Conception Deception : Dénouement
May 06, 2021
The Biological Father of Jesus
The Annunication: John William Waterhouse, 1914. Private Collection. Pubic Domain via Wikimedia Commons
As we discovered in previous installments of Conception Deception, there is no justification for asserting that the doctrine of the Virgin Conception/Birth is based on either Isaiah 7:14 or on the Gospel of Matthew. In this final installment we will not only discover that there is no justification for asserting that the doctrine is based on the Gospel of Luke, but also that the author is painting an entirely different picture, a picture which has been rendered almost opaque due to the imposition of a foreign Hellenist-Latin culture onto texts emerging from an Israelite milieu. However, some attention to detail will scrape away the acculturation of centuries and reveal the original picture which, it must be said, will prove very uncomfortable for many to gaze upon.
The work we have come to know as the Gospel of Luke is actually a personal letter from the author to a man named “Theophilus”. As a private communication, it contains material which may not have been publicly available at the time.
The author begins his letter by assuring Theophilus that he has done his research and “investigated everything carefully from the beginning”. As we shall presently see, he possessed such an intimate knowledge of Mary, her family, and the time of Jesus’ conception, that his source must have been derived, by whatever means of transmission, from someone directly connected to Mary herself.
The most important of his discoveries is that he can now demonstrate that Jesus has a patrilineal claim to sit on the earthly throne of David.
Luke, as we shall call him from now on, first describes the circumstances surrounding the birth of John the Baptist. He establishes his credentials by going into great detail about the Levite priest Zacharias, even going so far as to identify Zacharias as belonging to the priestly “course of Abia”. One of Luke’s major purposes here is to identify Zacharias’ wife Elizabeth as one of the “daughters of Aaron”. Thus, husband and wife both belong to the tribe of Levi (Luke 1:5).
He is laying the groundwork, painting an intimate and detailed picture of this family, so that when he goes on to describe the events in Nazareth, Mary will appear no stranger to Theophilus: as a suggenes (tribal kin) of Elizabeth, she will fit neatly into the framework he has already set out (see Luke 1:36).
The crucially important fact that Mary was of the tribe of Levi has been ignored by theologians and biblical scholars intent on promulgating the doctrine of Virgin Conception/Birth. Knowing that the New Testament states several times that Jesus is the Israelite Messiah of the “seed of David”, and knowing that Joseph is not the father of Jesus, they erroneously assert that it is through Mary that Jesus can claim Davidic descent.
Luke’s infancy narrative lays particular emphasis on Jesus as the fulfillment of Messianic promises, as we can see in the Canticles of Mary, Zachariah and Simeon, and in the response of Anna the “prophetess”. (Note that the emphasis on David and Israel and the frequent mention of “our fathers” rule out the assertion that these hymns of praise in Luke were originally products of a non-Israelite Christian community.)
It is risible to assert that Luke would attempt to portray Jesus as a descendant of David through the matrilineal line as Israelite tribal affiliation and family genealogy was at that time traced only through the patrilineal line.
Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias, had been regarded as barren but had conceived a child and was six months pregnant when the angel¹ appeared to Mary.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin (parthenos) betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s (parthenos) name was Mary (Luke 1:26–27 ESV).
Luke testifies that, at this time, Mary was a parthenos. (In ancient Greek, the word parthenos had varied usage and did not necessarily imply biological virginity. See Conception Deception : Part Three for Lexical references.) However, even if the word did specify biological virginity, as proponents of the Virgin Conception/Birth claim, it would be irrelevant because Jesus was not conceived until some indeterminate time after the angel’s departure:
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb (Luke 2:21 KJV).
Luke, writing these words to Theophilus, having no personal knowledge but claiming to have “investigated everything carefully from the beginning”, was nevertheless able to specify that the conception took place after the Annunciation. Need it be pointed out that every young woman is a virgin before she first has a sexual relationship and that only a woman could specify the timing of conception in terms of before and after? (As noted previously, Luke’s source must have been derived, in whatever chain of transmission, from Mary herself.)
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28 NIV).
Note that it was the same Gabriel who told the prophet Daniel that he was also “highly favoured”. (Daniel 9:23;10:11;12,19). “The Lord be with you” was a standard form of Jewish greeting.
