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The Gospel: Jesus and History

Good Essays
In the Gospels according to Matthew and that according to Luke, Jesus’ birth and childhood is narrated. While both of these accounts mention Jesus as not only being the son of Joseph and his virgin wife Mary but also the Son of God, they also have numerous differences between the two. When compared and contrasted many scholars find historical inaccuracies between the two Gospels (especially when it comes to the birth and childhood of Jesus). That being said however, after a closer look at some of the historical problems one may be able to see that they are not nearly as important as the deeper motivation they bring out to the reader about God’s kingdom, the Jewish people, and even the Gentiles.
Matthew and Luke each contain short but elaborate birth narratives concerning Jesus. Within each of their narratives, both Matthew and Luke mention the genealogies of Jesus which when compared to each other are quite different. In Matthews gospel, he traces Jesus’ ancestry back to that “of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matt 1:1). While in Luke’s gospel, Jesus is traced back through David and Abraham to Adam and God. Now, even though both Matthew and Luke’s genealogies are not the same, what is even more concerning is that neither is overly correct. In regards to Matthews take on Jesus’ genealogy, one can see that his “genealogy suggests — indeed, it almost demonstrates— that the entire course of Israel’s history has proceed according to divine providence” (Ehrman116). However, historians today know roughly two thirds of Jesus’ genealogy and when checked against other sources, the sequence that Matthew alludes to does not hold up. Many names were omitted, and probably done so because if he had included them Jes...

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...ely historically correct in order to show important he would be to the people.
Ultimately, both Matthew and Luke’s gospels have different and and even inaccurate historical information in their birth narratives of Jesus. However, as you saw from the two main examples I gave, the chances are that both authors were more focused on showing the reader just how important Jesus was going to be in relation to Gods kingdom, the Jewish people, as well as the Gentiles. In the end, the gospels were probably not written more to show deeper meaning than accurate historical information.

Works Cited

Coogan, Michael D., et al. The new Oxford annotated Bible : with the Apocrypha. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.

Ehrman, Bart D. The New Testament : a historical introduction to the early Christian writings. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.
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