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Differences Between the Luke and Matthew Birth Accounts

Luke vs Matthew Birth Accounts

When you were a child, did you ever ask your parents how you were made or where you came from? I did. And my mother answered that I was made out of their love. Of course, as I got older, I now know how I was made. It was through sexual intercourse. The sperm cell happened to meet the egg cell and they formed me.

Hearing stories on how I came out in this world really interests me. Though I already know how I was made, I love hearing the funny stories from my father. He said that I was a child of a banana tree, and that was the place where he had found me. On a bright, sunny day, he was looking for some bananas  to pick, and then he had found a very cute baby crying. He brought the baby home, and the baby became their youngest child. Sometimes my father would change the setting. He would tell me that he was not my father, and that my father was a cow. One rainy day, he heard a baby crying. He saw a distressed baby covered with cow poop, and that was me. He raised me as his child to look like him and not like a cow. No matter what he said, I just laughed since I knew it wasn’t true. I had two, tiny marks on my cheeks like he does, and I have a legal birth certificate to prove my birth!

Then I wonder how Jesus Christ would react for his birth. There are obviously lots of documents to support his birth which are the Bibles. The Bibles are printed and circulated all over the world. However, Jesus Christ’s birth has many issues. Yes, He had many accounts to support that He was born because of the Bible. However, his birth narratives were different in the books of Luke and Matthew. Would Jesus Christ not be confused about His own birth?

We all know that Jesus Christ had a virgin birth. His mother Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit without sexual intercourse. It was a supernatural event.

Then scholars have a dispute regarding the birth of Jesus Christ because of Luke and Matthew! Their narrative stories about Jesus’ birth are different. Here are the differences between Luke’s and Matthew’s narrative birth stories. The comparison table is from errancy.org.



A census requires Joseph and Mary to go from their home in Nazareth to Bethlehem. An angel appears to Joseph to reassure him, and so he marries Mary.
Jesus is born in Bethlehem.

Jesus is born in Bethlehem.

There is “no room in the inn”; Mary places Jesus in a manger. Perhaps two years later (or perhaps not), wise men see his star. They come and inform Herod.
Nearby shepherds are told of these events by angels. The wise men – bringing gifts – find Jesus in Bethlehem.

The shepherds visit the family.

Warned in a dream, Joseph and family flee from Bethlehem to Egypt.
After about a month or so, Jesus is taken to the temple in Jerusalem. Herod commences the massacre of the infants.

There, Simeon and Anna praise Jesus.

Herod dies. Informed in a dream of Herod’s death, Joseph takes the family back.

Soon after, Joseph and Mary return to their home in Nazareth. But he is afraid to go to Judea so he makes their home in Nazareth, Galilee.

The scholars are debating that there are no overlap of events in Jesus’ birth. The only points that overlap are that Jesus is born in Bethlehem and that their family lives in Nazareth. For me, no matter what the story is, the important thing is that Jesus was born and has brought salvation to the world.


  1. Luke and Matthew have different narrative stories on Jesus’ birth.

  2. The only points that overlap are that Jesus is born in Bethlehem and that their family lives in Nazareth.

  3. Scholars are debating over His birth issues.

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  1. Luke was not an eyewitness as was Matthew. The events differ only in chronology not in occurrence.

    • Keith B what a great invite. Do you think k it is possible that both were inspired to convey different bigger ideas and neither really focused too much on thoroughness to document exact dates and other not so important documentation as far as exact time logs go since that information is ultimately irrelevant for people seeking to know the gospel and learn from Jesus and his life o the earth which is conveyed in the multi layeres stories/ analogies contained in the Bible and other religious works?

  2. மத்தேயு லூக்கா இரண்டிலும் வருகின்ற இயேசுவின் வம்ச வளி பெயர்களில் வேறுபாடு ஏன்?

  3. In Mathew, the Angel appeared in a dream to Joseph. In Lake, the Angel appeared to Mary.

  4. I believe all the accounts actually occurred. the time intervals probably varied but each account actually happened. The Matthew account seemed to me to have occurred almost at the time he was born an infant baby, Luke on the other hand narrates what seems to be within a space of almost 2yrs after Jesus had been born. Of course, Joseph was not a rich man so i believe he couldn’t have afforded a luxurious habitation seeing the census would have made accommodation quite expensive plus he must have kept a low profile. Obviously, the wise men’s gifts were what sustained them financially when they fled to Egypt till their return.

    We must also note that all the respective accounts are supported in other scriptures. Isaiah, Psalms etc. confirm some of these events through prophecy. Lastly, both writers wrote to different audiences. The Spirit seeks to communicate to each audience what is most significant. It is with the study of both accounts that a full understanding is acheived. Well, i hope this helps

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