Where was Jesus born?
The events described in Matthew 2:1-2 and Luke 2:1-7 take place when Joseph and Mary leave Nazareth and go to Bethlehem in response to a census imposed by Caesar Augustus. The prophet Micah even foresaw the location of Jesus’ birth hundreds of years before the event really occurred (Micah 5:2).
Browse article contents
Jesus’ parents, Joseph and Mary, left Nazareth and traveled to Bethlehem as a result of a census decreed by Caesar Augustus, according to Matthew 2:1-2 and Luke 2:1-7. In fact, the prophet Micah predicted the location of Jesus’ birth hundreds of years before it really occurred (Micah 5:2).
Jesus was born in Bethlehem
‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?’ asked the wise men from the East when they arrived in Jerusalem following Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem during the reign of Herod the king, according to Matthew 2:1, 2. “Because we have seen His star in the East and have come to adore Him,” says the author. Secondly, in Luke 2:4-7, it reads, “Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is named Bethlehem, because he was of the family and lineage of David.
Links to Google Maps:
- Map of Bethlehem (courtesy of Google Maps)
- Map of Joseph and Mary’s journey (if they were to travel it today)
- And a list of resources.
The importance of Jesus’ birth
Although where Jesus was born is significant, the fact that He was born is far more significant.Jesus came to earth to live among us and to be one of us. The angel announced to Mary that she would be expecting a son, whose name would be “Immanuel,” which means “God with us” in the Hebrew language (Matthew 1:23).The apostle John wrote: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the (John 1:14).
Other Information About Bethlehem
Today, the little town of Bethlehem is located in the limestone hill area of the Holy Land, some six miles south of Jerusalem. It is a popular tourist destination. In the traditional location of Jesus’ birth, stands the Church of the Nativity, the oldest Christian church still in continuous use. It is regarded one of the holiest sites in all of Christendom and is the oldest church still in continuous use in the world. Every year, around 2 million people come to see the birthplace of Jesus. The number of tourists is particularly high during the holiday season.
Locals joke that if Joseph and Mary turned up in Bethlehem today, they would find that there would still be no space in the inn for them.
It is referred to as “the city of David” (Luke 2:4) because it was the birthplace of Israel’s renowned king, King David.
Ruth gathered weeds in the fields of Boaz, which is located in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:22; 2:4). When the prophet Samuel anointed David as king of Israel, it was at Bethlehem that the event took place (1 Samuel 16).
When and Where was Jesus Born?
These days, the little town of Bethlehem is located in the limestone hill region of Israel, some six miles south of Jerusalem, in the heart of the Holy Land. In the traditional location of Jesus’ birth, stands the Church of the Nativity, the oldest Christian church still in continuous use. It is regarded one of the holiest sites in all of Christendom and is one of the world’s most sacred places. Every year, around 2 million people come to the site of Jesus’ birth. At Christmas, the number of tourists is very high.
It’s a running joke among the locals that if Joseph and Mary showed up in Bethlehem today, they’d still be turned away from the inn.
Luke 2:4 refers to it as “the city of David” because it was the hometown of King David, the greatest ruler of Israel at the time of his death in battle.
Ruth’s gleanings in Boaz’s fields were gathered at Bethlehem (Ruth 1:22; 2:4).
When was Jesus Born?
This is an issue for which the Bible does not provide a clear solution. According to historical evidence, the earliest Christians did not make a big deal out of the birth of Jesus Christ. Even if they were aware of the particular day of his birth, they did not make a big deal about it. The customary date of December 25 may be traced back to the first decades of the Christian period, according to certain sources. No proof exists that Christians “took” the date from a pagan celebration celebrating the sun, contrary to what some have said.
Tighe, the opposite is more likely to be true: “Rather, the pagan festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Son,” which was instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians.” Consequently, the “pagan roots of Christmas” are a fable without any historical foundation.” According to Luke 2:8-9, the Bible describes the precise time of year when Jesus was born: “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their sheep by night.” When they looked up, they saw an angel of the Lord standing before them, and they were surrounded by the glory of the Lord, and they were terrified.” It was customary for the shepherds of that region, according to biblical historian Adam Clarke, to send their sheep out to pasture from the beginning of spring until the beginning of October.
As the darker winter months approached, the flocks would begin to return from their summer pastures in need of shelter and warmth.
Because the shepherds were still tending their flocks in the pastures surrounding Bethlehem when the angels announced the birth of Jesus, it may be assumed that the word of Jesus’ birth was delivered no later than October.
