Mary, the Only Witness to the Entire Life of Jesus

Who was Mary besides being the famed mother of Jesus? She was present throughout the exceptional life of her son from beginning to end to beginning.[1]

As a mother, every amazing detail about her son was memorable. In a distinguishing characteristic of Luke, twice before Jesus turned 13, the Gospel says Mary “treasured all these things in her heart.”[2] The author of Luke says the Gospel is based on witness accounts “from the beginning.”[3]

Mary’s remarkable life took a turn from ordinary to extraordinary in only a moment. As a girl who had become of marriageable age at 13 living in Nazareth, a town of about 2000 or less, Mary soon agreed to marry Joseph.[4] Her betrothal was no different than for any other Jewish girl…until Mary was visited by the Archangel Michael who announced she would be impregnated by the Holy Spirit and would give birth to the Messiah.[5]

Not telling Joseph her magnificent secret, Mary promptly left to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, the wife of a priest, Zachariah.[6] Merely a few days pregnant and otherwise not physically apparent even to Mary herself other than Gabriel’s message, Elizabeth confirmed Mary’s pregnancy as soon as she arrived.[7]

It was a perfect ice-breaker opening the door for Mary to confide her secret with someone who would understand. Aside from being cousins, they both had something in common – miraculous pregnancies.[8] Elizabeth had been married for many years but had been barren. Even her husband doubted the possibility of her becoming pregnant because of her age.[9]

When it was time for Elizabeth to give birth to her son who would become known as John the Baptist, Mary went back home to Nazareth, but she still didn’t tell Joseph of her private circumstance.[10] For how long she withheld her secret is not known, but “she was found” to be pregnant apparently not because Mary divulged it.[11]

Clearly Mary’s secret was difficult to handle, much more than because of the Jewish religious society’s negative view of pregnancy before marriage. When Joseph found out, knowing he was not the father, he considered a divorce which could have dire consequences for Mary. It is safe to assume it caused stress on both sides. Archangel Gabriel paid a visit to Joseph who then had a change of heart deciding that God’s divine plan trumped the difficult situation for himself.

As if things in Mary’s home life weren’t tough enough, a few months later as Mary was preparing to give birth any day, the town crier announced a family registration decree by Caesar August. On very short notice, it required Mary to travel to Bethlehem 90 miles away with her new husband, Joseph, who was of the royal lineage of David.[12] Making matters worse, the inns in Bethlehem were full and Mary was forced to give birth in a stable.

Joy overcame the difficult circumstances followed with more amazing events. Shepherds heralded by a choir of angels left their herds in the country to see her baby.[13] That was followed by Magi who came from a faraway country bearing expensive gifts including gold and they worshipped her baby![14] Events again took another dramatic turn for the worse – the King of Judea, Herod, wanted to kill her baby forcing Mary’s new family to escape to Egypt.[15]

Finally things settled down with the death of Herod and the three returned to Nazareth. Over the following years, Mary and Joseph raised a family of five boys and at least two girls.[16] A stark reminder that their 12-year old son, Jesus, was distinctively different from his siblings came when they lost him during their trip to Jerusalem for the Passover.[17] When they eventually found Jesus in the Temple, he declared, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”[18]

Mary knew her son had special powers who could perform miracles. When a wedding party ran out of wine, she asked Jesus to turn the pots of water to wine. He appeared not to be ready to reveal his miracle capabilities, but in-spite-of being a grown adult, Jesus did as his mother asked performing the first recorded miracle.[19]

Before choosing his Disciples at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus moved to Capernaum. At his new home, Mary and her family tried to meet with Jesus after he had cast out demons and performed healing miracles that roused the crowd, but they could not reach him because the crowd was too dense.[20]

Next mention of Mary three years later was the most dreadful of scenarios, all the more horrifying for a mother, as she watched her tortured son being crucified.[21] What emotions she experienced can scarcely be imagined.

Great joy again returned when Mary saw her son alive again! She celebrated with those who saw Jesus ascend into Heaven 40 days after his Resurrection.[22]

Mary was the sole witness to the entire life of Jesus from her miraculous conception, the circumstances of his birth, his miracles, his crucifixion and his Resurrection. These events are corroborated by many sources as documented in the Gospels as well as those not so readily apparent outside of the Gospels.

