/2568-1.pdf

  • BifurcatedTale

    Beautifully written. Thank you.

  • PKCasimir

    There are two references to Jesus as a carpenter in the Gospels. One is in Mark in which the townsmen of Nazareth ask of Jesus – “Is this not the carpenter?” (Mark 6:3). Matthew changes it to “Is this not the son of the carpenter?” (Mathew 13:55). The traditional English translation as “carpenter” is misleading. The Bible uses the Greek word “tekton”. It can include one who works with wood, but in its First Century Galilean context is more likely to refer to a stoneworker. Houses and buildings were built of stone. Wood was used sparingly, mostly for roof beams and doors, since wood was a scarce building material in the rocky terrain where Jesus was born. Jesus often drew upon images of stone buildings to illustrate his teachings. In one of his well-known stories he speaks of the wise man who in building a house digs a deep foundation and lays the solid stone foundation of the building upon bedrock (Luke 6:48.) Jesus appears to have been exposed to the building trades and stonework of some type was probably his trade and that of Joseph.

  • Boritz

    And there was the whole ‘house of David’ thing. -TAI

    Consider God’s promise to David in 2 Sam 2:16:
    Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever. [NIV]

    Considering what God means by ‘forever’ (eternity) this is not a trivial promise. In the long run (again, eternity) only one throne will be established forever.
    It is described in Isaiah 9:7 and mentions David.
     
    Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
    He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
    establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever. —

    The only way this promise could be fulfilled is for the Messiah to be a descendent of David.
    Notice the phrase ‘from that time on and forever’. The laspse in power of the throne of David is trivial compared to its promised restoration.
    One could argue that since Joseph didn’t contribute the DNA does this really make Jesus a descendant of David?
    Two points: First, as you point out we don’t know the base sequence of the non-Mary portion of Jesus’ DNA, it was whatever God wanted it to be.
    Second, these scriptures indicate that God considers Jesus to be a descendant of David for purposes of fulfillment of the promise he made to him.

  • Jim__L

    “the “imitation of Christ” has almost always been understood as an
    imitation of his moral qualities rather than as a call to eat what he
    ate or wear what he wore.”

    See Matthew 15:1-20, verses 19-20 in particular.

  • ltcpaladin

    Professor,

    I discovered your Yule Blog today via a link from Instapundit. I am grateful to you for this effort. I agree the message is lost in the celebration.

    Thank you for shining additional light on the origin and its meaning. I am reading through the posts and will be sharing with my loved ones.

    Blessings, Sir.

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