Questions and Answers About "My Son"
Q: On page 32 of My Son, three wise men come to worship the baby Jesus. Were there really three? The Bible doesn't say how many.
A: I decided on three as that is the common belief. You are correct. The Bible does not mention the number, only that there were three gifts. I could have written two, four or more, and thought about it; but three was as good a number as another, since the Bible does not specify.
Q: Mary makes a statement in the book about Joseph lying with his fathers in rest. I know that means Joseph had died, but why does she put it that way?
A: In ancient times cemeteries as we know them were unknown. Burials were made in caves, rarely in a dug grave. In Genesis 23: 16-18, Abraham bought the Cave of Machpelah for a burying place. In it Abraham, Sarah, Leah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob were buried. In Genesis 49: 29-30 Jacob instructs his son: "I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace."
So, the idea of lying with the fathers in rest is being laid to rest in the same burial cave.
Q: In the book, Jesus gives Mary of Magdala her title, Mary Magdalene. He mentions Mary of Bethany as a reason for the title to keep down confusion. Are there not other Marys mentioned in the Bible?
A: Yes, there are several, all identified in some way except one.
1. Mary, the mother of Jesus
2. Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2)
3. Mary of Bethany - sister of Martha and Lazarus (John 11:1,2)
4. Mary, the mother of James and Joses (Mark 15:47)
5. Mary, the mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12)
6. Mary of Rome (Romans 16:6)
7. The other Mary (A comparison of Matthew 27:56; 28:1 with Mark 15:47 seems to identify the "other" Mary with Mary the mother of Joses)
Q: The first division of the book is Birth -- 12 years, 4 B.C. - 8 B.C. How could Jesus be born B.C.?
A: The term B.C. means Before Christ. Our dating system was developed in the sixth century A.D. Sometime later it was discovered by men smarter than me that the date of Christ's birth had been miscalculated by four or five years. The exact date cannot be determined, but it is agreed he was born about 4 years earlier than first thought.
Now, as to the initials AD; they stand for Anno Domini, which is old Latin for "in the year of our Lord". In recent times the secular abbreviations, CE and BCE have begun to take the place of BC and AD. These terms are used by many so as not to recognize Christ in our dating system. CE is the Common Era, whereas BCE means Before the Common Era. Nevertheless, the secularists have to admit our years are still numbered from the coming of Jesus Christ. Everything before Christ pointed forward to him, and everything since points back to him. He is the center of all things.
Q: In the book, Mary has a friend named Susanna. Is she purely fictional, or is she a real person?
A: Susanna was an actual person mentioned in the New Testament. Luke 8:1-3 mentions three women who ministered to Jesus of which Susanna was one.
' 1 Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.'
As the text mentions there were several woman of whom we know nothing, not even their names. Susanna is mentioned only once in the scriptures, so I thought she would be a good person to use as Mary's companion. Because nothing is known of her, I am able to develop her character as one who is somewhat outspoken, and very loyal to Jesus.
One of the objectives in writing the story of Jesus is to show everyday life in First Century Palestine from Mary's viewpoint. She had friends, family, and everyday duties like other women of that time. Hopefully the reader will understand, although part of the story is fiction, it is based on the inerrant truth of the Bible, and what would probably be a mother's reaction to events in her son's life.
Note: All scripture used on this and the Berean page is from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.