Was Jesus born in a stable?
There’s no room at the inn. She wrapped Him in a blanket and placed Him in a manger. Is it possible to be in a manger but not in a stable? We are well familiar with the Christmas narrative. As Mary and Joseph made their journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, they were turned away by the innkeeper from staying at the local inn. After fleeing to a barn, where baby Jesus was born and languished in agony, they were saved. According to a very old church belief, the place of the Nativity was a cave near Bethlehem.
Our hypothesis is that the narrative does not allude to aninn, acave, or even abarn, but rather to ahouse!
Unfortunately, the Greek name for inn (kataluma) had numerous connotations, including inn and caravansary, which made it difficult to interpret.
- A furnished huge upper storey apartment in a privateJerusalemhouse, according to him, was what it was.
- We propose that thekatalumaof Jesus’ first night in Bethlehem was a chamber identical to this one.
- When they got at Joseph’s ancestral house, they saw that it was already crowded with other family members who had arrived earlier in the day.
- It appears that this is the time when Mary and Joseph went to the barn.
- Since the manger is not mentioned in the Biblical story, it is thought that the barn and cave were not present.
- Manners may be found within the walls of homes throughout history, including those of the ancient world and early modern nations.
A limited number of flock animals were kept in one of the home’s ground-floor rooms, rather than in the sheds that were linked to the house on the outside.
Food was made and perhaps consumed in this location as well.
The animals were safe from the elements and theft since they were kept indoors.
Numerous installations within household structures in Israel have been discovered during excavations, which are thought to represent ancient mangers.
Wooden mangers, on the other hand, have not survived to the present day in the archaeological record.
Instead, they stayed downstairs in the household stable, which was still part of the ancient residence and included a couple of mangers for the animals.
Because God so loved the world that He gave His only born Son, that whomever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life, we may say that God has saved the world (John 3:16).
Answers for those who are skeptical.
Provided by the Association for Biblical Research, Faith Builder Card2, which is available through the organization.
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Why was Jesus born in a manger?
QuestionAnswer During the Christmas season, it is typical to hear people declare that Jesus Christ was “born in a manger.” He couldn’t have been born in the manger since it wasn’t physically feasible, but that’s where Mary placed Him after His birth (Luke 2:7). Although we are not certain of the precise site of Jesus’ birth, we do know that it was in the vicinity of Bethlehem and that there was a manger, or feeding trough, nearby. God promised the Savior’s virgin birth immediately following mankind’s first transgression in the Garden of Eden, and He fulfilled that promise (Genesis 3:15).
- This prophesy was fulfilled when the earthly parents of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, were summoned to Bethlehem for a census of the whole Roman area (Luke 2:1–5), which coincided with the birth of Jesus.
- There was no space at the inn for Mary and Joseph because of the large number of people who had arrived in Bethlehem (Luke 2:7).
- As a matter of fact, the Greek word for “inn” (kataluma) may be translated as “guest room.” This feature has prompted some to speculate that Jesus was not born in a stable or barn, but rather in a house with a lower level that served as a nocturnal refuge for the family’s animals.
- When Luke says that there was no room in thekataluma, he might be referring to the fact that there was no room on the top floor, which would have been crammed with other people sleeping.
- As soon as Jesus was delivered by the angel Gabriel, Mary His mother covered Him in clothes and put Him in a manger (Luke 2:7).
- In light of this, why was the Savior and King born in a facility that housed animals?
- God’s Son, without a doubt, merited a high-profile birth in the most opulent of settings.
- This humbling birth sends an incredible message to the entire universe: the transcendent God descends to come to us in human form.
- He is approachable, accessible, and available—no palace walls stand between us and Him, and no ring of guards stands between us and Him.
The King of kings arrived in the most humble of circumstances, and His first bed was a manger. Questions about Christmas (return to top of page) What was the significance of Jesus being born in a manger?
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QuestionAnswer The phrase “Jesus Christ was born in a manger” is commonly heard around Christmas time. He couldn’t have been born in the manger since it wasn’t physically feasible, but that’s where Mary placed Him after his birth (Luke 2:7). However, while we are unsure of the specific place of Jesus’ birth, we do know that it was in the vicinity of Bethlehem and that there was a manger, or feeding trough, nearby. In the Garden of Eden, God promised people that the Savior’s virgin birth would take place immediately after the first sin was committed by humanity (Genesis 3:15).
- As recorded in Luke 2:1–5, the census of the whole Roman realm brought Jesus’ earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, to Bethlehem, bringing this prophesy to fruition.
