In light of the upcoming season as we head towards Christmas today’s post will tackle another question that the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: “Where did Joseph and Mary live before the birth of Jesus?”
Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes shows a Bible contradiction (the emphasis and what is skipped over is done by the skeptic):
They lived in Nazareth, and traveled to Bethlehem because of a census.
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7)
They lived in a house in Bethlehem, and moved to Nazareth after returning from Egypt.
Jesus was born in a house in Bethlehem, where he was visited by the wise men from the east.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?…5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea…After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him…. (Matthew 2:1-11)
An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt.
Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and…14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He remained there until the death of Herod…” (Matthew 2:13-15)
SlimJim’s note: Verse 13 that’s skipped over: “ remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.“
They stayed in Egypt until an angel told Joseph in a dream to return to Israel.
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 20 “Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel… 21 So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. (Matthew 2:19-21; NOTE: The Skeptic Annotated Bible was wrong to cite it as Matthew 2:13-15)
SlimJim’s note: Verse 20 that’s skipped over: “for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.”
So they returned to Israel, where Joseph was told by an angel in a dream to go to Nazareth.
But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, 23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:22-23)
(Note: Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)
Here’s a closer look at whether or not there is a contradiction:
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