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Old 12-21-2001, 04:42 AM   #11
Xtopher
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Thanks, folks, great stuff.

You said "knob"...heh, hehe, heh
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Old 12-21-2001, 08:19 AM   #12
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I'm new here and have only lurked a little, so sorry if I'm not being totally relevant here, but in Catholic doctrine, I think Mary was herself born "full of grace," without the Original Sin that every other human is supposed to carry. That's the big deal for them - Mary's conception, not Jesus's.

So if we're having a stoning at the gate, Mary is without sin, so she should cast the first stone!
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Old 12-21-2001, 08:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Xtopher:
<strong>Can anyone tell me how it was that Mary was a virgin? Wasn't she married to Joseph and why hadn't they yet exercised their "marital relations"?

It's my theory that this Mary may have been the best liar in history to cover up an extramarital affair with the local shepherd boy and to save her own skin from Joseph when she got knocked up by someone other than him.

Merry Christmas!</strong>
Mary was the personification of "woman" that had not been created but was "taken from man" in Gen.2 Woman was therefore flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones. This makes her virgin and undefiled by the lesser serpent of the TOK and so the rebirth was incipient from God.

Opposite virgin birth must be a non-virgin birth or the word "virgin" would bear no significance. To know one is to understand the difference between the two.
 
Old 12-21-2001, 08:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ysabella:
<strong>
So if we're having a stoning at the gate, Mary is without sin, so she should cast the first stone!</strong>
This all could have been avoided if she'd just
been willing to swallow....
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Old 12-21-2001, 09:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Amen-Moses:
<strong>

Well I doubt that I've seen anything that you haven't but I consider the canonical Gospels (at least in the form we have them now) as also being late and derivative but that doesn't explain where the traditions came from. For example why does Luke link JC with Egypt if their weren't already some traditions from there? If indeed Mary & Family spent some time there (probably in Alexandria) in JC's formative years then isn't it likely that the Gnostic traditions came from an early historical source that wasn't available to the authors of Mark and its derivatives?

Theorising for a moment couldn't Mark have been written in the late 60's and early 70's before the Alexandrian traditions became disseminated when the priests and scholars went to Alexandria to escape the revolt, then Luke could have been written several years after the revolt by someone who was only aware that the traditions existed but didn't know enough detail to include it (or found the detail to unpalatteable to include).

I would really love to have a solid dating for GThomas because I think that could definitely clear up a few mysteries, i.e if it could be dated to pre Mark or even the same date as Mark it would push back some of the Gnostic traditions to a far earlier date.

Amen-Moses</strong>
Hmmm... late in what respect? It's pretty well established that GMk dates to around 70 C.E., GMt between 80 and 90, GLk between 80 and 90 and GJn around 90 C.E. Earlier than that we have the Pauline corpus written between 50 and 67 or so. I know of no evidence for anything earlier than that though possibly "Q" if it existed could date to an earlier period. Also a passion narrative (Crossan's "Cross Gospel").

As far as derivative, well it is clear that GMt and GLk both use GMk and another source (to me anyway there is still some dispute over the 2 source hypothesis). Still there is a significant amount of unique material in each (what 4SH proponents call the "M" and "L" material). GJn clearly uses some different sources possibly including a semeia ("signs") source for the miracle stories AJn uses which he does not share with the synoptics.

The Pauline material appears to be original, a lot of it, as well as derivative from oral traditions. The reason I think the infancy narratives are late additions is because they are not mentioned by Paul or in GMk or any of the reliably early extra-canonical sources (even the "Infancy Gospels" don't have AMt and ALk's version). The tradition is alos not mentioned in the Church Father's until after the Gospels were clearly established and in circulation.

The problem with things like GThom and other Gnostic sources is a)The gnostics were extremely prolific in making up new traditional material out of whole cloth owing to their fundamental belief in ongoing revealed knowledge. I know of no gnostic source dated before the 2nd century. Most scholars conclude that GThom is 2nd century and not even especially early 2nd century (it's not mentioned nor quoted in Adversus Haeresus). An earlier dating for GThom is largely self-serving for those who want to shore up the argument for "Q".

ALk's rather enigmatic reference to the flight to egypt has always been a puzzle to me. Since he's the only attestation to the tradition it becomes less likely that it is historical or that it was a common tradition.

In any case, the bottom line is that the infancy narratives with the virgin birth in Bethlehem and the oriental Kings are clearly theological tractate. There is no reason to suppose that they are historical. A big argument against their historicity is the fact that when Jesus returns to his homwtown to preach, his family comes to see him because they think he is crazy. Now how in the space of 30 years or so could Mary have forgotten that her son was the son of God?
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Old 12-21-2001, 09:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by CowboyX:
<strong>
Now how in the space of 30 years or so could Mary have forgotten that her son was the son of God?</strong>
Maybe she disowned him when her free wine supply dried up?
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Old 12-22-2001, 11:37 AM   #17
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Oops, I have to own up to a Doh! in one of my postings above, I should have said GMatt's link between JC and Egypt, my bad.

Amen-Moses
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Old 12-22-2001, 05:19 PM   #18
Metacrock
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Quote:
Originally posted by Xtopher:
<strong>Can anyone tell me how it was that Mary was a virgin? Wasn't she married to Joseph and why hadn't they yet exercised their "marital relations"?

