The Case for Issa
magine you are a detective. An unusual case
comes across your desk. You open a yellowed
folder. It isn't exactly a case of a mistaken identity
or a missing person. It is a missing backgroundsome
lost years. And the particulars are spare.
Date of birth unknown. Exact year of birth
also unknown; sometime between 8 and 4 B.C.
Place of birth disputed. Thought to be Bethlehem.1
Father, Joseph, a carpenter. Came from a
noble and illustrious line beginning with Abraham
and continuing through Isaac and Jacob to David
the King—then through Solomon to Jacob, the
father of Joseph, husband of Mary.
Human lineage thus established through
paternal descent, though father's paternity vehemently
denied by some in favor of doctrine of virgin
birth. One account records him "being, as was
supposed, the son of Joseph" but traces his royal
origin through genealogy of Mary, his mother.2
Adventurous early life. Fled with parents to
Egypt after father had a dream. Returned to