But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus” (Luke 1:29–31 ESV).
At first, we are told that Mary could not understand the angel’s greeting for, unlike Zacharias, she had made no supplication to God.
“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High…” (Luke 1:32a ESV).
“Sonship” of God was a concept applied to the anointed kings of ancient Israel and to the whole House of Israel long before the time of Jesus:
He (Solomon) shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever (1 Chronicles 22:9–10 KJV)
I will be his father, and he will be my son (2 Sam. 7:12–17 NIV)
He shall cry to me, “You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation” (Psalm 89:26 ESV)
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1 KJV cf. Exodus 4:22)
This concept was also expressed by Jesus:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9 ESV)
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil (Luke 6:35 ESV)
Adam is called the “son of God” because he was created in God’s image (Luke 3:38; Acts 17:26–29). All who are led by the Spirit of God are “sons of God” (Romans 8:14), and Jesus is the “firstborn of many brothers” (Romans 8:29). The author of Hebrews speaks explicitly of the many “sons of God” who are to come (Hebrews 2:10) and, for John, those who are united with Jesus become “children of God” (John 1:12–13). The essential difference between Jesus and all other ‘“sons of God” was that he was also the promised deliverer (Messiah).
We read in Luke 2:46–50 about Mary and Joseph’s search for Jesus:
After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them (Luke 2:46–50 NIV).
Thus, Mary, who had supposedly conceived a child fathered by the Holy Spirit of God while still a virgin, did not know what Jesus was talking about when he called God his “Father”. Her amazement would be that a child born in such lowly circumstances would use language usually reserved for the nation as a whole, or for Kings.
The above evidence demonstrates that to regard God as a Father, and to thereby be called a “son of God” carries with it no implication whatsoever of Deity. Any assertion to the contrary is to read texts according to the demands of Christian theology.
When the term “son of God” is used in reference to Jesus, it is synonymous with the term “Messiah”, as we can see in Mark, John and Acts where the two concepts are merged into the one person of Jesus, thus demonstrating that they are interchangeable terms in the New Testament:
But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” (Mark 14:61 NIV)
“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who was to come into the world” (John 11:27 ESV)
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (NIV John 20:31 ESV)
And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers (of a Messiah), God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee (Acts 13:32–33 KJV)
Note that one of the creedal pillars of Christianity is the assertion that Jesus is the “eternally-begotten son” of the Father. The above statement by Paul (Acts 13:33), that Jesus became the only-begotten son of the Father on the day of his resurrection, should be more than enough to consign the creedal formulations of “eternally begotten not made” to the theological ash heap.
The promise to King David
“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David (2 Samuel 7:12–17 ESV).
Gabriel announces the imminent fulfillment of this Davidic promise.
Luke 1:32b -1:33
“…and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32b-33 KJV).
At this time, Mary was betrothed to Joseph, a descendant of David. As we have already discovered in Conception Deception : Part Four, Joseph’s line had been debarred forever from sitting on the throne of David.
It is important to note here that Luke has already identified Mary as a Levite and that her relative Zacharias served in the temple. The Levitical priesthood kept the genealogical records, paying particular attention to those of the Levites and the descendants of King David. As such, Mary would have been well acquainted with Joseph’s genealogy. (Josephus, in his autobiographical Life (6), refers to the “public registers” from which he sought information about his own genealogy. See also Josephus Contra Apion I, 28–56 [6–10]) and Genesis Rabbah 98:8 which records that Rabbi Hillel was proved to be a descendant of David because a genealogical scroll was found in Jerusalem.)
Knowing that her betrothed could not father a child entitled to sit on the throne of David, Mary asked the angel the most logical of questions.
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin (parthenos)?” (Luke 1:34 NIV).
No Greek text of Luke 1:34 contains the word parthenos (virgin). The above rendering of this verse by the NIV and other English translations such as the ESV and NASB is blatantly dishonest and doctrinally driven:
Versions such as the KJV, ASV and ERV provide the honest and correct translation:
Then said Mary unto the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know (ginóskó) not a man?” (Luke 1:34 KJV).