John the Baptist and the Birth of Christ
Christian academics have utilized the birth of John the Baptist as a point of reference in order to determine a more accurate date for Jesus’s conception and birth. John the Baptist is mentioned in Luke 1 as being born to Zacharias and his wife, Elizabeth, after Zacharias’ term of service in the temple was completed. In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel came to her and informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus, the Messiah. As a result, the alleged month of Jesus’ birth may be calculated by calculating the time between the date of Zacharias’ clerical duties and the date of Jesus’ birth.
This date can be calculated by starting at John the Baptist’s conception in June, moving forward six months to reach Gabriel’s announcement of Jesus’ conception, in December, and then moving forward nine more months, the time it takes for a human pregnancy to develop, until you arrive at September, when Jesus was almost certainly born.
When the Roman Emperor Constantine decreed that Christmas should be celebrated on December 25th in 336, it became the first known instance of Christmas being celebrated on that day (the first Christian Roman Emperor).
Why is Christmas on December 25th?
Scholars believe the Roman Catholic Church chose December 25 as the date for the decision for a variety of reasons, including the date’s association with the winter solstice and Saturnalia, a celebration dedicated to the Roman god Saturn. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, church authorities most likely chose the date “to correspond with the pagan Roman celebration commemorating the birthday of the unconquered sun,” which occurred around the time of the winter solstice in the year 2000.
Where was Jesus Born?
For a variety of reasons, scholars believe that the Roman Catholic Church chose December 25 as the date for its decision. These include connections to the winter solstice and Saturnalia, a celebration dedicated to the Roman god Saturn. As stated in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, church officials most likely chose the date to “coincide with the pagan Roman celebration commemorating the birthday of the unconquered sun,” which took place around the time of the winter solstice.” A number of experts, according to The Encyclopedia Americana, feel that this was done “in order to make Christianity more significant to pagan converts.”
- Although Bethlehem and Ephrathah are small towns among the thousands of Judah, out of them will come forth the One who will be ruler over Israel, whose goings forth are from the beginning, from the beginning of time.” Micah 5:2, “However, you, Bethlehem and Ephrathah, though you are small among the thousands of Judah,” says the prophet. The Bible says in Matthew 2:1-2, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem during the reign of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?'” (King James Version) We have come because we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
- Luke 2:4-7, “Joseph also traveled up from Galilee, leaving the city of Nazareth and entering Judea, to the city of David, which is named Bethlehem because he was of the family and lineage of David. As a result, she delivered her firstborn Son, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and lay Him in a manger since there was no room for them at the inn.”
Find out more about the history and significance of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, by reading the following articles.
True Significance of Jesus’ Birth
The fact that Jesus was born is far more important than knowing where and when He was born in the first place. Jesus came to earth in order to exist alongside us and to be one of us. The angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would become the mother of a boy, whose name would be “Immanuel,” which means “God with us” in Hebrew (Matthew 1:23). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only born Son, that whomever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life,” said the disciple John in his letter to the Romans (John 3:16).
This is the revelation of what took place in Bethlehem and the actual significance of Jesus’ birth on Christmas Day.
on the website Christianity.com Photograph courtesy of Thinkstock/Kevron2001.
Where Was Jesus Born?
The fact that Jesus was born is far more important than the location and the date of His birth. When Jesus came to earth, he did so so that he might coexist with us and become a member of our community. In a message from the angel Gabriel, Mary was informed that she would be blessed with a son, whose name would be “Immanuel,” which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only born Son, that whomever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life,” said the disciple John in his letter to the Ephesians (John 3:16).
That which took place in Bethlehem and the genuine significance of Jesus’ birth are revealed in this passage.
Christianity.com is a website dedicated to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
Where Was Jesus Born?
According to BibleInfo.com, this village still exists in the West Bank (a region of Palestine), and it is a location of immense significance to Christians as well as the site of the world’s “oldest Christian church still in daily use.” The name “Bethlehem” literally translates as “House of Bread,” but it is also referred to as the “Town of David” in the Bible (Luke 2:4). According to the Bethlehem Municipalitywebsite, Bethlehem had been a “essential staging and rest station for travelers from Syria and Palestine on their way to Egypt” and subsequently “a strong strategic location” for the Philistines, and had been “a strong strategic point” for the Philistines.
It is revered as the birthplace of their Savior by Christians, while it is revered as the birthplace of a great prophet by Muslims. Because King David was born here, this city is also revered by Jews.