Magi visiting Jerusalem, an entire city full of people could have refuted the conspicuous visit if it hadn’t happened – it wasn’t repudiated by those still alive when the original Gospels were made public. History confirms the registration decree of Caesar Augustus, the death of King Herod and other Roman, Jewish and history authorities during that same time. Judaism, historical accounts and all four Gospels corroborate the crucifixion of Jesus witnessed by Mary.

Much attention is made of  Mary Magdalene’s Resurrection encounter at the tomb…if anyone could confirm or refute that it was Jesus who was alive after his death on the cross, it was his own mother and family.

Joseph and Mary no doubt talked about their amazing experiences in their home and at private gatherings. If there were disparities, as adults family members would have been expected to expose them – they didn’t. In fact, Mary’s children became followers of Jesus costing Mary another of her own sons who became a martyr for his belief in Jesus as the Messiah:[23]

“…he [Ananus] assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions.]  And when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned…” – Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews [24]

Considering Mary’s witness of a miraculous conception and seeing her son, Jesus, crucified and Resurrected – was Jesus the prophesied Messiah who was Resurrected from the dead?

 

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REFERENCES:

[1] Northcote, James Spencer. “The Life of Mary in the Gospels.” 1856-60. <https://www.salvemariaregina.info/SalveMariaRegina/SMR-182/LifeMary14.htm> “Who was With Jesus When He Ascended?” Pathos.com. 2017. <https://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2015/12/15/who-was-with-jesus-when-he-ascended>
[2] Luke 2:51. NASB. NASB, NIV. Luke 2:19.
[3] Luke 1:2.
[4] “Nazareth.”  New World Encyclopedia. 2018. <https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/nazareth>  “Nazareth.” Jewish Virtual Library. 2019. <https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/nazareth> Kiddushin 3b.  Sefaria. <https://www.sefaria.org/Kiddushin.3b?lang=bi>  “Marriage.” Judaism 101. <http://www.jewfaq.org/marriage.htm>  “Majority.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10310-majority>
[5] Luke 1:26-35.
[6] Luke 1:39, 56.
[7] Luke 1:39-45.
[8] Matthew 1:18-19, 36-37, 58; Luke 1:36.
[9] Luke 1:8-25, 57-66.
[10] Matthew 1:56.
[11] Mathew 1:18. Net.bible.org. 2019. Greek text word “heurisko.” <http://classic.net.bible.org/strong.php?id=2147> Strong’s Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon. Eliyah.com. n.d. <http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=greeklexicon&isindex=2147>
[12] Luke 2:1-6.
[13] Luke 2:8-20.
[14] Matthew 2:1-12.
[15] Matthew 2:13-17.
[16] Matthew 13:55; Mark 3:31-32, 6:3; John 2:12; Acts 1:14.
[17] Luke 2:41-51.
[18] NASB.
[19] John 2:1-11. CR John 4:46.
[20] Mathew 4:13; Mark 3:20-32; Luke 4:16-30.
[21] John 19:25. CR Luke 23:49.
[22] Acts. 1:3, 12-14.
[23] John 2:12; Acts 1:12-14.
[24] Josephus, Flavius. Antiquities of the Jews. Trans. and commentary. William Whitson.  The Complete Works of Josephus. 1850. Book XX, Chapter IX.4.  <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Mark, Interpreter for Peter

Mark’s Gospel seems like the fairy tale style stepchild of the Gospels’ accounts of Jesus of Nazareth. Shortest of the four and probably the least quoted by Christians and skeptics alike, that does not mean the Gospel is less than credible or authentic.

Assessing the merit and authenticity of Mark can be approached in two ways – historical and uniqueness. How far back in history can the source of Mark’s Gospel be traced? What information in Mark does not appear in any of the other three Gospels?

