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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke? (Read 308 times)
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Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke?
Sep 20th, 2018 at 8:05am
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So attempted this discussion with RD but it is moving at a snails pace and RD was being vague.  Seems to think I am not open to this discussion.  I am open so I decided to try and determine exactly what RD was hinting at in more detail.  Found a discussion on the perceived historical differences.  I also intend to talk to a friend of mine who has a Master's in the study of Biblical history.  Looking forward to hearing from him.  Of course my question is what does such a discrepancy mean regarding Jesus birth?  We can all state that there was obviously a man named Jesus who actually garnered the attention of the historians of his time frame.  So we can reasonably conclude there was a man named Jesus and he had some sort of impact to garner attention.  No denying his existence.  So what are we arguing then?  In the mean time, this link should assist in the point brought up by RD.


Quote:
THE BIRTH DATE OF JESUS

I) LUKE SAYS CYRENIUS (QUIRINIUS) WAS GOVERNOR OF SYRIA WHEN JESUS WAS BORN? WAS HE WRONG?

Critics of the bible say that Luke wrote a contradiction in the bible when he said that Quirinius was governor of Syria when Jesus was born.

Their stance is usually as follows:

Matthew and Luke attempt to give the time of Jesus' birth, approximately. But between these two attempts there is a discrepancy of at least ten years; for Herod died 4 B.C., while Cyrenius did not become governor of Syria until 7 A.D. A reconciliation of these statements is impossible. Matthew clearly states that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod. Luke states that Augustus Caesar issued a decree that the world should be taxed, that "this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria," and that Jesus was born at the time of this taxing.

[WHEN CRITICS ASK, Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1992, p.p. 384-385]:

Luke has not made an error. There are reasonable solutions to this difficulty. First, Quintilius Varus was governor of Syria from about 7 B.C. to about 4 B.C. Varus was not a trustworthy leader, a fact that was disastrously demonstrated in A.D. 9 when he lost three legions of soldiers in the Teutoburger forest in Germany. To the contrary, Quirinius was a notable military leader who was responsible for squelching the rebellion of the Homonadensians in Asia Minor. When it came time to begin the census, in about 8 or 7 B.C., Augustus entrusted Quirinius with the delicate problem in the volatile area of Palestine, effectively superseding the authority and governorship of Varus by appointing Quirinius to a place of special authority in this matter. It has also been proposed that Quirinius was governor of Syria on two separate occasions, once while prosecuting the military action against the Homonadensians between 12 and 2 B.C., and later beginning about A.D. 6. A Latin inscription discovered in 1764 has been interpreted to refer to Quirinius as having served as governor of Syria on two occasions. It is possible that Luke 2:2 reads, "This census took place before Quirinius was governing Syria." In this case, the Greek word translated "first" (prwtos) is translated as a comparative, "before." Because of the awkward construction of the sentence, this is not an unlikely reading. Regardless of which solution is accepted, it is not necessary to conclude that Luke had made an error in recording the historical events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Luke has proven himself to be a reliable historian even in the details. Sir William Ramsay has shown that in making reference to 32 countries, 54 cities, and 9 islands he made no mistakes!" *********************************************************

http://www.biblestudymanuals.net/Jesus_birthdate.htm

  


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Re: Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke?
Reply #1 - Sep 21st, 2018 at 8:08pm
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Quirinius was governor of Syria from 6-9 A.D.  There is not a single shred of evidence that Quirinius was governor of Syria at any other time.  Moreover, the census referred to by St. Luke took place in 6 A.D., as numerous sources attest to, and there is no evidence the Empire conducted any earlier censuses.

The additional problem is that the census did not require everyone to return to their ancestral home, which would have annihilated the Empire's commercial, diplomatic, and military operations.  That's just a bad story device to try to get Sts. Joseph & Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

The plain, ugly fact is that St. Matthew and St. Luke put Jesus's birth in different decades, as Christians scrambled to explain how Jesus of Nazareth was really from Bethlehem, as Micah's prophecy supposedly required.

But it gets worse, because Micah's prophecy clearly doesn't refer to Jesus.  Micah 5:2 refers to Bethlehem, but read the rest of the passage:

"Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.  And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; and they shall abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth; and this One shall be peace.

When the Assyrian comes into our land, and when he treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him
seven shepherds and eight princely men.  They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; thus He shall deliver us from the Assyrian, when he comes into our land and when he treads within our borders."

Micah 5:3-7, NKJV.  The passage that supposedly prophecies that Jesus will be born in Bethlehem says that this person will also deliver Israel from the Assyrians.  But the Assyrian Empire had already been destroyed for centuries before Jesus's birth.  If the early Christians had read Micah more closely, they wouldn't have bothered to invent Bethlehem stories at all.  Oh well.

(BTW, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is the best Christmas carol.  No debate.)
  

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Re: Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke?
Reply #2 - Sep 21st, 2018 at 9:03pm
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It’s fascinating to see how grown men take this stuff so seriously.
  

