The Gospel: Jesus And History Essay

1214 words - 5 pages

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 Jesus would not be nearly as important. At the same time when we look at Luke’s gospel and his narrative, he claims Jesus as the son of Adam and God. Here historians find that unlike Matthew where “Joseph is a direct descendant of Davids son Solomon; in Luke he is descended through a different line, from Davids other son, Nathan” bringing into question just who exactly was right?(Ehrman 143) However, these differences clearly have a deeper meaning then just being historically confusing. Matthew and Luke when writing their birth narratives were most likely trying to convey a deeper motives. For Matthew, his purposeful exclusion of Jesus’ full genealogy was most likely made as I mentioned, to show his importance. The fact that in Matthews genealogy hemakes sure there are fourteen generation between some of the major Jewish events not only shows a distance pattern but more specifically that there were fourteen generations between the “father of the Jews and the greatest king of the Jews” and another fourteen between “ the greatest king of the Jews and greatest catastrophe of the Jews”, but that all of this has led up to the “ultimate deliver of the Jews, the Messiah” (Ehrman 116). With this Matthew fulfills his purpose of...

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