Reasons to Believe Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem
Christians identify Bethlehem with the birth of Jesus because of the following reasons: 1. Prophecy from the Old Testament “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, out of you will come one who will be king over Israel,” says Micah 5:2, referring to the city of Bethlehem Ephrathah. He will stand and shepherd his sheep in the power of the Lord, in the majesty of the Lord His God, according to Micah 5:4 (NASB). This shepherd would turn out to be none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ. “Ephrathah was either the name of Bethlehem itself or the name of a territory in which Bethlehem was located,” according to the dictionary.
- (Luke 2:6-7) The Bible says: 3.
- (Matthew 2:2; Mark 1:15) “All of the people’s leading priests and law teachers gathered together,” Herod was disturbed, and they were tasked with informing him of the location of the missing infant (Matthew 2:4).
- There is nothing in the passages that chronicle their meeting with Joseph, Mary, and the infant Jesus that would lead one to believe that the Magi had discovered the child somewhere else.
- The recognition of Bethlehem’s authentic historicity by the United Nations.
- Some of the structures are still standing below ground.
“The association of the place that was believed to be the birthplace of Jesus is documented as early as the 4th century AD, and from that time on, the buildings that have been added to it have been constructed to enhance this religious significance,” according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
Their protection lends credence to the concept that Bethlehem is the location of Jesus Christ’s birth.
Where Was Jesus Born: Church of the Nativity
For so long in Christian history, this church, in this town, has been identified with the birth of Christ with such certainty that one has to ask why it is still here if there was a more compelling rival. During the time of Jesus, there was something about Bethlehem that had unique significance in the eyes of religious authorities. Certain indications led them to a certain area, which may or may not have been the actual location of his birth, according to the evidence. Nobody alive at the time of the church’s building in the 4th century could claim to have lived during the Apostles’ lifetime, but stories had to have been passed down through the centuries in between.
Evidence of Bethlehem’s importance to travelers traveling through this region of the Middle East only adds to the argument for the city’s location as the site of Christ’s birth.
Certainly, UNESCO and millions of pilgrims are persuaded by archaeological evidence that has survived, while researchers are enthralled by artifacts that have not yet been discovered.
Where Was Jesus Born? Was Jesus Born in Nazareth?
Christians and historians have questioned whether or not the Nativity took place in Nazareth at various times. We do refer to Jesus as “the Nazarene” in the Bible (John 18:5-8) and in hymns such as “I Stand Amazed in the Presence of the Most High,” after all. Furthermore, Matthew makes reference to prophesy that Nazareth would be the city from which the Messiah would arise. The Center for Biblical Research and Methodology (CARM) notes that “there is no clear Old Testament citation that says the Messiah would be termed a Nazarene.” The Bible states that Jesus was reared in Nazareth, which is where Joseph and Mary resided before the census and where they returned after a period spent as refugees in Egypt (Matthew 2:19-23), where he was born and raised.
It was reported that they “brought him to the crest of the hill on which the town was constructed, in order to toss him down the precipice” as well (Luke 4:29).
Jesus Christ Is Eternal
In the end, Jesus existed with God prior to the creation of the universe (John 1). He was born as the Son of Man in order to die for the sins of the world (John 3:16-18), but he was never genuinely “born” in the traditional sense. He has always been, as a member of the Trinity; he is the Great I AM. Despite the fact that we are more easily connected to the tale of a genuine man who was born as a real baby, Christians rely on this power. Even though He was blameless throughout his life, we may identify with His human growth from newborn to adulthood.
- The Christian emphasis is on Christ’s death and resurrection, and our gaze is set on the cross and another birth: the birth of our trust in the risen King.
- When she is not working or participating in missionary activities, she may be found here digging into God’s word.
- You may keep up with Candice’s scriptural studies by visiting her blog, Wordwell (canada).
- The Nativity Story Teach Us 10 Important Things About God The Christmas Bible Story is as follows: Examine the story of Jesus’ birth in the Bible.
- Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/Allanswart
Was Jesus really born in Bethlehem? Why the Gospels disagree over the circumstances of Christ’s birth
Every Christmas, Bethlehem, a very modest village in the Palestinian West Bank, takes center stage: it is the birthplace of Jesus Christ. It is believed that Jesus was born in this village about two millennia ago, according to certain biblical texts. Although the New Testament Gospels all mention Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, they do not all agree on the specifics of his birth. Some passages make no mention of Bethlehem or the birth of Jesus at all. It may be difficult to reconcile the differing viewpoints expressed throughout the Gospels.
