Marko has posted on The Real Mary with a very clever twist. The standard theory, which I espouse, is that Mary immediately realized that being pregnant before consummation with Joseph was a No-No that could jeopardize her life, her son’s life, and Joseph’s honor. So, the standard view is that Mary’s faith was courageous. Marko has another idea:
Now don’t jump all over him; I do want to spend some time with Jeannie and Marko next November when SBL is in San Diego.
But here’s his theory: 13 year olds, because of their developmental stage, don’t process potential implications. Instead, she was innocent and didn’t ponder the implications. Instead, when God told her the news, being an innocent 13-year-old, she was excited and saw all the great things coming her way. What if what God needed was the enthusiasm of an innocent person rather than the deliberated decision of someone aware of what was going on?
I think his push-back is worth considering. Here’s what I wrote to him:
What if the Industrial Revolution has really changed maturation so that adolescence has been prolonged beyond anything in the ancient world?
What if living in the Galilee, in the first century, among the poor required assumption of responsiblities at a much younger age?
And what if such an early arrival for responsibility shifted brain development — or, more likely — what if brain development was much sooner because of the burden of growing up much sooner?
And what if first century folks didn’t even really know what adolescence was?