Today's Gospel (Jan 1)

Today's Gospel (Jan 1)

Postby lasaxman » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:06 pm

Two questions:

Why was Mary amazed?

Why was Jesus not named Emmanuel? Isn't that the name that the Angel had said he should receive?

[Luke 2: 16-21]
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.
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Re: Today's Gospel (Jan 1)

Postby Val Garcia » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:17 pm

The language is murky but to me the "all" refers to those told by the shepherds.
Val


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Re: Today's Gospel (Jan 1)

Postby lasaxman » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:12 am

Val Garcia wrote:The language is murky but to me the "all" refers to those told by the shepherds.

Val, you are right about the murkiness of the language.

The way I read it:
    They received a message from the angel(s).
    They went to Bethlehem and found the Holy Family.
    When they saw Jesus, they told everyone about the message.
    Everyone (all) who heard it were amazed.
    Since they did this when they saw Jesus, Mary and Joseph would presumably be among the "all" who were amazed.
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Re: Today's Gospel (Jan 1)

Postby inthegobi » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:16 pm

Hi all.

lasaxman wrote:[Q1] Why was Mary amazed?
[Q2] Why was Jesus not named Emmanuel?
[Q3] Isn't that the name that the Angel had said he should receive?

Hm! My answers, in reverse order:

[A3] Luke's Annunciation has Gabriel tell Mary she shall call him 'Jesus'. So there is no contradiction *in Luke*. It's Matthew's angel who speaks of Emmanuel.

Also, Matthew is interested in the Jewish Jesus, so to speak, and Emmanuel is in prophecies from Isaiah; but Luke's audience is Greco-Roman, and all that punning on names as prophecy would leave them unmoved. So, there need be no contradiction between Luke and Matthew.

Third, a 'name' can be a title or function, no? (Obituary) 'He made a name for himself as a studio musician'; (Tabloid article) 'They call her the Queen of Mean'; (Aquinas) 'Let us turn to the names of God ... One ... Best ... Powerful ... Greatest etc.; (Medieval persons) Robin of Locksley, Ethelred the Unready, Charles the Bold, Dennis the Short, Charles the Fat; (Roman 'cognomens') Germanicus, Augustus, Caligula ('German-conqueror', 'glorified', 'little boots'). There's Fredegar 'Fatty' Bolger, one of Frodo's friends in Tolkien's books.

[A2] The grammar of the two verses is different also. In Luke, *the baby*'s name is Jesus; in Matthew it's his *name* that will be called Emmanuel. The difference is...not *perfectly* clear to me, and maybe it's just two ways to say exactly the same thing.

An irreverent example might help:
'And low, the rockabilly angel Gabe came to the humble Gladys Love. And Gabe said, "You shall bear a son, and here's two things to remember. You shall call the baby 'Elvis' - no matter you'd planned on naming him after Uncle Aloysius; and you (and everyone) shall (in the future) call his name 'the King of Rock and Roll'." And all came to pass as the angel had said: for those who thought on his name 'Elvis' did think also "verily, the King of Rock and Roll".' Later, one writer wrote a Gospel to the Atlanteans mentioning Elvis (he was a nice Southern boy); another wrote a Gospel to the New Yorkers (who delighted in debating kingship).

[A1] As for the first question, why is Mary so surprised: well, I think the story plainly says that she was reflective. The writer could have been clearer, but it's a common way to talk: 'We just got back from the party, and everyone was dancing. As for Kirk, oh you know him, he never got past the bookshelves.'

If we allow that Mary was both reflective and amazed along with everyone else, first, all analysis aside, it's no contradiction to be amazed at the same miracle more than once! But also, there was plenty to be amazed at besides her son being the Emmanuel: angels had come to shepherds, prophesying and singing in the middle of nowhere. Also, the writer doesn't tell us the time interval between finding the holy family and telling their story. Maybe they just adored the kid (even sternly warned to stop talking so close to the baby), then went out of the stable, chattered to the people around, and button-holed people in the surrounding area. Luke tells us they did this while returning to their fields (noted by the '-ing' for ongoing actions). This ambiguity about how long after a 'when' is the 'then', is rather common in ancient writing, I've noticed.

btw, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you all!

C Kirk
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Re: Today's Gospel (Jan 1)

Postby lasaxman » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:19 pm

Thank you Chris.
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Re: Today's Gospel (Jan 1)

Postby Michael-D » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:42 pm

Excellent question, David.

Emmanuel, translating to "God is with us" may not satisfy many who misunderstand, or even deny a direct correlation to the name Jesus but it demonstrates how God's language is both literal and symbolic.
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Re: Today's Gospel (Jan 1)

Postby inthegobi » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:53 am

Michael-D wrote:Excellent question, David.

Emmanuel, translating to "God is with us" may not satisfy many who misunderstand, or even deny a direct correlation to the name Jesus but it demonstrates how God's language is both literal and symbolic.


Yes, indeed.

I used to love apologetics in high school and college. But when it comes to exegesis, I'm so glad *other* people sort out the difficulties, real and imagined, in the Gospels. My own experience is that just about any contradiction is cleared up with no great stretch of reason.

My mentor in philosophy, Tim McGrew, has some excellent videos that sort out several supposed contradictions and falsehoods. *Really* excellent; I envy his clear style. Look for 'Tim McGrew apologetics' in You-know-you-want-tube. (Tim's not Catholic btw, but his videos are 'mere Christianity', not polemic.) He has stuff in paper too, of course.

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Re: Today's Gospel (Jan 1)

Postby Michael-D » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:46 pm

Thank you for the pointer to Tim McGrew.

I appreciate well reasoned views expounding on Christianity!
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