It's my theory that this Mary may have been the best liar in history to cover up an extramarital affair with the local shepherd boy and to save her own skin from Joseph when she got knocked up by someone other than him.

Merry Christmas!</strong>
Meta =&gt; AT the time of the annunciation they were betrothed. They were not yet married, so it wasn't cool that she was pregnant.

All the other stuff is conjecture and based upon the inability to accept the V birth.
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Old 12-22-2001, 05:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by CowboyX:
<strong>


Well, first off you are asking a question based on the implicit assumption that the infancy narratives are historical (which I'm sure you don't believe). So the question is kind of silly from a literal standpoint, however, if you want a literary explanation there are a couple things to consider. Here's what AMt says:

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together,she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

So basically The Spook (from the trio Chief, JC and The Spook) knocked mary up before she had consummated her marriage. As soon as you take the infancy narrative literally and think about it too much all kinds of stuff seems out of place.

There are two possible real answers. First the oral tradition of the virgin birth was absorbed from other middle eastern myths of a virgin birth and AMt just ties it into OT prophecy with the reference to Isaiah (a reference ALk, who was gentile and writing for a gentile audience does not make). Or ther "Q" document contained an infancy narrative with the Is reference and ALk drops it because it isn't important to his audience and theological aims or because he realizes the Isaiah prophecy was fulfilled 700 years before Jesus was born. Finally Luke could have borrowed it from GMt, but then we have to wonder why his genealogy is different.

Another note: Elsewhere in this thread it is asserted that the word used in the infancy narrative means "young woman" rather than "virgin". This is not so. The Greek text uses the word PARQENOS which specifically means virgin. Some lexicons say it can mean a marrigable woman , but this is taken over from the Hebrew and isn't really accurate. The Greek word for young woman is PAIDISKE. It is clear from the text that virgin is intended. It is used, as I said, to connect Jesus to the prophecy in Isaiah.

Now the prophecy in Isaiah is a bit more difficult. The word used there IS the Hebrew word for young woman of marriageable age, but in Hebrew it is implicit that such a woman is also a virgin. Even so Hebrew has a word for virgin and it is not used so the distinction bears noting.

[additional editorial note] Since the only record we have of Jesus' birth comes from the infancy narratives in GMt and GLk (it is mentioned nowhere else in the NT) any additional speculation that maybe Mary got pregnant from a priest or any other suggestion is simply post hoc and therefore untenable. It's like saying if I have an invisible pink unicorn in my garage, how did it get there and why is it pink.

[ December 20, 2001: Message edited by: CowboyX ]</strong>
Meta =&gt; Questions CBX:

1) It is my understanding that Freasure and the The Golden Bough are pretty much rejected for a long time now. This being the case, what modern scholarship establishes all of these alleged virgin births in other cultures?

2) What influence would those source have upon Palestianian Jews?

3) Why count them as "virgin" since most of them just involve having sex with a God, which is not virginity but actually sex (I'm assuming here that Mary did not have sex with God since it doesn't say that, but just became with child, sort of a miracle of artificial insemination let's say).
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Old 12-22-2001, 08:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Metacrock:
<strong>

Meta =&gt; Questions CBX:

1) It is my understanding that Freasure and the The Golden Bough are pretty much rejected for a long time now. This being the case, what modern scholarship establishes all of these alleged virgin births in other cultures?

2) What influence would those source have upon Palestianian Jews?

3) Why count them as "virgin" since most of them just involve having sex with a God, which is not virginity but actually sex (I'm assuming here that Mary did not have sex with God since it doesn't say that, but just became with child, sort of a miracle of artificial insemination let's say).</strong>
Well this is something that is overstated. The virgin birth in Xianity is an explicit holdover from Judaism. It's specific purpose is to tie into the Isaiah prophecy that AMt uses. Still its not unprecedented. Virigin birth stories are present in pre-Xian mythology (one of the perso-Iranian mystery cults as I recall claimed that Zoroaster was born of a virgin. Some texts say Krishna was born to a virgin. It's not an uncommon feature of early mythology)

As to your second question, well there is considerable evidence that early Judaism was strongly influenced by the interaction with different cultures during the various periods of captivity. I seems that some of the Judaic mythos is influenced by the Babylonians. There are some parallels from the Epic of Gilgamesh in later Judaic mythology which develop around the time of the Babylonian captivity. Many scholars believe that monotheism in Judaism was derived from external influences and point to the considerable tension in the Hebrew scriptures between YHVH and belief in other gods. Early Jewish literature does not say that there are no other gods only that they shouldn't be worshipped. By the time we get to Modern Xianity, the dogma is simply that there are no other gods at all.

As to question 3 there are numerous methods by which the gods impregnate humans in mythology. Not all of them involve having sex. One of the ancient Greek heros (may have been Perseus, but my Greek mythology is quite rusty so I'm not sure), was the product of Zeus and a mortal woman, but Zeus disguised himself as a mist and enveloped the woman, hardly the usual understanding of sex. PLus the Xian texts are unclear about the actual mechanism of Jesus conception. It is worded intentionally vaguely and delicately. even accepting that the virgin birth occured some physical means would still be required since the human body doesn't work without a Y chromosome and a)Ova don't have any Y chromosomes and b)Jesus is admittedly human even according to evangelicals. But all this is silly what-if games contingent on the virgin birth being historical which seems unlikely in the extremely.
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