Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

A son in heaven, but no father on earth: A note in the margin of a ‘Tale of Two Kings’

Joseph Verheyden
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a928 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.928 | © 2011 Joseph Verheyden | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 July 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

About the author(s)

Joseph Verheyden, Faculty of Theology, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa, Belgium


The article is meant to offer a comment on the thesis of Andries G. van Aarde about the socalled fatherlessness of Jesus. The author argues for a more critical disposition towards a historical-psychological approach of ancient texts. Jesus’ attitude towards children, which is illustrated in Mark 10:13–16, and the story of Jesus’ birth and of Herod’s reaction to it as told by Matthew, are used as test cases.


Fatherlessness in antiquity; child abandoned in antiquity; A.G. van Aarde; C. Tuor-Kurth; historical-psychological exegesis; Moses-typology; voluntary humility


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