Today, genealogy can assist people become more aware of their family’s medical history, as well as find long-lost family relatives.
It was common practice throughout the Greco-Roman period to utilize birth myths and genealogy claims to strengthen a ruler’s authority and link individuals to a supposedly illustrious ancestor.
Gospel of Matthew
Accord to the Gospel of Matthew, which is the first Gospel to be included in the canon of the New Testament, Joseph and Mary were present in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth. Initially, the account tells of three wise men who traveled to the city of Jerusalem after witnessing a star that they regarded as heralding the birth of a new king. It then describes their encounter with the local Jewish king, Herod, who they approach to find out where Jesus had been born. They are led to a dwelling – not an asylum – where Jesus has been born to Joseph and Mary, according to the Gospel of St.
- They are overjoyed and adore Jesus, presenting him with presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
- This was a priceless present, especially the frankincense and myrrh, which were expensive scents with medical properties.
- Joseph, Mary, and the newborn Jesus flee to Egypt to avoid King Herod’s attempted assassination of all small children.
- Instead, they move north to Nazareth in Galilee, which is modern-day Nazareth in Israel, where they spend the rest of their time.
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel of Luke, a biography of Jesus’ life that was written at the same time as the Gospel of Matthew, contains a different story of Jesus’ birth than the Gospel of Matthew. The Gospel of Luke begins with Joseph and a pregnant Mary in the Galilee region of Palestine. They travel to Bethlehem in response to an acensus, which was issued by the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus and demanded of all Jewish people everywhere. Because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he was obligated to register in Bethlehem, which was his homeland at the time.
When Jesus is born, he is filled with rage because all of the tourists had crammed the guest rooms.
Angels, according to Luke, informed these shepherds of Jesus’ location in Bethlehem, and they responded accordingly.
Luke also adds that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus leave Bethlehem eight days after Jesus’ birth and go to Jerusalem, then to Nazareth, according to the Gospel of Luke.
According to John Meier, a historian who specializes in the historical Jesus, Jesus’ “birth at Bethlehem is to be considered not as a historical reality” but rather as a “theological affirmation disguised as an ostensibly factual tale.” In other words, the assumption that Jesus was a descendant of King David resulted in the formation of a myth about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, which is now widely accepted.
According to Raymond Brown, another Gospel expert, “the two tales are not just different – they are diametrically opposed to one other in a number of points.”
Mark’s and John’s Gospels
When it comes to Jesus’ birth, the Gospel of Luke, which was written at the same time as the Gospel of Matthew, provides a slightly different story. Starting in Galilee, the Gospel of Luke tells the story of Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary. When the Roman ruler Caesar Augustus decreed an acensus for the whole Jewish population, they set out on their trek to Bethlehem to fulfill that decree. Joseph’s homeland of Bethlehem was designated as his ancestral home since he was descended from King David.
Because of the overcrowding in the guest rooms, Jesus is born in a state of panic.
According to Luke, angels informed these shepherds of Jesus’ whereabouts in Bethlehem.
Also mentioned in the book of Luke is the fact that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus leave Bethlehem eight days after Jesus’ birth and go to Jerusalem, then to Nazareth.
As John Meier, a historian of the historical Jesus, notes, Jesus’ “birth in Bethlehem is to be understood not as a historical truth” but rather as a “theological affirmation” that has been disguised as a “historical tale” Or to put it another way, the conviction that Jesus was a descendant of King David resulted in the creation of a myth about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.
An ethnic identity
During the time period of Jesus’ life, there were a variety of viewpoints on the Messiah to consider. In one school of Jewish belief, the Messiah was supposed to be an eternal ruler descended from the line of David, as was the case with King David. Further support for this concept may be found in other Jewish books like as the book of Ezra, which was written in the same century as the Gospels, and the Jewish sectarianQumran literature (which was published two centuries earlier). Although it is believed to have been written about B.C.
- In Matthew’s version, this sentence is repeated once more.
- Many ancient founders and political leaders were linked to certain individuals through genealogy.
- Hercules was said to have been a son of Alexander the Great, who reigned over an empire that stretched from Macedonia to India.
- As well as this, a Jewish writer named Philo who lived in the first century AD said that Abraham, along with all of the Jewish priests and prophets, were created by God.
