7) Were Joseph and Mary married or engaged when they arrived at Betlehem?

Pseudo-contradiction

Were Joseph and Mary married or engaged when they arrived at Bethlehem?

  1. Engaged (Luke 2: 5)

    in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. (Luke 2: 5)

  2. Married (Matthew 1: 24-25)

    Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matthew 1: 24-25)

Which one is correct? Matthew or Luke?

The truth….

Both are true. Both Luke 2: 5 and Matthew 1: 24-25 recount that Joseph and Marry are husband and wife. Here is the explanation.

Discussion

A clause “who was engaged to him” in translated Luke 2: 5 above was translated from τη μεμνηστευμενη αυτω γυναικι ‘tê memnêsteumenê autô gunaiki’.

The key is μεμνηστευμενη ‘memnêsteumenê’, which is in perfect tense, signifying the engagement has perfectly completed to the end of engagement, i.e., marriage. Maka, μεμνηστευμενη ‘memnêsteumenê’ berarti “yang telah tuntas ditunang”. This perfect tense also indicates that Joseph-Mary engagement did not break in the middle. Then, μεμνηστευμενη ‘memnêsteumenê’ means “who had completely engaged to him”

Hence, γυναικι in this context means “a wife”, instead of “fiancee”.

Thus, translation of Luke 2: 5 is as follow:

in order to register along with Mary, his wife, who had completely engaged to him, and was with child. (Luke 2: 5)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (Luke 2: 5)

 

Conclusion

  1. Both Luke 2: 5 and Matthew 1: 24-25 recounts that Joseph and Mary have been already married when they arrived at Bethlehem.
  2. Manufacturing technique for pseudo-contradiction:
    • Translation hole exploitation.
Time in Julian Calendar Event Ref
A day between 1st and 24th of December 5 BC Joseph and Mary, which have been married, arrived at Bethlehem.  SeeWere Joseph and Mary married or engaged when they arrived at Betlehem?
25th of December 5 BC Jesus was born in a cave in outer skirt of Bethlehem. SeeTrain of Thought about Christmas December 25
A day between 26th and 30th of December 5 BCE Joseph, Mary, and Jesus moved to a house in Bethlehem City. Matthew 2: 11
31st of December 4 BC Preparation for Jesus circumcision (religious and social event) in Bethlehem. Considering social setting of Luke 2: 21
1st of January 4 BC Jesus circumcision in Bethlehem Luke 2: 21
6/7th of January 4 BC The wise men arrived at Bethlehem. SeeWhen did the wise men come to Jesus
2nd of February 4 BC Purification of Mary in Jerusalem Luke 2: 22
February 4 BC Matthew 2:13-15
February – April 4 BC Dwelt in Egypt Matthew 2:13-15
April 4 BC Luke 2:39; Matthew 2: 15, 19-23


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