- Mary and Joseph were unable to find accommodation in Bethlehem because of the large number of people who had arrived (Luke 2:7).
- Even the Greek word for “inn” (kataluma) may be interpreted as “guest chamber” in this context.
- The presence of a manger in that part of the home would not be strange if this were to be the case.
- However, Jesus was born in the middle of the night, in some type of animal shelter.
- Shepherds from adjacent fields came across Him later that night, exactly as the angels had predicted they would (Luke 2:10–12).
- How did He end up in the trough where the animals ate?
- Instead, God’s own Son came to earth in the most humble of circumstances to reveal Himself to the world as God’s Son.
- As a result, Jesus was born in humility, as if he were one of us, rather than as a pampered, privileged king.
The King of kings arrived under the most humble of circumstances, and His first bed was a stable. To the page: “Christmas-related questions.” For what reason did Jesus have to be born in a stable?
I know Jesus was born in a manger, but why is that important and what does it mean?
QuestionAnswer During the Christmas season, it is typical to hear the phrase “Jesus Christ was born in a manger.” It was obviously not feasible for Him to be born in the manger, yet there is where Mary placed Him after His birth (Luke 2:7). Although we are not certain of the precise site of Jesus’ birth, we do know that it was close to Bethlehem and that there was a manger, or feeding trough, nearby. God promised mankind that the Savior’s virgin birth would occur immediately following mankind’s first transgression in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15).
- When Jesus’ earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, were summoned to Bethlehem for a census of the whole Roman realm (Luke 2:1–5), this prophesy came true.
- There was no space at the inn for Mary and Joseph because of the large number of people who had gathered in Bethlehem (Luke 2:7).
- As a matter of fact, the Greek word for “inn” (kataluma) might be rendered as “guest chamber.” Many think that Jesus was not born in a stable or barn, but rather in a house with a lower level that served as an animal refuge during the night for the family’s animals.
- As a result, when Luke says there was no room in thekataluma, it is possible that he is referring to the top floor, which would have been packed with other people sleeping.
- Following Jesus’ birth, Mary, His mother, clothed Him in linens and placed Him in a manger (Luke 2:7).
- In light of this, why was the Savior and King born in a zoo?
- God’s Son, without a doubt, deserved to be born in the most opulent of settings.
- This lowly birth sends an incredible message to all of creation: the transcendent God descends to become one of us.
- He is approachable, accessible, and available—no palace walls stand in the way of our approach, and no ring of guards stands between us and Him.
- Questions about Christmas (return to top) What was the reason for Jesus’ birth in a manger?
Jesus was not born in a stable, says theologian
QuestionAnswer It is a frequent saying around Christmastime that Jesus Christ was “born in a manger.” Of course, it was impossible for Him to be born in a manger, but that is where Mary placed Him after He was born (Luke 2:7). Although we are unsure of the specific site of Jesus’ birth, we do know that it was in the vicinity of Bethlehem and that there was a manger, or feeding trough, nearby. God predicted the Savior’s virgin birth immediately following mankind’s first transgression in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15).
- This prophesy was fulfilled when Jesus’ earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, were summoned to Bethlehem for a census of the whole Roman area (Luke 2:1–5).
- Because of the large number of people who had arrived in Bethlehem, there was no room at the inn for Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:7).
- In fact, the Greek word for “inn” (kataluma) could also be translated as “guest room.” This fact has led some to speculate that Jesus may not have been born in a stable or barn, but rather in a house with a lower floor that served as a nighttime shelter for the family’s animals.
- When Luke says that there was no room in thekataluma, he could be referring to the fact that there was no room on the upper level, which would have been packed with other people sleeping.
- Following Jesus’ birth, Mary, His mother, wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a manger (Luke 2:7).
- So, why was the Savior and King born in a zoo where animals were kept?
- God’s Son, without a doubt, deserved to be born in the most opulent of surroundings.
- This lowly birth sends an incredible message to all of creation: the transcendent God descended to earth to be with us.
- He is approachable, accessible, and available—no palace gates stand in our way, and no ring of guards prevents us from approaching Him.
The King of kings came in humble circumstances, and His first bed was a manger. Return to: Christmas-related questions and answers What was the significance of Jesus’ birth in a manger?
What Is the Meaning and Significance of the Manger?