As the Greek historian Polybius says, the great actions of forebears are “part of the inheritance of posterity” because they are “part of the heritage of posterity.” The presence of the city of Bethlehem in the gospels of Matthew and Luke added to the assertion that Jesus was the Messiah descended from the House of David.
The legends of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem helped to solidify the notion that he was a legitimate descendant of King David.
As a result, today, when the significance of Bethlehem is mentioned in Christmas songs or depicted in Nativity scenes, the name of the town is used to link Jesus to an ancestral lineage as well as the prophetic desire for a new king in the manner of King David.
Where Was Jesus Born?
The birthplace and hometown of Jesus Megan Sauter is a model and actress. The date is June 26, 2021. 108642 views and 46 comments What city was the site of Jesus’ birth? Bethlehem is the location where Jesus was born according to the Bible. The Italian artist Giotto painted this picture in the Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel in Padua, depicting Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the Bethlehem stable. It is one of his best-known works. All of the wise men, as well as their caravan and angels, had gathered around the young child.
The comet known as Haley’s was discovered in 1301, three years before Giotto painted this image.
Passages from Matthew 1–2 and Luke 1–2, the Gospels’ infancy narratives, are recited and sung at Christmas pageants, and they are even played out in live performances.
Bethlehem appears to be the solution in the Bible, and it appears to be correct.
However, Biblical scholarship has recently called into question the identification of Bethlehem as Jesus’ birthplace, asking why he is referred to as a Nazorean and a Galilean throughout the New Testament, and why Bethlehem is not mentioned as Jesus’ birthplace outside of the infancy narratives in the Gospels.
In his Biblical Views column “Jesus’ Birthplace and Jesus’ Home,” published in the November/December 2014 edition of BAR, Philip J.
He examines in detail what the Bible says regarding the cities of Bethlehem, generally known as Jesus’ birthplace, and Nazareth, traditionally known as Jesus’ home.
In this free eBook, you will learn more about the history of Christmas as well as the date of Jesus’ birth.
While Bethlehem in Judea was well-known in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament as the birthplace of King David and the birthplace of the future messiah, the small village of Nazareth in Galilee was far less well-known, and did not even receive a mention in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, or the writings of Josephus, despite its location in the heart of the Jewish nation.
- Despite this, both locations were essential in Jesus’ life.
- Read the complete piece “Jesus’ Birthplace and Jesus’ Home” in the November/December 2014 issue of BAR to find out what Philip J.
- – Subscribers: Take a look at the complete article by Philip J.
- Not a subscriber yet?
Become a member today. You might be interested in knowing more about Jesus’ birth. In this free eBook, you will learn more about the history of Christmas as well as the date of Jesus’ birth. Jesus’ Birth as Told Through History and Tradition: The Story of Jesus’ Birth in History and Tradition.
Related reading in Bible History Daily:
Was Jesus a real person? Looking for Evidence Outside the Bible: Lawrence Mykytiuk’s main piece from the January/February 2015 issue of BAR, which includes a large list of endnotes Andrew McGowan’s complete essay from the December 2002 edition of Bible Review on how December 25 became Christmas may be seen here. Chronological Christmas Stories from the Christian Apocryphaby Tony Burke is a former U.S. Representative from Massachusetts. The Death of Herod, the Birth of Jesus, and a Lunar Eclipse are all happening at the same time.
What Was the Purpose of the Magi Bringing Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh?
This piece of Bible History Daily was first published on November 17, 2014, and has been updated.
Christ’s Birthplace Bethlehem Has Surprising History
Whether or not Jesus existed is up for discussion. Looking for Evidence Outside the Bible: Lawrence Mykytiuk’s main piece from the January/February 2015 edition of BAR, which includes a huge list of endnotes. Andrew McGowan’s complete essay from the December 2002 edition of Bible Review on how December 25 became Christmas may be found here: Apocryphal Christmas Tales from the Christian Tradition Tony Burke is a former U.S. Representative from New York. The Death of Herod, the Birth of Jesus, and a Lunar Eclipse are all events that occurred on this date.
Who Were the Three Wise Men Who Brought the Gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrh?
– It was originally published on November 17, 2014, as part of the Bible History Daily program.
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.
Is it true that Jesus existed? Searching for Evidence Beyond the Bible: Lawrence Mykytiuk’s feature piece from the January/February 2015 issue of BAR, which includes extensive endnotes. The full text of Andrew McGowan’s article from the December 2002 issue of Bible Review can be found here. Christmas Tales from the Christian Apocrypha Tony Burke is a well-known actor. The Death of Herod, the Birth of Jesus, and a Lunar Eclipse all occurred on the same day. Who Was the biological father of Jesus?
