Matthew 1:18
New International Version
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

New Living Translation
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.

English Standard Version
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

Berean Study Bible
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged in marriage to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with Child through the Holy Spirit.

Berean Literal Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ came about in this way: His mother Mary, having been pledged to Joseph, before their coming together, was found holding in womb through the Holy Spirit.

New American Standard Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

King James Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Christian Standard Bible
The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit.

Contemporary English Version
This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph from King David's family. But before they were married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God's Holy Spirit.

Good News Translation
This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

International Standard Version
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah happened in this way. When his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, before they lived together she was discovered to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

NET Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

New Heart English Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened like this. His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, and before they came together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The birth of Yeshua The Messiah was thus: when Maryam his mother was engaged to Yoseph before they would have a conjugal relation she was found pregnant from The Spirit of Holiness.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. His mother Mary had been promised to Joseph in marriage. But before they were married, Mary realized that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

New American Standard 1977
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: That being, his mother Mary espoused to Joseph (before they came together) she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

King James 2000 Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way: When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.

American King James Version
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

American Standard Version
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost.

Darby Bible Translation
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was thus: His mother, Mary, that is, having been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child of [the] Holy Spirit.

English Revised Version
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Webster's Bible Translation
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was in this manner: When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child by the Holy Spirit.

Weymouth New Testament
The circumstances of the birth of Jesus Christ were these. After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they were united in marriage, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

World English Bible
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this; for after his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

Young's Literal Translation
And of Jesus Christ, the birth was thus: For his mother Mary having been betrothed to Joseph, before their coming together she was found to have conceived from the Holy Spirit,
Study Bible
The Birth of Jesus
17In all, then, there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ. 18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged in marriage to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with Child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and was unwilling to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to divorce her quietly.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 22:23
If there is a virgin pledged in marriage to a man, and another man encounters her in the city and sleeps with her,

Matthew 2:11
On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 12:46
While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, His mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to Him.

Luke 1:27
to a virgin pledged in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.

Luke 1:35
The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.

Luke 2:5
He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to him in marriage and was expecting a child.

Treasury of Scripture

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

the birth.

Luke 1:27-38
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary…

of the.

Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Job 14:4
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

Job 15:14
What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?







Lexicon
This is how
οὕτως (houtōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3779: Thus, so, in this manner. Or (referring to what precedes or follows).

the
(hē)
Article - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

birth
γένεσις (genesis)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1078: Birth, lineage, descent. From the same as genea; nativity; figuratively, nature.

of Jesus
Ἰησοῦ (Iēsou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2424: Of Hebrew origin; Jesus, the name of our Lord and two other Israelites.

Christ
Χριστοῦ (Christou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.

came about:
ἦν (ēn)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

His
αὐτοῦ (autou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

mother
μητρὸς (mētros)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3384: A mother. Apparently a primary word; a 'mother'.

Mary
Μαρίας (Marias)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3137: Or Mariam of Hebrew origin; Maria or Mariam, the name of six Christian females.

was pledged in marriage
μνηστευθείσης (mnēsteutheisēs)
Verb - Aorist Participle Passive - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3423: To ask in marriage; pass: To be betrothed. From a derivative of mnaomai; to give a souvenir, i.e. Betroth.

to Joseph,
Ἰωσήφ (Iōsēph)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2501: Joseph, a proper name. Of Hebrew origin; Joseph, the name of seven Israelites.

but
(ē)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2228: Or, than. A primary particle of distinction between two connected terms; disjunctive, or; comparative, than.

before
πρὶν (prin)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 4250: Formerly, before. Adverb from pro; prior, sooner.

they
αὐτοὺς (autous)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

came together,
συνελθεῖν (synelthein)
Verb - Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 4905: From sun and erchomai; to convene, depart in company with, associate with, or, cohabit.

she was found
εὑρέθη (heurethē)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2147: A prolonged form of a primary heuro, which heureo is used for it in all the tenses except the present and imperfect to find.

to be with Child
ἔχουσα (echousa)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2192: To have, hold, possess. Including an alternate form scheo skheh'-o; a primary verb; to hold.

through
ἐκ (ek)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1537: From out, out from among, from, suggesting from the interior outwards. A primary preposition denoting origin, from, out.

