Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Advent Reflection #10

Why do Matthew and Luke say so much about the birth of Jesus (although not as much as we would like!) and Mark and John say nothing? Would the Romans, to whom Mark allegedly writes, be impressed with a miraculous birth or care about Jewish genealogy? And John, the mystircal theologian writing to the Greeks, doesn't want to focus on the birth but where Jesus was before he came.  It is interesting to me that Plato said we were all in heaven before birth, so Jesus emphasizes that Jesus really was in heaven before his natural birth--the only one of us humans who was!  But Matthew has to validate Jesus' lineage, and Luke the scientist has to put it in historical context.  I may be reading something into them, but reading the first three to five verses of each gospel. 

Mark begins with John because John's baptism of Jesus started the public ministry and proclamation of the gospel by Jesus.  Luke stalks about his research method--eyewitness accounts.  And he isn't humble about it; "I had perfect understanding," he says.  John begins with the character of the trinity, and Matthew like a Jewish chronicler--the genealogy is all. 

What amazing documents!

No comments:

The Insanity of God

I finished this book yesterday.  I rarely recommend the books I read because they don't have wide appeal (Dickens, academic subjects) bu...