Notes: Religious Studies, WJEC AS Level - Christianity

  • Created by: anoelle64
  • Created on: 14-02-17 00:22

The Birth of Jesus

Can we harmonize the birth narrative?

Matthew 1:18 – 2:18

·         Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit

·         Called Jesus, as he will save his people from their sins.

·         King Herod asks for Jesus to be found so he can worship him

·         The Magi (wise men) gave him gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh

·         Joseph is told in a dream to escape to Egypt

·         They escaped and stayed in Egypt until Herod died

·         Herod killed all the boys in Bethlehem two years old or less, as he was tricked by the Magi


Luke 1:5 - 2:40

·         Elizabeth is unable to have children

·         Angel Gabriel appeared and told Zechariah that he and Elizabeth will have a child named John

·         Six months later, Mary is told she is going to have a son called Jesus who will rule the kingdom as God’s son

·         Mary visits Elizabeth and stayed with her for 3 months

·         Zechariah is unable to speak until he confirms his son’s name is John

·         Joseph and Mary travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for the census

·         Mary gives birth to Jesus and put him in a manger as there was no guest room available

·         Shepherds are visited by an angel, who told them about Jesus’ birth

·         Mary and Joseph take Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to God

·         Jesus is praised and blessed by Simeon and Anna, a prophet

·         Mary and Joseph, returned to Nazareth with Jesus


Redaction Criticism


Redaction criticism is a critical method for the study of biblical texts. Redaction criticism regards the author of the text as editor of his or her source materials. It focuses on how the redactor has shaped and molded the narrative to express his theological goals.

People have changed the story to make Jesus seem more Godly, after this fact.

·         ‘If you pick up the four Gospels and read them at random, it will not be long before you learn that such and such an action, attributed to Jesus, was done so that an ancient prophecy should come true’

·         E.g. Mary’s arrival on a donkey – ‘All of this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet’ (probably Zechariah 9:9 in which It is said that a Messiah will come riding an ***)

·         ‘New Testament is a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after the event, full of improvised attempts to make things come out right’



·         Gospels not a historical record, nothing published until many decades after the crucifixion, cannot agree on anything important.


Find different narratives of the resurrection (Bible, film, books)


Luke 24


·         Jesus’ body had disappeared from his tomb

·         Mary Magdalene told the disciples




thanks great stuuf