1. Joined
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    25 Dec '06 11:041 edit
    Before I begin, since I'm still fairly new on these forums and many people won't know much about me, let me say here that I am a Chrisitan. As such, this post is not intended as an attack on Christianity in any way, shape or form, so for any believers here please don't misconstrue it as such. This topic just provides an interesting topic for discussion, and a unique (at least I think it's unique) interpretation of scripture - one that I might not necessarily agree with, for the record.

    And since it's Christmas, it seems a perfect time to discuss this particular subject. It's a reconstruction of a thread i started on another spirituality forum, and I thought i'd get the opinions of you all here. So..... :

    I was just reading through my Bible recently and came across something interesting. The genealogy of Jesus as provided in Matthew 1 mentions (as you'd expect in a Jewish genealogy) the male lineage of Jesus to Abraham. It also notes four women - Jesus' mother Mary (naturally), but it also includes Ruth, Rahab, and Tamar.

    Who are these women? THe Old Testament provides stories of these women. I won't go into specifics, but suffice it to say here is a synopsis:

    Tamar: Tamar pretended to be a prostitute.

    Rahab: No pretense here. Rahab WAS a prostitute!

    Ruth: Ruth is the good girl of this group, yet it is interesting that this woman is at the centre of the "love story" of the Bible, with Ruth and Boaz falling in love and conquering adversity and trials and finally (as with all good love stories) ending with a happily-ever-after.

    So - did the author of Matthew know something about Jesus' birth and was he subtly trying to hint at it in his genealogy through listing prostitutes and love stories?

    Ok, so it's not a completely unique concept. The idea has been suggested before, but as far as I'm aware, this is the first time someone's suggested possible biblical evidence for such a claim.

    Argue away, folks!
  2. Joined
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    25 Dec '06 11:15
    Originally posted by ParanoidAndroid
    Before I begin, since I'm still fairly new on these forums and many people won't know much about me, let me say here that I am a Chrisitan. As such, this post is not intended as an attack on Christianity in any way, shape or form, so for any believers here please don't misconstrue it as such. This topic just provides an interesting topic for discus ...[text shortened]... e's suggested possible biblical evidence for such a claim.

    Argue away, folks!
    I doubt it because Matthew is also keen to demonstrate Mary as the fulfilment of Isaiah's prophesy of a virgin (depending on the translation) who will give birth to the Messiah. He clearly uses the Greek term "parvenus" used also in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) to denote a virgin.
  3. Joined
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    25 Dec '06 13:44
    Originally posted by ParanoidAndroid
    Before I begin, since I'm still fairly new on these forums and many people won't know much about me, let me say here that I am a Chrisitan. As such, this post is not intended as an attack on Christianity in any way, shape or form, so for any believers here please don't misconstrue it as such. This topic just provides an interesting topic for discus ...[text shortened]... e's suggested possible biblical evidence for such a claim.

    Argue away, folks!
    Now don't be to hard on Tamar and Rahab. If you read the story of Tamar, Tamar was given to Judah's son Er by Judah himself. However, Er later died and she was then promised later to Judah's other son Shelah once he became of age. However, once Shelah became of age, Judah did not follow through on his promise. Tamar was then faced with dying a widower and is when the indiscretion occured. In fact, in Genesis 38:26 Judah acknowledged that Tamar had acted more righteous than he. After that indiscretion, however, Tamar did not live the life of a prostitute.

    As far as Rahab goes, however, she was not an Israelite when she was a prostitute, rather, she grew up in the city of Jericho. Perhaps prostitution was not scorned as it was among the Israelite people, who is to say. However, once the Israelite spies showed up to spy out the land so that they could conquer it, Rahab reached out in faith to those men and gave them a safe haven in Jericho and became an intergal part of its conquest by the Israelite people. Once the Israelites conquered Jericho and Rahab became assimilated into their society, however, she did not continue to be a prostitute. The remarkable act of faith is why she is revered in both Judism and Christianity. It makes one wonder why she decided to help the Israelites to conquer Jericho. Does it sound like someone who is happy with their current lifestyle? It sounds to me that perhaps she felt forced into her lifestyle and hated the people whom forced her into such a lifestyle and therefore helped surrender them into the hands of the Israelites.
  4. Joined
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    25 Dec '06 16:23
    So - did the author of Matthew know something about Jesus' birth and was he subtly trying to hint at it in his genealogy through listing prostitutes and love stories?
    The genealogy is just that - a genealogy. When you list a genealogy you can't just skip those who might have a past/profession that is not to your liking. It is still part of the family history and lineage.

    The reason Mary's genealogy is listed is to prove that Jesus is from the line of David since Joseph's lineage really does not make any difference.
  5. Standard memberMathurine
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    25 Dec '06 19:41
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    I doubt it because Matthew is also keen to demonstrate Mary as the fulfilment of Isaiah's prophesy of a virgin (depending on the translation) who will give birth to the Messiah. He clearly uses the Greek term "parvenus" used also in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) to denote a virgin.
    parvenus?

    Do you mean parthenos [=virgin] ?
  6. Joined
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    25 Dec '06 22:24
    Originally posted by Mathurine
    parvenus?

    Do you mean parthenos [=virgin] ?
    Sorry, I'm relying on memory here and am liable to error. Thanks.
  7. Joined
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    26 Dec '06 00:33
    Originally posted by disciple1
    The genealogy is just that - a genealogy. When you list a genealogy you can't just skip those who might have a past/profession that is not to your liking. It is still part of the family history and lineage.

    The reason Mary's genealogy is listed is to prove that Jesus is from the line of David since Joseph's lineage really does not make any difference.
    But historically speaking, as you expect from a patriarchal culture, only the men should have been listed. If a woman is mentioned as part of a genealogy there's usually an exceptional reason for it. It wasn't common practice. That's what I'm trying to say.
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    26 Dec '06 00:39
    Originally posted by ParanoidAndroid
    But historically speaking, as you expect from a patriarchal culture, only the men should have been listed. If a woman is mentioned as part of a genealogy there's usually an exceptional reason for it. It wasn't common practice. That's what I'm trying to say.
    Perhaps Matthew thought it important that Jesus was related to prostitues?
  9. Joined
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    26 Dec '06 00:44
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    Perhaps Matthew thought it important that Jesus was related to prostitues?
    May be Matthew was wrong?
  10. Joined
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    26 Dec '06 00:51
    Originally posted by ahosyney
    May be Matthew was wrong?
    Probably. Luke's geneology clearly contradicts it.
  11. Standard memberreader1107
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    26 Dec '06 14:29
    Originally posted by ParanoidAndroid
    But historically speaking, as you expect from a patriarchal culture, only the men should have been listed. If a woman is mentioned as part of a genealogy there's usually an exceptional reason for it. It wasn't common practice. That's what I'm trying to say.
    There's a huge leap over a chasm from "there's usually an exceptional reason for it" (a point I wouldn't disagree with) and the conclusion that it pointed to Mary being a prostitute. My guess is that the women are included because they were famous people in the history of the culture. My ancestors include an historically boring American president. To include him wouldn't mean that I aspire to politics, but rather because his name would be familiar to some people.
  12. Standard memberAcemaster
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    31 Dec '06 11:28
    Mary probably wasn't a prostitute. Prostitution is just like smoking, drinking, enven lying. They are all choices. Geneology has nothing to do with it. Plus, sometimes (rarely, but sometimes,) a man only having (a) daughter(s), meaning that it would have to be a girl listed.
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