Jesus from the Line of David? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Christianity accepts that Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophesies, one of which is that Jesus is of the line of David. How can this be if Christians believe He was conceived by God in Mary's womb? Joseph was David's descendent, not Mary's (I think?) and wouldn't that sort of line be carried down paternally? Or maybe not?

Just curious!

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#2 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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mary and joseph were related. they were both descendents of david. there are two genealogies given for jesus, one in matthew and one in luke. one through joseph, one through mary, although they both *say* joseph. one of them goes from abraham to jesus, the other goes from jesus back to abraham, so it's not that easy to compare side-by-side, but the split occurs with sons of david - so joseph and mary were very, very, very, very, very distant cousins. both insert joseph between jesus and his grandfather, not sure what's up with that (like why the "mary" one doesn't actually say mary instead of joseph???) but his geneaology is listed through both his parents and they were both descendents of david.
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#3 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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This is one of the issues that Jews have with the idea of Jesus as the Messiah-- it would indeed be through patrilineal descent, and by *blood*, not family/adoption. If Joseph wasn't the birth father, his line is completely irrelevent.

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#4 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 07:41 PM
 
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Christians believe that Jesus did fulfil the Messianic prophecies; just not always in the way that was expected (for example, some of the triumphal prophecies are expected to be fulfilled on Jesus' second coming, not His first). In the case of Davidic descent, Jesus was descended from David through both Mary (physically, 'according to the flesh') and Joseph (legally/adoptively); the latter ties in with Christian themes of being adopted into God's kingdom.

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#5 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 08:53 PM
 
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from my understanding as one who studies religion, not theology, the lineage is to satisfy Jewish expectations of the messiah, and the virgin birth theme is really a common topoi in polytheistic religions in the Mediterranean region, so the birth/lineage were there to satisfy expectations of non-Jewish converts to Christianity. for example, the virgin birth isn't present in the Mark gospel (the oldest and most Jewish gospel), but the virgin birth appears in Matthew and Luke as a narrative common in many of the greek/roman hero stories. anyway, both try to satisfy the Jewish idea of the "anointed one" by John's baptism.

anyway, i remember studying that legally, adoption would still make him considered in the line of David from Joseph. otherwise, why would the writers of those gospels make the point of connecting Joseph's lineage to David and ALSO claim the virgin birth?

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Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
This is one of the issues that Jews have with the idea of Jesus as the Messiah-- it would indeed be through patrilineal descent, and by *blood*, not family/adoption. If Joseph wasn't the birth father, his line is completely irrelevent.
Does Judaism accept the idea of the virgin birth itself though?
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#7 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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Jesus is a descendant of David through Mary. Period. It's in NT.
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#8 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 09:55 PM
 
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from my understanding as one who studies religion, not theology, the lineage is to satisfy Jewish expectations of the messiah, and the virgin birth theme is really a common topoi in polytheistic religions in the Mediterranean region, so the birth/lineage were there to satisfy expectations of non-Jewish converts to Christianity. for example, the virgin birth isn't present in the Mark gospel (the oldest and most Jewish gospel), but the virgin birth appears in Matthew and Luke as a narrative common in many of the greek/roman hero stories. anyway, both try to satisfy the Jewish idea of the "anointed one" by John's baptism.
This is my understanding as well.
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#9 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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Christians believe that Jesus did fulfil the Messianic prophecies; just not always in the way that was expected (for example, some of the triumphal prophecies are expected to return on Jesus' second coming, not His first).
That's hardly relevant. Of course they do, if they did they wouldn't be Christians.

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In the case of Davidic descent, Jesus was descended from David through both Mary (physically, 'according to the flesh') and Joseph (legally/adoptively); the latter ties in with Christian themes of being adopted into God's kingdom.
Right-- except that according the the rules for which being of Davidic descent would be of any importance, he wasn't because it's patrilineal. As far as the mother is concerned, the only question would be whether or not she was Jewish. The Christian themes aren't the ones being asked about in the OP, because as far as Christians are concerned the foundational belief is irrelevant-- they're going backwards to find ways to prove things that they believe already.

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from my understanding as one who studies religion, not theology, the lineage is to satisfy Jewish expectations of the messiah
Right. And it doesn't if you're not using patrilineal descent.

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anyway, i remember studying that legally, adoption would still make him considered in the line of David from Joseph. otherwise, why would the writers of those gospels make the point of connecting Joseph's lineage to David and ALSO claim the virgin birth?
I believe that's a mistake. Why do the writers of the gospels make a point of connecting it? Because the early Christians were Jews, and they felt obligated to try to fulfill Jewish requirements as far as the messiah.

