Carrier on the Sperm of David from OHJ

 

There are only two remaining pieces of evidence that historicists cling to as 'evidence' Paul and his Christians knew of a historical Jesus: some vague references to his parentage, and mentions of there being 'brothers of the Lord'. I shall begin with the matter of parentage, on which there are two pertinent verses in Paul, one could be related to Jesus' father; the other, to his mother.

Jesus' father is never named or even mentioned by Paul; nor is his hometown or genealogy or anything else distinctive of an actual man. As noted before, in Rom. 1.3 Paul says Jesus was 'made from the sperm of David, according to the flesh', in contradistinction to Jesus being 'declared the Son of God in power, according to the spirit', in the one case referencing his incarnation (cf. Phil. 2.5), in the other his resurrection (cf. Phil. 2.9). Likewise, Heb. 7.11-17 says scripture 'foretold' that the Christ would 'arise' (anatello) from the tribe Judah, and Rom. 15.12 says scripture foretold that the Christ would be a 'root of Jesse' (the father who sired King David). The same is implied in Rom. 9.5 and 15.8. These all hinge then on what it means to be 'made from the sperm of David, according to the flesh', since these all reference that same fact. An allegorical meaning is possible. [83] But so is a literal one—even on minimal mythicism.

Philippians 2.6-11 portrays this fact as an act of divine construction, not human procreation (as noted in §4): Jesus 'took' human form, was 'made' to look like a man and then 'found' to be resembling one (see also Heb. 2.17). No mention of birth, childhood or parents. In Rom. 1.3 (just as in Gal. 4.4) Paul uses the word genomenos (from ginomai), meaning 'to happen, become'. Paul never uses that word of a human birth, despite using it hundreds of times (typically to mean 'being' or 'becoming'); rather, his preferred word for being born is gennad.[84] Notably, in 1 Cor. 15.45, Paul says Adam "was made", using the same word as he uses for Jesus; yet this is obviously not a reference to being born but to being constructed directly by God. If so for Adam, then so it could be for Jesus (whom Paul equated with Adam in that same verse). Likewise in 1 Cor. 15.37 Paul uses the same word of our future resurrection body, which of course is not born from a parent but directly manufactured by God (and already waiting for us in heaven: 2 Cor. 5.1-5). Thus, Paul could be saying the same of Jesus' incarnation.

Scripture said the prophet Nathan was instructed by God to tell King David (here following the Septuagint translation, although the Hebrew does not substantially differ):

When your days are done, and you sleep with your fathers, I will raise up your sperm after you. which shall come from your belly, and i will establish his kingdom. He will build for me a house in my name, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son (2 Samuel 7.12-I4a).

If this passage were read like a pesher (Element 8), one could easily conclude that God was saying he extracted semen from David and held it in reserve until the time he would make good this promise of David's progeny sitting on an eternal throne. For otherwise God's promise was broken: the throne of David's progeny was not eternal (Element 23). Moreover, the original poetic intent was certainly to speak of an unending royal line (and not just biologically, but politically: it is the throne that would be eternal, yet history proves it was not); yet God can be read to say here that he would raise up a single son for David who will rule eternally, rather than a royal line, and that 'his' will be the kingdom God establishes, and 'he" will build God's house (the Christian church: Element 18), and thus he will be the one to sit upon a throne forever—and this man will be the Son of God. In other words, Jesus Christ (the same kind of inference Paul makes in Gal. 3.13-4.29, where he infers Jesus is also the 'seed of Abraham' also spoken of in scripture).

It would not be unimaginable that God could maintain a cosmic sperm bank. After all, God's power was absolute; and all sorts of things could be stored up in heaven (Element 38), even our own future bodies (2 Cor. 5.1-5). Later Jewish legend imagined demons running their own cosmic sperm bank, even stealing David's sperm for it, to beget his enemies with, so surely God could be imagined doing the same.[85] When the prophecy of Nathan is read in conjunction with subsequent history, this would be the most plausible way to rescue God's prophecy: God could not have been speaking of David's hereditary line (as no one ever established or sat on an eternal throne), so he must have been speaking of a special son who will be born of David's sperm in the future, using the sperm God took up 'from his belly' when David still lived. For the prophecy does not say God will set up an eternal throne for the one born of sperm from a subsequent heir's belly, but of sperm from David's own belly.

The notion of a cosmic sperm bank is so easily read out of this scripture, and is all but required by the outcome of subsequent history, that it is not an improbable assumption. And since scripture required the messiah to be Davidic, anyone who started with the cosmic doctrine inherent in minimal mythicism would have had to imagine something of this kind. That Jesus would be made 'from the sperm of David' is therefore all but entailed by minimal mythicism.

 

Notes.

83. See Verenna, 'Born under the Law', pp. 152-55; and Doherty, Jesus: Neither God nor Man, pp. 167-72. For example, in Gal. 3.26-4.29 every Christian comes from 'the sperm of Abraham' by spiritual adoption; Jesus could have been understood to come from 'the sperm of David' in a similar way. Paul even uses the same phrase in his discussion of allegorical heritage here (kata sarka. 'according to the flesh". Gal. 4.23. 29) that he uses of Jesus in Rom. 1.3.

84. See Rom. 9.11 and Gal. 4.23. 29 (yet notably not 4.4). Likewise Heb. 11.23.

85. In later Jewish legend, the demoness Igrath was believed to collect semen from sleeping men. and once did so from David himself, using his sperm to beget rival kings: G.W. Dennis. Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth. Magic, and Mysticism (Woodbury. MN: Llewellyn. 2007). p. 126.

 


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