Experts date the writing of Mark to around 60 AD possibly making it the oldest Gospel written, although there is debate that Matthew preceded it.[1] One key reason for the date is no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.[2] In fact, Mark 13:2 refers to the destruction of the Temple in future tense suggesting it had not yet happened.[3]

Origins of the Gospel’s author can be traced outside the Bible back to some of the original Disciples – first generation sources. Papias, an astute man born in 70 AD, said:

“For I imagined that what was to be got from books was not so profitable to me as what came from the living and abiding voice.” [4]

A direct reference was made to books already written just a few years after the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, quite possibly the Gospels themselves. Setting aside books as a primary source of information, Papias made it his personal mission to seek out the actual elders of the early church to ascertain the truth from them directly:

“If, then, any one who had attended on the elders came, I asked minutely after their sayings,-what Andrew or Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the Lord’s disciples: which things Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say.”

Identified by name as sources, Aristion and the presbyter John both personally knew seven of the Disciples.[5] At the conclusion of his investigation, Papias provided a matter-of-fact report, saying in part:[6]

“And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered.  It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the Lord’s sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them.  For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements.”

Irenaeus was a student of Polycarp who himself was personally mentored by the Disciple John.[7] Like Papias, Irenaeus identified Mark as the author of the Gospel, the traveling interpreter for the Disciple Peter:[8]

“…Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter.”

“…Mark, the interpreter and follower of Peter, does thus commence his Gospel narrative…”

Several times in the New Testament Mark is mentioned. Peter referred to Mark as “my son.”[9] The Book of Acts written by the author of Luke makes three mentions, 12:12-14, 25 and 15:37, identifying John called Mark.

Apostle Paul made several references to Mark. In Colossians 4:10, the Apostle identified Mark as the cousin of Barnabas. Paul called out by name Mark and Luke twice – in Philemon: “Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers” and in 2 Timothy 4:11: “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.”[10]

Not just casual acquaintances, Luke and Mark were part of Paul’s ministry, yet neither were eyewitnesses to the life and times of Jesus.[11] Mark’s Gospel reflects the knowledge gained during his years spent traveling with Peter and Paul, his interactions with the other Disciples and listening to eyewitness accounts.

Some differences between Mark and the other Gospels are readily apparent. Mark begins by immediately declaring Jesus to be the Son of God, then ties an Isaiah prophecy to his introduction of John the Baptist.[12] Matthew has 28 chapters and Luke 24 whereas Mark has only 16 chapters. Mark, unlike Matthew and Luke, did not provide any genealogical details of Jesus.

Miracles by Jesus solely reported in Mark are two, the healing of the deaf mute and healing the blind man at Bethsaida.[13] One parable by Jesus, the seed growing in secret, is exclusive to Mark and perhaps another (or was it an analogy?) about the householder.[14]

Mark is the only Gospel reporting activity the night before the Resurrection event. He named three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, who purchased and prepared aromatic spices and anointing oils for the following morning.[15]

Both Mark and Luke pick up the Resurrection story at the tomb after the stone had been rolled away. Mark reveals a very specific detail not described in the other Gospels: “Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right.” Further, he reports the witnessing women trembled, were amazed and afraid – details not reported in the other three Gospels.

Digging deeper reveals more differences. Nearly 8% of Mark, 51 verses, is unique content.[16] Writing analysis strongly suggests Mark had the special ability to interpret both Aramaic and the Roman Greek.[17]

In the world of investigators, identical or nearly identical statements can be a clear indication of collusive deception as are alleged by some Gospel critics.[18] Are the differences in Mark enough to say it is not identical to the other Gospels? If Mark did reference Matthew or vice versa, in their era of history it was common and acceptable practice to copy information from other sources without any formal references.[19]

With charges of collusion, deception or plagiarism unfounded, what remains is believability – does Mark’s Gospel about Jesus of Nazareth bear the marks of credibility and authenticity?

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

REFERENCES:

