Christians traditionally believe Jesus was the Son of David, or in other words, a literal descendant of King David.
But did the earliest Christians share this belief?
Join RFM as he takes a deep dive into the New Testament texts that surprisingly suggest the earliest Christians may have believed that Jesus was NOT descended from David!
New Testament textual criticism has never been this much fun!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Such an awesome Christmas treat. Wonderful insights offered for consideration.
I’m only about halfway through the podcast but I wanted to address The Census of Quirinius issue since it is
a key supporting piece of evidence in the early part of the podcast.
The issue isn’t as simple or straightforward as presented in the podcast – which, by the way, I’m really enjoying. Nor is it the “smoking gun” that the podcast makes it seem that it is since both the source Koine Greek and the historical record offer several possible explanations for what seems to us “moderns” to be a “stick wicket”. This is the best short summary that I could find, but I encourage the readers to click through and consider the full body of evidence that’s supporting this summation:
“The Census of Quirinius is not as hard as it seems. The problem comes from a modern view of an ancient taxing system. There was not a single meaning to the Greek word ἀπογράφεσθαι (apographesthai). This word can be any particular part of the taxation process in the Roman world, either assessing property values or actually levying a tax.
The first ἀπογράφεσθαι (apographesthai) happened when Quirinius was governor OF Syria and commanding legions FROM Syria. The second ἀπογράφεσθαι (apographesthai) happened when Quirinius was governor OF Syrian and governing FROM Judea.
And that’s how the Census of Quirinius works.”
(see https://jcalebjones.com/2020/10/27/solving-the-census-of-quirinius/ )
I would also offer this in support of the above from the Patristic record for the reader’s consideration in support of the above:
‘The writings of two second-century Christian apologists assert that census records existed in archives evidencing Jesus’ birth.
Justin Martyr (c. 100 – c. 165) wrote:
“Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, thirty-five stadia from Jerusalem, in which Jesus Christ was born, as you can ascertain also from the registers of the taxing made under [Quirinius], your first procurator in Judæa.
Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 220) suggests that there was a census in Judea under Sentius Saturninus, a governor of Syria during Herod I’s rule who has been argued to have reigned from 13–7 BCE, when there was no direct control of the Roman government in Judea.
“May a man rather not have fathers and sisters (living), or even no relatives at all? But there is historical proof that at this very time a census had been taken in Judæa by Sentius Saturninus, which might have satisfied their inquiry respecting the family and descent of Christ.”‘
(see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius#Second_century_AD )
I hope this helps, and now on to the second half of the podcast…
RFM. I appreciate your honest thoughts. I escaped Mormonism, but kept Jesus…..your intellect and rare compassion help me among many others. Writings of Michael Licona, Tim Keller counter-balanced Bart Ehrmann for me. Merry Christmas