Last weekend at Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel, Ken Overberg, S.J., held forth on the Infancy Narratives. As best as I can tell, (1) the narratives are “not biographies or exact histories,” (2) Ray Brown — or at least a penumbra of Ray Brown — is his authority, and (3) this business about Jesus being the Son of God has to do with the dating of the Gospels. Here’s a sample:

Our other readings, the opening lines of Paul’s letter to the Romans and the gospel from Matthew, announce in statement and in story the identity of Jesus as Son of David and Son of God. If we listen carefully to Paul, we will hear that Paul links Jesus as Son of God to the resurrection. Given the transforming power of this experience, it is not surprising that early Jesus followers focused on resurrection. Decades after Paul, when Matthew’s gospel was written, the conviction and proclamation about Jesus’ identity as Son of God is pushed back to his conception. Still later in John’s magnificent prologue to his gospel, the Word is with God, is God, before creation.

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