Why did Nazareth not exist in the first century?

Why does Jesus have completely different geneologies in Luke and Matthew?

Why does Judas kill himself in the gospels and give the money back to the Jews; and yet in Acts, Peter claims he kept the money, which is the only way he could have bought the field?

How can the Protestant new testament possibly be the “correct” bible if the the Catholic new testament predates it by 900+ years,includes more books,with the ancient Latin vulgate and oldest Greek manuscripts of which include the Catholic version now—remembering that is the Catholics (just called, of course, Christians at that time) who voted on those which were to be included at the council of Nicea?

If the bible contradicts itself per Jesus’ lineage, how can you possibly trust it on other topics?

If Revelation states in its final chapters that if anyone changes one word of the bible they “will be cursed” and yet the Protestant freely picks and chooses what books it deletes?

—M.W., USA


Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis. We wish to reply in the spirit of Christ and our prayer is that the reply is received in the same spirit.

Why did Nazareth not exist in the first century?

Nazareth did exist in the first century. The population of this isolated city (now tens of thousands) in the time of Christ probably amounted to a few hundred people according to archaeological finds.1 Although this city is not mentioned in the Old Testament, it was the home of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39), and here the angel announced to the Virgin the birth of the Messiah (Luke 1:26-28). Archeology, and more importantly the Bible, declares the existence of Nazareth in the first century.

Why does Jesus have completely different geneologies in Luke and Matthew?

It is for the same reason that your mother and father don’t have the same genealogy. At least, I hope your family adheres to the biblical teaching that close intermarriage is now forbidden. In an evolutionary framework, there really is no reason to not to marry your brother or sister.

At any rate, one genealogy is for Jesus’ mother, Mary, and the other for Joseph. The differences between Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are that Luke traced his line through Mary while Matthew traced it through Joseph. Here is a more in-depth discussion on this that should help clarify.

  1. Matthew and Luke present different genealogies of Jesus—one through David's son Solomon (the royal line) and the other through David's son Nathan (the non-royal line). The royal line is traced in Matthew; the “natural” line in Luke. Matthew’s genealogy goes only back to Abraham (to show the Jewish character of the King); Luke’s goes back to Adam (to show the universal aspect of the Savior). Matthew’s emphasizes Jesus’ royalty; Luke, his humanity.
  2. It is generally accepted (but not unanimously) that the genealogy in Matthew belongs to Joseph’s family, and the one in Luke applies to Mary’s line. (The historical evidence is fairly strong that both Mary and Joseph were of the house of David.)
  3. Both genealogies are “aware” of the virgin birth: Luke adds the phrase “He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph” (3:23) and Matthew switches verbs from “X begat Y” to “Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom (feminine pronoun) was born Jesus.”
  4. Jesus’ grandfather on Mary’s side was named Heli. Scripture reveals only two daughters and no sons for Heli: obviously Mary and Mary’s sister who married Clopas in Matthew 27:56. Mary’s sister’s name may have been Salome, as per Mark 15:40. Regardless, having two daughters, in order to preserve inheritance according to Moses (Numbers 27:1–11 and Numbers 36:1–12), it makes sense for Mary to marry Joseph, who was of the family of David, thus keeping the inheritance in the same lineage, and therefore, he would be called the son of Heli by legal rights.
Why does Judas kill himself in the gospels and give the money back to the Jews; and yet in Acts, Peter claims he kept the money, which is the only way he could have bought the field?

Judas threw the money back to the priests (Matthew 27:3-8). But because the money was now considered “blood money,” it could not be placed back in the Temple treasury, so Judas retained the ownership. In Acts 1:18-19, it credits Judas with the purchase of the field. While this would seem impossible at a glance, the priests had made the purchase with that very same silver that still belonged to Judas. In effect, Judas did purchase the field with money he had earned for his treachery. There is no contradiction.

How can the Protestant new testament possibly be the “correct” bible if the the Catholic new testament predates it by 900+ years,includes more books,with the ancient Latin vulgate and oldest Greek manuscripts of which include the Catholic version now—remembering that is the Catholics (just called, of course, Christians at that time) who voted on those which were to be included at the council of Nicea?

Arming today's parents

God Bless you, AIG. Thank you for arming us parents who send our children to public schools with the references to put our children back on God’s path. It has been alarming lately all the attacks on Christianity (Da Vinci Code, The Tomb of “Jesus,” the issues Christians are facing in the UK). Your site is light in the darkness to me and my family.

