1) We discover that some events happen during the time of King Herod of Judea. The angel of Gabriel tells the priest, Zechariah, that his wife, Elizabeth will bear a child. However, Zechariah does not believe Gabriel and Gabriel makes Zechariah mute until Elizabeth bears a child. (Luke 1:5-1:23)
2) Elizabeth has been pregnant for six months when the angel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary and he says, â€œGreetings favored one! The Lord is with you.â€ Gabriel tells her that she will conceive a child and name him Jesus. (Luke 1:24-1:31)
3) The angel tells Mary that the Holy Spirit will overcome her and The Most High will make her conceived with a child, Jesus, the Son of God. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is in her sixth month of her pregnancy. (Luke 1:34-1.38)
4) Elizabeth and Mary encounter each other. Later, Elizabeth gives birth to John, and Zechariah gets his voice back. John becomes a man (1:39-1:80)
5) In the days during the registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria Jesus was born. Joseph and Mary were engaged and had Jesus in the town of Bethlehem. Since they could not get into the inn, Mary wrapped Jesus in cloth and put him in a manger. (Luke 2:1-2:7)
6) Angels came before shepherds living in the fields telling them the good news and to look for a child wrapped in cloth in a manger in the city of Bethlehem. (Luke 2:8-2:15)
7) The shepherds found the child in the manger and told all what they knew about the child and all were amazed. (2:16-2:20)
8) Mary and Joseph take Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. While there, they run into a man by the name of Simeon. Simeon said amazing things about Jesus. (Luke 2:21-2:35)
9) They returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. (2:39)
10) The story of Jesus as a 12 year old becoming wise and strong. (Luke 2:41-51)
Problems that Arise from Matthew and Luke
1. Using the information from Matthew that mentions these following things: Matthew mentions that Jesus was born during the time of King Herod in Bethlehem of Judea. (Matthew 2:1) and Herod sees that the wise men had tricked him. Herod got angry and sent men to kill all children 2 years and younger around Bethlehem. He chose the age of 2 because that is when he discovered he had been tricked by the wise men from the time of Jesusâ€™ birth. This event referred to as the â€œSlaughter of the Innocenceâ€ is a prophecy that Jeremiah foretold. (Matthew 2:16-2:18). From these two ideas we can estimate when Jesus was born. Based on the reign of King Herod that Matthew mentions, or King Herod the Great, he ruled from 37-4 BCE. So, using the story of the â€œSlaughter of the Innocentsâ€ and the death of Herod the Great, we can come to an assumption that Jesus was born sometime before 6 BCE. We come to the conclusion of at least 6 BCE because the slaughter of the innocents involved all of the children around Bethlehem 2 years or younger.
Unfortunately for Jesusâ€™ birth story, an error is made. When was Jesus born? Matthew says around 6 BCE while Luke states around 6 CE. Why the 10 year gap? The way I arrived at my conclusion of 6 CE is in this way. Although Luke says, â€œIn the days of King Herod of Judea,â€ (Luke 1:5), Luke does not clearly explain how long after the rule of King Herod that Jesus is born. The only thing Luke states to give us an idea of Jesusâ€™ birth date is this, â€œIn those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.â€ (Luke 2:1-2:2) Luke says Jesus is born after this event which is commonly referred to as the Census of Quirinius. This event takes place around 6 or 7 CE, not anywhere near 6 BCE. So, already we have a clear dissimilarity. Either Matthew is wrong, Luke is wrong, or they are both wrong. If Matthew is wrong, then how can Lukeâ€™s dating be so off? And vice versa for Matthew.
2. Who visited Jesus after his birth? Matthew says that wise men (biblical magi) came from the East to visit him. While Luke says Shepherds came to visit him. Did both shepherds and wise men visit him? In my opinion, each story offers a new way to interpret the story. If you use wise men, we can say Jesus is the king of kings because they are often talked about as kings and with them coming to see Jesus, it assumes Jesus is above them and is their king. If we use shepherds, one may see that Jesus is for the people, or Gentiles, and he is not a King that will rule over you, instead, with you. All in all, this part of the story ends up being a dissimilarity.
3. What object did people follow to find Jesus? In Matthewâ€™s account, the wise men follow a star, while in Luke, the shepherds look for the child after being told were the child was b an angel.