555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

208. Did the Parents of Our Lord Take Him

After His Birth to Jerusalem or to Egypt ? According to some, the accounts in Matthew and in Luke do not agree. But there is really no discrep ancy. After the birth of Jesus, the parents remained at Bethlehem until the time arrived for presenting the Babe in the Temple, being the end of the days of purification. After the presentation, Joseph and Mary with the child went to Nazareth, adjusted their affairs and returned to Bethlehem, where they were dwelling —no longer in a stable but in "a house"—when the incident of the Magis' visit occurred. These wise men had first gone to Jerusalem, whence they were directed to Bethlehem. After their visit Joseph was warned by an angelic messenger and the flight into Egypt followed. To get a clear idea of the order of events, the records of the four evangelists must be taken as a whole, as one records incidents which another omits. Thus Mark and John contain nothing relative to the childhood of Jesus, while Matthew and Luke taken together, give a clear outline of these events, though Luke omits all reference to the return to Bethlehem and the journey into Egypt, the latter of which Matthew relates with considerable detail. In no sense did any one of the four evangelists intend to present a complete chronological record of the Saviour's earthly life, but each designed rather to supplement what the others had written.