Scofield Reference Notes
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
SCOFIELD REFERENCE NOTES (Old Scofield 1917 Edition)
The Four Gospels
The four Gospels record the eternal being, human ancestry, birth, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus the Christ, Son of God, and Son of Man. They record also a selection from the incidents of His life, and from His words and works. Taken together, they set forth, not a biography, but a Personality.
These two facts, that we have in the four Gospels a complete Personality, but not a complete biography, indicate the spirit and intent in which we should approach them. What is important is that through these narratives we should come to see and know Him whom they reveal. It is of relatively small importance that we should be able to piece together out of these confessedly incomplete records Jn 21:25 a connected story of His life. For some adequate reason -- perhaps lest we should be too much occupied with "Christ after the flesh"-- it did not please God to cause to be written a biography of His Son. The twenty-nine formative years are passed over in a silence which is broken but once, and that in but twelve brief verses of Luke's Gospel. It may be well to respect the divine reticencies.
But the four Gospels, though designedly incomplete as a story, are divinely perfect as a revelation. We may not through them know everything that He did, but we may know the Doer. In four great characters, each of which completes the other three, we have Jesus Christ Himself. The Evangelists never describe Christ--they set Him forth. They tell us almost nothing of what they thought about Him, they let Him speak and act for himself.
This is the essential respect in which these narratives differ from mere biography or portraiture. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." The student in whom dwells an ungrieved Spirit finds here the living Christ.
The distinctive part which each Evangelist bears in this presentation of the living Christ is briefly note in separated Introductions, but it may be profitable to add certain general suggestions.
I. The Old Testament is a divinely provided Introduction to the New; and whoever comes to the study of the four Gospels with a mind saturated with the Old Testament foreview of the Christ, His person, work, and kingdom, with find them open books.
For the Gospels are woven of Old Testament quotation, allusion, and type. The very first verse of the New Testament drives the thoughtful reader back to the Old; and the risen Christ sent His disciples to the ancient oracles for an explanation of His sufferings and glory Lk 24:27,44,45 One of His last ministries was the opening of their understandings to understand the Old Testament.
Therefore, in approaching the study of the Gospels the mind should be freed, Song far as possible, from mere theological concepts and presuppositions. Especially is it necessary to exclude the notion--a legacy in Protestant thought from post apostolic and Roman Catholic theology--that the church is the true Israel, and that the Old Testament foreview of the kingdom is fulfilled in the Church.
Do not, therefore, assume interpretations to be true because familiar. Do not assume that "the throne of David" Lk 1:32 is synonymous with "My Father's throne" Rev 3:21 or that "the house of Jacob" Lk 1:33 is the Church composed both of Jew and Gentile.
II. The mission of Jesus was, primarily, to the Jews Mt 10:5,6 15:23-25 Jn 1:11 He was "made under the law" Gal 4:4 and was a "minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers" Rom 15:8 and to fulfil the law that grace might flow out.
Expect, therefore, a strong legal and Jewish colouring up to the cross. Mt 5:17-19 6:12 cf Eph 4:32 Mt 10:5,6 15:22-28 Mk 1:44 Mt 23:2 The Sermon on the Mount is law, not grace, for it demands as the condition of blessing Mt 5:3-9 that perfect character which grace, through divine power, creates Gal 5:22,23
III. The doctrines of grace are to be sought in the Epistles, not in the Gospels; but those doctrines rest back upon the death and resurrection of Christ, and upon the great germ-truths to which He gave utterance, and of which the Epistles are the unfolding. Furthermore, the only perfect example of perfect grace is the Christ of the Gospels.
IV. The Gospels do not unfold the doctrine of the Church. The word occurs in Matthew only. After His rejection as King and Saviour by the Jews, our Lord, announcing a mystery until that moment "hid in God" Eph 3:3-10 said, "I will build my church." Mt 16:16,18 It was, therefore, yet future; but His personal ministry had gathered out the believers who were, on the day of Pentecost, by the baptism with the Spirit, made the first members of "the church which is his body" 1Cor 12:12,13 Eph 1:23
The Gospels present a group of Jewish disciples, associated on earth with a Messiah in humiliation; the Epistles a Church which is the body of Christ in glory, associated with Him in the heavenlies, co-heirs with Him of the Father, co-rulers with Him over the coming kingdom, and, as to the earth, pilgrims and strangers 1Cor 12:12,13 Eph 1:3-14,20-23 2:4-6 1Pet 2:11
V. The Gospels present Christ in His three offices of Prophet, Priest and King.
As Prophet His ministry does not differ in kind from that of the Old Testament prophets. It is the dignity of His person that which makes him the unique Prophet. Of old, God spoke through the prophets; now He speaks in the Son. Heb 1:1,2. The old prophet was a voice from God; the Son is God himself. Dt 18:18,19
The prophet in any dispensation is God's messenger to His people, first to establish truth, and secondly, when they are in declension and apostasy to call them back to truth. His message, therefore, is, usually, one of rebuke and appeal. Only when these fall on deaf ears does he become a foreteller of things to come. In this, too, Christ is at one with the other prophets. His predictive ministry follows His rejection as King.
Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;
And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;
And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;
And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;
Josiah, 1Ki 13:2
And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:
And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;
And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;
And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
 Six Marys
Six Marys are to be distinguished in the N.T.:
(1) the mother of Jesus; always clearly identified by the context.
(2) Mary Magdalene, a woman of Magdala, " out of whom went seven demons" Lk 8:2 She is never mentioned apart from the identifying word "Magdalene."
(3) The mother of James (called "the less," Mk 15:40) and Joses, the apostles. A comparison of Jn 19:25 Mt 27:56 Mk 15:40 establishes the inference that this Mary, the mother of James the less, and of Joses was the wife of Alphaeus (called also Cleophas), Jn 19:25 and a sister of Mary the mother of Jesus. Except in Mt 27:61 28:1 where she is called "the other Mary (i.e. "other" than her sister, Mary the Virgin); and Jn 19:25 where she is called "of Cleophas," she is mentioned only in connection with one or both of her sons.
(4) Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus, mentioned by name only in Lk 10:39-42 Jn 11:1,2,19,20,28,31,32,45 12:3 but referred to in Mt 26:7 Mk 14:3-9.
(5) The mother of John Mark and sister of Barnabas Acts 12:12.
(6) A helper of Paul in Rome Rom 16:6.
 of whom was born
The changed expression here is important. It is no longer, "who begat," but, "Mary, of whom was born Jesus." Jesus was not begotten of natural generation.
Christ (Christos=anointed), the Greek form of the Hebrew "Messiah" Dan 9:25,26 is the official name of our Lord, as Jesus is his human name Lk 1:31 2:21. The name, or title, "Christ" connects Him with the entire O.T. foreview See Scofield Note: "Zech 12:8" of a coming prophet Dt 18:15-19, Priest Ps 110:4 and king 2Sam 7:7-10. As these were typically anointed with oil 1Ki 19:16 Ex 29:7 1Sam 16:13 Song Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit Mt 3:16 Mk 1:10,11 Lk 3:21,22 Jn 1:32,33 thus becoming officially "the Christ."
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
See note, Rom 1:16 See Scofield Note: "Rom 1:16"
See note, Rom 3:23 See Scofield Note: "Rom 3:23"
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Margin of the Lord
See Isa 7:14 Lit. by the Lord through the prophet.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
See Scofield Note: "Heb 1:4"
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
The Greek form of the Hebrew Jehoshua meaning saviour.