December 4, 2016 Leave a comment
Matthew begins his narrative of Jesus’ birth with the information that Mary was betrothed to Joseph. And before they came together as sexual partners, it’s discovered that she’s already pregnant. Matthew says the pregnancy is by the Holy Spirit, but he doesn’t mean that other people knew this—he makes you an insider here. He’s writing from long distance, many years after the events (and we don’t have any idea how he can know stuff like this—in fact, he probably does some interpolation of tradition—back writing the gospel narrative into the preamble of the birth as we will see that Luke does. Matthew and Luke also incorporate their contemporary knowledge here and there—imparting a presentism to the story—more on this later).
Coming back to Matthew’s narrative, he is going to explain and explore the struggle of Joseph over the news that Mary is pregnant. Matthew’s story is really a story of Joseph—it’s Joseph’s genealogy for example. Luke tells Mary’s story, without knowing the complementarity of Matthew.
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