How The Magi Don’t Belong in the Nativity Scene

There’s an apparent contradiction in the Bible regarding the first Christmas about who visited Jesus when he was born:

In Luke, the baby Jesus is visited in a manger by shepherds who were guided by angels (2:7–12).

In Matthew, the child Jesus is visited in a house by Magi who were guided by a star (2:10–11)

In fact, there’s no contradiction at all. The baby grew up (obviously) to become a child, and the visits were at different times in different places by different people (first shepherds, then the Magi).

Photo credit: misi212 on Flickriver

The chronology of the first Christmas (based on the two gospels) thus goes something like this:

So, there you have it. The Magi were not in the manger with Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds; they came only later and visited Jesus in his Bethlehem house.

Note 1: Herod died in 4 BC, which means that Jesus was born between 6 BC and 4 BC, not AD 1.

Edu-trainer, Žižek studies, amateur theologian, columnist.

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