Why Did Jesus Never Call Mary Mother? -- By: R. D. Miller

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 085:337 (Jan 1928)
Article: Why Did Jesus Never Call Mary Mother?
Author: R. D. Miller


Why Did Jesus Never Call Mary Mother?

R. D. Miller

The birth of Jesus has long occasioned much discussion. Some regard His birth as the normal result of the marriage of Joseph and Mary. The other extreme is that He was born of a sinless virgin and all attending circumstances were wholly miraculous. Neither one of these positions is historically or embryologically true as we shall endeavor to show.

The historicity of the Jesus story is wholly scriptural, being found nowhere else. Much is “read in” to the story by different commentators and divines, not excepting those of the orthodox faith. By this we mean, the offering of opinion without sufficient proof to justify the position assumed. The pulpit may have such license but every statement in the formulary of faith should have back of it “Thus saith the Lord.”

To answer the question forming the subject of this article it is necessary to go back to Gen. 3:15, which orthodoxy regards as the first promise. It is abbreviated to read “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head.” This view dates back at least to Calvin’s time and was later endorsed by the Westminster divines. It has been incorporated in the creeds with the word “seed” capitalized to indicate its reference to the Messiah.

The sentence pronounced on those having part in the First Transgression has been literally carried out. This is quite as true of that pronounced upon the serpent as upon the man and the woman. The serpent’s sentence consists of sixty-three words, all of which has been literally fulfilled. The last eleven words, viz., “It shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise his heel” are cut off and spiritualized into a promise. This is done without any indication that such was ever intended. It is never referred to by any writer of either the Old or New Testament. There is nothing to indicate that it had any place in the religious order of the early patriarchal times. Previous to Abraham, there is nothing to show that there was any redemptive plan revealed.

The early divines recognized the fact that the pre-Abrahamic period had no gospel—Gal. 3:7-8. They believed some provision should be made for the people of that period and their selection fell upon Gen. 3:15, though they could give no authority in the way of scriptural proof for so doing nor have the later years adduced any such proof. God dealt directly with man during that time.

To regard Gen. 3:15 as a promise is inconsistent with the scheme of Redempt...

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