Not content with the almost complete doctrinal subjugation of translators, proponents of the Virgin Conception/Birth doctrine undermine the only honest translations and assert that the word “know” (ginóskó) in versions such as the KJV refers to knowing sexually whereas most New Testament occurrences of the word ginóskó refer to a state of knowledge.
The claim that ginóskó in 1:34 refers to knowing sexually implies some type of prior vow Mary had made to maintain her virginity. This claim transforms the Jewish Mary into a type of Roman vestal virgin thereby superimposing a foreign culture which extolled virgins, consecrated virginity, and half-divine superheroes onto an Israelite culture which extolled marriage, motherhood, and devotion to one indivisible God.
The only interpretation that fits with Luke’s narrative is that Mary did not know — did not have knowledge of — a man who could father a child entitled to sit upon the throne of David.
As we have seen, the angel has made some startling promises concerning the child to be born, promises that cannot be fulfilled if Joseph is to be the father. So, what was Gabriel’s response to Mary’s question in the previous verse?
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…” (Luke 1:35a NIV).
Hebrew parallelism is evident here (expressing the same thought twice using equivalent words). The “Holy Spirit” is synonymous with the “power of the Most High”. (See Note on parallelism). It is this divine power, the “Holy Spirit”, which will “overshadow” or protect Mary. The image of the Spirit overshadowing Mary is drawn from the images such as that of Boaz covering Ruth with the “wings” of his garment (Ruth 3:7–9) and from the Hebrew theme of overshadowing protection which is found in the Psalms, “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4).
In essence, and regardless of what she is called upon to do, Mary is promised God’s protection from this moment forward. (See Matthew 1:19–20 for the promise kept.)
“…So the holy one to be born…” (Luke 1:35b NIV).
There is nothing singular or exclusive about the word “holy” in reference to Jesus. In memory of the deaths of the first-born of the Egyptians, every first-born Israelite male who opened the womb was a sanctified “holy” child and had to be redeemed by his parents. A comparison of texts will place the matter in its correct perspective:
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine (Exodus 13:1–2 KJV)
When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons (Exodus 13:15 NIV)
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger… (Luke 2:7 KJV)
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord) (Luke 2:22–23 KJV).
“…shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35c NASB).
As demonstrated previously, the term “son of God” is not exclusive to Jesus.
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:36–37 KJV).
Just as God had ensured the conception of the aged and barren Sarah (Genesis 18:14), so has God now ensured the conception of the aged and barren Elizabeth. These conceptions were of a far more miraculous nature than the relatively simple task of finding an eligible man to father a child with a young and fertile woman.
A suitable descendant of King David was found because the New Testament authors go on to record the fulfillment of the promise first made to King David and then to Mary:
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:1–3 ESV)
“I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Saviour, Jesus, as he promised (Acts 13:22–23 ESV)
Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? (John 7:42 KJV)
Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel (2 Timothy 2:8 KJV)
Aside from contradicting every one of these texts, as well as many others, the doctrine of the Virgin Conception/Birth was formulated in almost total ignorance of Israelite thought as expressed in the Hebrew Scriptures. Only through artificial contrivance and theological sophistry have advocates of the Virgin Conception/Birth been able to justify ignoring the clear intent of these passages. But we shall press on with the Gospel of Luke and see what remains to be discovered.
And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done (genoito: let it happen) to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:38 NASB).
Luke used the Greek word γένοιτό (genoito) in the aorist tense “let it happen”. If Luke had wished to signify that conception happened at the word of Gabriel, then he would not have used genoito. As one of the most renowned and respected exegetes of Luke’s New Testament Greek, Frederick Godet, points out:
The evangelist shows his tact in the choice of the aorist γένοιτό (genoito). The present (tense) would have signified, ‘Let it happen to me this very instant?’ The aorist (tense) leaves the choice of the time to God.²
All New Testament occurrences of γένοιτό (genoito) refer to something that will/will not happen at an indeterminate time in the future.
Luke tells us that after the angel’s departure, Mary left “with haste” to travel to Elizabeth’s house, a journey of four or five days (1:39). By the time Mary reached Elizabeth’s house, she knew that she was pregnant, knew that the angel’s promise of a son entitled to sit on the throne of David was already in the process of being fulfilled, enabling her to exclaim “he that is mighty has done to me great things” (1:49).
