Why Luke mitigated “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

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Giuseppe
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Why Luke mitigated “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:49 am

Chrysostomus, Ad. Phil. 2:7.
If he had truly become man, he would have ceased to be god.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/230207.htm

According to Marcion, the question “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” is an absolute denial of the his being born:

However, although I do not allow this sense, I may as well ask, by way of a superfluous refutation, for the reasons of the alleged temptation, To what purpose could they have tempted Him by naming His mother and His brethren? If it was to ascertain whether He had been born or not — when was a question raised on this point, which they must resolve by tempting Him in this way? Who could doubt His having been born, when they saw Him before them a veritable man?— whom they had heard call Himself Son of man?— of whom they doubted whether He were God or Son of God, from seeing Him, as they did, in the perfect garb of human quality? — supposing Him rather to be a prophet, a great one indeed, but still one who had been born as man? Even if it had been necessary that He should thus be tried in the investigation of His birth, surely any other proof would have better answered the trial than that to be obtained from mentioning those relatives which it was quite possible for Him, in spite of His true nativity, not at that moment to have had. For tell me now, does a mother live on contemporaneously with her sons in every case? Have all sons brothers born for them? 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. Such a method of testing the point had therefore no consistency whatever in it and they who were standing without were really His mother and His brethren. It remains for us to examine His meaning when He resorts to non-literal words, saying Who is my mother or my brethren? It seems as if His language amounted to a denial of His family and His birth; but it arose actually from the absolute nature of the case, and the conditional sense in which His words were to be explained. He was justly indignant, that persons so very near to Him stood without, while strangers were within hanging on His words, especially as they wanted to call Him away from the solemn work He had in hand. He did not so much deny as disavow them.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/03124.htm

A clue in this sense is given by comparing the versions of Mark and Luke of the same question:

Mark 3:33:
“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Matthew 12:48
He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

...with the version found in Luke:

Luke 8:21
He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”

It is clear that Luke has mitigated the originally too much polemical and negationist sense of the question.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Why Luke mitigated “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:56 am

A very similar question that denies implicitly the human birth is found in Mark 12:35-37:

While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he said, “How is it that the experts in the law say that the Christ is David’s son? David himself, by the Holy Spirit, said,
‘The Lord said to my lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’
If David himself calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

andrewcriddle
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Re: Why Luke mitigated “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

Post by andrewcriddle » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:17 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:49 am
Chrysostomus, Ad. Phil. 2:7.
If he had truly become man, he would have ceased to be god.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/230207.htm
Not Chrysostom. Possibly Tertullian On the flesh of Christ
You cannot express any apprehension that, if He had been born and truly clothed Himself with man's nature, He would have ceased to be God, losing what He was, while becoming what He was not. For God is in no danger of losing His own state and condition.
Andrew Criddle

Giuseppe
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Re: Why Luke mitigated “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:22 am

Probably the text above is a paraphrase from this from Chrysostom:

What then say the heretics? See, say they, He did not become man. The Marcionites, I mean. But why? He was made in the likeness of man. But how can one be made in the likeness of men? By putting on a shadow? But this is a phantom, and no longer the likeness of a man, for the likeness of a man is another man.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/230207.htm
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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