Q. According to MATTHEW Jesus was born in a house in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:11). After his birth Mary and Joseph take Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod's plot to kill him (verse 13). After a period of time they decide to return to Bethlehem, but soon change their mind and travel to Nazareth instead to avoid danger (Matthew 2:22-23).
According to LUKE, however, Mary and Joseph were from Nazareth . They travel to Bethlehem because a census requires them to do so (Luke 2:4). While in Bethlehem Jesus is born, not in a house, but in a manger (verse 7). After Jesus' birth they wait for Mary to go through ritual purification, where afterwards they travel to Jerusalem to sacrifice two birds (verses 22-24). After the sacrifice they go immediately home to Nazareth (verse 39). Which record is correct?
(Submitted by: C. T. )
A. As always in the Bible, BOTH accounts are correct because they speak of two different time periods. The Luke account is the actual event of Christ's birth in the manger (Luke 2:1-39) .
The sequence is as follows: Mary completed nine months of pregnancy and gave birth to Jesus in a manger (Luke 2:6), because there was no room in the Inn (verse 7). The shepherds were told by an angel (no star or wise men) to go to the birth with Mary and Joseph present (verse 16).
The shepherds came and saw Christ's birth and left rejoicing. On the eighth day, Jesus was circumcised, and after forty days as the Law required (Leviticus 12:1-8), they left for Jerusalem to make an offering for the birth of Christ. After that, they returned to Galilee to their own city, Nazareth (Luke 2:39). This completes the actual birth of Christ. Wise men from the east (Magi) have yet to show up.
About a YEAR or so later, Mary and Joseph were back in Bethlehem to complete the census. Notice Matthew 2:1. Jesus was already born. The wise men were led by a star, and they came to King Herod the Great . Herod asked them what time did the star appear. It took the wise men or Magi , from the actual birth of Christ in Luke 2, OVER A YEAR before they reached Herod (A totally different time period from the birth of Jesus).