The primary reason the birth of Jesus took place in Bethlehem was to fulfill the prophecy given by the minor prophet Micah.He stated, "And you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, you being least among the thousands of Judah, out of you He (Jesus) shall come forth (be born) to Me, that is to become Ruler in Israel . This is what he had to say about the coming Messiah: Micah 5:2 "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to We say that he was "born in Bethlehem" because Bethlehem was David's birthplace, King David was Israel's greatest king and the ancestor of the messiah. You ask, "Why Was Jesus Born in Bethlehem?" It then mentions how Joseph, Mary and infant Jesus leave for Egypt to escape King Herod’s attempt to assassinate all young children. When we eat a bread in this world today, we still get hungry tomorrow. In challenging traditional depictions of the birth of Jesus some scholars go a lot further than just reconfiguring the sleeping plans. The Gospels of both Matthew and Luke place the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The reason that we might think of this main room as a stable is that there was a manger or animal trough there. Was he born in Bethlehem in Judea, or in Nazareth, or in another Bethlehem? The question is: what is a kataluma? Instead, they travel north to Nazareth in Galilee, which is modern-day Nazareth in Israel. For many years, critics of the Book of Mormon have called attention to a colossal blunder in that volume (but one of many), though the book claims to be a “revelation” from God.In Alma 7:10, the plagiarizing, inept author of that document “slips,” and names “Jerusalem” as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, rather than “Bethlehem” — the correct location.Here is the exact quotation. Luke 2:7 reads, in the NRSV translation, that Mary gave birth to Jesus and “laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them at the inn.” Though we might assume that they were turned away from the ancient equivalent of the Hilton, there’s no actual mention of a stable here. He was from Bethlehem. Galilee is Jesus’ hometown. The ancients didn't ask how; they asked why: Jesus's name tells us: 'God with us' (Emmanuel), 'save his people from their sins.' Roughly 50 years before Jesus’ birth, a comet appeared in the night sky. Around another bend of history’s trail lies Ruth, whose story is short but moving. The Gospel of Matthew mentions Bethlehem as the place of birth, [99] and adds that King Herod was told that a 'King of the Jews' had been born in the town, prompting Herod to order the killing of all the boys who were two years old or under in the town and surrounding area. After Jesus was born, Joseph took his family from Bethlehem to Jerusalem for up to 40 days (Luke 2:22), and from there straight back to Nazareth (Luke 2:39). Raymond Brown, another scholar on the Gospels, also states that “the two narratives are not only different—they are contrary to each other in a number of details.”. Matthew also says that after Herod dies from an illness, Joseph, Mary and Jesus do not return to Bethlehem. Mary, the mother of Jesus, lived in the little town of Nazareth, among the hills of Galilee. Luke says these shepherds were notified about Jesus’ location in Bethlehem by angels. Jesus, according to some biblical sources, was born in this town some two millennia ago. The city of Bethlehem, located about six miles southwest of Jerusalem, is the birthplace of our Savior Jesus Christ. So whether Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem or not is secondary. "At that time in … “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. But Jesus according to John’s Gospel is never associated with Bethlehem, but with Galilee, and more specifically, Nazareth. Though planetary conjunctions aren’t especially rare, this one is getting a lot of attention because of its occurrence before Christmas. In the New Testament, the Gospel of Luke says that Jesus' parents traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. A doll representing the infant Jesus in St. Catherine's, the Franciscan church in the town of Bethlehem. Question: "Why was Jesus born in a manger?" . ROME — As Christmas approaches, debate often arises over when exactly Jesus was born. As the Greek historian Polybius explains, the renowned deeds of ancestors are “part of the heritage of posterity.”