Bethlehem Stable Where Jesus Was Born

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.

  1. When pilgrims came later, when Rome had become Christian, they did hear stories of a manger being present.
  2. 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.
  3. Tell us about the Ain Sakhri devotees—as well as about the biblical scholar Karen Armstrong’s research.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The individuals who built this sculpture, known as theNatufiansas they are now known, are an example of how this may be accomplished.
  7. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. The Israeli forces finally pushed inside the ancient souk region and encircled the Church of the Nativity, which was destroyed in the war.
  3. There was a suggestion that ambulances might be permitted to operate during the curfew provided they were accompanied by European citizens.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  1. Each wave has radically altered the town, yet the town has managed to hold on to its identity.
  2. The length and clarity of this interview have been adjusted for readability.
  3. Book Talk is curated by Simon Worrall.
  4. Bethlehemby Constable is the publisher of Nicholas Blincoe’s work.

Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem

Located 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem, on the spot that has been designated by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus since the second century, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is worth a visit. There was originally a church there, which was completed in 339, and the edifice that rebuilt it following a fire in the 6th century still has magnificent floor mosaics from the previous structure. The property also comprises churches and convents belonging to the Latin, Greek Orthodox, Franciscan, and Armenian faiths, as well as bell towers, terraced gardens, and a pilgrimage path.

Lieu de naissance de Jésus: l’église de la Nativité et la route de pèlerinage, Bethléem

The property is located about 10 kilometers south of Jérusalem on the grounds of the locations that Christians have revered as the site of Jesus’ birth from the second century AD, according to Christian tradition. It was here that a church was built in 339, and the building that replaced it after a fire that occurred in the sixth century still has remnants of the former structure’s floor, which were created from mosaics. The complex also includes a number of churches and monasteries, including Greek, Latin, Orthodox, Franciscan, and Armenian structures, as well as cloisters, terraced gardens, and a pilgrimage path across the area.

مهد ولادة يسوع المسيح: كنيسة المهد وطريق الحجاج، بيت لحم

A total of 20 years have passed since the beginning of the project.

Three hundred and forty-nine dollars and thirty-nine cents A spokesman for the company said: “The company is committed to providing the best possible service to its customers.” . source: UNESCO/ERIDescription is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.


这一入选遗产位于耶路撒冷以南10公里,自从公元二世纪以来,就被基督教传统认定为耶稣的诞生地。 公元339年,在此建成第一座教堂,公元6世纪的火灾后,在此基础上重建的教堂保留了原有建筑精美的马赛克地板。 这一遗产地还包括拉丁、希腊东正教、方济会和亚美尼亚修道院和教堂,以及钟楼、露台花园和一条朝圣路线。 source: UNESCO/ERIDescription is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

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Базилика Рождества Христова и тропы паломников

The location is around 10 kilometers from the city of Seychelles. Beginning in the second century A.D., this location is revered by the Slovak people as the site of the birth of исуса ристa. When the city was first established in 339 A.D., it was known as the “Egyptian City of Peace.” Following oap in the 6th century n.y., she was renovated, and as a result, it was possible to collect a variety of unusual musaacs. The list includes католиеские and равославне, including ранисканские and армнские, монастри and еркви, as well as колоколни, террасне сад, and тро аломников.

El Lugar de Nacimiento de Jesús: Iglesia de la Natividad y ruta de peregrinación en Belén

Located about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem, the registered site is believed to be the location where Jesus Christ was born, according to Christian tradition. A first church was built in 399 B.C., but it was demolished by fire and replaced by another in the sixth century, which was demolished by fire again in the seventh century. Suelos de mosaico extraordinariamente elaborados, originating from the original structure, have been preserved in the current church. The site also includes conventos and churches of several denominations, including latinas, Greeks, Orthodoxes, Franciscans, and Armenians, as well as campanarios, terraced gardens, and a pilgrimage route.

The following description is accessible under the CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 license.


エルサレムの南方10kmに位置する生誕協会は、2世紀以降人々によってイエスの生誕地と考えられてきた場所に立つ。 339年に創始され、6世紀の火災後に再建されたもので、初期教会建築の顕著な例。 構成資産には、巡礼の最終目的地である生誕教会に向かう巡礼路や鐘楼、ひな壇式庭園のほか、ラテン・ギリシャ正教・フランシスコ会・アルメニア教会の修道院や教会なども含まれている。 生誕教会の建物の損傷が激しいことから、危機遺産にも同時に登録された。 source:NFUAJ

Geboorteplaats van Jezus: Geboortekerk en pelgrimsroute, Bethlehem

This location is located 10 kilometers to the south of Jeruzalem, on the site that has been recognized as the birthplace of Jesus by Christian tradition since the second century after Christ’s death and resurrection. In 339, a church was dedicated for the first time in history. In the sixth century, a brand was established. The current church, which retains the original vernacular, still has the whole set of vloermozaeken from the original church. There are also Latijnse, Greek-orthodox, Franciscaanse, and Armeense churches and chapels in the vicinity of the Geboorteplaats van Jezus’ burial site.