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Does Judaism accept the idea of the virgin birth itself though?
It's irrelevant-- Judaism doesn't really care about the virgin birth, just the idea that Jesus was the Jewish messiah. If it wasn't a virgin birth, that doesn't in any way, shape, or form negate the Jewish arguments against with the possible sole exception of this one. All it would do is make a lot of people question why they made the virgin birth up in the first place.

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#10 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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This got me thinking...are the geneologies still being kept up? Can people alive today show that they are part of the line of David?

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#11 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 10:45 PM
 
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It's irrelevant-- Judaism doesn't really care about the virgin birth, just the idea that Jesus was the Jewish messiah. If it wasn't a virgin birth, that doesn't in any way, shape, or form negate the Jewish arguments against with the possible sole exception of this one. All it would do is make a lot of people question why they made the virgin birth up in the first place.
Since I'm not asking about the full scope of reasoning, and am asking about just that one element, it's relevant to my own question. I'm just curious why such an argument would ever come up, since I've always been of the impression that belief in the virgin birth only applied to later faiths ... Christianity, Islam, maybe Bahai (?).
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#12 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 11:17 PM
 
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Right-- except that according the the rules for which being of Davidic descent would be of any importance, he wasn't because it's patrilineal. As far as the mother is concerned, the only question would be whether or not she was Jewish. The Christian themes aren't the ones being asked about in the OP, because as far as Christians are concerned the foundational belief is irrelevant-- they're going backwards to find ways to prove things that they believe already.
I'm not sure what you mean by the bolded statement. As for Christian themes; yes, they are relevant. Christ took a sort of 'sola scriptura' view of the Old Testament, denouncing much of the Jewish oral tradition, which means that the text itself, not necessarily how it was interpreted by Jewish rabbis etc, is what should be used as the criteria for determining the Messiah. There is nothing in the text of the OT that states that the Messiah was of David's line in the sense that his human, physical father was patrilineally descended from David. While that is the obvious interpretation, given that Jesus was not expected to be God's Son, it is not the only interpretation. It is not, to my knowledge, Biblically mandated that descent must be patrilineal, especially in such an unusual circumstance. I'm interested in mamacita's mention of adoption, also.

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#13 of 188 Old 10-01-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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This got me thinking...are the geneologies still being kept up? Can people alive today show that they are part of the line of David?
I hope to stay out of the rest of this thread but to answer your question, there are many Jewish families today that can trace their patrilineal line straight to David.
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#14 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 12:42 AM
 
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Since I'm not asking about the full scope of reasoning, and am asking about just that one element, it's relevant to my own question. I'm just curious why such an argument would ever come up, since I've always been of the impression that belief in the virgin birth only applied to later faiths ... Christianity, Islam, maybe Bahai (?).
"Hey, I've got this puzzle piece. It's the last piece to your puzzle, and I'm gonna use it to start my own game."

"Um, okay, I guess that's cool.. but what makes you think it's my puzzle piece?"

"Well, your missing piece is mostly blue, and so is this one."

"Yeah, but my missing piece has two straight edges because it's a corner-- yours doesn't have any."

"That's all right, it doesn't need any-- it's mostly blue, so it's definately from your puzzle."

"It's nice that it's blue and all, but it really can't be my puzzle piece. Have fun with it, all right?"

"But I told all my friends it was part of *that* puzzle! It's important to me that I can tell them it's the missing piece of your puzzle!"

"Dude, it *isn't.* It's not part of my puzzle at all. I don't really care what you do with it or what you call your game, but leave my puzzle out of your conversation."

In other words, it comes up because that's the argument-- that the product of a virgin birth is somehow of a particular line which can only be determined patrilineally.

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I'm not sure what you mean by the bolded statement. As for Christian themes; yes, they are relevant. Christ took a sort of 'sola scriptura' view of the Old Testament, denouncing much of the Jewish oral tradition, which means that the text itself, not necessarily how it was interpreted by Jewish rabbis etc, is what should be used as the criteria for determining the Messiah. There is nothing in the text of the OT that states that the Messiah was of David's line in the sense that his human, physical father was patrilineally descended from David. While that is the obvious interpretation, given that Jesus was not expected to be God's Son, it is not the only interpretation. It is not, to my knowledge, Biblically mandated that descent must be patrilineal, especially in such an unusual circumstance. I'm interested in mamacita's mention of adoption, also.
What I mean is that the trouble with arguing with Christians about anything is that they come from a place of assuming that they're right, and then work backwards to prove those assumptions using whatever means are efficacious at the time.

