Friday, December 16, 2022

Was Mary the ghost writer of the Gospel of Luke?

 Our senior Bible Study has been looking at the 4 gospels and the birth story of Jesus Christ.  Yesterday it was Luke, then a worship service, followed by a nice lunch.  I asked our pastor if Luke had interviewed Mary to get all the details about the birth story.  There were a lot of intimate details not usually known to anyone but the mother.  He conceded that some Bible experts think Luke may have talked to her.  Here's my response (not in class, but privately).

"About Luke interviewing Mary. I think she is the source, or ghost writer, for Luke, as Paul was the source for Acts. Luke says he's a good researcher, he hadn't met Jesus, he's the only New Testament writer who wasn't a Jew, and the "experts" say his Greek was the best of the New Testament. The role of the Holy Spirit was to choose him, I think. But as a woman who has given birth and raised children, I see details in the story no one knew except Mary. Today I grilled my husband on a few details about our oldest son, Stanley (b. 1961 d. 1963). I asked him if he remembered the name of the clinic where he was born. No. Did he remember what surgery he needed before we could bring him home. No. Did he remember how and where our mothers slept while staying at our tiny apartment when they came (separately) to help us the first week or two. No. Did he remember how the diapers were washed. No. Did he remember what floor of the apartment building we lived on. No. Did he remember the bouquet of flowers he brought me in the hospital. No. He did remember the birth announcement because he designed it. So mothers remember a lot of details that the fathers never think about, and wouldn't mention to anyone unless asked. I think Luke includes the details about the women, not just to include them as the wider church, but because Mary noticed--Elizabeth her cousin and the baby John jumping in her womb, the wedding miracle, the woman at the well, the widow of Nain, Martha and Mary, the woman who anoints his feet, and the women at the tomb. We know women were among the followers, and Mary was with them. Who else is going to tell Luke these stories? Paul wasn't there. Mary was very young when Jesus was born; many other followers would have been deceased by the time the gospels were written 50-60 years later. And of course, your commentaries from seminary days didn't say much--all were written by men, and you don't know what you don't know and you don't investigate what has never occurred to you. Just yesterday, I learned that mice can't vomit. I was a veterinary medicine librarian for 14 years, knew a lot about lab animals but didn't know mice can't vomit (and I also know more than most people about pig poop). And it had never occurred to me that they couldn't, so I never asked, wondered, or speculated about it.

Mary, “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Our son died 60 years ago, and I still have little treasures I ponder. Mary remembered and blessed us all with this beautiful story recorded by Luke."

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