If it were a miraculous conception, the only way Mary could possibly know any of the above would be by the continued absence of menstruation. We know that only a few days had passed between the angel’s visit and her arrival at Elizabeth’s house, not enough time for pregnancy to be confirmed by these means. Mary’s state of knowledge could only be the result of an encounter which took place on the journey to Elizabeth’s house, and which led to Mary’s conviction that she had already become pregnant.
Bluntly put, Luke tells us that conception took place by normal means, after the angel’s visit but before Mary arrived at Elizabeth’s house, through an encounter with a descendant of David who could father a son entitled to sit upon David’s throne, and who Luke names in Chapter 3, verse 23.
All of the Gabriel’s promises to Mary and to Israel have been fulfilled: that is the whole point of the story. Luke’s Gospel is a private letter and, as such, contains confidential information which some may find uncomfortable to confront. However, Luke’s overriding concern was to confirm to Theophilus that God keeps salvation promises regardless of the contravention of social norms.
In essence, Matthew delivers the same message. Even though he does not name the biological father of Jesus, he also found it necessary to stress that God’s salvation plan for Israel had often been achieved through strange and unusual circumstances. All four women mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy — Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba — took decisive steps vital to the fulfillment of God’s purposes for Israel, regardless of whether their actions had contravened normal social relationships or whether or not they were “outsiders”, i.e., non-Israelites. For Israelites, the names of these women would have evoked memories of the inscrutable yet saving purposes of God, which have never been constrained by biology, social norms, or ethnicity (see Ruth 4:17).
The Translation Games
Translators have played yet more games with Luke 3:23, which begins the genealogy of Jesus. A selection of English Translations:
And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli…(KJV)
Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli…” (ESV)
Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli…” (NIV)
In these English versions, translators have disguised the meaning of the verse by either inserting parenthesis in the incorrect place or by inserting the following words which do not appear in the Greek texts — “which was the son” or “the son” immediately preceding “of Heli…”.
It was indeed surprising to discover that certain biblical scholars have recognized and recorded the correct translation of Luke 3:23. For example, the Roman Catholic Encyclopaedia article entitled Genealogy has the following to say:
St. Matthew’s genealogy is that of St. Joseph; St. Luke’s, that of the Blessed Virgin. This contention implies that St. Luke’s genealogy only seemingly includes the name of Joseph. It is based on the received Greek text, on (os enomizeto ouios Ioseph) tou Heli, “being the son (as it was supposed, of Joseph, but really) of Heli. This parenthesis really eliminates the name of Joseph from St. Luke’s genealogy, and makes Christ, by means of the Blessed Virgin, directly a son of Heli.³
So, based on the received Greek text (Textus Receptus), the Catholic Encyclopaedia’s translation of 3:23 is:
And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years old, being the son (as it was supposed of Joseph, but really) of Heli.
In his Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, the above-mentioned exegete and scholar of Biblical Greek, Frédéric Louis Godet, inserts dashes in the text and says:
The text, therefore, to express the author’s meaning clearly, should be written thus: “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years old, being a son — as was thought, of Joseph — of Heli, of Matthat…” ⁴
Luke was confiding to Theophilus that Jesus was the biological son of a man named Heli, a descendant of King David. Jesus is, therefore, entitled by birth to be Israel’s Messiah-King and God’s promises to David have been fulfilled.
Although scholars such as Godet, Robertson, Lange and Lightfoot, all agree that the name of Joseph does not belong in Luke’s Genealogy, they assert that Luke is tracing Mary’s descent from David of the tribe of Judah despite the fact that he has clearly identified Mary as belonging to the tribe of Levi.