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#15 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 01:32 AM
 
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What I mean is that the trouble with arguing with Christians about anything is that they come from a place of assuming that they're right, and then work backwards to prove those assumptions using whatever means are efficacious at the time.
As opposed to arguing with members of any other religion? It would be rather odd of Christians to argue from the perspective that they were wrong... In any case, there are many Jews who have converted to Christianity because of Messianic prophecy--whether they were right or wrong, they certainly weren't coming at the question from a perspective of 'Christianity must be right', any more than the Jews who largely comprised the early church, persuaded by arguments from the Jewish scriptures, were.

Anyway this is getting off-track, but your puzzle piece analogy seems to indicate you've missed the mark of what I said in my quoted post. Christians believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah not phenomenologically, but according to the correct interpretation of the Jewish texts; to put it another way, that the correct Jewish interpretation of the texts is the Christian one, not the traditional Jewish one (which encompasses extra-biblical oral teachings). So it's more like 'My puzzle piece does fit into your puzzle, you just have to look at the puzzle the other way up and turn this bit around here, and get rid of these pieces which are actually part of another puzzle'. Um, kind of... the puzzle analogy is kinda limited for my purposes.

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#16 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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This is one of the things that made me go "hmmm" back when I was a Christian.

The Wiki article pretty much goes through all of the arguments
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealogy_of_Jesus

I do want to point out that both genealogies are about Joseph, not Mary.

Luke 3:23.... "Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,
the son of Heli, 24the son of Matthat, ...."

Matthew 1:16... "and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. "

There are many other aspects where Jesus did not fulfill the Messianic prophecies.... it's not just a lineage thing.

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In other words, it comes up because that's the argument-- that the product of a virgin birth is somehow of a particular line which can only be determined patrilineally.
Sooo, in short ... "maybe yes, maybe no, but, as above, I don't really care"?
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#18 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 02:27 AM
 
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I hope to stay out of the rest of this thread but to answer your question, there are many Jewish families today that can trace their patrilineal line straight to David.
I would also like to stay out of the rest of this thread, but I think that is pretty neat.

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#19 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 03:26 AM
 
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As opposed to arguing with members of any other religion? It would be rather odd of Christians to argue from the perspective that they were wrong...
I can't say that it's unique to Christianity, but not everyone argues from the perspective that they're universally right because not everyone believes that they're universally right. Not that it was exactly what I was referring to-- I was talking about the tendancy to start with the desired answer and then work backwards, making the evidence fit.

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In any case, there are many Jews who have converted to Christianity because of Messianic prophecy--whether they were right or wrong, they certainly weren't coming at the question from a perspective of 'Christianity must be right', any more than the Jews who largely comprised the early church, persuaded by arguments from the Jewish scriptures, were.
Entirely irrelevant. If I start talking about this bit, I'll get the thread locked and probably get myself banned.

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Anyway this is getting off-track, but your puzzle piece analogy seems to indicate you've missed the mark of what I said in my quoted post. Christians believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah not phenomenologically, but according to the correct interpretation of the Jewish texts; to put it another way, that the correct Jewish interpretation of the texts is the Christian one, not the traditional Jewish one (which encompasses extra-biblical oral teachings). So it's more like 'My puzzle piece does fit into your puzzle, you just have to look at the puzzle the other way up and turn this bit around here, and get rid of these pieces which are actually part of another puzzle'. Um, kind of... the puzzle analogy is kinda limited for my purposes.
Yeah, I realize that. It kinda bothers me, though, because I've never heard such a thing from anyone who... you know, reads Hebrew (let alone Aramaic). In any case, I'm gonna step out now. I don't know why I get into these discussions in the first place...

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#20 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 06:02 AM
 
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Does Judaism accept the idea of the virgin birth itself though?
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Sooo, in short ... "maybe yes, maybe no, but, as above, I don't really care"?


No. Judaism doesn't do "virgin births."

There's nothing particularly 'holy' or 'superior' about the idea of a person being conceived without a man and woman performing the sexual act, Jewishly speaking.

And the whole thing about a "virgin birth" was that Jesus was conceived "without sin," right?

And that is a totally nonJewish concept. Antithetical to Jewish thought, actually.