[1] Ryrie. Charles C., ed.  Ryrie Study Bible. New American Standard Trans. 1978. “Introduction to the Book of Matthew;” “Introduction to the Book of Mark; “Introduction to the Book of Luke.”  “New Testament – Historical Books.” “New Testament.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/11498-new-testament> “The Four Gospels.” ReligionFacts.com. 2019. <http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/texts/gospels.htm>
Gloag, Paton J. Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels. 1895. pp 45, 204. <https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=yale.39002051125079&view=1up&seq=9>
[2] “Mark, the Gospel According to.” Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary. 3rd Edition. n.d.  <http://www.ccel.org/e/easton/ebd/ebd/T0002400.html#T0002421> Ryrie. Ryrie Study Bible. “Introduction to the Book of Mark.”
[3] “New Testament.” Jewish Encyclopedia. “The Four Gospels.” ReligionFacts.com. Gloag. Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels. pp 45, 204.
[4] Papias. “Papias.” Fragment I. “From the exposition of the oracles of the Lord.”  2005. <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.vii.ii.i.html>
[5] Schaff. Ante-Nicene Fathers. “Introductory Note to the Fragments of Papias.”  <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.vii.ii.i.html>  Papias. Fragment I, footnote #1739.  Papias. Fragment VI, footnote #1755. <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.vii.ii.vi.html>
[6] Papias.  Fragments I & VI. Swete, Henry Barclay. The Gospel According to St. Mark, The Greek Text with Notes and Indices. 1902. pp LX – LXI. <https://books.google.com/books?id=WcYUAAAAQAAJ&lpg=PA127&ots=f_TER300kY&dq=Seneca%20centurio%20supplicio%20pr%C3%A6positus&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false>
[7] Schaff, Philip. “Introduction – The General Character of His Work.” Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume I. <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/richardson/fathers.xi.i.i.html>  Schaff, Philip. “Introductory Note to the Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians.” Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume I.  n.d. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. 13 July 2005. http://m.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.iv.i.html>  Gloag, The Synoptic Gospels. p11.
[8] Irenaeus. Against Heresies. Book III, Chapters I.1, X.5, XIV.1. <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iv.html> CR Acts 12:12.
[9] 1 Peter 5:13.
[10] NKJV.
[11] Swete. The Gospel According to St. Mark, The Greek Text with Notes and Indices. pp XV – XXI. Irenaeus, Against Heresies. Book III, Chapter XV.3.
[12] Mark 1:1-4. NLT, NASB.
[13] Mark 7:31-37; 8:22-26.  Aune, Eilif Osten. “Synoptic Gospels.” Bible Basics. 2013. <https://web.archive.org/web/20171214110423/http://www.bible-basics-layers-of-understanding.com/Synoptic-Gospels.html>  “Luke, the Gospel According to.” Easton’s Bible Dictionary. 3rd Edition. n.d. <http://www.ccel.org/e/easton/ebd/ebd/T0002300.html#T0002331> Ryrie. “The Miracles of Jesus.”
[14] Mark 4:26. Sween, Don and Nancy. “Parable.” BibleReferenceGuide.com. n.d. <http://www.biblereferenceguide.com/keywords/parable.html>  Ryrie. “The Parables of Jesus.” Aune. “Synoptic Gospels.”
[15] Mark 16:1.
[16] “Mark, the Gospel According to.” Easton’s Bible Dictionary. 3rd Edition.  Swete. The Gospel According to St. Mark, The Greek Text with Notes and Indices. pp XIX, LXXIV.
[17] MacRory, Joseph. “Gospel of Saint Mark.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. 1910. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09674b.htm>  “Miscellaneous Notes and Queries.” 1895. History, Folk-Lore, Mathematics, Mysticism, Art, Science, Etc. Volume 13. p21. <https://books.google.com/books?id=diwAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA21&lpg=PA21&dq=what+language+did+Mark+interpret+for+Peter?&source=bl&ots=AnNyDYHoXC&sig=ACfU3U1nG49JG00-xpncw9xnrUbYIAs6ng&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwipo6-qwdjjAhUInawKHRHOA8U4ChDoATADegQICBAB#v=onepage&q=what%20language%20did%20Mark%20interpret%20for%20Peter%3F&f=false>
[18] Vick, Tristan D. “Dating the Gospels: Looking at the Historical Framework.” Advocatus Atheist. 2010.  <http://advocatusatheist.blogspot.com/2010/01/dating-gospels-looking-at-historical.html>  “New Testament.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011.  Etinger, Judah. Foolish Faith. Chapter 6. 2019. FoolishFaith.com. <http://www.foolishfaith.com/book_chap6_history.asp>  Shamoun, Sam. “The New Testament Documents and the Historicity of the Resurrection.” Answering-Islam.org. 2013. <http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/documents.htm>  Sapir Avinoam. LSI Laboratory for Scientific Interrogation. Language analysis courses.  <http://www.lsiscan.com/id37.htm>
[19] Reed, Annette Yoshiko.  Pseudepigraphy, Authorship, and ‘The Bible’ in Late Antiquity. pp 478 & 489. 2008. Academia.edu. <http://www.academia.edu/1610659/_Pseudepigraphy_Authorship_and_the_Reception_of_the_Bible_in_Late_Antiquity> Chase, Jeffrey S. “The Gutenberg Printing Press.” Duke University|Department of Computer Science. n.d.  <http://www.cs.duke.edu/~chase/cps49s/press-summary.html>  Fausset, Andrew R.  “New Testament.” Fausset Bible Dictionary. 1878. <http://classic.studylight.org/dic/fbd> “Custom Cheating and Plagiarism essay paper writing service.” ExclusivePapers.com. 2019.  <http://exclusivepapers.com/essays/Informative/cheating-and-plagiarism.php> Cummings, Michael J. “Did Shakespeare Plagiarize?” Cummings Study Guides. 2003 <http://cummingsstudyguides.net/xPlagiarism.html> Pearse, Roger, ed.  “Tacitus and his manuscripts.” The Tertullian Project. 2008. <http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/tacitus>