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Re: Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke?
Reply #3 - Sep 21st, 2018 at 10:26pm
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Isaac Newton solved it with little effort. The man knew more about chronology than any man alive today. His explanation makes perfect sense. Both accounts in Matt. and Luke tell us the same thing. But there are different methodologies in chronology and what we see in the Gospels are two different methodologies.
  

"Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Cor. 3:17).
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Re: Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke?
Reply #4 - Sep 22nd, 2018 at 9:39am
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Running Deer wrote on Sep 21st, 2018 at 8:08pm:
Quirinius was governor of Syria from 6-9 A.D.  There is not a single shred of evidence that Quirinius was governor of Syria at any other time.  Moreover, the census referred to by St. Luke took place in 6 A.D., as numerous sources attest to, and there is no evidence the Empire conducted any earlier censuses.

The additional problem is that the census did not require everyone to return to their ancestral home, which would have annihilated the Empire's commercial, diplomatic, and military operations.  That's just a bad story device to try to get Sts. Joseph & Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

The plain, ugly fact is that St. Matthew and St. Luke put Jesus's birth in different decades, as Christians scrambled to explain how Jesus of Nazareth was really from Bethlehem, as Micah's prophecy supposedly required.

But it gets worse, because Micah's prophecy clearly doesn't refer to Jesus.  Micah 5:2 refers to Bethlehem, but read the rest of the passage:

"Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.  And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; and they shall abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth; and this One shall be peace.

When the Assyrian comes into our land, and when he treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him
seven shepherds and eight princely men.  They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; thus He shall deliver us from the Assyrian, when he comes into our land and when he treads within our borders."

Micah 5:3-7, NKJV.  The passage that supposedly prophecies that Jesus will be born in Bethlehem says that this person will also deliver Israel from the Assyrians.  But the Assyrian Empire had already been destroyed for centuries before Jesus's birth.  If the early Christians had read Micah more closely, they wouldn't have bothered to invent Bethlehem stories at all.  Oh well.

(BTW, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is the best Christmas carol.  No debate.)

So you are rejecting the piece I linked?  Point out his flaws in his piece.  You so my say not true and then run away for a few days.  I do not think, based on your behavior, you are open to discussing the history.    I also have noted many of your arguments come from the Jews who reject Jesus.
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke?
Reply #5 - Sep 22nd, 2018 at 9:44am
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The piece I linked went far deeper discussing the history then you seem willing yourself to do.  It is impossible to discuss history when you simply want to dismiss the facts, with links.  Regarding Assyrian, you could throw that same argument with John's prophesy regarding Babylon in the final days.  The problem with your argument is you are assuming you understand the prophesy and take it literally regarding the events when the prophets have to relay their vision based on their current understanding of the world.  Do you honestly expect Micah or John to understand the nations generations ahead of them?
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke?
Reply #6 - Sep 22nd, 2018 at 9:53am
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QUESTION: Why do the books of Matthew and Luke have different accounts of Jesus' birth? Which record is correct? Matthew says our Savior was born in a house in Bethlehem then sometime afterwards is taken to Egypt to escape Herod. After a period of time his family decides to return to Bethlehem, but soon change their mind and travel to Nazareth instead.

According to Luke, however, Mary and Joseph were from Nazareth. They travel to Bethlehem because a census requires them to do so. While they are there Jesus is born in a manger. After his birth they wait for Mary to go through ritual purification, after which they travel to Jerusalem to sacrifice two birds at the temple. After the sacrifice they go home to Nazareth.

ANSWER: As always in the Bible, BOTH accounts are correct because they speak of two different time periods. A quality Harmony of the Gospels should be able to lay out the time sequence of Jesus' entire life based on the four Gospel accounts. Luke's account is the actual event of Christ's birth in the manger.

The time sequence from the birth of Jesus to him being taken to Nazareth is as follows. Joseph is of the lineage of King David, who was born in Bethlehem. The Romans in 5 B.C. require all those in Judea to return to their ancestral home so that they can be counted (it really was for assessing what the people owned for the purposes of TAXES). Because of this decree Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem. It is in the city that Christ is born in a manger (Luke 2:1 - 20).

http://www.biblestudy.org/question/why-is-matthew-different-than-luke-about-birt...

You can also read another study here.
https://www.quora.com/Is-there-a-contradiction-in-the-accounts-of-the-birth-of-J...