. Perhaps assertions that Jesus was born in Bethlehem were generally accepted, given understanding that he was David’s descendent. Luke and Matthew both place Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Of the four canonical gospels in the Bible, only two talk about Jesus’s birth. The town of Bethlehem of Judea, about six miles south of Jerusalem, has always been considered the birthplace of Jesus. It’s because of the lack of space, tradition tells us, that they end up in a stable and Jesus is placed in a manger. Characters: Jesus Mary Joseph Shepherd King Herod Gaspar Melchor Balthazar Box 1 *bethlehem (night time) - Jesus was born-Mary-Joseph-Baby Jesus Box 2 (in Judea) (day time) – 3 kings came So parang papunta yung 3 kings dun sa kingdom ni king herod Box 3 (in judea) (day time) tinanong ng 3 kings si king herod “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? if the religious knew that jesus was supposed to be born in bethlehem ” yet when they reached Jerusalem all the chief priests and scribes of the people (Matthew 2:3-6) were already aware that the Messiah was to be found in Bethlehem.” The Gospel says that the star of Bethlehem subsequently leads them to a house—not a manger—where Jesus has been born to Joseph and Mary. Yet the New Testament Gospels do not agree about the details of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem… The story begins with wise men who come to the city of Jerusalem after seeing a star that they interpreted as signaling the birth of a new king. There are problems with those claims and I’ll come back to them in a moment. Typically, Joseph’s family would have put them up in the guest quarters that formed part of the upper rooms of the house. Bethlehem Ephrata is where Rachel was buried, Ruth met Boaz and slept at his feet on the threshing floor, Nitzevet (King David’s mother) was sent to live by her husband Jesse, David was born, and Jesus was born. Jesus, according to some biblical sources, was born in this town some two millennia ago. Jesus finds his first disciples, does several miracles and has brothers in Galilee. The Book of Revelation also affirms that Jesus was a descendant of David but does not mention Bethlehem. What makes it more difficult is that neither the other Gospels, that of Mark and John, mentions Jesus’ birth or his connection to Bethlehem. They find the two birth stories unconvincing, and suggest that both were crafted to explain how Jesus of Nazareth somehow fulfilled the prophetic expectation of birth in David’s city of Bethlehem. Every Christmas, a relatively small town in the Palestinian West Bank comes center stage: Bethlehem. "If you ask me, Jesus was born in Nazareth," said archaeologist Dr Uzi Dahari. Luke mentions that Jesus is not only genealogically connected to King David, but also born in Bethlehem, “the city of David.”. And a Jewish writer named Philo who lived in the first century wrote that Abraham and the Jewish priest and prophets were born of God. Regardless of whether these claims were accepted at the time to be true, they shaped a person’s ethnic identity, political status and claims to honor. Recent research by … Yesterday I discussed Matthew’s account of how it is that Jesus came to be born in Bethlehem, if in fact he “came” from Nazareth. (The visit of the Magi could be claimed to fulfill Isaiah 60:3-6.) And after the angel informed him of Herod’s death, Joseph settled in Galilee rather than returning to his home in Bethlehem in Judea. There’s even a scene in Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth in which a woman gives the holy family directions to a cave-like dwelling. Did the Nativity really happen during winter in Bethlehem 2,020 years ago? said Dr. Oshri. Jesus, according to some biblical sources, was born … In the Bible, the answer seems straightforward: Bethlehem. Luke does know the Greek word for a hostel or inn and uses it in his telling of the famous Parable of the Good Samarian. But within the Hebrew Bible, a prophetic book called Micah, thought to be written around B.C. In one stream of Jewish thought, the Messiah was expected to be an everlasting ruler from the lineage of David. Roman historians report that many contemporaries interpreted it as a sign that Caesar had been deified. A number of noted Historical Jesus scholars, however, insist that Jesus was more likely born in Nazareth. Jesus was probably born in Nazareth. Was Jesus Born in Bethlehem? The ubiquitous image of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus squeezed into a Bethlehem stable has a timeless appeal in artwork, crèches, and seasonal plays everywhere, but historians question many elements of its historicity. A doll representing the infant Jesus in St. Catherine’s, the Franciscan church in the town of Bethlehem. Pilgrims visiting Bethlehem within about 100 years of Christ’s birth already believed Christ was born there. In Mark and John, he’s just Jesus of Nazareth. The Gospel of Luke, an account of Jesus’ life which was written during the same period as the Gospel of Matthew, has a different version of Jesus’ birth. 