Most theological systems conscript the Lukan birth narrative, along with its Matthean counterpart, into the service of incarnational Christology. This is to say that Luke's nativity story—the virginal conception in particular—is understood to present the mechanism by which God became a man. In this way the Lukan account fills the lacuna left by the Fourth … Continue reading Jesus the patriot: Jewish nationalism in Luke’s Christmas story
Jesus: homeless homeowner
Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20/Luke 9:58) Popular perceptions of Jesus' day to day experience are often informed by the above saying. The idea that Jesus was not only poor, but homeless, has become something of an axiom: … Continue reading Jesus: homeless homeowner
Jesus’ family reconsidered
Mary did you know? The Matthean and Lukan infancy stories are the dominant sources for our traditional understanding of Jesus' familial relations. Based on their testimony, we tend to picture the holy family as a harmonious unit; as a family supportive of their son's prophetic and messianic vocation from the very beginning. With the opening … Continue reading Jesus’ family reconsidered
Biblical Studies Carnival #167: December 2019
Welcome to the Biblical Studies Carnival and happy new year! I have the privilege of rounding up some of my favorite Bible-related posts and publications from the month of December. Although it took some work, the hosting the Carnival makes me appreciate all the more the blood, sweat, and tears that go into continuing the … Continue reading Biblical Studies Carnival #167: December 2019
Virgin birth in ancient context: sowing the father’s πνεῦμα
Seed and soil The people of Antiquity subscribed to what is called the "seed and soil" theory of human reproduction. According to this theory the father conveyed life and form to the child in and through his seed. As with a plant seed then, most if not all morphological features were passed on by the … Continue reading Virgin birth in ancient context: sowing the father’s πνεῦμα
Immanuel: theology or history?
Christmas and Theology Theological constructs, while often helpful, sometimes prevent us from hearing what Biblical texts have to say. This is certainly the case with scripture's dual nativity stories. Two theological concerns in particular blur our reading of these stories. Since the two birth narratives are divergent and sometimes contradictory, in our desire to defend the … Continue reading Immanuel: theology or history?
Christmas according to Mary and Zechariah
Songs about David Luke adorns his nativity story with two psalms of thanksgiving, Mary's Magnificat and Zechariah's Benedictus. In wording and theme both have much in common with Hannah's song concerning the birth of the prophet Samuel and the establishment of the Davidic dynasty. In exultation Hannah announces that through David and his sons "the Lord will … Continue reading Christmas according to Mary and Zechariah