Despite the many differences, there are also several elements common to both Matthew and Luke in their infancy narratives. The basic data common to the two infancy narratives are as follows:-
- An angel of the Lord announces the conception, the name and the mission of the child.
- A virgin, named Mary, is betrothed to a man called Joseph who was of Davidic lineage.
- Mary’s conception of the child is virginal – Mary conceives of the Holy Spirit.
- Mary gives birth to Jesus in Bethlehem during the reign of Herod.
- Eventually, the holy family settles down in Nazareth.
These elements retained by Matthew and Luke independently of each other must be assigned to the tradition on the basis of which each evangelist has composed his respective infancy narrative.