[the] Holy
ἁγίου (hagiou)
Adjective - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 40: Set apart by (or for) God, holy, sacred. From hagos; sacred.

Spirit.
πνεύματος (pneumatos)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.
(18) St. Matthew, for some reason or other, omits all mention of what St. Luke relates very fully, as to the events that preceded the birth of Jesus and brought about the birth at Bethlehem. Either he had not access to any document full and trustworthy, like that which St. Luke made use of, or, as every writer of history must fix a beginning more or less arbitrary, he found his starting-point in those facts which took a foremost place in what bore upon the fulfilment of Messianic prophecy. It has been said that the impression left by his narrative is so far misleading, that it suggests the idea that there was no earlier connection with Nazareth than that which we find in 2:23. It must, however, be remembered that even St. Luke's narrative tells us nothing as to the original home of Joseph, and that one who himself belonged to Bethlehem, as being of the house and lineage of David, might, without any improbability, be betrothed to a maiden of Nazareth, probably of the same lineage. Of the earlier life of Mary the Canonical Gospels tell us nothing, and the Apocryphal Gospels (though they have furnished the groundwork of the treatment of the subject by Christian art--see Notes on Luke 1:27) are too legendary to be relied on. The omission of any mention of her parents suggests the idea of orphanhood, possibly under the guardianship of Joseph. The non-appearance of Joseph in the records of our Lord's ministry, makes it probable that he died in the interval between the visit to the Temple of Luke 2:42 and the preaching of the Baptist, and that he was older than Mary. Both were poor; Joseph worked as a carpenter (Matthew 13:55), Mary offered the cheaper sacrifice of "two young pigeons" (Luke 2:24). They had no house at Bethlehem (Luke 2:7). Mary was related to Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah the priest (Luke 1:36). Both were within the circle of those who cherished Messianic expectations, and to whom, therefore, the announcement that these expectations were to be fulfilled would come as the answer to their hopes and prayers.

Was espoused to Joseph.--Betrothal, among the Jews, was a formal ceremony, the usual symbolic act being, from patriarchal times, the gift of a ring and other jewels (Genesis 24:53). The interval between betrothal and marriage was of uncertain length, but among the Jews of our Lord's time was commonly for a whole year in the case of maidens. During that time the bride-elect remained in her own home, and did not see the bridegroom till he came to fetch her to his own house. All communications in the meantime were conducted through "the friend of the bridegroom" (John 3:29).

Of the Holy Ghost.--To Joseph and those who heard the new report from him, prior to the more precise truths revealed by our Lord's teaching, the words would at least suggest a divine creative energy, quickening supernaturally the germ of life, as in Genesis 1:2, Psalm 104:30.

