Matthew 1:18-25 (The Birth of Jesus)


#1

Hi,

I have been starting a thread roughly every week going through each passage of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in order for me to share with you all what I have learnt on certain Gospel teachings and in order for me to learn from you all what you have learnt from certain Gospel teachings (such as information about it, other perspectives on it or even life lessons learnt from it due to personal experience).

In this thread I would like to talk about is Matthew 1:18-25 (I have quoted the CEV version, I hope nobody minds, if you prefer a different version please don’t hesitate to quote it for me).

If anyone would like to share anything at all in relation to this passage (such as a homily they have once heard etc) It would be greatly appreaciated.

Note: I will quote a link to the start of the next thread at the end of this one if you wish to keep following. :slight_smile:

Thank you all in advance. God Bless.
Josh


#2

Ok…


#3

I thought I would start by quoting the prophecy of Isaiah in relation to this passage.

Isaiah 7:10-17

I would sure love to hear the relation of the other happenings in this passage of Isaiah around the time of Jesus’ birth. I am assuming that ‘Assyria’ would be the Roman Empire as they took control of Jerusalem around that time I believe (That’s just my guess atm :)).

Thank you for reading
Josh


#4

Monsignor Ronald Knox, in his excellent translation, and knowing of the twisting of scripture and history into the “Mary’s other children” fallacy, has provided a clearer interpretation:

And this was the manner of Christ’s birth. His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, but they had not yet come together, when she was found to be with child, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 19 Whereupon her husband Joseph (for he was a right-minded man, and would not have her put to open shame) was for sending her away in secret. 20 But hardly had this thought come to his mind, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and said, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take thy wife Mary to thyself, for it is by the power of the Holy Ghost that she has conceived this child; 21 and she will bear a son, whom thou shalt call Jesus, for he is to save his people from their sins. 22 All this was so ordained to fulfil the word which the Lord spoke by his prophet: 23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call him Emmanuel (which means, God with us).[2] 24 And Joseph awoke from sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, taking his wife to himself; 25 and he had not known her when she bore a son, her first-born, to whom he gave the name Jesus.

This accords with Tradition and clearly shows that Matthew wrote verse 25 to demonstrate that Christ was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Msgr. Knox also shows in Zechariah 12:10 that Jesus had to be both an only son and a firstborn to fulfill prophecy:

On David’s clan, on all the citizens of Jerusalem, I will pour out a gracious spirit of prayer; towards me they shall look, me whom they have pierced through. Lament for him they must, and grieve bitterly; never was such lament for an only son, grief so bitter over first-born dead.

Once you begin to shred the prophecies for the sake of “proving” the Catholic Church to be wrong, where do you stop?

To the OP: Here is the Knox Translation online. Translated as if a Brit had authored the scriptures, it should therefore be quite readable to someone from Oz. The Knox is one of my two favorite translations.

newadvent.org/bible/gen001.htm


#5

And, as to those who doubt the fulfillment of prophecy because of the difference between “Emmanuel” and “Jesus”, we must remember that Emmanuel is a type, whereas Jesus (a form of Joshua - “God saves”) is a proper name.


#6

Thank you po18guy.

Just a side question in regard to what you have mentioned here, how do you respond to those who take Matthew 12:46-50 as if Jesus were not an only child?

I remember hearing a priest mention something in regard to them having no word for cousins and how cousins were called “brothers/sisters” or something like that.

May I ask what you mean by ‘Emmanuel is a type’?

Thank you po18guy :thumbsup:
Josh


#7

Good questions, thanks posters for a great thread to read…
Mary.


#8

Oh, so many arguments from scripture alone! Look in Luke 1. Mary knew that children were produced by marital union. She was about to get married. She was shocked to hear that she would bear “a son.” So shocked that she dared to ask Gabriel how on earth this was going to happen. What sense does this make to someone planning on having children? None at all.

The angel told both Mary and Joseph that Mary would bear “a son.” Singular. Mary vowed before Gabriel that she was the “handmaid” or “bond slave” of the Lord. Who is that Lord? Her own Son, Jesus! She was the bond slave of her own Son. Mary was released from that bond when Jesus died on the cross.

How many masters may we serve? Her own Son told us that we may not serve two masters - only one. Singular. Nowhere in scripture are “children of Mary” mentioned. Nowhere. “Brothers” and “sisters” of Christ refer to those from Nazareth, or from Galilee. It is that way in much of the world to this day - just not in Europe or America, where this silly “other children” argument came from.

Read the Book of Tobit. In it, we see that a man called his wife “sister” because she was from the same tribe as he was. All were therefore sisters and brothers.

Think of the journey to Jerusalem when 12 year old Jesus stayed behind. No other children mentioned. They searched only among kinsfolk and acquaintances.

