With Child

It is hard to break out of our education and knowledge, but imagine reading the Gospel of Matthew for the first time. Imagine reading, with no knowledge of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, that Mary, before coming together with Joseph, was found with child of the Holy Spirit. We don’t exactly know what this means, but we expect some foul play by this fellow who calls himself the Holy Spirit. It isn’t until a few verses later that we read:

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child”

Quite a shocker, I bet. But that’s not what I want to note. I’m interested in this term “with child”.

The Greek is actually, transliterated, gaster, from which we get gastronomic and it means: belly, stomach, womb. It appears nine times in the Greek Testament with eight of those in reference to pregnancy. It is paired with the Greek verb “to hold/have” and could therefore be translated “holding in the womb”.

The only other time it is used is in Titus 1:12 “The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies” which is a reference to gluttony.

The only other word I found in reference to pregnancy was enkuos in Luke 2:5 “To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.” This is the only use of the word and it appears to be related to “en kuma” or “in the wave”.

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