Verses 18-25. - JESUS THE CHRIST BY DIVINE ORIGIN. Recorded by Matthew only. The frequent similarity of language found in Luke 1:26-35 (vide 'Synopticon) is probably due to the fact that Joseph and Mary not unnaturally fell into the way of using the same words to express two messages of similar import. The object of this paragraph is to show that Messiah was in origin not of man but of God. This fact was accepted even by his reputed father Joseph, who was only convinced of it after a special communication by an angel in a dream; giving him the facts of the case, and foretelling that a son would be born, and that this Son would be the expected Saviour; and also showing from prophecy that such union of God with man was no unheard-of supposition, but the fulfilment and completion of ancient thought suggested by God. Joseph at once accepts the communication and takes Mary home, avoiding, however, all cause for the supposition that the child was, after all, of human origin. Verse 18. - Now the birth (ver. 1, note). Γέννησις ("generation") of the received text refers to the causative act, the true reading (γένεσις) to the birth itself (cf. Luke 1:14). Of Jesus Christ was on this wise. The Revised Version margin says, "Some ancient authorities read, 'of the Christ,'" but perhaps the reading, "of Christ Jesus" (B [Origen]), is even preferable, as in no good manuscript of the New Testament is the article elsewhere prefixed to "Jesus Christ," and the easy residing, "of the Christ," would hardly provoke alteration, while it might easily arise from assimilation to the preceding "unto the Christ" of ver. 17 (cf. Dr. Hort, in Westcott and Hort, 'Appendix.' Bishop Westcott, however, seems to prefer the reading. "of the Christ," and so distinctly Irenaeus, 3:16). If the reading, "of Christ Jesus," be accepted, the evangelist purposely repeats his phrase of ver. 17, and then identifies him with the historic Person. When as. The Revised Version omits "as" because obsolete; cf. "what time as." His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph; had been betrothed (Revised Version), the tense clearly showing that the betrothal had already taken place. Betrothal was and is with the Semitic races a much more formal matter than with us, and as binding as marriage; cf. Deuteronomy 22:23, 24; cf. also the words of the angel, "Mary thy wife" (ver. 20). Before they came together; including, probably, both the home-bringing (ver. 24) and the consummation (ver. 25). She was found (εὑρώθη). Although Cureton ('Corp. Ign.,' p. 271) shows that the Aramaic equivalent is used in the sense of "became," and wishes to see this weaker meaning in several passages of the Greek Testament (including, apparently, the present), the references that he gives (Romans 7:10; 2 Corinthians 5:3; 2 Corinthians 11:12) do not justify us in giving up the stronger and more usual sense. On εὑρέθη always involving more or less prominently the idea of a surprise, cf. Bishop Lightfoot on Galatians 2:17. Observe the reverent silence with which a whole stage of the history is passed over. With child of the Holy Ghost (ἐκ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου; cf. ver. 20, without the article in both cases). According to the usual interpretation of these words, "the Holy Ghost" refers to the Third Person of the Trinity, and "of" (ἐκ) is used because the agent can be regarded as the immediate source (cf. 2 Corinthians 2:2). But the questions suggest themselves:

(1) whether Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον is here used in a strictly Christian or in a pre-Christian sense? and

(2) if the latter, what was this pre-Christian sense? As to (1), it may be argued that the evangelist himself, writing long after Pentecost, and recording sayings taught among Christians only alter Pentecost, would naturally wish his words to be understood in a Christian sense; and hence that Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον here has at least that comparatively developed doctrine of the Personality of the Holy Ghost which we find indicated in the New Testament; e.g. Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:13; John 14-16. It may, however, be justly replied that the words are in themselves rather a record of the feelings of Joseph and Mary about the Incarnation, and are merely a translation of the phrase Ruah-hakodesh (or its Aramaic equivalent, Ruah Kudsha) , which they themselves used; and that hence its true meaning here must be rather sought in the meaning of the Semitic phrase in pre-Christian times. In other words, Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον here means neither more nor less than Ruah-hakodesh meant on the lips of a godly and instructed Jew before the teaching of Christ, and especially before Pentecost.

