According to scholarly reports
If one applies even the basics of critical thought to their letters, it is obvious that both Dr. Castleman (Letter to the Editor Dec. 19) and Mr. Littlejohn (Dec. 26) carefully avoided trying to reconcile any of the difficulties I identified in my letter on Dec. 12. However, I will buttress my claims with scholarly reports to show that I am not the one “processing the texts from within the prison of a tiny cultural bubble.”
History Driving Theology an online PDF product of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary states, “The nineteenth century brought a wave of skepticism in regards to the birth narratives of Matthew and
Luke.” The article provides a long list of noted biblical scholars, along with their works, who dismissed much of the nativity gospels, especially that of Matthew, as “non-historical,” “artificial,” “not original to Matthew, but later additions,” “the story was mythologized as supernatural,” “grossly literalised,” etc.
According to Paul L. Maier (Herod and the Infants of Bethlehem), “Most Herod biographers dismiss the episode as “legend.” “The tale is not history but myth or folklore” and “A majority of current biblical scholars have joined in this opinion.”
Most agree that Luke’s clear declaration that, upon completion of the requirements of the law, Joseph took the mother and child to Nazareth is the far more likely scenario.
It doesn’t really matter how the primitive, uneducated gullible, and superstitious people of ancient times understood these texts. It only matters how modern educated rational people understand these texts and apply their importance to how their lives are affected.