Secret Alias wrote: ↑
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:33 am
1. Jesus was born to a virgin named Mary (because of prophesy)
2. Jesus was born in Bethlehem (because of prophesy)
3. Jesus was Egyptian (because of prophesy)
4. Jesus was born in Nazareth (because of prophesy)
#3 is not a prophecy about a birth or origin, but of a return. That is how the "out of Egypt" ideas is always understood. Israel went down to Egypt and came back after the sojourn.
The only certain birth that the Matthew tradition extracts from the HB is the story of Samson, which is both the origin of the "he will be a Nazorean" comes from (the original has "Nazirite"), along with the fact that "he will save his people from sins", a reworking of Jdg 13:5's "he will save Israel from the Philistines", "save being the probable source of Jesus' name. Actually both these references are from the same verse referring to the birth of Samson. It is not a coincidence that these two figures would save their people, Israel for Samson and an ideal Israel for Jesus, those who need saving from their sins.
I don't know where Mary fits in regarding #1. "Born of a virgin" is the mistreatment of Isaiah 7:14, but Mary? Whatever the case we have another HB verse brought into the developing Matthean birth narrative. It too deals with a birth.
The Bethlehem "prophecy" of Micah 5:2 has nothing to do with a birth and needed to be mangled to be of use of the Matthean tradition—no longer "(too) little to be in the clans of Judah", but now "not the least" (Mt 2:6). Still it is repurposed to explain why Jesus might be from Bethlehem. Bethlehem is found in no parallel text in other gospels though it is the scene of Jesus' birth in Luke. This suggests that Bethlehem was part of the oral tradition in circulation at the time of writing of the two separate synoptic gospels. (The Johannine, 7:42 use provides insufficient context to relate it to other uses.)
#1, #2 and #4 point to disparate fragments about a birth collected probably at different times and incorporated into the fabric of the birth narrative. They suggest an oral background available to be ransacked by the scribe(s) responsible for the overhaul of the Marcan gospel. It doesn't suggest a simple overhaul, but a piecemeal one. The tradents of the Matthean collection can be seen accommodating their piecemeal data, working to explain the disparate elements Bethlehem, Nazareth and Capernaum and featuring two moves, 2:22-23 and 4:13 after the Bethlehem birth. We seem to have an evolution of the Matthean tradition, not a big single effort. I think this [to clarify:
this same sort of] evolutionary process can be seen in all the synoptics, as also seems to be the case with John (though John with no significant parallels is harder to work on).