722, prophesies that the messiah would come from David’s hometown, Bethlehem. Both Matthew 2 and Luke 2 state that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea. In the Greco-Roman era, birth stories and genealogical claims were used to establish rights to rule and link individuals with purported ancestral grandeur. David Silverman/Getty Images. Every Christmas, a relatively small town in the Palestinian West Bank comes center stage: Bethlehem. Caesar Augustus, who was the first Roman emperor, was proclaimed as a descendant of Apollo. This is not to say that John was unaware of Bethlehem’s significance. Jesus is born in a manger because all the travelers overcrowded the guest rooms. One day God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary with a message. The Bible says the place of Jesus Christ's birth was the town of Bethlehem of Judea, but one archaeologist says the Christian savior was more likely born in a different Bethlehem … Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, (Matthew 2:1) Micah was a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah. Every Christmas, a relatively small town in the Palestinian West Bank comes center stage: Bethlehem. These are the only references in the New Testament to Bethlehem as Jesus’ place of birth. Dr. Long, I love your points on the importance of Jesus being born in Bethlehem. Just like the comet that celebrated Caesar or the eclipse that accompanied the death of Jesus, the star of Bethlehem was supposed to herald an event of cosmic proportions. But Bible scholars are less sure about more specific details involving the setting. Rodolfo Galvan Estrada III, Fuller Theological Seminary. More specifically, Christ was born in a stable, possibly a stable inside a cave. It goes on to describe their meeting with the local Jewish king named Herod, of whom they inquire about the location of Jesus’ birth. Moreover, the Greek word translated as “inn” (kataluma) doesn’t mean hotel in any kind of modern service industry kind of way. They made sure that readers were aware of Jesus’ genealogical connection to King David with the mention of this city. This does not mean, however, that Mary and Joseph relocated to a stable. We know this from Biblical prophesies and narrative accounts like in Luke 2:4 and Matthew 2:1. This was the village outside the city of Bethlehem. "(Micah 5:2, HBFV throughout). These were valuable gifts, especially frankincense and myrrh, which were costly fragrances that had medicinal use. Luke also mentions that Joseph, Mary and Jesus leave Bethlehem eight days after his birth and travel to Jerusalem and then to Nazareth. The problem isn’t one of vocabulary. The opening chapter of Mark says that Jesus is from “Nazareth of Galilee.” This is repeated throughout the Gospel on several occasions, and Bethlehem is never mentioned. Some are speculating that perhaps this is the astral event that guided the wise men to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in Bethlehem. . Jesus, according to some biblical sources, was born in … Tradition places Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, a small town a few miles south of Jerusalem. Today Bethlehem (Bet Lahm in Arabic) is located in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and has a … During the period of Jesus’ life, there were multiple perspectives on the Messiah. Whereas the distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem is possible." This is about six miles, (10 kilometers), south of Jerusalem " on the east side of the 'Patriarch's Highway' that ran along the ridge between Shechem and Hebron ." Early Christian traditions describe Jesus as being born in Bethlehem: in one account, a verse in the Book of Micah is interpreted as a prophecy that the Messiah would be born there. The problem is that there’s no record of a census taking place during the reign of Augustus and even if there had been one it’s highly unlikely that people would have had to have returned to their ancestral home. Jesus, according to some biblical sources, was born in this town some two millennia ago. "Zero. John Meier, a scholar on the historical Jesus, explains that Jesus’ “birth at Bethlehem is to be taken not as a historical fact” but as a “theological affirmation put into the form of an apparently historical narrative.” In other words, the belief that Jesus was a descendant of King David led to the development of a story about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. The Star of Bethlehem. Given this, a number of more skeptical scholars argue that Jesus was born and grew up in Nazareth. After the birth, Joseph and Mary are visited not by wise men but shepherds, who were also overjoyed at Jesus’ birth. Jesus, according to some Christian biblical sources, was born … The town of Bethlehem of Judea, about six miles south of Jerusalem, has always been considered the birthplace of Jesus. What country is Bethlehem where Jesus was born? According to Matthew’s infancy narrative, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not because of a census (which is Luke) but because Mary and Joseph lived there. They journey to Bethlehem in response to a census that the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus required for all the Jewish people. Every Christmas, a relatively small town in the Palestinian West Bank comes center stage: Bethlehem. It was prophesied in the 8th century long before His birth. But King David was not born in Nazareth, nor associated with that city. Jesus was the “new David” the “great ruler” that would come from Bethlehem and bring peace and security to all the nations (2007, p. 416). In a year in which good tidings of great