Now that I’ve had several preliminary posts about the accounts of Jesus’ birth, I can get into some of the details from the surviving texts. As I’ve indicated, it is only Matthew and Luke that tell the tales of the infancy narrative, and the annual “Christmas Pageant” that so many of us grew up seeing is in fact a conflation of the two accounts, making one mega-account out of two that are so different up and down the line. And so, the Annunciation to Mary is in Luke, the dream of Joseph in Matthew; the shepherds are in Luke, the wise men in Matthew; the trip to Bethlehem is in Luke, the Flight to Egypt is in Matthew, and so forth and so on. You can compare them yourself, up and down the line, and see the differences.
In this post I want to focus on Luke’s account. Then I will look at Matthew’s. And then I will compare the two in a couple of key points in order to show that the differences between them are not simply different aspects of the same story – the accounts in fact are at odds with one another in rather important ways.
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