(2) What was this pre-Christian sense? What did Ruah-hakodesh mean? To answer this fully would be to compile a treatise on one of the most difficult and disputed points of Old Testament and early Jewish theology. But a cursory comparison of passages in the Old Testament and the pre-Christian writings seems to show that, though there are many places which quite fall in with the Trinitarian view, and which are often marked by strong personification of the Spirit (e.g. Isaiah 63:10-14; cf. further App. A. in Dr. Sharpe's 'The Tree of Life,' Cambridge, 1889), religious Jews did not understand by Ruah-hakodesh a permanent and distinct hypostasis in the Deity, but rather the Deity itself in relation to the world as the Source and Maintenance of its life (Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30; Job 34:14; Psalm 139:7; Isaiah 63:10; cf. Wisd. 1:7 Wisd. 12:1), in contrast to the Deity absolutely and as the object of worship. Pre-Christian thought, that is to say, used the term "Holy Spirit" as designating the One God in a certain relation to the world, not as designating a permanent and real distinction in the Godhead. If this be so, we must understand the phrase here to mean that Christ was conceived of God (not of any Person in the Godhead) in contrast to man. We may, perhaps, even give to ἐκ its fullest meaning of" origin" (cf John 1:13, οὐκ ἐξαἱμάτων... ἀλλ ἐκ Θεοῦ). The phrase as a whole thus only insists that the Child was by origin Divine. It will be noticed that Luke 1:35 is then closely parallel, "the Holy Ghost" (Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον) there apparently connoting an outpouring of life; "the power of the Most High" (δύναμις ὑψίστου), an outpouring of strength. Dorner ('System.,' 3:343; cf. 162, etc.) says that the expression in our text is "the less precise ancient Christian designation of the Divine Essence generally, out of which ( de quo) Christ has come. To the Holy Spirit in the Trinitarian sense is only to be ascribed, according to the Scriptures, first, the internal preparation of humanity for the Divine Incarnation, and, secondly, after the Unio the animation of the humanity of Christ by the Divine power issuing from the Logos." The passage in Martensen's 'Dogmatics,' § 139, so well known for its latter part, apparently agrees with this: "He is born not of the will of a man, nor of the will of the flesh; but the holy will of the Creator took the place of the will of man and of the will of the flesh, - that is, the creating Spirit, who was in the beginning, fulfilled the function of the plastic principle. He was born of the Virgin Mary, the chosen woman in the chosen people. It was the task of Israel to provide, not, as has been often said, Christ himself, but the mother of the Lord; to develop the susceptibility for Christ to a point when it might be able to manifest itself as the pro-foundest unity of nature and spirit - a unity which found expression in the pure virgin. In her the pious aspirations of Israel and of mankind, their faith in the promises, are centred; she is the purest point in history and in nature, and she, therefore, becomes the appointed medium for the new creation." Observe that the Greek Creeds (σαρκωθέντα [γεννηθέντα, Marcellus] ἐκ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου καὶ Μαρίας τῆς Παρθένου) , by not inserting the article (contrast afterwards καὶ εἰς τὸ Πςεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) , probably intended only to reproduce St. Matthew's language. The Latin could not fail to be ambiguous (de Spiritu Sancto) . If, however, we divest ourselves of considerations directly derived from exegesis, and, turning to the theological side, ask which Person of the Blessed Trinity, in fact, prepared Mary for the Incarnation of the Second Person, we must undoubtedly answer that it was the Third Person. For this is his peculiar function, uniting alike the Persons in the Godhead and also the Godhead to creation (cf. Dorner, 'System.,' 1:425,437; 4:159, etc.). 1:18-25 Let us look to the circumstances under which the Son of God entered into this lower world, till we learn to despise the vain honours of this world, when compared with piety and holiness. The mystery of Christ's becoming man is to be adored, not curiously inquired into. It was so ordered that Christ should partake of our nature, yet that he should be pure from the defilement of original sin, which has been communicated to all the race of Adam. Observe, it is the thoughtful, not the unthinking, whom God will guide. God's time to come with instruction to his people, is when they are at a loss. Divine comforts most delight the soul when under the pressure of perplexed thoughts. Joseph is told that Mary should bring forth the Saviour of the world. He was to call his name Jesus, a Saviour. Jesus is the same name with Joshua. And the reason of that name is clear, for those whom Christ saves, he saves from their sins; from the guilt of sin by the merit of his death, and from the power of sin by the Spirit of his grace. In saving them from sin, he saves them from wrath and the curse, and all misery, here and hereafter. Christ came to save his people, not in their sins, but from their sins; and so to redeem them from among men, to himself, who is separate from sinners. Joseph did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, speedily, without delay, and cheerfully, without dispute. By applying the general rules of the written word, we should in all the steps of our lives, particularly the great turns of them, take direction from God, and we shall find this safe and comfortable.
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