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. Why Is it Important That Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem? These are the only references in the New Testament to Bethlehem as Jesus’ place of birth. This text is repeated in Matthew’s version. The question of where Jesus was born is often answered with a city – Bethlehem. The differences between Matthew and Luke are nearly impossible to reconcile, although they do share some similarities. There is no guiding star in Luke’s story, nor do the shepherds bring gifts to baby Jesus. Star of Bethlehem as Comet . The gospel tells us that a bright star appeared in the eastern sky when Jesus was born… 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. You ask, "Why Was Jesus Born in Bethlehem?" Though both Matthew and Luke agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a number of historians argue that Jesus was actually born in Nazareth. As the Greek historian Polybius explains, the renowned deeds of ancestors are “part of the heritage of posterity.”. Yet the New Testament Gospels do not agree about the details of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem… Jesus, according to some biblical sources, was born in … First, let’s look at Mark, the first gospel written, and John, the last gospel written. Luke and Matthew both place Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. The city of Bethlehem, located about six miles southwest of Jerusalem, is the birthplace of our Savior Jesus Christ. 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. Second, in Luke, the event that necessitates Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem is a census. 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 … As most first century Jews believed that the promised messiah would be a military leader, the connection to David helped bolster Jesus’ messianic credentials. 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. . 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. The Good Shepherd — Anonymous. Yet the New Testament Gospels do not agree about the details of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. The ancients didn't ask how; they asked why: Jesus's name tells us: 'God with us' (Emmanuel), 'save his people from their sins.' And after the birth of Jesus … Yet the New Testament Gospels do not agree about the details of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. There is also a theory that the shelter in which Jesus was born was a place in the northern part of Bethlehem called Migdol Eder. Every Christmas, a relatively small town in the Palestinian West Bank comes center stage: Bethlehem. 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. The town of Bethlehem of Judea, about six miles south of Jerusalem, has always been considered the birthplace of Jesus. By Rodolfo Galvan Estrada III, Adjunct Assistant Professor of the New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary. 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 biblical sources, was born in this town some two millennia ago. In first-century Judea mangers were found both inside and outside the home and were sometimes used to divide the area used to keep animals from human living space. 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. In the Greco-Roman era, birth stories and genealogical claims were used to establish rights to rule and link individuals with purported ancestral grandeur. Luke also mentions that Joseph, Mary and Jesus leave Bethlehem eight days after his birth and travel to Jerusalem and then to Nazareth. The God of creation was born in a back-woods town and in the overflow section. She was going to be married to a carpenter called Joseph, who, like herself, lived in Nazareth. Jesus was 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. So whether Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem or not is secondary. 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. The Gospel of Luke includes no flight to Egypt, no paranoid King Herod, no murder of children and no wise men visiting baby Jesus. Every Christmas, a relatively small town in the Palestinian West Bank comes center stage: Bethlehem. 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. The story of the Star of Bethlehem appears only in the Book of Matthew. Around another bend of history’s trail lies Ruth, whose story is short but moving. 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