It is typical to hear people say around Christmas time that the Lord Jesus was “born in a manger.” However, because we are saying things so freely at this period of time, we may not realize the significance of what we are saying at the moment. Moreover, if we state that Jesus was “born in a manger,” we must realize that this refers to the place where Mary placed Him after His birth (Luke 2:7). We aren’t certain of the exact site of Jesus’ birth, but we do know that it was close to Bethlehem and that there was a manger nearby.
The Story of Jesus Is the Story of the Bible
“The Lord Jesus was born in a manger,” it is customary to hear throughout the Christmas season. We say this so casually throughout this period of life that we may not realize the gravity of what we’re saying until much later on. If we say Jesus was “born in a manger,” we must realize that this refers to the place where Mary laid Jesus after He was born (Luke 2:7). It is unknown where exactly Jesus was born, but we do know that it was somewhere in Bethlehem, and that there was a manger nearby at the time.
The Angel, the Shepherds, and Sinners Today
To the shepherds, Jesus’ presence in the manger was a sign that good news had arrived for them and all humanity, according to the explanation given by the angel. The animal feeding trough acted as the Savior’s cradle, allowing the shepherds to think that He was exactly like them in every way. Jesus was on his way to be with them, joining them in their humbling state of being. Despite the fact that Jesus was wealthy, He came to earth as a poor man for sinners in order that we can become wealthy by His poverty.
- After then, the Good Shepherd would make His home among the sheep.
- God cared for the world to such an extent that He gave His only born Son in so that everyone who believe in Him may be saved (John 3:16).
- God’s self-sufficiency provides no place for the immoral self-obsession to which fallen beings are so prone to succumb in their fallen state.
- The manger illustrates that the Lord is concerned about people since He was sentenced to death as a result of their sins and died in their place.
Why Jesus Came into the World
In 1 Timothy 1:12-16, Paul tells the young Timothy that the Lord’s grace is trustworthy and deserving of his whole confidence and acceptance. The Lord Jesus came into the world in order to redeem sinners, including the worst of the worst, Paul himself. The temptation to believe that Paul is exaggerating his case is strong; after all, he cannot really mean that he is the worst conceivable sinner, can he? Many others have expressed similar sentiments to Paul. Paul, on the other hand, claims that he was granted compassion so that Christ, in him as the first among equals, would demonstrate His patience as an example to all who would come to faith in Him for eternal life.
The reason for this might be that they have had difficulties in their connection with their father, and as a result, God the Father is viewed in the same light as they do their biological father.
However, we are confronted with the idea that, no matter what has happened in our lives, there is still hope of acceptance from God, because God has saved the worst and used them as instruments to proclaim the gospel to the known world, as was the case with the Apostle Paul, who was one of the worst.
- Jesus came into the world under the threat of death in order to redeem sinners of all stripes, no matter how serious their transgression.
- Not only does the Bible conclude with God in His glory, but it also concludes with the redeemed clothed in the glory of God and the Lord dwelling among them.
- Instead, we will join the angels in singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among all whom he pleases!” (See Luke 2:14 for more information.) Jesus was delivered by his mother, Mary, and placed in a manger after being wrapped in clothes (Luke 2:7).
- The fact that Jesus was born in a manger demonstrates that he was born in humility to his parents.
- Furthermore, the fact that Jesus was born in a manger emphasizes the fact that there is no area where the Lord Jesus cannot be found, nor can any ring of guards prevent us from approaching Him.
Image courtesy of iStock/Getty Images Plus/jchizhe.com. Dave Jenkins and his wife, Sarah Jenkins, are in a happy marriage. He is a writer, editor, and public speaker who resides in the lovely state of Oregon.
What is the significance of Jesus being born in a manger?
Contrary to popular belief, Jesus was not actually born in a manger (a food trough for animals). The following night, after Jesus was delivered, his mother laid Him in a manger after covering Him in swaddling clothes. So, what was the point of putting Jesus in an animal feed trough in the first place? God the Father predicted the birth of His Son shortly after Adam and Eve’s fall into sin in the Garden of Eden thousands of years ago (Genesis 3:15). The fact that sin has now severed mankind’s relationship with God indicates that it is time for a Savior to come and offer His life as payment for the sins of those who trust in Him to come.
This plan was Jesus Christ.
As a result, the prophesy that the Messiah would be born in that place was fulfilled: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be king in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2).
- The Bible informs us that Mary placed Jesus in the manger because “there was no room for them in the inn” (Matthew 2:19).
- The Greek term for “inn” (kataluma) has more than one meaning: it can refer to a hotel-like domicile, but it can also be translated as “lodging-place,” which is a more literal translation.