And in re the absurdity of nonJews telling the Jews that they're wrong about the Jewish rules/traditions as to the Jewish Messiah, well, BTDT.
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#21 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 07:19 AM
 
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And in re the absurdity of nonJews telling the Jews that they're wrong about the Jewish rules/traditions as to the Jewish Messiah, well, BTDT.
As usual, I think the argument boils down to presuppositions and authority. Either party saying 'these are our texts, so we know the best way to interpret them' is begging the question. A reasonable debate about the issue surely has to discuss things like the authority of Jewish commentaries and rabbinical teaching. It is ridiculous for a Christian to say 'Your specifically Jewish, extrabiblical traditions and interpretations have to allow for Jesus to be the Messiah'; it is not ridiculous for a Christian to challenge the validity of those traditions and interpretations.

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#22 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 09:04 AM
 
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What I mean is that the trouble with arguing with Christians about anything is that they come from a place of assuming that they're right, and then work backwards to prove those assumptions using whatever means are efficacious at the time.
Not all of us on here are Christians. Personally, I studied Old Testament and New Testament (at times in original language) as documents written by many people with their own unique agendas relevant to historical time and space. I am not trying to argue that Jesus was the messiah, and I didn't take that most of the responders were trying to say that. I think the people here are trying to understand the connection of Jesus to the Jewish idea of the messiah, and also understand concepts like the virgin birth.

also to this point,

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I believe that's a mistake. Why do the writers of the gospels make a point of connecting it? Because the early Christians were Jews, and they felt obligated to try to fulfill Jewish requirements as far as the messiah.

RIGHT. But they wouldn't make the point if it was wrong, i.e., they wouldn't make the point if Jews didn't accept his lineage to David in the manner described.

Also, regarding the virgin birth, it was a pretty common theme in Ancient Greek religion, and in the region, hero cults were common. Perseus was son of Danae and Zeus came to her in the form of a golden shower, impregnating her. There are many more, but that one is closer to the Jesus birth than some of the others.

My point is just that the gospel writers were trying to convince different audiences to follow Jesus. It is why Paul's letters end up becoming such an important part of the canon, because he really discusses the way the new Christians should handle their incredibly divergent ways of expressing religion, e.g., to circumcise or not, follow Kosher laws, etc., many of those are because non-Jews ended up being the majority of the converted Christians. The New Testament was written in Attica Greek (beyond some Aramaic) for just this reason.

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#23 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wonder how accurate paternal genealogies can be. Following a maternal line would be much easier to trace and verifiable.

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from a jewish perspective, if jesus wasn't literally the son of god, why is it then assumed he was not the son of joseph?
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#25 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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And the whole thing about a "virgin birth" was that Jesus was conceived "without sin," right?
To me, the important thing about the virgin birth is that Jesus is God -- the "Son" part of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Jesus' humanity means He can identify with us and our struggles -- His deity means He has power over sin, and this power enabled Him to live a sinless life, so He could be the perfect Sacrifice for the sins of all the world, and could defeat sin and death through giving up His life on the cross.

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#26 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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Oh, and since God created the line of David, as well as that of every other family, I don't see how Jesus could be considered "outside" the line of David.

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#27 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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from a jewish perspective, if jesus wasn't literally the son of god, why is it then assumed he was not the son of joseph?


Jews don't do "son of god" either.

Jews have no problem with him being the son of Joseph. Why would you think they would?

It's the Christians who say he wasn't really the biological son of Joseph. Jews don't have a horse in that race.
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#28 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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Oh, and since God created the line of David, as well as that of every other family, I don't see how Jesus could be considered "outside" the line of David.


???

Only from the Jewish perspective of requirements of Mashiakh-hood does it even matter. And from the Jewish perspective, he is not/was not it. So ... However Christians want to view his "lines," feel free. Those views have no relation to Jewish rules about bloodlines, geneologies (sp?), etc.
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#30 of 188 Old 10-02-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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No. Judaism doesn't do "virgin births."

There's nothing particularly 'holy' or 'superior' about the idea of a person being conceived without a man and woman performing the sexual act, Jewishly speaking.

And the whole thing about a "virgin birth" was that Jesus was conceived "without sin," right?
Thank you for answering.

As for without sin ... I don't believe in original sin, and I certainly don't believe in literal children of god, but I do believe in the virgin birth. There are a lot of takes out there on that one, I suppose, not all having to do with particular aspects of christian thought. Hence wondering.
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