Story of Jesus birth. [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Story of Jesus birth.


lomfs24
10-28-2011, 10:46
Christmas time is fast approaching so I started thinking about this. How do folks reconcile the two different stories found in the Bible of Jesus birth. The book of Matthew and the book of Luke are the only two who mention it. Yet they are two very different stories. And you have to mix the two to get the nativity scene.

How do folks reconcile that?

packsaddle
10-28-2011, 11:34
which one do you believe, and why?

if neither, why do you even care?

lomfs24
10-28-2011, 12:10
Packsaddle, I was raised to believe that the Bible was the unerring word of God passed down to man in order for man to have a recipe book - if you will - to guide his life. However, as I get older and study the Bible more there seems to be more than a few problems. This one is a very glaring problem with what would seem to be a pretty straightforward account.

I want to know how other people deal with this problem and come up with the story of Jesus birth. I think a very fitting question to be posed based on the time of year we are coming into.

achysklic
10-28-2011, 12:30
Packsaddle, I was raised to believe that the Bible was the unerring word of God passed down to man in order for man to have a recipe book - if you will - to guide his life. However, as I get older and study the Bible more there seems to be more than a few problems. This one is a very glaring problem with what would seem to be a pretty straightforward account.

I want to know how other people deal with this problem and come up with the story of Jesus birth. I think a very fitting question to be posed based on the time of year we are coming into.

Why celebrate His birth at all? He nor anyone inthe bible ever did sinceit was a pagan custom. Why not remember His death that He commanded us to do?

fgutie35
10-28-2011, 12:36
Packsaddle, I was raised to believe that the Bible was the unerring word of God passed down to man in order for man to have a recipe book - if you will - to guide his life. However, as I get older and study the Bible more there seems to be more than a few problems. This one is a very glaring problem with what would seem to be a pretty straightforward account.

I want to know how other people deal with this problem and come up with the story of Jesus birth. I think a very fitting question to be posed based on the time of year we are coming into.
Althought I'm a recently converted Catholic Christian, I don't take the Bible as the "ultimate" word of God. Jesus was His Word alive and that I DO believe as un-erring. What other people wrote about it inspired by the Holy Spirit or not, leave some space for "human" error. Let's put it this way. If a writer for the Huffington Post was asked by his supervisor to write an unbiass article about the 2A; How confident are you going to be, that he is not going to put in it some of his idealogy? I think the same about the New Testament who was written by "Judeo"-Christian characters (jewish people back then, had a sense of prejudice towards gentiles, so it was a hard pill to swallow to follow Jesus doctrine). Of course, that is not counting the "panel" of so called "clerical experts" who claimed authority on what was to be included in the bible and what it would not. Too much human intervention leads to error. I try to focus on the main idea of the whole book and how Jesus wants us to conduct ourselves. going back to the OP, by now you should know that Jesus was not born on December 25th. So I'm assuming you want to know if Jesus story as described in the bible was accurate; Am I correct? If correct, then there are other non-christian documents that supports Jesus birth story. Now If you want to know the exact date Jesus was born, then good luck, because no one seem to know. My personal opinion, is that God, been the perfect being He is, made Jesus to live exactly 33 years, so I think his birthdate is the same day as His death day, which I also believe has a significance, just like all the set of numbers we find in the bible. That of course, is nothing but my opinion. :whistling:

lomfs24
10-28-2011, 13:18
fgutie, I don't know if I agree with your assessment of "Judeo"-Christian characters but that is another topic. As far as the birth-date of Jesus, yes, I know that Dec 25th is not really his birth-date. So yes, I am more concerened about whether or not the account(s) in the Bible are accurate. You mentioned that there are other non-Christian accounts of the event. What are those texts and where could they be found? And which account do they confirm because again, the story in Matthew does not match, in any way shape or form, the account in Luke. And neither Matthew or Luke really match Roman history of the same time frame.

Roering
10-28-2011, 13:43
Christmas time is fast approaching so I started thinking about this. How do folks reconcile the two different stories found in the Bible of Jesus birth. The book of Matthew and the book of Luke are the only two who mention it. Yet they are two very different stories. And you have to mix the two to get the nativity scene.

How do folks reconcile that?

Well, we can certainly talk about it. Care to give an example of and we can go from there?

lomfs24
10-28-2011, 14:58
Roering, I would encourage you to read the first few chapters of both Matthew and Luke but here are some quick cliff notes.

Joseph and Mary met and were to be married. Angel comes to both Mary and Joseph and says that Mary is to have a baby. Then end up getting married anyway and Mary is pregnant. This is where the stories diverge.

