On ABC Religion and Ethics, N.T. Wright has given his annual Christmas address: ‘The Virgin Birth and the Constraints of History’. And the Christmas story is, it seems, not just very Jewish but fiercely Jewish!
What about Luke, who tells the story from Mary’s point of view? His setting is just as Jewish as Matthew’s…But his emphasis, unlike Matthew’s, is on the very Jewish point that this birth is a direct challenge to the pagan power – in other words, to Caesar. This fits with Luke’s whole emphasis: the (very Jewish) gospel is for the whole world, of which Jesus is now the Lord. Israel’s god is the king of the world; now, Jesus is the king of the world…these fiercely Jewish stories…thoroughly Jewish context
And so on. As ever, we might ask, what is ‘not very Jewish’, ‘mildly Jewish’, ‘tamely Jewish’, ‘moderately Jewish’, ‘lukewarmly Jewish’ etc. But let…
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