Posted by Wayne Harrington on August 24, 1999 at 05:43:16:
CONFOUNDING THE CONFUSED
According to the Gospel of Luke 2:1-39 it was 40 days from the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem until he and his family returned to their own home in Nazareth; whereas, the gospel of Matthew has them wandering in and out of Egypt during the same period. According to Luke 2:21-39, rather than having time to dash off to Egypt, Mary was required to go to Jerusalem and undergo the rites of purification because of her misfortune of having conceived and given birth to a male-child. Fortunately it wasn't a girl-child, or Mary would have been considered twice as unclean, and her purification would have required twice as long, (See Leviticus 12:1-8).
In pandering for the rebellious some modern translators have tried to obscure this little embarrment by altering "her purification" to "their purification," (See Leviticus 12:1-8). According to Luke, Mary, being poor, fulfilled the requirements of the Law by sacrificing two birds: one for a burnt offering and the other as a "SIN" offering, Leviticus 12:1-8. This makes one wonder what Mary and Joseph did with all the treasures that the Gospel of Matthew said the "wise men" had given to them? After fulfilling these bloody rituals of the supposed divinely inspired laws of Moses, Mary and her family returned to their home in Nazareth, where Jesus lived until he was grown.
Those with a worldly interest in maintaining the unquestioning faith of others in the infallibility of the Bible have resorted to offering ridiculous scenarios to try and explain away embarring differences in the birth narratives of Matthew 2 and Luke 2. In so doing, they seek to confound the confused by claiming that a portion of a single phrase in Matthew 2:16 is proof that Matthew's account is concerned with events that took place when Jesus was two years old, rather than when he was an infant. For they argue that the details of events that took place when Jesus was an infant is in Luke's gospel, not Matthew's. They also say that if one will simply imagine that some of the details in Matthew 2 happened some time between Luke 2:40 and 2:52 (reading things in) all the contradictions will magically disappear!
(KJV) Matthew 2:1-2 Now - WHEN - Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, (2) Saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him.
(KJV) Matthew 2:8 And he (Herod) SENT them (the wise men) to Bethlehem, and said, Go search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him BRING ME WORD AGAIN, that I may come and worship him also.
The implications are clear, the wise men were sent to BETHLEHEM to search for a young child and were to return to Herod with the location of the young child. According to Strong's the word for young child in Matthew 2:8 is # 3813, (prop.) an infant, which is a proper use of the word Paidion.
Nowhere in Matthew 2:1-15 does it infer that the wise men ignored Herod's directions to go to Bethlehem and were instead lead by a star to Nazareth. Yet that is exactly what some apologist are claiming, for they are clinging to a portion of a single phrase "frm two years old" in Matthew 2:16 hoping it will bale them out regarding the tension that exists in the birth narratives. But if one is to believe that the events of Matthew 2:16 happened two years after the birth of Jesus, then they must also be gullible enough to believe that Herod had the patience of . For it is ludicrous to think that Herod waited patiently for two years for the wise men to report back to him, before it finally dawned on him that the wise men had flown the coop.
Logic argues in several other ways against the scenario of Jesus being two years old when the alleged slaughter of the Bethlehem children took place. For if Jesus was two years old at the time there would have been no point in slaughtering the newborn. It is also illogical to think that a slaughter as great as the one claimed only by Matthew would go unnoticed by others, especially the Romans! And how could such a slaughter occur without stirring up a rebellion in such troubled times? When one considers the geographical location of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, it is amazing that the citizens of Jerusalem didn't notice the magical star and follow it themselves. And finally, with new Messiahs falling off the turnip carts daily in Judea, why would Herod have needed wise men to locate the latest to arrive? All the local sheepherders knew his zip code, for that metropolis, Bethlehem, is just around the corner from Jerusalem.
FROM BETHLEHEM TO NAZARETH
According to Matthew 2:5-16 and 2:22-23 when Jesus was born the residence of Joseph and Mary was in Bethlehem; whereas, Luke 2:1-4 and 2:39 contradicts Matthew in saying their home was in Nazareth. Apologists try to get around this by claiming that on returning to Nazareth from Egypt, Joseph by-ped the direct route through Judea and took the long way around because Herod's son, Archelaus, was reigning in Judea.
