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Life & Teachings of Jesus
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Kathryn Smith
January 22, 2002
"Canonical Birth Stories"

I.   Why Crucify the Baby Jesus?
A.   Jesus' humanity is lost in the birth story
B.   The "disruption" of the birth narrative
1.   No theodicy is the "slaughter of the innocents" (murder of two year olds)
a.   Theodicy: how does God allow evil
b.   No outside text referring to this even
2.   Subversive political statements
a.   Mary - Luke 1:51-55
b.   Joseph - Luke 2:29-32
3.   Jesus the mamzer
a.   A child that has been born because of an illegal marriage (different meaning than bastard)
b.   People would be gossiping about this and coming up with their own theories (ex: Son of Roman Solider Pantera)
c.   These child would suffer all sorts of persecution
i.   Done as a deterrent to have children out of marriages not approved
ii.   It is very possible that Jesus was affected harshly because of this
iii.   If he had been mocked and called impure for his entire life it could easily be explained how he started to challenge the impurity laws'
II.   The Infancy Narratives of Jesus - Matthew, Luke, Thomas, & James
A.   Date of Birth - between 7-5 BC
B.   Theological and dogmatic concerns of Luke and Matthew
1.   Fulfillment of biblical prophecy: a major focus
2.   Christology and universal lordship
a.   Son of God (Greeks)
b.   Son of David (Jews)
i.   God gave a prophecy to David that the Messiah would come from his line - God will restore David's throne
ii.   David was a great king - therefore it was implied that the "son of David" would be an amazing king
iii.   Having two different "lines" back to David implies that the society may not be very confident with their accuracy - the bigger point is that he was a son of David
III.   The Jesus/John Parallels
A.   Ascribes John's honor to Jesus
1.   John was very accepted in the Jewish world
2.   It is a simple way to transfer John's power and authority to Jesus
B.   John as precursor
C.   Parallel or one-upmanship
1.   In Acts; John's disciples and Jesus' disciples were often competing against each other
2.   Having the parallel removes the one-upmanship by showing how they were related
D.   Jesus as the Coming One
E.   Evocative biblical images - John lived very similarly to the prophet of Elijah
IV.   Agreements between Matthew & Luke
A.   Birth occurs during reign of Herod
B.   Virgin birth; Mary & Joseph only engaged
C.   Joseph is from house of David
D.   Jesus is son of David
E.   Angel announces birth of Jesus
1.   Luke: angel speaks to Mary
2.   Matthew: angel speaks to Joseph
F.   Jesus is conceived through activity of the Holy Spirit
G.   The name Jesus (Yeshua means salvation n.) given from heaven
H.   Jesus is Savior
I.   Jesus is born in Bethlehem
J.   Jesus is raised in Nazareth
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