Outstanding Universal Value

a succinct summary Bethlehem is located 10 kilometers south of the city of Jerusalem in the lush limestone hill area of the Holy Land, 10 kilometers south of the city of Jerusalem. Historically, people have thought that Jesus was born at the location where the Church of the Nativity presently stands (Bethlehem) from at least the second century AD. In one specific cave, over which the first Church was erected, there is a long-held belief that the actual Birthplace of Christ took place. When it comes to pinpointing the Nativity, the location is significant since it both represents the beginnings of Christianity and is one of the holiest sites in all of Christendom.

  1. This church is covered by the current Church of the Nativity, which dates mostly from the mid-6th century AD (Justinian), but it has undergone some modifications since then.
  2. Since the early Middle Ages, the Church has gradually been assimilated into a larger complex of other religious structures, mostly monastic in nature.
  3. Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity have been, and continue to be, a popular pilgrimage destination for more than 1700 years, at various times in history.
  4. Year after year, at Christmas festivities in Bethlehem, the Route is commemorated as the path taken by Joseph and Mary on their journey to Bethlehem, and it is ceremonially followed by the Patriarchs of the three churches at their various Christmas celebrations and formal trips to Bethlehem.
  5. As well as for the manner that over 1500 years, the fabric of the Church of the Nativity and its affiliations have come together to represent the immense spiritual and political effect that Christianity has had on human history.

Mary Major on the site believed to be associated with It is directly related with the birth of Jesus, an event of remarkable international significance, as evidenced by the fact that its structures were created in the 4th century AD and re-constructed in the 6th century AD, and that it is located on the Pilgrimage Route leading to it.

  1. Integrity The Church of the Nativity and its architectural ensemble, which includes the Armenian, Franciscan, and Greek Orthodox Convents, as well as an area of terraced ground to the east and a short portion of the Pilgrimage Route, are all included in the purchase of the property.
  2. As a result, it encompasses all of the structures that serve as the focal point of pilgrimage, as well as the cave that is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.
  3. This evidence has not yet been properly analyzed and is generally intact.
  4. Additionally, in addition to delineating a functional roadway in a bustling city, this “width and line” now serves to define a commemorative path for a religious rite.
  5. These trees are not a part of the land, but they constitute an important component of the approach to the church and should be safeguarded and conserved.
  6. As a result of the dramatic growth in the number of vehicles, insufficient parking, and the presence of minor companies inside the old town, a polluted environment has developed that is damaging the façades of the Church of the Nativity as well as other structures along the Pilgrimage Route.
  7. New buildings, some of which are vast in scale, are disrupting the traditional urban fabric in the vicinity of the Church of the Nativity, resulting in a detrimental impact on views to and from the property, as well as on its sense of place and religious connections.

The three churches that have taken up residence on the site are responsible for maintaining its sacredness.

This commemoration and rebuilding bear witness to a seventeen hundred year-old tradition of believing that this grotto was, in fact, the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

Despite the fact that the majority of the existing church dates back to the 6th century AD, it still contains a portion of the 4th century floor and some of its walls and columns.

The Crusades, which resulted in one of the most significant increases in pilgrimage activity, are reflected in the additions made in the 12th century.

The buildings of one of the monastery complexes date back to at least the 12th century, and there is evidence of earlier monastic structures beneath the other complexes that date back to the 12th century.

To ensure that repair and restoration respect as much as possible of the existing fabric, which is essential to understanding the significance of the church, all elements of the church associated with the original church, its rebuilding in the 6thcentury, and its alterations in the 12thcentury must be clearly identified and a conservation plan agreed upon.

The current lack of control over development, traffic, and tourism in the immediate urban surrounds of the Church poses a threat to this relationship as well as the capacity of the property to express properly its spiritual connections to those who visit it.

The rapid increase in the number of vehicles, insufficient parking, and the presence of small industries within the historic town have resulted in a polluted environment that is negatively impacting the façades of both the Church and the buildings along the Pilgrimage Route, according to the local authorities.

  1. An advisory council appointed by the Palestinian President now serves as a complement to the management structure.
  2. The advisory committee, which was established by the Palestinian president in full cooperation with the three churches in charge of the church, has developed a technical plan for the restoration of the roof of the Church of the Nativity.
  3. The intervention to repair the roof of the church was identified as a priority by the multinational team that worked on the plan, and the work is likely to begin later this year or early next.
  4. One of the objectives of such a Strategy should be to integrate the results of the extensive investigation reports into a concise statement that expresses the relevance of each aspect within the context of a complete conservation philosophy relevant to the planned action.