This assertion is ludicrous and ignores ancient Israelite culture where tribal affiliation and family genealogy could only be traced through the patrilineal line. It is a clumsy attempt to conceal the stark reality of the very point that Luke is making and conflicts with every other New Testament statement about the birth of Jesus. As Longnecker quite rightly observes:
It need not be supposed that the church’s ascription of messiahship to Jesus made him a descendant of David in their eyes when in fact he was not. Neither the acclaim of Jesus as “son of David” on the part of the people nor the Evangelists’ recording of that fact are plausible had it been believed that he did not satisfy the genealogical conditions implied by the name. And, as Dalman has further pointed out: As the scribes held to the opinion that the Messiah must be a descendant of David, it is certain that the opponents of Jesus would make the most of any knowledge they could procure, showing that Jesus certainly did not, or probably did not, fulfil this condition. And there can be no doubt that Paul, as a persecutor of the Christians, would be well instructed in regard to this point. As he, after mingling freely with members of the Holy Family in Jerusalem, shows that he entertained no sort of doubt on this point, it must be assumed that no objection to it was known to him. Nowhere in the New Testament do we find a single trace of conscious refutation of Jewish attacks, based on the idea that the derivation of Jesus from David was defective.⁵
The simple and unvarnished truth is this: Matthew’s genealogy is that of Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, while Luke’s genealogy is that of Heli, the biological father of Jesus.
Marriage and Betrothal Customs in 1st Century Israel
Marriage and betrothal customs of the 1st Century AD illuminate many passages in the New Testament. In this case, the prospective bridegroom, Joseph, would have negotiated a contract with the head of Mary’s family and then returned to his own father’s house to build a separate room for himself and his bride. At the end of this process, he would come to take Mary away to the room in his father’s house that he had prepared beforehand.
In Lightfoot’s Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations, we discover that:
A woman is espoused three ways; by money, or by a writing, or by being lain with. And being thus espoused, though she were not yet married, nor conducted into the man’s house, yet she is his wife…⁶
The author of Matthew has already ruled out that Mary was espoused to Joseph by “being lain with” (Matthew 1:18). Now note the interesting detail in Luke 1:56:
And Mary abode with her (Elizabeth) about three months, and returned to her own house (Luke 1:56 KJV).
Luke specified that Mary stayed with Elizabeth for “about three months” because ninety days separation between couples was necessary to establish paternity. As Lightfoot points out, Mary was already Joseph’s wife, so if she had returned to her own house at any time before the three months period had expired, Joseph could have exercised his right to take her into his own house and to “lay” with her. Thus, the paternity of Jesus would always have been in doubt.
Mary had faith in Gabriel’s word that she would be protected from the consequences of what was then a social taboo punishable by death. And she was protected: from the law; from social shunning; and by having the good fortune to be betrothed to a “just” man. Notwithstanding, even without an assurance of protection, where love and/or sex is concerned, men and women have always broken laws, conventions and taboos, even at great danger to themselves. And they always will.
From the very earliest times, advocates of both views, that the name of Joseph does, or does not, belong in Luke’s Genealogy have gone to truly fantastical and extraordinary lengths to explain the differences between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke in order prop up the doctrine of the Virgin Conception/Birth. It’s all nothing more than a farrago of nonsense.
Parallelisms can be very instructive in unexpected ways as, for example, we can plainly see a negation of the Trinity doctrine in verse 1:35a where the “Holy Spirit” is synonymous with the “power of the Most High” thus demonstrating that the Holy Spirit is not to be considered as separate in any way from God himself. The Holy Spirit is not the third part of the Trinity but rather God acting on humans through his Spirit, a concept repeatedly expressed throughout the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.
1. The English word “angel” is a transliteration of the Greek ἄγγελος angeloswhich is derived from the Hebrew מַלְאָךְ malakh meaning “messenger”.
2. Godet, Frédéric Louis. Commentary on the Gospel of Luke. T & T Clark: Edinburgh, 1889, p. 95.
3. Roman Catholic Encyclopaedia Article: Genealogy. Accessed 15 October 2015. www.newadvent.org/cathen/06410a.htm
4. Godet, Frédéric Louis. Commentary on the Gospel of Luke. T & T Clark: Edinburgh, 1889, pp. 195–204.Godet’s commentary is frequently referenced to this day as a reliable source for the study of Luke’s Gospel. It is one of the most significant studies of Luke from the 19th century and is respected for its exegetical style and ability to address the authenticity and origins of Luke’s Gospel with precision.
5. Longnecker, Richard N. The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity.Regent College Publishing: Bellingham, USA, 1994, pp. 110–111.
6. Lightfoot, Rev. John. Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations in Vol. XI, The Whole Works of the late Rev. John Lightfoot, G. Cowie & Co: London, 1825, p. 20.