- At that time, many homes featured a wooden or stone feeding dish for the animals who were brought in to keep warm during the harsh winter nights.
- Regardless of the precise site of Jesus’ birth, His first bed served as a symbol of His character and mission.
- This modest monarch would grow up to one day give His life on the cross for the sins of the world, rise from the dead, and then return to His Father’s side in authority and great glory.
- What exactly is the significance and purpose of a Christmas nativity scene?
Where does the Old Testament make reference to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? What does Jesus’ role as the Lamb of God entail? What does it mean to be King of kings and Lord of lords in Jesus’ eyes? Return to the page: The Truth About Holidays
Christ’s Birthplace Bethlehem Has Surprising History
Even while Bethlehem has been the subject of innumerable hymns and Nativity plays, the true tale of the little town is significantly more complicated than that. Bethlehem has a long and illustrious history even before it became famous as the location of Jesus Christ’s conception. It now occupies a central position in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The author of Bethlehem: Biography of a Town, Nicholas Blincoe, was contacted by National Geographic to discuss the legacy of the town where Jesus was born and nailed to the cross in Bethlehem.
The book opens with you arriving in Bethlehem carrying a Christmas pudding. Explain why it captures “something of the essence of Bethlehem”—and how an Englishman ended up on the West Bank.
I met my wife, Leila Sansour, while both of us were studying philosophy at the same institution in the United Kingdom. She is a Palestinian woman from the city of Bethlehem. Her mother is Russian, while her father is Palestinian. Her father was a member of the group of academics that built Bethlehem University, which she attended. I had no prior knowledge of Bethlehem, Palestine, or political affairs, but I was head over heels in love with Leila and we were planning a wedding, so I traveled to Bethlehem to meet her family.
As a result, I arrived with a Christmas pudding from Harrods.
Lemons were present in the form of fruit, as were oranges, figs, and almonds.
This cuisine that was thought to be uniquely British turns out to be very Middle Eastern!
Bethlehem is, of course, famous as the birthplace of Jesus. Does thehistorical and archaeological recordconfirm this?
It is difficult to assert that the archaeology demonstrates that Christ was born in that location. However, there is a great deal of evidence in its favor. A census was taking place in Bethlehem at the time of Mary and Joseph’s arrival, according to the Bible, or they already lived there. It’s impossible to tell which of them, or whether any of them, is correct. People who traveled to Bethlehem within roughly 100 years of Christ’s birth were already convinced that Christ was born in that location.
- When pilgrims came later, when Rome had become Christian, they did hear stories of a manger being present.
- This was on exhibit at one point, and it fits the concept of a community where the most essential thing is to have a reliable supply of water.
- Tell us about the Ain Sakhri devotees—as well as about the biblical scholar Karen Armstrong’s research.
- There’s a road up from the Dead Sea in a location called Ain Sakhri, and some Bedouin shepherd boys discovered a little stone sculpture in caves there in the 1930s, when they were out shepherding.
- Archaeologists believe it dates back to the Stone Age, some 11,000 years ago, and it is the first known image of individuals having sexual relations.
- The individuals who built this sculpture, known as theNatufiansas they are now known, are an example of how this may be accomplished.
- When the lambs are born in the spring, there is enough grass to feed the flock for around two weeks, allowing them to feed their sheep.
Almond trees, which were among the earliest plants to be cultivated, may be seen growing in the hills. Then there are the olive trees. This kind of living provided them with ample free time to sit down and start thinking about sex—as well as carve some sculptures in their spare time.
Though it is perched on a hilltop, water has played a key role in Bethlehem’s history, hasn’t it?
Bethlehem is a group of exceptionally fertile villages that produce almonds and, more crucially, olives for oil production, which are exported worldwide. As a result of its location on an immense aquifer, Bethlehem eventually became the water supply for Jerusalem approximately 200 BCE. There were so many Jewish pilgrims arriving in Jerusalem that the city was unable to keep up with the demand. The earlier water supply had been tainted as a result of the butchered animals in the temple. They were in desperate need of fresh water, which arrived from Bethlehem.
It is a fortified town surrounded by a number of villages, which is why the Bible consistently refers to Bethlehem as having the greatest tasting water.
They constructed a reservoir around 2,300 years ago.
They’re still there, you know.
I was fascinated to discover that Bethlehem was made famous as a site of Christian pilgrimage, not by churchmen, but by a succession of Roman women. Tell us aboutSt. Helena—and her architectural legacy.