The book of Mathew indicates that Joseph and Mary live in Bethlehem when the baby is born. Some astrologers come from the east and inquire from King Herod as to where the baby is. King Herod tells them that he is supposed to be born in Bethlehem and asks them to come back and report as to where he is so he can go pay his respects as well. The astrologers find Jesus in Bethlehem, not in a manger, but in a house. When they leave they slip out the back door and don't go tell Herod where the baby is because they know that Herod only want to kill him. So Herod orders his army officers to go kill all the kids 3 years old and younger in the area to make sure he gets the right one. Joseph and Mary hear about this and head for Egypt where they hang out there for a few years. When they hear that Herod is dead they decide to head home. But they learn that Herod's brother is now ruler so they head to Nazareth instead of Bethlehem. And there Jesus is raised.
Luke on the other hand has a completely different story. Joseph and Mary live in Nazareth and are taking a trip to Bethlehem so that Joseph can be registered at the city of his forefathers. While they are there Mary gives birth to Jesus and there is no place for them to stay to they stay in the manger. Angels appear to shepherds in the field and they come to see Jesus, not astrologers. Then they travel back home and swing by the temple on the way.

Two very different stories.

lomfs24
10-28-2011, 15:03
Just some additional clarifications. The angel comes to both Mary and Joseph but separately. He doesn't visit them at the same time. And the astrologers don't literally slip out the back door, that was a bit of humor, but the Bible says they return home by another way.

Roering
10-28-2011, 15:29
Roering, I would encourage you to read the first few chapters of both Matthew and Luke but here are some quick cliff notes.

Joseph and Mary met and were to be married. Angel comes to both Mary and Joseph and says that Mary is to have a baby. Then end up getting married anyway and Mary is pregnant. This is where the stories diverge.

The book of Mathew indicates that Joseph and Mary live in Bethlehem when the baby is born. Some astrologers come from the east and inquire from King Herod as to where the baby is. King Herod tells them that he is supposed to be born in Bethlehem and asks them to come back and report as to where he is so he can go pay his respects as well. The astrologers find Jesus in Bethlehem, not in a manger, but in a house. When they leave they slip out the back door and don't go tell Herod where the baby is because they know that Herod only want to kill him. So Herod orders his army officers to go kill all the kids 3 years old and younger in the area to make sure he gets the right one. Joseph and Mary hear about this and head for Egypt where they hang out there for a few years. When they hear that Herod is dead they decide to head home. But they learn that Herod's brother is now ruler so they head to Nazareth instead of Bethlehem. And there Jesus is raised.
Luke on the other hand has a completely different story. Joseph and Mary live in Nazareth and are taking a trip to Bethlehem so that Joseph can be registered at the city of his forefathers. While they are there Mary gives birth to Jesus and there is no place for them to stay to they stay in the manger. Angels appear to shepherds in the field and they come to see Jesus, not astrologers. Then they travel back home and swing by the temple on the way.

Two very different stories.

OK

They went to Bethlehem to register/paytax/etc. and Mary gave birth to Jesus.

On the night of the birth the Angel appeared to the Shepherd and he came into see Christ.

They stayed in Bethlehem for quite awhile. A year sounds about right and they were visited by the 3 wise men about a year after the birth. That is why Herod was going after all children 2 years and under, not just the infants.

I do not see conflicting testimony here, just different facts of the same story. As in one may leave out the wise men altogether. Doesn't make it wrong, just incomplete. Neither testimony ever claimed to be all inclusive.

Schabesbert
10-28-2011, 15:53
OK

They went to Bethlehem to register/paytax/etc. and Mary gave birth to Jesus.

On the night of the birth the Angel appeared to the Shepherd and he came into see Christ.

They stayed in Bethlehem for quite awhile. A year sounds about right and they were visited by the 3 wise men about a year after the birth. That is why Herod was going after all children 2 years and under, not just the infants.

I do not see conflicting testimony here, just different facts of the same story. As in one may leave out the wise men altogether. Doesn't make it wrong, just incomplete. Neither testimony ever claimed to be all inclusive.
I agree almost totally. I don't see the divergence.

But, as far as the year goes, that's speculation. It could have been much less than that, and Herod was just playing it "safe."

Around here, there was a law that cashiers had to card everyone "30 and younger" when buying beer. Now, they've actually extended this so that they have to card everyone, without exception. Even octogenarians.

Herod could have been doing something along these lines, assuming that some of his soldiers, almost universally bachelors with absolutely NO experience with babies, would be easily fooled. The only down side, from his perspective, was killing of a few more babies; what did he care?

lomfs24
10-28-2011, 15:53
Luke 2:39 though, says that when Joseph and Mary had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their town of Nazareth.