(KJV) Matthew 2:22 But when he (Joseph) heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of his father Herod, he (Joseph) was afraid to go thither......."
It just so happens that during this same period Herod's other son, Antipas, was the Tetrarch of Galilee. But apologist never allow facts to get in their way, nor did the author of Matthew, for his sole effort is to make it appear to the Jews that Jesus had fulfilled the OT prophecies of the Messiah. Thus, in Matthew 2:23 he moves Joseph to Nazareth, claiming it fulfills a prophecy which can not be found.
(KJV) Matthew 2:23 And he (Joseph) came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
THE OLD "DUAL" PROPHECY PLOY
Having had more than two thousands years to hone their crafty arguments, apologist must still rely upon gullibility in accepting their arguments of "duel" prophecies; a ploy that is used to try and explain away embarring mutilations of Old Testaments prophesies in the Gospels. For in order to support many of their claims of Jesus, the gospel writers resorted to mutilating and manipulating Old Testament scriptures. Matthew is by far the worst . In Matthew's argument to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah (a greater Moses) many Old Testament verses were taken willy-nilly out of context to support his claim; in much the same way that many preachers of today manipulate the scriptures for their own gain.
For example, the claim in Matthew 1:21-23 is a single verse that was taken out of context from the seventh chapter of Isaiah. If one reads the seventh chapter of Isaiah they will see Isaiah 7:14 has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus, but is a sign given to Ahaz concerning two kings troubling Judah. A young woman, and not necessarily a according to the Hebrew language, is to give birth to a son who will be called Immanuel. And before this child knows to refuse evil and to choose good the land of the two kings troubling Judah will be laid waste. Also see Isaiah 8:3-8.
Matthew 2:14 claims these words of Hosea, "Out of Egypt I called my son" is fulfilled in Joseph and Mary fleeing to Egypt. Yet this is a mutilation of the true meaning of Hosea's words.
HOSEA 11:1-2 "When Israel was a child I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called "them," the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to Baals, and burning incense to idols."
Matthew 2:16-18 claims the words of Jeremiah were fulfilled by the slaughter of the children in Bethlehem. But if one reads Jeremiah 31:15-17 it is self-evident that the voice heard in Ramah has nothing to do with the alleged events that Matthew claims took place in Bethlehem, for Rachel is weeping for her children who have been carried off by an enemy. And Rachel is told to cease from her weeping for there is hope, her children shall return again to their own land.
As for Matthew 2:23, there are no Old Testament prophecies saying the Messiah would be called a Nazarene. The author of Matthew was probably confusing Nazarite for Nazarene, see Numbers 6:2-21. If the author of Matthew was in fact a Jew, he was certainly lacking in knowledge of the traditional Hebrew Scriptures. For in Matthew 21:5-7 he has used an account of Zechariah known to be flawed, yet he faithfully follows that flawed account; and thus, we have the absurd scene of Jesus entering Jerusalem riding straddled across both a donkey and its colt at the same time!
Faith in God and faith in the Bible are not one and the same, for one is born of liberty and the other is an imposed faith born of . The source of Biblical confusion is not God, but men claiming to speak for God! For God is perfect, without flaw or fault; thus, whatsoever is inspired of God is likewise. And whatsoever is inspired of God is not ambiguous, it need not be rationalized, nor explained by a gaggle of theologians to be understood, but is understood by all, from the simplest to the greatest. Yet there are ambiguities in the Bible, and words whose meaning can't be correctly translated from one language to another, or whose original meaning are no longer understood, and words that have multiple or contradictory meanings. It is illogical to think that God was incompetent in communicating His will to mankind by using words that could not be perfectly translated from one language to another. And that He spoke to his servants with words whose original meaning are no longer understood, or with words that have multiple and contradicting meanings.
THIS IS THE HOUSE OF - THIS IS THE LAND OF EGYPT
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