Look at the wedding feast at Cana (John 2). Jesus and Mary, and the disciples were invited, but no mention at all of any brothers or sisters.

Look at the crucifixion. No brothers or sisters there, either. In fact, Jesus had to give Mary to John so that she would have someone to care for her. Compare this to Luke 7:11 and following, where He restored the son of the widow whose only child had died - that presages Jesus and Mary at the cross. In that age, childless widows were reduced to begging. Would Jesus allow this to happen to the mother which He created for Himself? (John 1:1-4) Inconceivable!

Sadly, those who maintain that “sisters and brothers” 2,000 years ago (in a vastly different culture and in a vastly different language) means the same thing it does today are simply ignorant. But, the doctrine of “bible alone” leads to ignorance by its very nature. The bible is an incomplete record of God’s revelation and tells us so in many places. That is why Jesus founded a Church, and not a bible.

Delighted to have the bible. Irreplaceable! But, NOT complete.

Again, read the Book of Tobit. Look also at Genesis 11:27 and Genesis 13:8. Abraham and Lot were uncle and nephew. So, why did Abraham say to Lot “we are brothers”?

A “type” is a category, or a classification, like “Savior” or “deliverer” or “Messiah.” Yet, you would not name your child that! Jesus, which means “God saves” was his name. Look in Luke 7 when Jesus raised the son of the widow of Nain.

"They were all overcome with awe, and said, praising God, "A great prophet has risen up among us; God has visited his people.

“God has visited His people” simply means “God with us” - Emmanuel. That crowd spoke of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.


#9

=josh987654321;11824426]Hi,

I have been starting a thread roughly every week going through each passage of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in order for me to share with you all what I have learnt on certain Gospel teachings and in order for me to learn from you all what you have learnt from certain Gospel teachings (such as information about it, other perspectives on it or even life lessons learnt from it due to personal experience).

In this thread I would like to talk about is Matthew 1:18-25 (I have quoted the CEV version, I hope nobody minds, if you prefer a different version please don’t hesitate to quote it for me).

If anyone would like to share anything at all in relation to this passage (such as a homily they have once heard etc) It would be greatly appreaciated.

Note: I will quote a link to the start of the next thread at the end of this one if you wish to keep following. :slight_smile:

Thank you all in advance. God Bless.
Josh

Josh, my dear frened in Christ,

May I humbly suggest that as a catholic on a catholic Forum that you use a Good Catholic Bible.
file:///C:/Users/Robert/Desktop/Douay-Rheims%20Bible%20Online,%20Roman%20Catholic%20Bible%20Verses%20Search…htm

From the Douay: “Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife. And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

Here my friend are some of the teachings from this passage.

  1. The fact that Mary was found to be pregnant outside of marriage was TEST for both Mary and Joseph. For Mary as being found in this condition B4 marriage COULD have gotten her stoned to death. For Joseph, it was a test of Faith, hope and love of GOD.

  2. Joseph is noted here to be a “just” [good; holy; pious] and like MAry demonstrates his faith BY and through WORKS.

  3. It is significant that the Angel appeared to Mary while she was in Prayer [quiet] and to Joseph, while he was asleep [quiet]: PSALM 45: 11 “Be still and see that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth.”

BOTH Mary and Joseph give evidence of their Faith; their Hope and their LOVE of God. Amen:)

God Bless you,
Patrick


#10

:thumbsup: Thank you po18guy


#11

Thank you Patrick :thumbsup:

I don’t mean to offend or upset anyone, but I plan to continue using the CEV version, as I really like the way the text flows, I have compared them with versus from many other translations and am yet to find any kind of gross inaccuracy, I also checked these forums to see whether there could be anything wrong with reading a non catholic bible translation and found that they bassically said that they are all very similar and that the best translation is basically the one u’ll read.

Catholic Answers Bible Translations Guide - catholic.com/tracts/bible-translations-guide

One of the reasons I like the CEV translation is for example Luke 14:26

Contemporary English Version (CEV) -

Luke 14:26
26 You cannot be my disciple, unless you love me more than you love your father and mother, your wife and children, and your brothers and sisters. You cannot come with me unless you love me more than you love your own life.

New Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE) -

Luke 14:26
26 “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.

Now for me, first reading this, I prefered the CEV translation, as for me it actually reduced the chances of a miss interpretation with this passage here, as the word “hate” back than wasn’t like we use it today, instead if you liked A more than B, back than, they would have said “I hate B” which isn’t that they “hate” B as in the way we use that word today, but simply that they prefer A.

Thank you for reading
Josh


#12

Referring to the fact that Mary and Joseph didn’t sleep together before the birth of Christ may imply to some that they did after the birth of Christ. The Church teaches that Mary was a Virgin before, during , and after the birth of Christ. Even some Catholics have trouble with this doctrine.


