What matters about the enigma in Saint Matthew is not that it tells us that Mary had Jesus from her father-in-law. Since we do not have the bodies of Jesus and Joseph, we cannot not make DNA tests to see whether they indeed had the same father. What matters is that many centuries ago this enigma made the religious authorities believe that it says that Jesus was born of a virgin and that because of that misinterpretation today more than half of the world population – Christians and Muslims – today assumes that Jesus was born of a virgin.
What matters is that this enigma clearly demonstrates that we must question religious authorities. This enigma not only embarrasses the authorities of Christianity, but also those of Islam and of Judaism. Those of Christianity because they have studied the New Testament for centuries without noticing that its first chapter holds an enigma; those of Islam because Mohammed said that Jesus was a prophet who was born of a virgin; and those of Judaism because an exhaustive study of the genealogies demonstrates that the person who created the genealogies in the gospels discovered the secrets in the genealogies in Genesis*, which is something they still ignore today. They still do not realize that the genealogy of Cain and the genealogy of Seth refer to the same family tree and that by processing all the information in Genesis regarding family ties one can discover several cases of incest, endogamy and extramaritual relations. A good example is Isaac’s wife Rebekah**, whose mother was Milcah, Lot’s sister, and whose father was Bethuel, Milcah’s son.
What matters is that this enigma teaches us to be critical with prophets and their revelations. Mohammed definitely made a mistake when he assumed that Jesus was a prophet who was born of a virgin. Therefore, we must question the nature of his revelations. However, to be critical with prophets does not mean to consider them imposers who invent their revelations. There is no reason for assuming that it is impossible to receive a revelation. It is not because some people are colorblind that colors don’t exist. It is not because most people have never had a revelation that it is impossible to have a revelation. There is, however, a good reason for investigating what happens when someone thinks that God or an archangel or the universe has talked to him and also for investigating revelations. When someone, for instance, hears a voice that says that people must sacrifice their firstborn son, how do we know it is God or the devil who demands people to do so?***
What matters about this enigma is that when we investigate the nature of a prophet we eventually learn to associate revelations with communications that come from the subconscious. Our subconscious functions like an enormous database. When all the information one ever learned or observed, consciously or not, suddenly gets processed, by looking for all kind of similarities, one can reach so many conclusions that one finally obtains a perfect understanding of oneself and the universe. That nobody obtains such a good comprehension is because:
a) few people receive messages from their subconscious.
b) not all information is right – Jesus, for instance, was not born of a virgin – and therefore one always has to question the messages that come from one’s subconscious.
c) someone who receives a message from his subconcious does not know what happens and can therefore assume that these new insights can only come from God, so that he doesn’t question them.
d) traumas make that our subconcious doesn’t process information right.
What matters about this enigma is that when we question prophets (Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, etcetera) we can bring people together who are now divided because their religions interprete the forces that govern the universe different. What matters is that by associating the forces that govern the universe – God – with the principle of cause and effect we can bring believers and non-believers together.
What matters about this enigma is that it demonstrates that also those famous agnostics and atheists who studied the Bible have not processed all the information regarding the genealogies right. Also they have ignored that the most important characteristic of lineages is that because of extramarital affairs some are real while others are supposed. Whereas one can be sure of a female lineage, always from mother to daughter, to be sure of the male lineage, always from father to son, one indeed has to do a DNA test for every generation one goes back in time. Official documents do not demonstrate who was the father of a child, but only indicate who was the husband of his mother.
What matters about this enigma is that a study of the genealogies shows that whenever the Bible ommits certain information or seems to contradicts itself, there is something that we still ignore. An example: Genesis does not tell us who was Haran’s wife, because he begot Lot and Milcah from one of the wives of his father Terah. Another example. Saint Matthew and Saint Luke offer different genealogies for Jesus because the former offers the real and the latter the supposed genealogy.
What matters about this enigma is that it shows that both the gospel of Saint Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, and Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, hold secrets. This demonstrates that calling a book ‘sacred’ originally meant to recognize that it holds secrets and that the word ‘religion’ once referred to the ‘rereading’ of a sacred book in order to discover its secrets. What matters is that this must make us wonder whether all the books that form part of the Bible hold secrets or only the first book of the OT and the first book of the NT. What matters is that we now have to ask what made the authorities – believers and non-believers – ignore these secrets. What matters is that when we question how authorities interprete our sacred books, we learn to investigate them ourselves. What matters is that when we stop to believe in authorities we start to believe in ourselves. What matters is that we now have to ask who created our sacred books and why they preferred to keep certain information secret for such a long time. What matters is that we have to ask who created this enigma and why he wanted to embarras the authorities at a given time. What matters is that we have to ask what is so special about this particular moment in time that, after almost two thousand years, the enigma in Saint Matthew suddenly reveals its secrets….
*The genealogies for Jesus in the Gospels of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke have the same dynamic as the genealogies of Seth and of Cain in Genesis. The former offer the real genealogy which is based on the ‘father begot son’ principle. The latter offer the supposed genealogy: whereas Saint Luke says Jesus was believed to be the son of Joseph, the genealogy of Cain starts with, “Cain knew his wife and she became pregnant and gave birth to.”
**The first mention of a virgin in the Bible is in reference to Rebekah.
*** Buddha once said: “We should not believe in something merely because we have heard it; nor in traditions because of their antiquity; nor in rumors spread by gossips, nor in words because they were written by wise men, nor in fantasies inspired by a Deva (and assumed to be derived from spiritual inspiration); nor in what appears to be logically necessary; nor in the sole authority of our teachers and masters; but we should consider all oral and written teachings that corroborate our reasons and conscience.