The problem with your discussion is you are bent on proving the Bible is wrong about who Jesus is.  Nothing I am going to give you will ever open your mind to that so why then do you want this discussion?  It is obvious that a man named Jesus existed and made such an impact that Roman historians mention him more then once.  That alone is significant and one should ask why?  Should I be surprised that the Jews reject him as Lord?  No, they have a history of rejecting God's messenger more then once in their history, Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian faith pointed this out in Acts 7 and was stoned for revealing how God's own people rejected his prophets.  I am also noting you become hostile in this discussion and again why?  Why is it that this discussion gets you angry and frustrated?  It pours through your own writings.
« Last Edit: Sep 22nd, 2018 at 10:05am by Seawolf »  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke?
Reply #7 - Sep 22nd, 2018 at 10:20am
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Regarding Micah's prophecy in chapter 5, you can read this if interested (I suspect you are not) as to what they think he is prophesying regarding the Assyrian empire.
Quote:
Micah 5:5. This man shall be the peace — Christ is our peace as a priest, making atonement for sin, and reconciling us to God: he is our peace as a king, conquering our enemies, protecting us against their attacks, and preserving our minds in peace and tranquillity. In this latter sense the expression seems to be taken here: as if he had said, The Messiah, in all ages, whether before or after his incarnation, secures the peace and welfare of his church and people, against all the attempts of his and their enemies. When the Assyrian, &c. — After the illustrious prophecy relating to the Messiah, in the foregoing verses, the prophet passes on to the subversion of the Assyrian empire, and, under the type of that ancient enemy of God’s people, foretels the overthrow of all their enemies, especially of the antichristian powers which should attack his church in the latter days. Shall come into our land — As Sennacherib did with an overwhelming army, within a few years after this prophecy was delivered, when, by the power and authority of the Messiah, the Son of God, in his pre-existent state, (see Micah 5:2,) the Assyrian army was defeated, and Judea’s peace secured. When he shall tread in our palaces — Which Sennacherib did in all the cities or Judah, except Jerusalem, against which he could not prevail, because Immanuel was with Hezekiah and that city, as foretold Isaiah 8:8-10; Isaiah 37:32-35, where see the notes. Then shall we raise against him — Namely, Hezekiah, and with him the prophets and people, by prayer shall prevail with God to send deliverance. This seems primarily to refer to the deliverance of Hezekiah and his kingdom from the Assyrian army who invaded them. Seven shepherds and eight principal men — Or, seven rulers and eight princes of men, as Archbishop Newcome renders it, who thinks the prophet means the chiefs of the Medes and Babylonians, the prefects of different provinces, who, some time after the fall of Sennacherib, took Nineveh, overthrew the Assyrian empire, and thereby delivered the Jews from that oppressive power. Their number, he thinks, may have been what is here specified. Or, seven and eight may stand for an indefinite number, as similar expressions often do.
https://biblehub.com/commentaries/micah/5-5.htm

I am not going to pretend I have the ability to see or completely understand prophesy of events that have yet to transpire.  Revelation is an excellent example.  Everything that John is allowed to see must then be written in his only understanding of current events.  How can anyone understand future events we are living in currently when they have never even imagined them in his time?

  What I do understand is you are attempting to try and prove that Jesus can not be the Messiah as foretold by the prophets.  One of our issues in this discussion is you don't necessarily believe in God (I Am) of the Old Testament.  I suspect you want to come at me regarding my faith, through the Jewish belief.  Yet you do not believe in the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.  This is a round about way of trying to disprove the Christian faith.  Interesting, God prophesies that there will be a Jewish revival in the later days.  Meaning that there will be many Jews who will come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah in the end days.  The evidence has always been there in front of them every since God walked the earth in the flesh.
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke?
Reply #8 - Sep 23rd, 2018 at 12:50pm
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Seawolf wrote on Sep 22nd, 2018 at 10:20am:
Regarding Micah's prophecy in chapter 5, you can read this if interested (I suspect you are not) as to what they think he is prophesying regarding the Assyrian empire.
https://biblehub.com/commentaries/micah/5-5.htm

I am not going to pretend I have the ability to see or completely understand prophesy of events that have yet to transpire.  Revelation is an excellent example.  Everything that John is allowed to see must then be written in his only understanding of current events.  How can anyone understand future events we are living in currently when they have never even imagined them in his time?

  What I do understand is you are attempting to try and prove that Jesus can not be the Messiah as foretold by the prophets.  One of our issues in this discussion is you don't necessarily believe in God (I Am) of the Old Testament.  I suspect you want to come at me regarding my faith, through the Jewish belief.  Yet you do not believe in the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.  This is a round about way of trying to disprove the Christian faith.  Interesting, God prophesies that there will be a Jewish revival in the later days.  Meaning that there will be many Jews who will come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah in the end days.  The evidence has always been there in front of them every since God walked the earth in the flesh.



It’s possible, logically, for the following statements both to be true:


1. Jesus was the Messiah, and was the Son if God.

2. All or some of the Biblical prophesies were fictionalised.



Because of (2) you don’t need to get so exercised.
  

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Re: Historical Differences In The Accounts Of Jesus Birth according to Matthew/Luke?
Reply #9 - Sep 23rd, 2018 at 2:53pm
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Limey. wrote on Sep 23rd, 2018 at 12:50pm:
It’s possible, logically, for the following statements both to be true:


1. Jesus was the Messiah, and was the Son if God.

2. All or some of the Biblical prophesies were fictionalised.



Because of (2) you don’t need to get so exercised.

It helps to support your case if one can prove it is fictional.  You know, like glaring historical accounts that can be proven false through uncovered history.  Take for instance Jesus, truth or fiction?  If he never existed proving it should be relatively easy.  It is not, as there are other historical accounts far closer to the events that substantiate this man the Bible spoke of.
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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