Mary (mother of Jesus) - in Ancient Sources - New Testament - Family and Early Life

Family and Early Life

The New Testament tells little of Mary's early history. The 2nd century Protoevangelium of James is the first source to name her parents as Joachim and Anne.

According to Luke, Mary was a cousin of Elizabeth, wife of the priest Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah, who was herself part of the lineage of Aaron and so of the tribe of Levi. Some of those who consider that the relationship with Elizabeth was on the maternal side, consider that Mary, like Joseph, to whom she was betrothed, was of the House of David and so of the tribe of Judah, and that the genealogy of Jesus presented in Luke 3 from Nathan, third son of David and Bathsheba, is in fact the genealogy of Mary, while the genealogy from Solomon given in Matthew 1 is that of Joseph. (Aaron's wife Elisheba was of the tribe of Judah, so all his descendents are from both Levi and Judah.)

Mary resided in "her own house" in Nazareth in Galilee, possibly with her parents, and during her betrothal – the first stage of a Jewish marriage – the angel Gabriel announced to her that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah by conceiving him through the Holy Spirit. After a number of months, when Joseph was told of her conception in a dream by "an angel of the Lord", he was surprised; but the angel told him to be unafraid and take her as his wife, which Joseph did, thereby formally completing the wedding rites.

Since the angel Gabriel had told Mary (according to Luke 1:19) that Elizabeth - having previously been barren - was then miraculously pregnant, Mary hurried to see Elizabeth, who was living with her husband Zechariah in "Hebron, in the hill country of Judah". Mary arrived at the house and greeted Elizabeth who called Mary "the mother of my Lord", and Mary spoke the words of praise that later became known as the Magnificat from her first word in the Latin version. After about three months, Mary returned to her own house.

According to the Gospel of Luke, a decree of the Roman emperor Augustus required that Joseph return to his hometown of Bethlehem to be taxed. While he was there with Mary, she gave birth to Jesus; but because there was no place for them in the inn, she used a manger as a cradle. After eight days, he was circumcised according to Jewish law, and named "JESUS" in accordance with the instructions that the angel had given to Mary in Luke 1:31, and Joseph was likewise told to call him Jesus in Matthew 1:21.

After Mary continued in the "blood of her purifying" another 33 days for a total of 40 days, she brought her burnt offering and sin offering to the temple, so the priest could make atonement for her sins, being cleansed from her blood. They also presented Jesus – "As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord" (Luke 2:23 other verses). After the prophecies of Simeon and the prophetess Anna in Luke 2:25-38 concluded, Joseph and Mary took Jesus and "returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth."

Sometime later, the "wise men" showed up at the "house" where Jesus and his family were staying, and they fled by night and stayed in Egypt for awhile, and returned after Herod died in 4 BC and took up residence in Nazareth.

Read more about this topic:  Mary (mother Of Jesus), In Ancient Sources, New Testament

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