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Examine the accounts of the birth of Jesus as found in the St.Matthew and St.Luke. What are the similarities and differences.

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Introduction

AO1: Examine the accounts of the birth of Jesus as found in the St.Matthew and St.Luke. What are the similarities and differences. The story of the birth of Jesus is recoreded in two books of the new testament, the Gospels according to St.Matthew and St.Luke. We find the accounts of Jesus' birth in them. Luke's account, the most popularly known, includes the angel's visit to Mary, the world-wide census, the birth in the manger in Bethlehem, the angel's visit to the shepherds, and the shepherd's visitation to the stable Matthew's account is different. It contains Joseph's visit by an angel in a dream, the birth in Bethlehem ( with no details ), the visit by the magi ( the wisemen ), the presentation of their gifts, the subterfuge of King Herod, and the escape to Egypt by the holy family These Christian writers have recorded the good news about Jesus' life and death. Christmas is the story of Jesus's birth. Important things are mentioned, for example, that Jesus is the Son of God. Also, that he is both human and divine, that he is the Messiah the chosen one who the Jews believe will liberate them and that he is that he is the decendant of the great king David. ...read more.

Middle

The angel came to her and said, "Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!" Mary was rather troubled by the message from the angel. She had no idea what the words meant. The angel said to her, "Don't be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious with you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, you will name him Jesus." ( Luke 1: 28-32 ) You can see that both accounts are quite different in this case. Although, the similarity is that in both cases, the angel said that the child would be conceived by the Holy Spirit and would be called Jesus. Also, in Luke you're told that Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who had given birth to John. In Matthew you are noy told anything about Mary visiting her cousin.In Mathew's gospel you're not told that Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlhem for the census, like I mentioned before, you find this in Luke's gospel. The difference that I found rather interesting to mention, was that in Matthew's gospel were told that Jesus was born in a house, in Luke, he was born in a stable and laid in a manger. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although in Matthew, Joseph was told by an angel in a dream that it would be safer to return to Israel to avoid Herod as he ordered the death of boys under the age of two, around all of Bethlehem. Jesus was in danger so that was the best choice for the time. A similarity between both gospels is that they describe Mary as a virgin, stating she had no sexual intercourse with Joseph. Luke describes this on more detail. So, to come to an end, Mathew's account was really the narrative which seems to be told from Joseph's point of view. Matthew wanted to establish the legitimcy of Jesus' claim to the messianic throne by taking Joseph's standpoint. Where Luke, apparently tells the nativty story from the stand point of Mary. He emphasizes her feelings and emotions as the mother of the Messiah. So, the differences between the birth stories in the gospels may have been for a variety of reasons, including the possibility that Jesus wasn't born in Bethlehem at all. However , the two birth accounts do inform us of God's intentions to minister to rich and poor, oppressed and mighty. And that Jesus, even as an infant, was Emmanuel God withn us. The two texts, however, cannot be harmonized. ...read more.

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