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Differences between the Matthean and Lucan Infancy


Matthew Gospel Lukes Gospel

1. Begins with the genealogy of 1. A prologue to the Gospel Lk

Jesus (Mt 1:1-17) 1:1-4).

2. Josephs dream of the angelic 2. Zechariahs experience in the

visitation. (Matthew 1:18-25). temple with the prophecy of
John Baptists birth (Lk 1:5-
3. The Magi visit Herod and 25).
inquire as to the birth of the
prophesied new born king (Mt.
2:1-12). 3. The Annunciation of Mary from
the angel Gabriel. Mary gives
4. A warning dream for Joseph her fiat (Lk 1:39-56).
who flees with mother and
child to Egypt (Mt 2:13-23). 4. The birth of John Baptist (Lk

5. Slaughter of the Innocents (Mt

2:16-18). 5. Mary and Josephs journey to
Bethlehem and birth of Jesus
6. Return of the Joseph, Mary, in a stable (Lk 2:1-20).
and Jesus to Nazareth (Mt.
2:19-23). 6. The circumcision and
presentation of Jesus in the
Temple (Lk 2:21-40).

7. Jesus at 12 years of age being

found in the Temple ((Lk 2:41-

Allans reflections.
Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus and goes back to Abraham. This
is the first clue that Matthew intended to make a link between the birth of
Jesus and the ancestral father of the Jewish faith, Abraham. This connection
would have appealed to a more Jewish audience. Scott Hahn (2010) in his
Bible footnotes to the Matthews first chapter, makes the point that the
author is drawing his readers attention to the person of Jesus as the long-
awaited Messiah of Old Testament; he is the Davidic anointed one who will
establish the eternal reign of the House of David. Whereas, Luke has his
genealogy going as far back as Adam; the related message being that Jesus
is the Saviour of all humankind. Cooper (2017), points out that Matthews
inclusion of the story of the Holy Familys escape into Egypt alludes to the OT
Exodus story in which Moses leads the Hebrew people out of slavery to
freedom. Jesus is portrayed as the new Moses. This foundational biblical
figure of Moses, who gave the Law, was important in Jewish tradition. To
have Jesus identified as greater than Moses would have spoken to a more
predominantly Jewish community. Luke is writing for an audience where the
emphasis is not so much on the Jewish tradition. The Lucan Infancy
narratives spotlight Marys and Elizabeths role. Mary gives her yes despite
the seemingly impossibility of the request made from God; and Elizabeth
gives birth to the forerunner of Christ despite her life-long history of
barrenness. The author is speaking to a mixed community of Jew and non-
Jew. His emphasis is one of mission, change of life, and trust in a God. He
portrays a God who desires to reach out to all people, no matter what race,
status, or gender.