The Emperor Constantine’s mother, St. Helena, was a saint. She worked as a barmaid somewhere in the vicinity of Isthmia or Smyrna when she was in her late teens. She married an extremely ambitious Roman officer who had already divorced his first wife, and the couple had a son, who would later rise to the position of emperor. His mother rose to become the most prominent lady in the empire and a very important Christian leader while he was a little boy. Christianity appeared to appeal to affluent Roman women since many of them had inherited vast estates, either via marriage or death, which made Christianity an attractive option for them.
- Christianity became a ruse through which they were able to exert some control over others.
- A massive journey was undertaken, and she constructed churches as she traveled across Europe, what is now Turkey and the Middle East, until she arrived in the holy cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
- She chose the location because the Roman bishop of Caesarea had taken her there, and the people pointed out the site where pilgrims had celebrated for the past 200 years, something she had not previously known.
- She wasn’t the one who came up with the legend.
- There is nothing else like the cathedral she created.
- It was St.
- She designated the location as a pilgrimage hotspot on the world map.
- Paula, who was the most renowned of the group.
Unfortunately, the church she helped to build is no longer in existence. In a mutiny, the Samaritans set fire to the building. Two churches that were built in the same style are likewise no longer standing. However, the cave still exists, albeit in a different form.
Bethlehem is today a hostage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You had a frontline view when you worked with paramedics in Bethlehem during theintifada. Tell us about that experience—and how it shaped your view of the conflict.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine reached a boiling point in late 2001. During the course of the conflict, the Israelis fired a missile at a building directly across the street from my wife’s home. My mother-in-law, who had become a widow at that time, was residing there at the time. In addition, the building just across the street from hers was destroyed, and our house’s roof was ripped off. In 2002, we moved into Leila’s Bethlehem house because we were concerned about how she was functioning.
- The Israeli army, led by Ariel Sharon, invaded and occupied the West Bank on the Monday after Easter Sunday in 2002, capturing all of the cities there, including Bethlehem.
- The Israeli forces finally pushed inside the ancient souk region and encircled the Church of the Nativity, which was destroyed in the war.
- There was a suggestion that ambulances might be permitted to operate during the curfew provided they were accompanied by European citizens.
- There was an attempt by militants to respond to Israeli brutality with further violence, but Palestinian cities were battered as a result of the conflict.
- You have the impression that you are living as one of the vanquished if you have to go through it.
The reclusive street artist Banksy recently opened a venue in Bethlehem calledthe Walled Off Hotel.What’s that all about?
The same reason that everyone has always been interested in Bethlehem is the same reason that Israel has been interested in it: the aquifer is still one of Israel’s primary supplies of water. Israeli forces captured control of a pumping station at Kfar Etzion in the Bethlehem governorate in 1967. The station eventually became the site of a settlement and is now used to distribute water to Palestinians in the Hebron and Bethlehem areas. There are now 42 communities in the area surrounding the town.
- It is a jail in the open air.
- Banksy first appeared in the UK in 2006.
- I’d heard of Banksy before, but had dismissed him.
- The Walled Off Hotel (a play on the famous Waldorf Hotel) is located near the checkpoint into Bethlehem, in a house that is approximately 12 feet from the wall that circles Rachel’s Tomb.
- There are conflicting emotions in Bethlehem regarding it.
People question if he’s getting money off of it or if he’s just promoting himself. Others believe that he is attempting to bring attention to the wall. In general, there’s a sense that Banksy has done something amusing with his work. Palestinians are known for having a fantastic sense of humour.
You suggest Bethlehem may need another “miracle” if it is to survive. Explain what you mean—and how you see the future for Bethlehem.
Surprising events have occurred throughout the country’s history. More than only the site of Christ’s birth, it’s also the site of the world’s oldest sculpture of people in love and the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, among other historical landmarks. As a result of the holocaust that occurred with the establishment of the Turkish state in the early twentieth century, it became a refuge for Armenians and Syriacs. When Israel was established in 1948, it became a haven for Palestinians escaping the establishment of the Jewish state.
- Each wave has radically altered the town, yet the town has managed to hold on to its identity.
- The length and clarity of this interview have been adjusted for readability.
- Book Talk is curated by Simon Worrall.
- Bethlehemby Constable is the publisher of Nicholas Blincoe’s work.
Was Jesus Really Born in a Manger?
