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Bible Gem 758 - A Textual Problem - Insidious Plot or Deeper Lesson (Luke 2:33, 48-50)

May 6, 2019

 

And his mother and father were amazed about the things that were said about him. Luke 2:33

 

His parents didn't know what to think. "Son," His mother said to Him, "why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for You everywhere." 

"But why did you need to search?" He asked. "Didn't you know that I must be in My Father's house?" 

But they didn't understand what He meant. Luke 2:48-50)

 

And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. (KJV)

The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. (NIV)

 

The charge that is leveled by the KJV only proponents that the use of "father" rather than "Joseph" is a denial of the virgin birth, making Jesus the son of Joseph. Yet, the plain teaching of Luke's gospel is that Joseph was not the natural father of Jesus (Luke 1:34-35).  It is more natural to take this term as referring to the role of Joseph in Jesus' life? Joseph was the husband of Mary. I am sure that Jesus would have referred to, or considered Joseph as His earthly father. Could this not be a perfectly plausable explanation? Surely it is. Yet, KJV Only advocates are certain that the "modern versions" are up to no good and part of a plot to deny the virgin birth. It makes no sense at all to argue this way. The flow of the wider text makes it clear that "father" is the correct reading in Luke 2:33.  Also the document evidence suggests father was the earliest reading and it was changed to Joseph at a later date. 

 

The King James itself uses:  

And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. (Luke 2:48)

Here, from the very lips of Mary, no less, we have the use of the term "father" of Joseph with reference to the Christ child, and that in the Authorized Version of 1611! This use of "father" by Mary is perfectly consistent with the use of "father" at Luke 2:33, where both Mary and Joseph are in view as a family unit. Also, the KJV itself refers to Joseph and Mary as "his parents" in Luke 2:41. There is absolutely no reason to read into the use of the term "father" a denial of the supernatural nature of the birth of the Messiah. Surely no KJV Only advocate who is the least bit concerned about being fair and accurate and honest in their arguments can use Luke 2:33 as an example of "heresy" on the part of the modern Greek texts or the modern Bible translations.

 

Alexandrinus (A) has the reading "father" while the reading "Joseph" is in most other more recent manuscripts (The Majority Text readings). According to the textual evidence it would appear that the original reading is "father" not "Joseph".   The early reading is "father" and it is much easier to explain why father would changed to Joseph than to explain why "Joseph" would become "father" in an earlier manuscript.  

 

Is Jesus not teaching Joseph and Mary (and us) who He is? Mary's use of father in the text makes Jesus' use of it in verse 50 is even more significance. Jesus is alluding to His heavenly birth in making this statement as well as His purpose for which He was on earth for. He is to be about the work of God. 

 

Changing verse 33 does not make any sense in that context. It hardly denies the Virgin birth; rather it strengthens it. Enough said on this.

 

 

There are times when a man should be content with what he has but never with what he is. William Jordan

 

Love never looks down...Love stoops! Rick Warren

 

Any miracle that Jesus did was when he was on the way somewhere and got interrupted by somebody. Make time for other people in your life. Joyce Meyer

 

 

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