A Small Apocalypse

slaughter-of-the-innocents-ghirlandaio-domenico
This painting of the Slaughter of the Innocents shows the slaughter taking place in the Temple not in the tiny town of Bethlehem, more in keeping with Josephus’ recounting of the slaughter of mourners and lamenting mothers attacked in the Temple.

We are now entering into what many Christian writers have called “the lost years.” Except for one legendary episode in Luke that I will look at later, the two birth stories in Matthew and Luke fall silent. The two other gospels, Mark and John, begin when Jesus is “about 30 years old.” So, from the beginning of the reign of Archelaus…and the birth of Jesus…both in about 4 B.C…. until Jesus begins his public campaign—about 26 A.D. or thereabouts, we know nothing, really, of the life of Mary…other than she seems to have given birth to several more children.

Mark, the earliest written gospel said it this way:

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joses and Juda and Simon? arand are not his sisters here with us? Mark 6:3

Josephus continues on through the ten-year reign of Archelaus before falling silent. After Archelaus there was no king in Judaea and hence no royal records for Josephus to use for his histories.

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