The Virgin Mary

Bruce Michael said:
The question then might be asked, why did they go all the way to Egypt to escape?

There are other matters that are solved as well. This thread has changed in nature.

Bruce, I have thoughts on your question here, as well as the others you have brought up, thoughts which are just as valid as any. But judging from your polite comment above, I get the feeling that I have taken the thread in a direction you did not intend. Considering the board we are on, I think I'll withdraw from this conversation, at least for now, so as to allow you room to pursue the ideas posted in the OP. Obviously, I strongly disagree, but perhaps my opinions are probably best left for another place and time.

The Church has preferred the simpler version so as not to confuse people.

That I consider an old saw without foundation. If one reads the commentaries of the Fathers, Saints, Mystics and Sages on Scripture, then 'simple' is far from the fact. It may well be the pastors rarely get into the heavy stuff, but in my experience that's because people don't want it. Basil the Great was brilliant at making Scripture accessible, and acknowledged that most of it was beyond the scope of the man in the street, but when he was talking metaphysics ... well, that's another story ... but here we're talking exegetics ... not the source document.

The Gospel writers only wrote what they knew.
But they had the assistance of the Paraclete to guide them in the Ways of Truth. Whereas the esoterists of the 18-20th centuries were often motivated to write by 'local' circumstance... I could equally say, for example, that Steiner only knew what he knew, and as you know, the Unnamed Author was ready to be his successor, until he converted to Catholicism, and a great deal of fuss that caused!

I think there is a paradox to assume that the Gospel authors were 'in the dark' as it were, whilst Steiner and others were in the light, because we are obliged to assume that God can inspire the esoterist, but is unable to inspire the Sacred Scribe ... put another way, He can help people get their texts right, but He cannot get His own text right.

Or again, first source material is fallible, but secondary source material is not.

Is this a Thomas Dydimus discussion?

Dost thous mean moi?

My input:

Bethlehem indeed was not a large place, and the 'Massacre of the Innocents', if it took place, which I personally believe did, scholars say would involve numbers somewhere between 5-25 children. Certainly not the thousands that apocryphally accrue to the legend.

John the Baptist would have escaped because he was not in Bethlehem.

Whilst Josephus, for example, makes no record of such an act, he and others describe Herod as being so cruel and vindictive, especially when perceived a personal slight, that the murder of even 50-odd children is small fry by comparison to some of the things he got up to ...

The flight into Egypt was simply because Egypt had become the common place to flee the Hasmodian menace, it was beyond Herod's jurisdiction, but within Roman rule, it was no great distance away, and travel was relatively safe. It always seemed to me to beg the question 'why Egypt, of all places?', but apparently such was not uncommon ... better the devil you know, I suppose...

The salient point is what did the author of Matthew have in mind?

It is apparent that the author wanted to present Jesus as the fulfilment of the promise of Scripture, something he does constantly. The whole narrative account refers to the realisation of prophecy, which is why some claim the massacre of the innocents and the flight into Egypt are both figurative devices drawn from the Hebrew scriptures. Others. of course, say they are true, and that they were prophesied, and therefore the prophecies are true...

From "The Gospel of John and its Relation the Other Gospels" Kassel June 24-July 7 1909

Lecture 10 pge 186

"At the same moment when the Spirit of Christ descended into the body of Jesus of Nazareth and the transformation occurred as described, an influence was exerted upon the Mother of Jesus of Nazareth as well.
It consisted in her regaining her virginity at this moment of the Baptism; that is her inner organism reverted to the state existing before puberty. At the birth of Christ, the Mother of Jesus of Nazareth became of virgin."
-Rudolf Steiner

The footnote says to follow up with the 5th lecture of the Fifth Gospel. I couldn't find much more there. There's something though, about Max Heindel ripping off the anthroposophical teachings and taking them to sunny California.

The short answer is that both parents were asleep at the time of the conception of Jesus. This is why it is termed "virgin"- the Luciferic element could not creep in because the parents were unconscious: innocent copulation.
There was a time when this was quite common.