Seminary 2016 Lesson 6: Matthew 1–2

Lesson 6: Matthew 1–2

Right off the bat we are not covering that Mark is actually the oldest of the gospels and that Matthew is a derivative work

“Marcan priority has been accepted by most scholars since the late nineteenth century and forms the foundation for the widely accepted two-source theory,”

Nary a mention.  But we get into the actual text, so props to that:

Matthew gave the genealogy of Jesus Christ, and an angel declared Jesus’s divine parentage to Joseph. Wise men from the East traveled to find and worship the young Jesus. Joseph was told in a dream to take his family to Egypt to avoid Herod’s slaughter of children in Bethlehem.

Activity: Show a picture of your parents

On my mission, I was approached by someone who asked me why the genealogy of Jesus is so different in the two gospels. One has 42 individuals in the list and starts with Abraham (Mathew) and the other is in Luke and starts with Adam and has 77 individuals that are vastly different.  My answer echoed the answer given by Eusebius, that one was the genealogy of Joseph and the other was Mary.  The person pointed out that the different number of individuals would mean that one line was all oldest children, and the other  was all youngest children of very large families to make it work.  As there is no resolution on this, I leave each reader to come up with their own explanation.

Invite students as they study Matthew 1–2 to look for truths about the Savior’s parents and traits He inherited from them.

Well, we could talk about that in the genealogy father’s-in-law did daughters-in-law (Judah), David killing husbands to get their wives (Bathseba), Solomon and his thousand wives, Rehaobim and his corruption of a kingdom, and Ruth being a non-member but following Naomi  and “Spreading her skirts” for Boaz, but I’m pretty sure they’re going to go for things like hair color.  Which, by the way, Mary was super jewish, so no idea why Nephi saw her as “exceedingly fair and white“.  Nor are they going to point out that Joseph’s DNA has nothing to do with Jesus because, um; Joseph wasn’t the father, remember?

Explain that the word Christ is the Greek form of the Aramaic word Messiah, which means “the anointed.”

But don’t explain why Aramaic matters.  That’s fine.  It’s still a fact, and we love facts.

Point out that Matthew 1:16 also mentions that Mary was Joseph’s wife

Er… no.  I mean read the next line

According to Matthew 1:18, Joseph and Mary were espoused. This means they were betrothed, or engaged, and legally bound to each other but not yet living together as husband and wife.

Ask the students if anyone has someone in their family who are living together and are not married.  Point out what “Common law” marriage is.  Now while Betrothed isn’t the same as common law marriage one can point out how marriage has altered over the years and that it hasn’t had a standard definition of marriage throughout time.  That even Jesus’ parents had a different kind of marriage than we have today.

Stoning Mary

What did Joseph intend to do when he learned that Mary was pregnant? (Explain that “to put her away privily” means Joseph planned to cancel the engagement privately without forcing Mary to face public humiliation or the possible penalty of stoning).

Can we take a minute to discuss stoning?  Who said that anyone should be stoned… oh yeah, God.  God risked Mary getting stoned.  Think about that.  Let’s take away “God” from the equation and think about it if it were humans.  A governor pushes for a law in the state to kill women who have unwed pregnancies.  Then that same governor impregnates (via artificial insemination, if you like) a girl knowing her fiance is going to be upset.  Is this a moral act?  Why or why not?

What does this verse teach us about Joseph’s character?

Joseph is pretty amazing

What does this verse teach us about God’s character?

Would god have been as tolerant as Joseph?  Why did God set up capital punishment (even for Rape victims)?  Was Mary able to consent given that God and she had a large difference in power balance?

Just as Jesus is literally the Son of Mary, so he is the personal and literal offspring of God the Eternal Father.  – Bruce R. McConkie

Let’s be perfectly clear; this is an apostle stating without any qualms that God literally had sex with Mary.  See above where I proposed it could have been artificial insemination? This is an Apostle stating fully, and without any ambiguity that sex happened.  “Literal offspring”.  This was taught by Brigham Young (JoD 1:50-51, also “Answers”, vol. 5, p. 121) and Orson Pratt (“The Seer,” Oct. 1853, p. 158).

Students may use different words but should identify the following doctrine: Jesus Christ is the divine Son of Heavenly Father and Mary.

Yup.  They emphasize that this is the correct answer.  Which immediately discounts what is taught publicly by FAIRMormon:

Critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sometimes proclaim that the LDS believe that God had sex with Mary, resulting in the conception of Jesus. This is simply not true. While some members of the Church may have speculated concerning the conception of Jesus, the Church has never had a teaching concerning this event

Deception in pure form.  They are actively teaching against the CES Manual of Seminary right now.

Jump to the Wisemen

Who brought gifts to the Savior after He was born?

Who were these wisemen?  Why did they know about Jesus?  These are great questions people spend entire lifetimes trying to study and answer and there isn’t an accepted one.

Nevertheless the lesson ends by giving a quiz about the wisemen like anyone actually knows the answers.

The wisemen were named Larry, Moe and Curly; the Apocrypha are wrong; and they brought Frankincense and Myrrh because Curly dropped half the gold and they swung by the only shop still open in town.

Disprove me using actual sources, or my claim is as legitimate as any other about them.

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Last edited by Mithryn on September 11, 2016 at 3:48 pm

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