Everything according to the law. The registration/paying taxes/ purification of Mary. Which if I remember right the purification for a woman who had given birth was 7 days. Luke specifically says that they went back home to Nazareth. Doesn't say they hung around Bethlehem for a year or for any extended time for that matter. And it certainly doesn't say anything about Egypt.

Unless you read into it so it says what you want it to say. Whereas, Matthew indicates they lived in Bethlehem. And later were forced to go to Nazareth because they couldn't come back to Bethlehem from Egypt. The time lines don't match up.

lomfs24
10-28-2011, 16:10
What makes this even more suspicious is that there is no other contemporary writing that supports this great act of infanticide. The only place that this act can be found is the book of Matthew. Luke doesn't even mention it. And since infants in the area of Bethlehem were killed you would think that would make quite a stir in the nation. Yet no one wrote about it except a lone writer, eighty years later...Hmmmm....

The same can be said about the requirement for Joseph to register, not at his home town, but the home town of his forefathers of a 1000 years previous. And it wasn't just Joseph, it was the entire world that had to do this. No where in any of the contemporary writings, nor in the Roman history is this requirement written. Could you imagine the mass chaos that would have caused, if everyone, in the world, had to pack up and head back to where their forefathers came from 1000 years before. This certainly would have caused enough of a stir that someone would have written about it.

One thing we do know about the Romans, they liked peace order and maintaining the status quo inside their kingdom. Doesn't seem logical that the Romans would issue a decree that everyone would have to make this kind of migration.

In short, no matter how you slice it these two stories don't match up.

Schabesbert
10-28-2011, 16:12
you should know that Jesus was not born on December 25th.
While scripture doesn't say, there is no way to know for certain that this is not His birthdate, and some compelling evidence that this may be a pretty good guess.

Seriously, read the trilogy Mary, Mother of the Son (http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Mother-Son-Vol-I/dp/1933919191/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_t_1) (especially the first volume for this subject, IIRC). This will explain some of the reasoning.

Also, these short articles provide some insight:
Why is Dec. 25 the date to celebrate Christmas Two explanations compete (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=why%20is%20dec.%2025%20the%20date%20to%20celebrate%20christmas%20two%20explanations%20compete&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.religionnewsblog.com%2F9755%2Fwhy-is-dec-25-the-date-to-celebrate-christmas&ei=0CWrToXpMobf0QHYud3LDw&usg=AFQjCNGvOj-O2rpq2TW1ohzohW9o9vLr5g)
Tighe, W.J., "Calculating Christmas" (http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-10-012-v)

And here's a very intriguing article that I just found trying to dig up the above links:
Was Jesus born on December 25? #1: Watchtower arguments against (http://jesusisyhwh.blogspot.com/2008/12/was-jesus-born-on-december-25-1.html)

Kingarthurhk
10-28-2011, 16:19
http://dialogue.adventist.org/articles/14_3_mciver_e.htm

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1933402.The_Four_Faces_of_Jesus

lomfs24
11-01-2011, 15:50
Sorry, I haven't responded. My computer crashed and I wasn't able to get on line for a few days.

Anyway. I can see your point about four different perspectives. And I could understand that if that's what they were. However, differences in perspectives might be like one writer say's it's afternoon, while the other says it's evening and the next says it's night. That could be thrown into the category of perspective. But when two writers are telling the about an event in a person's life, and the main events don't match it makes you wonder which one, or if both, are just making it up.

As far as the story of Jesus birth, the two stories say that 1) he was born 2) in Bethlehem and 3) raised in Nazareth. But the accounts of how they came to be in Bethlehem and Nazareth and the events in between as so vastly different that if the names were removed you wouldn't even think they were talking about the same person.

Roering
11-01-2011, 16:30
Sorry, I haven't responded. My computer crashed and I wasn't able to get on line for a few days.

Anyway. I can see your point about four different perspectives. And I could understand that if that's what they were. However, differences in perspectives might be like one writer say's it's afternoon, while the other says it's evening and the next says it's night. That could be thrown into the category of perspective. But when two writers are telling the about an event in a person's life, and the main events don't match it makes you wonder which one, or if both, are just making it up.

As far as the story of Jesus birth, the two stories say that 1) he was born 2) in Bethlehem and 3) raised in Nazareth. But the accounts of how they came to be in Bethlehem and Nazareth and the events in between as so vastly different that if the names were removed you wouldn't even think they were talking about the same person.

There is a pastor out of Oregon named Jon Courson who took the synoptic gospels and compiled them together into one account. I think it would be worth a read through.