The Jews had been waiting for their Messiah for millennia. In his book of the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah foretold the arrival of the Messiah. Therefore, a sign will be given to you by the Lord Himself. “Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and He will be known by the name Immanuel.” “(This signifies that God is with us.)” says Matthew 1:23 after the verse. The Israelites were hoping for a Savior who would free them from the oppressive Roman yoke somewhere in the midst of all this waiting.
What is a Manger?
It is described as “a trough or box in which fodder is spread for cattle or the location where horses and cattle are fed” in Webster’s 1828 dictionary. To begin with, the term itself is derived from the Latin word meaning chew or consume. A manger would have been situated in a stable, where cows and horses were housed and fed, during the period of the New Testament. Mangers were made of clay mixed with straw, or of stones placed in mud, depending on the region. At times, mangers were carved from natural rock outcroppings to accommodate livestock.
Did Mary Lay Jesus in a Manger after He Was Born?
“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn,” according to Scripture. So, certainly, Mary placed her newborn baby, Jesus, in a feeding trough. When we observe what a manger looks like, its design appears “tailor-made” to contain a newborn, with a circular base and sloped sides. By wrapping your infant up in a swaddling cloth, you can reduce the perceived discomfort of feeding time at the trough.
Joseph and Mary did not come from a wealthy background.
It’s interesting to reflect on the fact that, while Joseph and Mary were too poor to offer a lamb, they—through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35)—indeed brought the “Lamb of God” into the world—the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29,36). (John 1:29,36).
What Is Significant about Where Jesus Was Born?
Every one of the more than three hundred predictions concerning our Lord Jesus that can be found throughout the Old Testament was fulfilled by our Lord Jesus himself. One prophecy mentions the location of the Messiah’s birth: “the house of David.” “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the tribes of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose coming forth is from old, from ancient days,” according to Micah 5:2. When the three wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, they were perplexed as to where the newborn King of the Jews had gone.
As the prophet Isaiah wrote, “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel,” the wise men responded.
He was born in Bethlehem as a fulfillment of prophecy, and as Jesus stated in Matthew 5:17, “Do not believe that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.” His birth in Bethlehem serves to draw all men’s attention to Himself.
What Is the Nativity Story and Its Importance for Us?
While the Nativity Story is well-known to Christians and non-believers alike, few people understand the significance of how God orchestrated the events that led to the birth of the Lord Jesus as a man—a God-man—on the Christmas Eve. Immanuel. We have God with us. According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, the term “nativity” refers to “birth; the coming into life or the world.” The narratives of our Lord Jesus Christ’s nativity (birth) are found in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-7 of the Holy Bible.
However, in a dream, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and revealed that her kid was a child of the Holy Spirit.
Following his awakening from his sleep, Joseph “took to him his wife, whom he did not know until she had given birth to her firstborn Son.” “And he gave His name to Him as Jesus.” The narrative of the nativity in Luke’s gospel is based on an edict “that went forth from Caesar Augustus that everyone in the world should be registered” in their own birth city, according to Luke (A census).
- Joseph was descended from the house and lineage of David, and “it so happened that while they were there, the time came for Mary to give birth,” and she did, giving birth to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Jesus began as a helpless infant, but as He grew in spirit and in the favor of God, He became a powerful man (Luke 1:80).
- By His grace, we are adopted as God’s children and co-heirs with Christ (Titus 3:7).
- (1 John 3:2).
- Joseph and Mary were obedient to the Lord’s summons, despite the difficulties they faced.
- “.this light and transient hardship is preparing us for an everlasting weight of glory” in our life, says the Bible (2 Corinthians 4:17).
- Joseph’s affection for Mary was palpably strong.
It doesn’t matter what the world defines as normal; God’s supernatural “normal” outshines whatever the world tries to define.
(See also John 16:33) 4.
A Messiah to free them from Roman persecution was desired by the Jews; God responded by sending a Savior wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Thank God that no matter how many times we gaze at our nativity scene or read the tale in the Bible, we will always be awestruck by Him.
Because He came in humility and meekness (Matthew 11:29), and as a baby lying in a manger, the Jews were entirely blind to Jesus’ initial appearance to them.
It seems unlikely that their long-awaited Messiah will allow them (or anybody else) to miss His second coming.
As Scripture states (Philippians 2:9-11).
Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/kevron2001 Lisa Loraine Baker is the award-winning author of Someplace to Be Somebody, which was published in 2012.
Writing fiction and nonfiction, Lisa is now working on a Christian living book with her husband, as well as a thriller novel with her sister-in-law.