Is the location of Jesus’ childhood home known?
Bethlehem is, of course, famous as the birthplace of Jesus. Does thehistorical and archaeological recordconfirm this?
Did Jesus really exist? Searching for Evidence Outside of the Bible: Lawrence Mykytiuk’s main piece from the January/February 2015 edition of BAR, which includes extensive endnotes. The entire text of Andrew McGowan’s essay from the December 2002 issue ofBible Review may be seen here. Christmas Stories from the Christian Apocryphaby Tony Burke is a well-known actor and director. The Death of Herod, the Birth of Jesus, and a Lunar Eclipse all occur on the same day.
Who Was Jesus’ biological father, and how did he become so? Why Did the Magi Bring Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh to the Christ Child? Is it possible to locate Jesus’ childhood home? This Bible History Daily piece was first published on November 17, 2014, and has since been updated.
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.
Israeli interest in Bethlehem stems from the same source that has piqued the curiosity of the world throughout history: the aquifer, which continues to be one of Israel’s primary water suppliers. 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 regions. There are now 42 communities in the vicinity of the town.
- In essence, it is a jail with a view of the outside.
- It is what it is.
- It was around Christmas time that people began to speculate that an English graffiti artist had arrived.
- As a result, I discovered that Banksy artworks were appearing all throughout town.
- People in Bethlehem are divided on the subject.
- The wall, according to others, is being drew attention to it.
- A remarkable sense of humour may be found in Palestinians.
Where Was Jesus Born? – 5 Things to Know about Bethlehem
Christ’s birth is recorded in the Bible as taking place in the city of Bethlehem, which is located just south of Jerusalem. The fact that it is included in numerous famous Christmas carols and hymns makes it known to the majority of Christians and many non-Christians alike. Even if a person only attends church once a year, there is a strong likelihood that they will hear something about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem during their time there.
Here are 5 things to know about Bethlehem in the Bible:
Bethlehem, which translates as “the abode of food,” is a town in Judea, six miles south of Jerusalem in the Judean hill area. According to the Old Testament, Bethlehem was formerly known as Ephrath (“fruitful”), and it was also the burial site of Rachel (Gen 35:16, 19; 48:7). It was also the home of Ruth and her husband Boaz, who were well-known in the area. Ruth was blessed with the words, “May you have standing in Ephrathah and be well-known in Bethlehem” upon their marriage (Ruth 4:11). One of the most noteworthy aspects of the book of Ruth is that it finishes by tracing the familial line of Perez down to Boaz, who in turn leads to Jesse, the father of David (4:18–22).
Furthermore, it was at Bethlehem that the prophet Samuel anointed David as the king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13), and it was in Bethlehem that David tended his father’s sheep (17:15). As a result, Bethlehem came to be known as the “city of David” (Luke 2:4,11).
2. Bethlehem was prophesied to be the birthplace of the Messiah.
Jerusalem is six miles south of Bethlehem, which literally translates as “the house of bread,” and is located in the Judean hills. Bethlehem was originally known as Ephrath (“fruitful”) in the Old Testament, and it was the burial site of Rachel (Gen 35:16, 19; 48:7). Ruth and her husband Boaz were also well-known residents of the area. Ruth was blessed with the words, “May you have standing in Ephrathah and be well-known in Bethlehem” upon her marriage to David (Ruth 4:11). One of the most significant aspects of the book of Ruth is that it concludes by tracing the family line of Perez back to Boaz and ultimately to Jesse, the father of David (4:18–22).
Furthermore, it was in Bethlehem that the prophet Samuel anointed David as the king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13), and it was in Bethlehem that David cared for his father’s sheep (17:15).
3. Joseph and Mary journeyed to Bethlehem to be counted in a Roman census.
Bethlehem, which literally translates as “the abode of food,” is a town in Judea, six miles south of Jerusalem in the hill region. Bethlehem was formerly known as Ephrath (“fruitful”) in the Old Testament, and it was the burial place of Rachel (Gen 35:16, 19; 48:7). It was also the home of Ruth and her husband Boaz, who were well-known in the community. Ruth was blessed with the words, “May you have standing in Ephrathah and be distinguished in Bethlehem” upon their marriage (Ruth 4:11). Most notably, the book of Ruth finishes by tracing the familial line of Perez via Boaz to Jesse, the father of David (4:18–22), therefore completing the genealogy of the book of Ruth.
