This is another alleged Bible contradiction claim by skeptics that can be found at Skeptic Annotated Bible. I think this one is kind of silly.
We begin with a question: Was Jesus born in a house or a manger? Here are the two “answers” that the skeptic claims the Bible teaches:
In a manger, because there was no room at the inn
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
In a house
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, [a]magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they [e]fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:1-2, 2:11)
Let’s take a closer look at whether there is a contradiction:
- To begin with skeptics tend to have a terrible tendency to say “Bible contradiction!” pitting one of the Gospels to one another without care of what’s going on so one should be very cautious over any claims of “Bible contradiction.”
- Luke 2 definitely described Jesus born in a manger.
- For there to be any “contradiction” remember that it requires two opposing statements to be claimed to be true in the same sense and the SAME TIME. But there’s not a possible contradiction since Matthew 2 doesn’t take place the same time as Luke 2. Note Matthew 2 takes place “after Jesus was born.”
- If Jesus was found in a house after He was born, that’s not in conflict with Jesus being born in a manger.
- Wouldn’t people want to find some shelter over time and might find one by the grace of God? Why are we surprised that sometime after Jesus was born we see His family finding shelter? It’s no Bible contradiction at all.