Lisa and her husband, Stephen, live in their house as the “Newlyweds of Minerva,” where they share it with their wild cat, Lewis.
Part of our wider Christmas and Advent resource library, this essay is focussed on the events leading up to Jesus’ birth and is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
25 Hope-Filled Advent Bible Verses Bible Verses for the Holidays The Bible’s Narrative The Bible’s account of Jesus’ birth, as well as Scripture verses Who Were the Wise Men, and Why Did They Exist?
Who Were the Christmas Angels, and What Did They Do? Listen to our podcast, which is completely free! The Christmas Characters: The Surprising People in Jesus’ Family: The Characters of Christmas: The Surprising People in Jesus’ Family:
In Photos: The Birthplace of Jesus
The image is courtesy of Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock. Christians believe the Church of the Nativity to be the birthplace of Jesus, and the World Heritage Committee has recommended that it be designated as a World Heritage Site if the committee determines that it has “outstanding universal importance” as a component of the world’s natural and cultural heritage. It would be the first of its kind in the Palestinian Territories, according to the plan.
To Commemorate Jesus’ Birth
(Photo courtesy of Dimos|Shutterstock.) The Church of the Nativity, a Byzantine basilica located in the holy city of Bethlehem, was constructed on top of the cave where, according to a story that dates back to the second century, Jesus was born. The basilica is claimed to have been built by Helena, the mother of Christian Emperor Constantine, to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. The Church’s main entrance is seen in this photograph.
Featured image courtesy of Paul Prescott/Shutterstock. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is approached through this gate.
Featured image courtesy of Paul Prescott of Shutterstock. Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, with its entrance to the Holy Sepulchre.
(Photo courtesy of Dimos|Shutterstock.) As one of three imperial churches constructed in Palestine during the reign of the Christian emperor Constantine, the Church is considered to be the most important (a statue of his face shown here). A.D. 529 saw the destruction of the Church, which was rebuilt on a much larger scale, effectively creating the structure that remains today.
Star Marks the Spot
(Photo courtesy of Ryan Rodrick Beiler|Shutterstock.com) It is in this grotto under Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity where a silver 14-pointed star embedded into the marble floor symbolizes what is traditionally believed to be the location of Jesus’ birth.
The image is courtesy of Zvonimir Atletic|Shutterstock. There are now two entrances to the Grotto of the Nativity, one of which is pictured here. There was only one entrance to the grotto when it was first built, in the fourth century, and it was from the main body of the cathedral.
The image is courtesy of Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock. Other significant sites associated with the Nativity are located in close proximity to the Church, which serves as the town’s focal point. A notable one of these sites is the Milk Grotto, an irregular grotto hewn from soft limestone to the southeast of the Basilica where, according to Christian belief, Mother Mary nursed the infant Jesus while hiding from Herod’s soldiers before fleeing to Egypt. Jeanna serves as the editor-in-chief of the journal Live Science.
Jeanna holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Salisbury University, a master’s degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a master’s degree in scientific journalism from New York University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
While working as a scientist in Florida, she monitored wetlands and conducted field surveys for endangered animals, among other things. She also got an ocean sciences journalism scholarship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Stone Manger: The Untold Story of the First Christmas
You make a donation to the folks who provide you with service over the holiday season. Please consider making a voluntary subscription to Meridian by clicking on her e-mail address. We are in desperate need of your assistance in order to continue to provide you with the high-quality magazine you have come to expect. This is the first installment of a serialization of Jeffrey R. Chadwick’s book The Stone Manger: The Untold Story of the First Christmas, which will continue in the following installments.
And it’s likely that after learning the previously unrecorded tale of Jesus’ birth, you’ll come to appreciate the holiday even more than before.
Although we all grew up with the same tale, the events that took place did not take place in the manner in which we were taught.
Please do not misinterpret what I’m saying.
Back in my childhood, when I was growing up in a normal American town many years ago, the Friday morning following Thanksgiving, which marked the official start of the holiday season, used to be something I looked forward to every November.
I adored our great old “downtown” area, where we went Christmas shopping in large, elegant brick buildings like J.C.
Woolworth to find the perfect gifts for our friends and family.
Each light post and semaphore along the street was festooned with big red and white electric light candy canes, forest green garlands, and large silver bells with red ribbon bows to provide a festive touch to the joyful atmosphere.
Despite the presence of Santa’s village in the park, the life-size manger scene in the park was always the main attraction in our municipal park.
