Famous Bible Paintings of The Birth of Jesus Christ – Jesus, Mary & Joseph in Bethlehem

Jesus was one of us, born to ordinary parents, but he was also King of Kings, born into glory.

The Nativity of Jesus, also The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus, primarily based on the two accounts in the gospels of Luke and Matthew, and secondarily on some apocryphal texts. The word is anglicized from Latin De nativitate Iesu, a section title in the Vulgate.

The canonical gospels of Luke and Matthew describe Jesus being born in Bethlehem, in Judea, to a virgin mother. Luke features the Christmas story, in which Joseph and Mary, as part of a census, travel to Bethlehem, where Jesus is born and laid in a manger. Angels proclaim him a savior for all people, and shepherds come to adore him. In Matthew, wise men follow a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, born the King of the Jews. King Herod massacres all the toddler boys in Bethlehem to kill Jesus, but the family flees to Egypt and later settles in Nazareth. Scholars debate whether these two accounts can be reconciled or not, and some view the narratives as non-historical. Some scholars view the discussion of historicity as secondary, given that gospels were primarily written as theological documents rather than chronological timelines. Other traditional Christian scholars maintain that the two accounts do not contradict each other, pointing to the similarities between them.

Gospel of Luke

The Nativity is a prominent element of the Gospel of Luke, and comprises over 10% of the text. It is three times the length of the Nativity text in the Gospel of Matthew and in itself longer than several of the books of the New Testament. Luke does not rush into the birth of Jesus, but prepares for the event by narrating several episodes prior to the birth of Jesus. Luke is the only Gospel to provide an account of the birth of John the Baptist, and he uses it to draw parallels between the births of John and Jesus.