• Luke 2:22, Leviticus 12, and Parturient Impurity

    Author(s):
    Matthew Thiessen (see profile)
    Date:
    2012
    Group(s):
    Biblical Studies, Religious Studies
    Subject(s):
    Biblical studies
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    childbirth, impurity, Jubilees, Leviticus, Luke
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6RH38
    Abstract:
    In Luke 2:22 Luke attributes parturient impurity to both Mary and Jesus (and/or Joseph). Interpreters have often concluded that this verse demonstrates that Luke misunderstands the levitical legislation pertaining to childbirth impurity (Leviticus 12), which discusses only the impurity of the new mother. This article argues that, despite the apparent contradiction between Leviticus 12 and Luke 2, Luke has not misunderstood Jewish conceptions of impurity after birth. Not only is it possible to conclude that Leviticus 12 implicitly ascribes impurity to the newborn child, but some Second Temple Jewish writers, such as the authors of Jubilees and 4Q265, also believed that the newborn child suffered the same manner of impurity as the new mother. Luke’s gospel, therefore, demonstrates familiarity with contemporary Jewish purity beliefs and practices.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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