—C.U., USA

The Catholic and Protestant New Testaments both have the same 27 books so I’m not sure where you are getting your information.2 They both had 27 books since the New Testament’s inception when early church fathers quoted.

If the bible contradicts itself per Jesus’ lineage, how can you possibly trust it on other topics?

As we have shown above, this is not a contradiction so your claim of inaccuracy is false. The Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God and contains no contradictions. It is the truth of God and the message of salvation offered by grace through faith in His Son Jesus Christ the Messiah. In other words, because the Bible’s message of Jesus’ lineage is true, so also is its message of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection are also true.

If Revelation states in its final chapters that if anyone changes one word of the bible they “will be cursed” and yet the Protestant freely picks and chooses what books it deletes?

This sounds good at first until you read the passage:

Revelation 22:18-19
summarturoumai gar panti akouonti touv logouv thv profhteiav tou bibliou toutou ean tiv epitiyh prov tauta epiyhsei o yeov ep auton tav plhgav tav gegrammenav en bibliw toutw kai ean tiv afairh apo twn logwn biblou thv profhteiav tauthv afairhsei o yeov to merov autou apo biblou thv zwhv kai ek thv polewv thv agiav kai twn gegrammenwn en bibliw toutw

Of course, many of we English speakers have trouble with this so we use translations such as:

Revelation 22:18-19
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (NKJV)

Translations are obviously not classed as changing God’s Word as even Christ quoted from a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek called the Septuagint. So translating into the vulgar tongue is nothing new.

This passage though is specifically referring to the book of Revelation by John. Not the entire Bible. Not that adding or taking away from God’s Word is acceptable according to another passage in the Bible (Proverbs 30:6).

As we’ve seen, the Protestant and Catholic New Testaments are identical, so there have obviously been no changes there. The Old Testaments are indeed different though. The Protestant Old Testament is identical to the Jewish Bible, though the number of books is different because some books such as Samuel, Kings and Chronicles are seen as one book. The Catholic Old Testament was basically identical to this until the Council of Trent which finalized that the Apocrypha would be added to their canon as fully inspired Scripture, April 8, 1546. This was after the Reformation in 1517 with Luther. Additional books, such as Baruch and 1 and 2 Maccabees, were seen as official Scripture when the document read:

“And it has thought it meet that a list of the sacred books be inserted in this decree, lest a doubt may arise in any one’s mind, which are the books that are received by this Synod. They are as set down here below: of the Old Testament: the five books of Moses, to wit, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Josue, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, the first book of Esdras, and the second which is entitled Nehemias; Tobias, Judith, Esther, Job, the Davidical Psalter, consisting of a hundred and fifty psalms; the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Jeremias, with Baruch; Ezechiel, Daniel; the twelve minor prophets, to wit, Osee, Joel, Amos, Abdias, Jonas, Micheas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggaeus, Zacharias, Malachias; two books of the Machabees, the first and the second.”3

These additions were never part of the Jewish canon or Protestant canon. For more on this subject, I highly recommend Brian Edwards book: Nothing but the Truth.

As Resurrection Sunday is upon us, I’m sure you’ve heard the “good news” of Jesus Christ before, but I’m not sure if you understand what this means. The “good news” of being saved goes back to the “bad news” in Genesis. God originally created a perfect world (Genesis 1:31); there was no death and suffering (Genesis 1:29-30). Then man sinned against a perfect and holy God (Genesis 3). God cursed the animals and the ground because of man and sentenced them to die (Genesis 3). It is due to man’s actions that sin and death entered the world. Now we are all sinners as a result and in need of a Savior.

Romans 5:12
[Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ] Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.

When man sinned, God sacrificed animals (Genesis 3:21—coats of skins) to cover their sin because God decreed that sin is punishable by death (Genesis 2:17).

Hebrews 9:22
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

But God loved us enough to take that punishment upon Himself. He stepped into His creation as a perfect man, Jesus Christ, to live and suffer and die a painful death to be the final sacrifice to cover our sins for good and offer salvation and forgiveness to those who will receive the free gift of eternal life.

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Those who accept Jesus Christ are saved from the power of sin and death and can look forward to a new heaven and new earth (Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 21:1)—a place with no pain and sorrow (Revelation 21:4), for the curse will be removed (Revelation 22:3).

I want to encourage you to consider this.


With kindest regards in Christ,


Brad Jones and Bodie Hodge

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