The Birth of Jesus
This is just pointing out a few of the most notable issues I’ve found with the Jesus birth accounts, which is by no means exhaustive, but merely the ones I noticed during my study of the Bible at the beginning of the decline of my faith. While these have been well documented by many scholars, I came about these by nothing but reading the Bible about five years ago, which I then looked to outside sources to corroborate.
Only two of the four gospels, Matthew and Luke, deem Jesus’ birth to be a noteworthy event (seems pretty fucking important to me, but hey, I’m no 1st century scribe who heard this story second or third hand, so what the hell do I know?). John tells us only of the Incarnation – that the Logos “became flesh” – while Mark doesn’t say anything about Jesus until his baptism at around 30 years old (he probably didn’t do anything important in that time anyways). Certainly Mark knows nothing of the Annunciation or the Virgin Birth. In fact, Mark’s account seems to indicate there was no angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth and godliness, since in 3:30-31, Jesus’ family declare him to be “out of his mind” upon declaring himself the Son of Man. Then again, maybe Mary and Joseph were on to him.
There are discrepancies in the genealogies of the gospels, which I’ll merely link to and move on.
Then there’s the issue of the Roman census talked about in Luke 2. It indicates that Joseph was an inhabitant of Nazareth, yet for some reason was compelled to travel to the “city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.” This would reconcile the Nazareth/Bethlehem contradiction, but it creates even more problems. The genealogies given to us by Luke list dozens of generations between David and Joseph. It’s doubtful that Joseph would even know his genealogy going back this far, let alone which part of his genealogy to trace back (I, personally, would have no idea whether to follow my family line back to Ireland, England, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Eastern Bloc or Northwest America). Furthermore, why the fuck would he be required to return to the land of his ancestors anyways, when a census would likely require him to register himself in the town he lives in? The only reason for a census is to count the people they want to tax. This would be a ridiculous way to conduct a census. Like, Glenn Beck for president ridiculous.