Table 2: Personal Perspective Criteria for Authorship of Birth Narratives of Jesus.




If an event happened to person X, they would be more likely to recall/report it than if person Y were recalling that the event happened to person X.

1: 18 Mary was pregnant (*)

2: 11 Mary visited by Wise Men (*)


1: 39 Mary visited Elisabeth

2: 34 Simeon spoke to Mary

One person is mentioned by name while the other person is not.

2: 13, 14, 20, 21 (four times, Mary is cited only as Jesus’s mother, not by her name)

2: 23 (Joseph is said to dwell in Nazareth but Mary not mentioned with him, though it’s inferred)

1: 19 Mary pondered all these things in her heart

1: 33 Joseph mentioned by name, Mary not so (*)

2: 34 Mary mentioned alone by Simeon

Person X had a dream with specific content mentioned as a person would be more likely to recall/report their own dream as compared to someone else’s dream

2: 22 Joseph warned by God in a dream to go to Galilee


Person X was visited by an angel/God and what the angel/God said specifically is recalled/reported

Joseph visited by an angel with a specific message (1: 20-21)

Joseph visited again by an angel with a message to leave town (2: 13)

Joseph visited by an angel a third time, to return (2: 19-20)

Luke 1: 28 (Mary visited by an angel, who said a lot)

Person X mentioned by name

(not as a couple)

1:19 Then Joseph her husband

1: 24 Then Joseph waking up…

2: 11 the wise men saw the child with Mary his mother (Joseph not mentioned in the scene) (*)

Luke 1: 30 (Angel mentions Mary by name)

Luke 1: 34 (Mary mentioned by name)

Luke 1: 38, 39, 41, 46, 56 (Mary mentioned by name without Joseph’s name mentioned)

2: 33, 43 (Joseph’s name mentioned, not Mary’s) (*)

Person X engaged in actions/thoughts/speech only person X would know about

1:19 Was considering putting her away privately

1: 19 While he thought on these things

1:25 And knew her not until she had given birth

2: 22 Joseph was afraid


1: 19 Mary kept all these things in her heart

1: 29 Mary was troubled and wondered about the greeting from the angel

1: 38 (Mary’s speech in detail)

1: 46-55 (Mary’s magnificat)

2: 35 (Simeon’s detailed conversation with Mary)

2: 48 (Mary’s conversation with Jesus at age 12)


(*) Evidence does not fit hypothesis.