Furthermore, it was at Bethlehem that the prophet Samuel anointed David as the king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13), and it was also in Bethlehem where David tended his father’s sheep (17:15).
4. Jesus was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth.
According to Matthew 2:4 and Luke 2:4, Jesus was born at Bethlehem and then returned to Nazareth, where he was reared by his grandparents (Matt 2:23; Luke 2:39). Although these narratives have been questioned, some skeptics maintain that Nazareth was Jesus’ “hometown” and the location of his birth. The story of Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem, for example, was concocted by early Christians in order “to bring Jesus’s parents to Bethlehem so that he may be born in the same city as David,” in fulfillment of the prophesy of Micah 5:2.
- Interestingly, this type of skepticism may be traced all the way back to the days of Jesus’ ministry and the founding of the early church.
- Some people, who were aware of the prophesy of the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem, questioned whether Jesus could be the Messiah if he came from Nazareth in Galilee, rather than Bethlehem.
- Instead, he humorously exposes the false allegations made by Jesus’ opponents, implying that he expected his readers to be aware that Jesus was, in fact, born in Bethlehem, according to the Gospel of Matthew.
- Moreover, while it is unmistakably stated that Jesus’ “hometown” was Nazareth (Mark 6:1; Luke 4:23), the phrase “hometown” (Greek, patris) does not necessarily refer to one’s place of birth.
In the book of Luke, this is the phrase used to define Joseph’s relationship to Bethlehem (Luke 2:3). Luke even goes so far as to replace the phrase “his city” with the phrase “his own city,” therefore establishing Bethlehem as the location of Joseph’s ancestors and the ultimate birthplace of Jesus.
5. The wise men visited Bethlehem to worship Jesus.
The Bible records that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and then returned to his hometown of Nazareth, where he was reared (Matt 2:23; Luke 2:39). Those who doubt these narratives, on the other hand, contend that Nazareth was Jesus’ “hometown” and the site of his conception. According to Reza Aslan, for example, the early Christians fabricated the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem in order “to bring Jesus’s parents to Bethlehem so that he might be born in the same city as David,” in fulfillment of the prophesy of Micah 5:2 (see below).
- Because of a discrepancy in the location of Jesus’ birth, people in John’s Gospel questioned Jesus’ messianic identity (7:41-42).
- Those who questioned Jesus’ identity were correct in their suspicions, but John’s aim is not to confirm their accuracy.
- Even in the first century, Christian apologists were divided on Jesus’ alleged Galilean ancestry, according to the evidence.
- Charles Quarles has proven that the term “his city” was commonly employed to identify a person’s birthplace in the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament) (Greek,polis autou; 1 Sam 20:6; 2 Sam 15:12; 17:23).
- By substituting “his city” with “his own city,” Luke further solidifies his argument by establishing Bethlehem as the location of Joseph’s ancestors and the ultimate birthplace of Jesus.
Why Was Jesus Born in Bethlehem? The Town’s Rich Meaning & Significance
Why did God chose Bethlehem as the location for Christ’s birth, out of all the historic towns on the planet? For what reason wouldn’t He send His own Son, this long-awaited Savior, to the holiest of cities, Jerusalem, or the cultural center of ancient Athens? In sending the “Bread of Life” to a hungry and waiting world more than two thousand years ago, God may have been exposing some important truths. Why did God chose Bethlehem as the location for Christ’s birth, out of all the historic towns on the planet?
In sending the “Bread of Life” to a hungry and waiting world more than two thousand years ago, God may have been exposing some important truths.
Bethlehem: The Setting for the Story
You may be familiar with the story. In the Bible, this ancient event is recorded inLuke 2:1-20, and we name it the birth of Christ. This miracle narrative begins with God sending an angel named Gabriel to a Jewish youngster living in Nazareth, who was then able to communicate with him. “Greetings, valued woman!” the angel said enthusiastically. “The Lord is with you!” says the prophet. (Luke 1:28, New Living Translation) The information he subsequently shared with her left this young virgin perplexed.
“May all of the things you’ve spoken about me come to pass” (Luke 1:38, NIV).
This obedience was likely tested a short time later, when Caesar Augustus mandated a census that required Mary to go with her husband some 80 miles, either on donkey or on foot, to Bethlehem, where Joseph’s ancestors were buried, in order to be counted.