joy were conspicuously absent, the astral event is making news. The story about the journey to Bethlehem was a later invention that connected Jesus to King David. The Bible offers conflicting narratives around Christ’s birth. Genealogical claims were made for important ancient founders and political leaders. First, let’s look at Mark, the first gospel written, and John, the last gospel written. Dr. Long, I love your points on the importance of Jesus being born in Bethlehem. In the Gospel of Luke, the weary couple arrive in Bethlehem after a long journey and are turned away from the “inn” because there was no room. In an article published in New Testament Studies, scholar Stephen Carlson argues that kataluma refers simply to space. . The question of where Jesus was born is often answered with a city – Bethlehem. Jesus was the “new David” the “great ruler” that would come from Bethlehem and bring peace and security to all the nations (2007, p. 416). In other words, Mary and Joseph weren’t turned away from a guest house or by family members, they just had to sleep (and, in Mary’s case) give birth in the somewhat less comfortable setting of the main room. Those not claimed to be fulfillments seem more likely to be his inventions. Though both Matthew and Luke agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a number of historians argue that Jesus was actually born in Nazareth. Jesus, according to some biblical sources, was born in this town some two millennia ago.Yet the New Testament Gospels do not agree about the details of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Birth stories in Bethlehem solidified the claim that Jesus was a rightful descendant of King David. Luke mentions that Jesus is not only genealogically connected to King David, but also born in Bethlehem, “the city of David.” [Deep knowledge, daily. The two accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, his mother Mary was betrothed to a man named Joseph, who was descended from King David and was not his biological father, and that his birth was caused by divine intervention. Regardless, there was a manger or feeding trough in the place where Christ was born, and that was used as a resting place for the newborn Jesus, as stated in Luke 2:7. First, let’s look at Mark, the first gospel written, and John, the last gospel written. The details above help fill in the context in some ways that can be helpful to consider the trials that Mary and Joseph faced and to rejoice in God’s providence. Bethlehem! Even so, this doesn’t make the Jupiter-Saturn event the biblical star, nor does it mean that Jesus was necessarily born in a stable, or even in Bethlehem. Both evangelists go to great lengths to establish Jesus Christ as a historical person, carefully placing him in a specific historical period by referencing leaders and events at the time he was born. In this story of the destitute widow and the Bethlehem man who later married, protected, and provided for her, we see a picture of Jesus, our kinsman redeemer. It was a staple in the ancient diet and provided not only comfort but nourishment necessary for survival. The story of the Star of Bethlehem appears only in the Book of Matthew. According to the New Testament, Joseph and Mary were living in Bethlehem of Judea at the time of Jesus' birth and later moved to Nazareth up north. We also have these very specific descriptions of what the town was like at the time. The Gospel of John, written approximately 15 to 20 years after that of Mark, also does not associate Jesus with Bethlehem. Its arrival took place a few months after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. Two widows—Ruth and Naomi, her mother-in-law—left foreign Moabfor the small town where Naomi and her husband had lived, the town of Bethlehem. It was here in young David's hometown that the prophet Samuel anointed him to be king over Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13). There are a number of reasons for this. Yet the New Testament Gospels do not agree about the details of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. These are the only references in the New Testament to Bethlehem as Jesus’ place of birth. Jesus, according to some biblical sources, was born in this town some two millennia ago. Jesus is Born in Bethlehem. Some modern New Testament scholars believe parts of the Gospel accounts to be later accretions and hold that Jesus was born in Nazareth, his childhood home, but normative Christian belief has sanctified Bethlehem as Jesus’ birthplace for almost two millennia. For example, Ion, the founder of the Greek colonies in Asia, was considered to be a descendant of Apollo. The Gospels of Mark and John reveal that they either had trouble linking Bethlehem with Jesus, did not know his birthplace, or were not concerned with this city. THE CONVERSATION via AP — Every Christmas, a relatively small town in the West Bank comes center stage: Bethlehem. The meaning, he writes, is that the place that he was staying did not have enough space to accommodate the soon-to-be small family. There is no guiding star in Luke’s story, nor do the shepherds bring gifts to baby Jesus. Was Jesus Really Born in Bethlehem? As Bart Ehrman puts it in his New Testament Introduction, a situation like this would have been a “bureaucratic nightmare” that would have involved “massive migration.” It is unbelievable, he argues, that millions of people were uprooted for this one event, and that no other ancient sources thought to mention it. Matthew and Luke’s inclusion of the city of Bethlehem contributed to the claim that Jesus was the Messiah from a Davidic lineage. