Bible Study Moment

As we approach Advent I’ll look at the birth stories in Luke and Matthew. I’ll bring out some different details that may not be all that important, like this one.

In Luke 1 when the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will become pregnant with Jesus, Gabriel also says that her relative Elizabeth is also pregnant although she has been called barren (verse 36). From this many Christians speak of John the Baptist and Jesus as being cousins, probably something like third cousins once removed.

I don’t see that as being possible since in Luke 1:5 Elizabeth is introduced as being a decedent of Aaron, which means that she is in the tribe of Levi, while Hebrews 7:14 states that it is clear that the Lord Jesus is from the tribe of Judah.

Maybe Gabriel meant that Mary and Elizabeth are both Jewish and, therefore relatives. Or maybe Luke is a little confused.


Mark Phillips