But Mary, God’s humble servant, continued on her journey. Image courtesy of Getty Images
Where Was the Town of Bethlehem?
Historically, experts believe that Bethlehem’s size and geographic position were insignificant at the time. This little trade-way town, six miles south of Jerusalem, located between the Holy City and Egypt on the ancient commerce route. It didn’t achieve significance until Herod constructed his fortifications, which were surrounded by this old village and whose highways were shaded by it. This demonstrates “how God may use something that appears to be insignificant to have a long-lasting influence.” This significant location, albeit a blip on an old map, serves as a reminder to “never mistake size with significance,” as the authors, Neil Wislon and Ryken Taylor, put it.
Despite the fact that she was an unknown and presumably unappreciated young woman from an apparently tiny Galilean hamlet, God picked her to give birth to a child who would one day redeem the world.
Where Is Bethlehem Mentioned in Scripture?
Historically, Bethlehem’s size and geographic position were considered to be inconsequential at the time. This little trade-way town, which was six miles south of Jerusalem and lay between the Holy City and Egypt, was an important stop on the ancient commerce route. Not until Herod’s strongholds were erected, and their roadways were shaded by the ruins of this ancient village, did it begin to increase in significance. This demonstrates “how God may use something that appears to be insignificant to have a long-term influence.” “Never mistake size with importance,” advise authorsNiel Wislon and Ryken Taylor, of this significant location that is only a blip on an antique map.
To give birth to a child who would one day redeem the world, God picked an unknown and presumably unappreciated girl from an apparently tiny Galilean town.
Why Is it Important That Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem?
Bethlehem literally translates as “house of bread” (beth: home, lehem: of bread), and food was extremely important throughout biblical times. It was a mainstay of the ancient diet, providing not just comfort but also the nutrition required for life at the time. Bread, which was used in Temple worship, also came to signify God’s sustenance and presence, and it played a major role in Jewish Passover rituals, particularly the Seder. Photograph courtesy of Unsplash/Wesuel This once again pointed to Christ as the ultimate Redeemer.
- During the 400-year reign of Egyptian authority, God’s people had been mistreated.
- God showed them how to establish an intimate connection with Him while they were traveling, and that relationship was built on complete reliance on Him.
- These principles were reaffirmed by Jesus in the gospel of John, when He declared Himself to be the Bread of Life.
- According to Scripture, He didn’t simply give them a taste or just enough to keep them going until their next meal.
- He followed the same procedure with the fish” (John 6:11, NIV, emphasis mine).
The miracle feeding was followed by Jesus’ proclamation “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” As a result, God the Father has bestowed His mark of approval on him.” Following their questioning, He responded by saying,”The actual bread that comes down from heaven is given to you by My Father.
Following this, He declared, “I am the bread of life.” It is guaranteed that everyone who comes to Me will never go hungry, and that anyone who believes in Me will never be thirsty.” His listeners would have quickly grasped the ramifications of his words.
“Thus, bread is a metaphor that reflects redemption history: God’s daily supply, sustenance during desert times, participation in Christ’s death, and participation in the coming kingdom via trust in Christ,” the writers continue.
Scripture Points toward a Promise to Come from Bethlehem
God promised Jesus, the Bread of Life, that he would return when mankind realized it needed a Savior for the first time. (See Genesis 3:15.) The promise was repeated throughout Scripture as God led His people in a Passover meal and liberated them from Egypt, provided manna in the desert, and revealed His Redeemer through the romance of a widow and wealthy landowner.Design Credit: Rachel DawsonThen, after generations of all of these vivid illustrations, God spoke more directly in Micah 5:2, stating,”But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
You are only However, a king of Israel will arise from among you, one whose origins date back thousands of years.
And He will stand to shepherd His sheep with the power of the Lord, in the grandeur of the name of the Lord His God, as He has done throughout history.
and He will be the source of peace.” God sent the Prince of Peace to bring us peace, and the Bread of Life, born in the house of bread, to provide us life from this time forward into eternity.
She is the author of the book, “Feast on the One Who Longs to Daily Nurture and Sustain Us and Fill Us with Overflowing, Beyond What We Can Imagine.” Jennifer Slattery is the author of several books, including Hometown Healing, and she also writes a devotional blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com.
Sign up for her free quarterly newsletterHERE to be the first to know about her upcoming events and appearances, as well as new projects and releases.Photo courtesy of Getty Images/lukbar & lukbar & lukbar.com