Joseph’s Dilemma With Mary

Joseph’s behavior played a key role in the Nativity story, much more than it may seem. His reactions to incomprehensible circumstances reveal truths about Mary’s pregnancy and a message from God about her baby who would be known as Jesus of Nazareth.

Most likely Joseph knew Mary through community interactions in Nazareth such as during harvest or through their Synagogue.[1] He would have been familiar with her family’s reputation and had full confidence that she was a marriageable virgin, a very important factor in their conservative Jewish society.[2]

Betrothals typically lasted for a year during which time Joseph would be very busy.[3] As a bridegroom, in addition to paying the traditional bride-price, he had to hold a job to meet other financial obligations such as preparing their new home and a 3-day wedding feast for the guests.[4]

Mary, on the other hand, had less commitment pressures to prepare for the wedding. A betrothed girl subject to Judaic Law was under strict supervision of her family and the watchful eye of the community. She was not allowed to be alone at any time with an adult male, not even a male family member.[5]

Gabriel, the angel, in his secret appearance to Mary informed her that Elizabeth, her cousin, was 6 months pregnant. It seemed to be a good opportunity at this point to visit Elizabeth who lived in a village days away near Jerusalem.[6] Mary would be gone for 3 months. No phones, texts or emails…keeping in touch with Joseph would be very limited.[7]

Joseph would not become aware of Mary’s pregnancy until sometime after her return to Nazareth. It is unclear exactly when he discovered that she was pregnant, but it is clear from Matthew‘s use of the Greek word heurisko meaning “to hit upon…to find (by chance)” that it was a big surprise when he did find out![8] Overwhelming emotions would be expected – hurt and anger to begin with, then resentment, embarrassment, doubt, uncertainty, temptations of vengefulness and other mixed feelings. Then the big question – what to do next?

What would be the expected natural reaction of a man who was absolutely certain that he was not the father of his pregnant betrothal’s child vs. the expected reaction of a man who might have reason to believe he was the father?

Moving forward with the marriage would be the expected behavior of a man who believed himself to be the father of his betrothal’s baby. Frowned upon by the Rabbis, accidental pregnancies during betrothals were a reality, even in those days. As such, these things were dealt with by allowing the couple to move up their wedding date and get on with life as a married couple.[9]

Not being the father of Mary’s baby was a whole different set of circumstances. Why would a bridegroom want to marry his bride-to-be who was carrying the child conceived by someone else? If Joseph stayed with his pregnant betrothal, their community of family, friends and neighbors would assume the pregnancy was a result of his own doing.

Knowing he was innocent of premarital sex, Joseph would have to pay the undeserving price of facing public scorn and humiliation while swallowing his pride and overcoming his personal feelings. It would take a big man. Few men would do it.

Indeed, Joseph was contemplating the divorce option, the expected reaction of a man who knew he was not the father of his betrothal’s child. It serves as the most telling evidence of a truth that Joseph was not the father of Mary’s child.

