A Good Question?

A thought occurred to me this evening as I was studying the Annunciation (that would be the Annunciation of the Incarnation). I don’t know if it is a good question. Here is the relevant material.

1. CCC 485:   The mission of the Holy Spirit is always conjoined and ordered to that of the Son.122 The Holy Spirit, “the Lord, the giver of Life”, is sent to sanctify the womb of the Virgin Mary and divinely fecundate it, causing her to conceive the eternal Son of the Father in a humanity drawn from her own.


2. Matthew 1:1-17  1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2 Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob begot [and so on with the begets – second question, has anyone ever read through the beget sequences of the Bible?]

Here is the question. A woman provides the egg, the man the sperm. Of course, the CCC says “divinely fecundate” so we can assume sperm wasn’t literally used. But the point is it certainly leaves Joseph off the table as contributor. Why then, have a genealogy for Christ on the male side? Would it not make more sense, if one were to have a genealogy at all, to have Mary’s ancestry here instead?

I haven’t really delved into any obscure Christology, but I guess an argument could be constructed as follows. The Holy Spirit, in fecundating Mary, divinely provided (at least some) DNA from Joseph’s lineage.

Otherwise I see no reason for the lineage of Joseph if he had no part of himself in Jesus. Or, I suppose, as an adopted son could be interested in the genealogy of his adopted family, so too could this be thought as.

The last stage of the begets ends differently than all the preceding ones.

16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

It seems to me it can be considered a genealogy of the adoptive father.


6 thoughts on “A Good Question?

  1. In order to lay claim to the title “King of the Jews,” Jesus had to be descended from the House of David. The primary chain of lineage in that culture proceeds through the male line. Joseph, being the legal father of Jesus, conveys the inheritance in a genealogical sense regardless of his biological connection (or lack thereof) to his son.

  2. “It seems to me it can be considered a genealogy of the adoptive father.”
    Legal customs of adoption, or passing the inheritance to someone else than the eldest son (see Esau and Jacob) seem very ancient. I think maybe the story of Ben Hur is a hint that Roman law also had provisions for legal adoption: the Roman general adopted Ben Hur and he was known afterwards as the son of Arrius.

    1. Agree with both you and Tia. I can’t retrace my original confusion, seems to stand out as obvious now. Great movie, Ben Hur, loved it since I was a kid. I have the 4 disc collector’s edition with both versions – 1925 and 1959. Prefer 1959 version because Heston was the best.

  3. Speaking of religious movies (specifically Old/New Testament) of which I have always been a huge fan. I just watched a few weeks ago the excellent Jesus of Nazareth. I thought Robert Powell’s portrayal of Christ to be the best I have seen to say nothing of James Farentino’s portrayal of Peter. And both men looked the part. There are a few goofs in the film but nothing compared to the unsightly The Bible.

    Here (after hurrying through the Old Testament) Jesus is played by Diogo Morgado with teeth so bright I was led to believe there may have been a Delta Dental plan in ancient Judea “Delta Dental of Galilee”! And with hair a rock singer longs for; I had suspected Jerry Bruckheimer had been in charge of casting. I expected Jesus at any moment to break into singing Pearl Jam’s Even Flow (eee – oooo! Freezin’ rests his head on a pillow made of concrete, again) or to break into Creed’s My Own Prison. Such a pretty lad!

    My wife (a thorough atheist) started crying during the passion. I thought this odd, and she says, “but he’s too pretty!”

    It wasn’t just the looks, he was Hippy Christ, smiling, patting the heads of the children, an all around good chap. I never got the feeling that we couldn’t ask this guy to go out on the town for some boozing and strip clubs for a night before going out and preaching the gospel the next day!

    Peter was well cast. And Satan, played by Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, looking like a cowled Obama was priceless. But not enough to save the film.

    But I highly recommend Jesus to Nazareth.

    1. I watched Zeffirelli’s “Jesus of Nazareth” a couple of times in the 70s-80s. It was a big hit among Catholics and was regularly aired during the Holy Week (maybe still is, but I don’t watch TV anymore, only videos). Robert Powell looks the part indeed; rumor has it that he was chosen for his striking likeness with the face on the Turin’s Shroud. I should watch this movie again as I don’t remember Peter, but I already heard a comment similar to yours about the actor and the role.

      The movie “The Bible” must have something for it if your wife cried upon its Jesus. You said once that she was raised Catholic: it would be likely in the time when Jesus was generally seen as a Hippy. That would have stirred memories, and the Lord can certainly touch people through almost any portrayal of Himself, even quite distorted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s