And that first Christmas eve in a barn, with Mary’s infant lying on the hay, was my favorite of all — a poor carpenter from Galilee and his new bride; their long and laborious journey to pay the Roman tax; and that first Christmas eve in a stall.
Throughout history, we’ve told this story countless times through literature, videotape and on stage, when toddlers clothed in bathrobes and towels miraculously transform into shepherds and wise men.
The scene we create on our fireplace mantles with carved wood and porcelain figures is in no way representative of the real-life conditions that surrounding the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem more than two thousand years ago.
He and Mary didn’t have to travel to Bethlehem to pay their taxes because they lived in the same town.
There were also no traveling kings bringing gifts to the people.
However, there was no hay on which the infant might be set down either.
There was, on the other hand, a manger.
While recounting the account of Jesus’ birth, the New Testament makes particular reference of the manger three times in three separate passages.
However, the manger in Bethlehem was not the wooden feed box that we have come to associate with the Christmas story.
Moreover, it was not constructed of poles or planks that were tied together with ropes, as is so commonly depicted in Christmas art.
You might wonder how we were able to find out all of this information.
During all of those years, I’ve also taught New Testament courses in seminaries and for religious studies programs at colleges and universities.
I’ve also written a book about my experiences.
As a result, a more realistic and authentic understanding of scripture emerges, one that goes beyond simple textual analysis.
This book is the culmination of all of those years of teaching, research, and excavation, and it employs the “contextual studies” approach to recount the true tale of the first Christmas in the New Testament.
In contrast to the conventional Christmas stories, this one is a little more serious.
It is the true story of a young married couple’s love and faith, strength and humility, self-reliance and hard labor, as well as their commitment to see God’s intentions carried out.
Put your feet up for the time being [and for the next three days on Meridian] and read the untold narrative of the birth of Jesus — the untold story of the first Christmas.
Consider the single known relic associated with that now-famous event, the stone manger, before we begin the untold narrative of the first Christmas.
The Gospel of Luke, which recounts the events surrounding Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, makes no mention of a stable, cows, or even hay or straw in any of its passages.
Initially, a brief line in Luke 2:7 regarding Mary and her newborn child served as a point of reference.
The next mention appears five lines later, in Luke 2:12, and is intended to serve as a hint to Jewish shepherds who were on the lookout for the kid.
Four lines later, in Luke 2:16, those shepherds finally arrived in Bethlehem to begin their nightly search for the baby Jesus.
The events of the Christmas tale in the Bible are well-known to anybody who has ever read it aloud in their head.
The manger was actually a stone water trough that had been cut into the ground.
Some of them imagine the Bible stories in their own image, which they then depict in their art (including play), music (including music composition), and literature (including literature).
Animal troughs, on the other hand, were not constructed of wooden planks or poles that were lashed together in the ancient Land of Israel.
Everything that could possibly be manufactured out of that limestone was made out of that limestone.
The majority of furniture was made entirely or partially of this type of stone.
Archaeologists working in Israel have discovered a large number of limestone animal troughs that date back thousands of years.
They were typically block-shaped and stood between twelve and thirty inches in height, depending on their size.
Animals were watered in these troughs, which were made of stone.
This is due to the fact that there was no need for a feed box loaded with hay in ancient Israel.
Grass was available throughout the year.
The grass turned a golden color after drying out in the late spring heat, but it remained nutritious and readily available throughout the summer and fall.
For the majority of ancient Israel, snow fell relatively seldom and melted quickly, therefore grass was never completely covered by snow for an extended period of time.
Individuals who kept animals such as donkeys, goats, and milk cows relied on the abundant grass in their cities and villages throughout the year to provide for their families and to supplement their income.
This made it possible for sheep and goats to drink without having to stretch their heads too far up or down.
For those who do not have sheep or goats, however, the trough for their donkey may be higher, reaching as high as twenty-four to thirty inches in height, making it simpler for the animal to drink.
There would not have been any hay or straw in it, nor would there have been any hay or straw thrown about it, because animals were not fed in this fashion.
Another aspect of that manger that may come as a surprise is that it was a brand-new trough, one that Joseph himself had constructed.
Contrary to common belief, Joseph was not a carpenter who worked with wood.
He was employed as a stone mason. Watch for the next episode of The Stone Manger to air on Meridian tomorrow at 9 p.m. Stone Manger by Jeffrey Chadwick is available as an ebook by clicking here or visiting www.stonemanger.com.