#13

As said previously, I think this is another passage where Matthew is trying to link the life of Jesus to Jewish prophecies about the coming of the Messiah. In this example, a virgin giving birth.

Again I ask the question, if this gospel was written after A.D. 70, why does Matthew not point to the biggest prophecy of all - the destruction of the Jerusalem temple as a past fact?

aboutbibleprophecy.com/daniel_9_24.htm


#14

There is substantial evidence for dating at about 43 AD. Some think it was written much later. In any event, one more prophecy fulfilled does not change the Gospel message among those who believed that the parousia would occur in their lifetime.

AboutBibleProphecy.com is a mysterious site. I would avoid it if they are not up front about their denomination.


#15

Hello po18guy,

I would humbly say the foretold destruction of the Jewish people/kingdom/temple would be a little more substantial than ‘one more prophecy’ and it would also be something that unlike the virgin birth etc, Jews could verify for themselves. This would be especially so for those Jews currently outside the fold whom Matthew was trying to convince that Jesus was in fact the Messiah foretold in Jewish Scripture.

For these reasons it makes Matthew’s omission startling if it was written post A.D. 70.

Could you please link to evidence of an A.D. 43 compilation of the gospel if possible.

Thanks.


#16

Well, all OT prophecy pointed to Christ and thus, is extremely important. But, the fulfillment of prophecy after the ascension added nothing to Christ, if you can see my take on this.

The dating is from Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.'s book Inside the Bible. Very informative and a great reference to have handy. BTW, he notes that there are persuasive arguments that John’s Gospel was also written before the destruction of the temple. Of note is that the destruction is not mentioned in any of the Gospels - or anywhere int he New Testament that I am immediately aware of. But, think of this: Christ’s ascension is not mentioned in either Matthew or John. That’s kind of a huge omission, but all points to the importance placed on the Apostolic Tradition, rather than on the scriptures themselves.


#17

Thanks, i’ll follow up your link. I have also read the liberal theologian A. T. Robinson who has said there is nothing in the gospels which would rule out a composition date prior to the destruction of the temple. He also wrote about the possibility of a very early composition of St. John’s gospel.

I understand your point about adding nothing to Christ, the same as a virgin birth adds nothing to Christ after the ascension.

My point was regarding Matthew’s purpose of writing, linking Jesus continuously to Jewish Scripture prophecy of the Messiah and the absence of pointing to the greatest, clearest and most obvious Jewish prophecy of all.


#18

…and also the most improbable and thus, supernatural source of the Messiah.


#19

From the Douay: “Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife. And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

One thing of note is the difference in translation of the term “engaged” versus “espoused.” When reading the NEV, one might draw the false conclusion that Mary and Joseph were engaged in a similar fashion as we are engaged today. This is not true. The reason it is translated as “espoused” in other versions of the Bible is that it is more correct.

Espousal meant either marriage or betrothal in OT texts. In the case of Mary and Joseph, the meaning was betrothal, which is why it is often translated as “engaged.” However, in Jewish custom at the time, marriage was a two-part process, beginning with betrothal. Betrothal wasn’t what we might think of betrothal either, as being a pre-planned marriage, set up by the parents of the betrothed. Rather, betrothal here meant that Mary and Joseph had already begun the marriage process by making vows of fidelity to each other.

When the text reads, “Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately,” this is more correct than “Joseph was a good man and did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the wedding.” In the NEV translation, it sounds like engagement in the modern sense. The Douay is more correct, because the betrothal process makes Mary and Joseph as husband and wife already, even though the marriage process isn’t complete. During the betrothal period, after which they’ve made their vows of fidelity, the “husband” goes away for a year to prepare the house. During this time, the “wife” is expected to be faithful, and wait for his return. Upon his return, they complete the marriage with the “huppah” ceremony, and then they consummate the marriage.

Once a couple is betrothed, their relationship is as binding as marriage, but they are not allowed to consummate the marriage until the appointed time. It is so binding, in fact, that the only way to “call off the wedding” as the NEV puts it, is to proceed with divorce. This is what the Douay means when it says “put her away.” This translation could only be proper if what Joseph was actually doing was divorcing her, and he was (planning to do so).

This is an important note, because Jesus often gives parables about the bride and bridegroom, relating the Kingdom in this way. The bridegroom “comes in the night” and we’re told to keep our lamps lit, and be ready. This would have been understood as the betrothed husband returning from his year away to complete the marriage ceremony, which normally occurred at night. It’s important because Jesus is the bridegroom whom we are waiting for. He has betrothed Himself to the Church, and we are awaiting His return to complete the ceremony and consummate the marriage. It’s important because our betrothal to Him is as binding as any marriage vow. Note that the Church is never called the “wife of Christ,” but rather only the “bride of Christ.”


#20

Thanks MrSnaith for the info on Jewish matrimony. It brings more depth to my reading of Jesus’ words.


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