Consequences of a divorce weighed heavily on Joseph. Not only would it taint her reputation and cause financial loss to Mary and her family, a public accusation of infidelity would carry a charge of adultery – stoning would not have been out of the question.[10]

Attesting to another truth was Joseph’s honorable character. Rising above any negative feelings, he sought to quietly settle the divorce which would, in effect, minimize embarrassment to Mary, her family and avoid the public charge of adultery.[11]

Unexpectedly, Joseph suddenly changed his mind – he inexplicably decided to continue with his marriage. Why? What could have led to this sudden change of heart and willingness to pay the huge personal price of staying with Mary?

Matthew reports the game-changing moment came from a visit by “an angel of the Lord.” He delivered a message from God telling Joseph that Mary had conceived of the Holy Spirit and her child, a boy, was to be named Jesus.[12]

Was Joseph really visited by an angel? The old adage that actions speak louder than words speaks volumes in this case. Something very unusual and significant happened. Joseph suddenly set aside all his negative emotions and feelings to honor his marriage commitment to Mary knowing he was not the father of her child while willingly accepting the consequences that would come with it.[13]

Do Joseph’s actions demonstrate he was not the biological father of Jesus; that he received a message from God confirming Matthew’s Gospel which says the virgin birth of Jesus was a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14?

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

REFERENCES:

[1] Brayer, Menachem M. The Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature. 1986. pp 68-69. <http://books.google.com/books?id=GhPxFOCdQj4C&pg=PA143&lpg=PA143&dq=sex+betrothal+jewish&source=web&ots=G4jLlub8y9&sig=gnkOuPI8xLKvYl57J9PR9VY3kVg#PPA143,M1>
[2] Brayer. The Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature. pp 57, 59, 61. “Marriage Laws.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10435-marriage-laws>
[3] “Betrothal.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3229-betrothal> Brayer.  The Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature. p 62.  Edersheim.  The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. 1883. Book II, Chapter 4.  https://philologos.org/__eb-lat/book204.htm> Thompson, James C.  Women in the Ancient World. July 2010.  “Women in Ancient Israel” > “Women and the Law in Ancient Israel.” <http://www.womenintheancientworld.com/women%20and%20the%20law%20in%20ancient%20israel.htm>
[4] Missler, Chuck. “The Wedding Model.” Koinonia House, Inc. 2018. <http://www.khouse.org/articles/2003/449/#notes>  Brayer. The Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature. p 70.
[5] Soncino Babylonian Talmud. Kethuboth 12a, 12b, 13a, 13b. <https://israelect.com/Come-and-Hear/kethuboth/index.html> “Adultery.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/865-adultery> Brayer. The Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature. pp 142-143.
[6] Luke 1.  “Map of Israel in the Time of Jesus.”  Bible History Online. n.d.<https://www.bible-history.com/maps/palestine_nt_times.html>
[7] Luke 1.
[8] Matthew 1:18. Net.bible.org. Greek text. “heurisko <2147>.” Lexicondorance.com. <http://lexiconcordance.com/greek/2147.html>
[9] Brayer. The Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature. pp 143-144, 146-147.  Lamm, Maurice. The Jewish Way in Love & Marriage. 2018. Section “Celebrating the Marriage Covenant” > Chapter “Jewish Betrothal Blessing;” Section “The Structure of The Marriage Covenant” > Chapter “The Jewish Marriage Ceremony.”  <http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/465140/jewish/The-Jewish-Way-in-Love-Marriage.htm>   Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Book II, Chapter 4, footnote #27.  “Ḳiddushin.”’ Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/9310-kiddushin>
[10] John 8:2-7.  “Adultery.” Jewish Encyclopedia.  “Marriage Laws.” Jewish Encyclopedia.  “Marriage Ceremonies.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10434-marriage-ceremonies> Josephus, Flavius. Against Apion. Book II, #25. Trans. and commentary William Whitson. The Complete Works of Josephus. 1850. <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false>  Thompson,“Women in the Ancient World.”  Edersheim.  The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Book II, Chapter 4.
[11] Matthew 1:19.  Schneerson; Menachem M. “The Betrothed.” Chabad org. 2018. <http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/296931/jewish/The-Betrothed.htm>  “Marriage Ceremonies” & “Adultery.” Jewish Encyclopedia.
[12] Matthew 1.
[13] Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Book II, Chapter 4.