Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sharpton Jesus was a refuge

I woke up this morning and saw that Fox News had a tease about something Al Sharpton Tweeted. His tweet was pretty innocuous:
Reverend Al Sharpton @TheRevAl
Before you head to church today, remember to thank God for his son, Jesus a refugee who fled to Egypt.

To this the Fox News reported this follow up tweet:

umm, his parents weren't refugees. They traveled to pay their taxes. Please Al

Is this a case of Alternative Facts? 

Well actually they are both right as the New Testament is not in agreement about this. The book of Matthew has Jesus' family fleeing to Egypt while the book of Luke has Jesus and family returning to Nazareth. I cover this in more depth in my article God with us, Allegory and Matthew.The fact then is that Luke says they went back to Nazareth and Matthew says they went to Egypt. The reality is that both can't be correct so there is only one actual fact but it requires interpretation to arrive at that fact. Interpretations can vary however

So Al Sharpton is right and those who say Jesus was not a refugee are right. Funny how that works isn't it! Here is a portion of the article God with us, Allegory and Matthew:

Maybe the lesson only means it is the Word of God where it records things about Jesus? In which case the book of Matthew gives an account that is contrary to the account of the book of Luke. Luke says Jesus’ family left for Nazareth after the ritual in Jerusalem (Luke2:39) this does not allow much wiggle room to have them go to Egypt after the Magi’s visit. The NIV study Bible notes says that the Magi probably arrived months after the Birth, but as per Luke the family would no longer be in Bethlehem. Luke has nothing about Jesus’ family going to Egypt in fact it says they went to Nazareth from Jerusalem. Luke has nothing of threatened children, the book uses none of the out of context verses which the book of Matthew does.

“where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." …"A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." (Matt 2:15,18 NIV)

Here is where higher criticism comes in, what is the author trying to say and what are the techniques he uses to get his message across. We see that in the book of Matthew, at least in the first several chapters, an intentional literary device employed. The book tries to recapitulate the events of ancient Israel in the life of Jesus Christ. But there also seems to be a recurring theme if we look a little deeper at the verses that the author of Matthew uses. In the following verses the section used in Matthew are highlighted in bold.

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