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke begin with narratives about the birth and infancy of Jesus. Answer: It is a common saying at Christmastime that Jesus Christ was “born in a manger.” Of course, it wasn’t possible for Him to actually be born in the manger, but that’s where Mary laid Him after His birth (Luke 2:7). In the same way, the star of Bethlehem was also intended to present Jesus as a person of global importance. The Gospel explains that after their visit, Joseph has a dream where he is warned of Herod’s attempt to kill baby Jesus. The Bible tells us that it was in Bethlehem, for example, that Jacob’s beloved wife, Rachel, was buried. The story of the birth of Jesus is told in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew and the two versions—each of which focuses on a particular theme—are spliced together to form our modern Nativity story. According to Colin J. Humphreys in "The Star of Bethlehem—a Comet in 5 BC—and the Date of the Birth of Christ," from Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Jesus was probably born in 5 B.C., at the time the Chinese recorded a major, new, slow-moving comet—a "sui-hsing," or star with a sweeping tail in the Capricorn region of the sky. So today, when the importance of Bethlehem is heard in Christmas carols or displayed in Nativity scenes, the name of the town connects Jesus to an ancestral lineage and the prophetic hope for a new leader like King David. It is not a coincident that Jesus has been born in the “house of bread” and the Apostle John describes Him as the “bread of life” (John 6:33-40). The Gospel of Mark is the earliest account of Jesus’ life, written around A.D. 60. Jesus, according to some biblical sources, was born in this town some two millennia ago. John mentions a debate where some Jewish people referred to the prophecy which claimed that the messiah would be a descendant of David and come from Bethlehem. David Silverman/Getty Images. . Where was Jesus Born? Tradition places Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, a small town a few miles south of Jerusalem. These rooms would likely have included a sort of small guest bedroom. Every Christmas, a relatively small town in the Palestinian West Bank comes center stage: Bethlehem. The Gospels’ different views might be hard to reconcile. : Christian tradition states that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea (now Palestine). Since Joseph was a descendant of King David, Bethlehem was the hometown where he was required to register. A blind beggar in the Gospel of Mark describes Jesus as both from Nazareth and the son of David, the second king of Israel and Judah during 1010-970 B.C. Aviram Oshri is right that, in Luke’s Gospel, it made no sense for Joseph to take the heavily pregnant Mary all the way from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, especially as the Romans would never have counted a woman. This text is repeated in Matthew’s version. It took 1,000 years for one prophecy and 700 years for the other, but God always keeps his promises. Bethlehem , meaning "house of bread," was also the renowned City of David. Bethlehem means house of bread (beth: house, lehem:of bread), and bread held great importance in Bible times. The New Testament Gospels do not agree about the details of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Unfortunately, as Luke stresses, there wasn’t enough room for everyone upstairs, so they likely stayed downstairs in the main room of the house on the ground floor. But as a scholar of the New Testament, what I argue is that the Gospels offer an important insight into the Greco-Roman views of ethnic identity, including genealogies. Every Christmas, a relatively small town in the Palestinian West Bank comes center stage: Bethlehem. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the first Gospel in the canon of the New Testament, Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. Tragically, she died in childbirth as Joseph’s beloved brother, Benjamin, came into the world. We know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was no room “in the inn,” and that he was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger. (Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem) The claim is made by some scholars that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem. Rodolfo Galvan Estrada III, Fuller Theological Seminary. 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