Matthew 1–2: On The Virgin Mary, a Hail Mary, and Casper the Friendly Ghost (A Special Christmas Episode)

Bible Talk celebrates Christmas!

In Matthew 1–2, the Gospel writer regularly appeals to the Old Testament to show that what’s happening in the present is a fulfillment of past prophecies. But when you begin to scrutinize the texts in their original context, it’s not at clear that they point forward to the Messiah.

This raises a few questions: How does the Old Testament predict Jesus’ birth? More broadly, how do the New Testament writers understand Old Testament prophecy? Do they twist the text to make it say something the original authors never intended? More broadly, is there more than one kind of promise-and-fulfillment?

In this special Christmas episode of Bible Talk, Alex chats with Jim and Sam about Matthew 1–2 in order to find answers to these questions. Spoiler alert: they’re fascinating!


3:38 / Why does Matthew start with a genealogy?

7:00 / Matthew 1:22-23 reads, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” What is the Old Testament context of this prophecy, and how does Jesus fulfill it?

13:50 / How did the chief priests prior to Jesus’ birth understand Micah 5:2, as quoted in Matthew 2:6, “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

17:19 / Not all prophecies are the same. There’s a difference between double-alley-oop, NBA Jam-fulfilled prophecy and Casper-catches-a-Hail-Mary-fulfilled prophecy.

20:10 / When Hosea writes the words quoted in Matthew 2:15, “Out of Egypt I called my son,” is he thinking Messiah? 

24:40 / How should we understand Matthew’s appeal to Jeremiah 31 when he writes in 2:18, “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

27:54 / Which prophets say the Messiah would be called a Nazarene? (Matt. 2:23)

32:16 / How should we respond to the way the New Testament records the birth of Jesus?


34:00 / Why is Home Alone one of the most Christian movies Sam has ever seen?

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