The second major component, the Pilgrimage Route, which includes Star Street in Bethlehem, is a part of the Municipality of Bethlehem and is therefore subject to the provisions of the ‘Building and Planning Law 30, 1996’, the ‘Bethlehem Charter 2008’, the ‘Guidelines for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Historic Towns of Bethlehem, Beit Jala, and Beit Sahour, 2010,’ and the ‘General Rules for the Protection of the Historic Area and Historic Three goals have been set forth in the final two pieces of legislation: “protection,” “conservation,” and “rehabilitation.” The third piece of legislation is the “Charter,” which contains a declaration of principles as well as working techniques for achieving those goals.

Stronger regulations, on the other hand, are required to guarantee that the property’s urban surroundings is not eroded.

A Management Plan for the entire property will be produced by the Committee established to monitor the roof repairs, and this plan should describe an overarching management structure for the entire property, including the roof repairs.

The Plan also has to address improved management of tourists, since the supply of visitor amenities is having a negative influence on the fabric of the surrounding town’s infrastructure.

Construction on the Heritage for Development Project, which is being funded by the European Commission, is scheduled to conclude in December 2013; upon completion, a conservation plan for the historic town of Bethlehem, which will include bylaws for intervention within the historic town, a management plan for the historic town, and an intervention manual will be endorsed by the municipality of Bethlehem, according to the project’s timeline.

In addition, the team from the municipality is participating in the planning phase and is anticipated to have the necessary resources to handle the project’s outputs to the fullest extent possible after it is completed.

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.

  • Dr.
  • 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.
  • Dr.
  • 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.

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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.

Copyright 1995, Associates for Biblical Research, All Rights Reserved—except as noted on the attached”Usage and Copyright”page, which grants ChristianAnswers.Net users generous rights for putting

this page to work in their homes, personal witnessing, churches, and schools. Copyright 1995, Associates for Biblical Research, All Rights Reserved—except as noted on the attached”Usage and Copyright”page, which grants ChristianAnswers.Net users generous rights for putting

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

A Byzantine basilica, the Church of the Nativity, is located in the holy city of Bethlehem. It was erected on top of the cave where, according to a story that dates back to the second century, Jesus was born. (Image credit: Dimos|Shutterstock) 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.

Nativity Church

Featured image courtesy of Paul Prescott/Shutterstock. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is approached through this gate.

Church Patio

(Photo courtesy of Dimos|Shutterstock.) A patio at the Church of the Nativity may be found here. The monument is dedicated to Hieronymus, who is credited with translating the Bible into Latin.

Emperor Constantine

(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| 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.

Grotto Entrance

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.

Milk Grotto

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 won a scholarship from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for journalism in the field of ocean sciences.

Jesus was not born in a stable, says theologian

Christmas nativity scenes across the world depict the birth of Christ, which may be the most famous Bible tale of all: Jesus was born in a stable because there were no rooms available at the inn when his parents went to give birth to him. Christian scholar Rev Ian Paul, on the other hand, has suggested that the entire tale of Jesus’ birth may be based on a misunderstanding of the New Testament, resurrecting an old belief that Jesus was not, in fact, born in a stable. “I apologize for interfering with your Christmas preparations before the Christmas lights have even been turned on,” writes Rev Paul, a theologian and former Dean of Studies at St John’s Theological College in Nottingham, on his personal blog.

  1. For a “Inn” or any other establishment where visitors are welcomed, a completely separate term, pandocheion, is used.
  2. His family was in Bethlehem, and if he did have family there, the norms of first-century Palestine compelled him to remain with them rather than with strangers, which was the sole reason they traveled there for the census.
  3. It’s possible that the place was already crammed with other relatives who had come before them.
  4. There would typically be hollows in the ground filled with straw in the family living space where the animals would feed,” says the author.
  5. This is hardly a novel way of looking at things.
  6. Because of his suffering, he was denounced to the inquisition and admonished by them, albeit he was not really burnt, tortured, or imprisoned as would have happened to other heretics.
  7. “In the Christmas tale, Jesus is not depressed and lonely, lying in a manger far away from us and requiring our sympathy.

If this occurred in a busy family house, the message is still intact. In his opinion, the fact that it took place in an isolated stable “only serves to demonstrate that the decline was from a respected human to a despised human.”

Was Jesus Born in a Barn, Cave, or House? · Living Theologically

Changes made on December 5th, 2011: This post has been somewhat revised and republished on my new website. You may find it on the Youth Pastor Theologian website. The answer to the question “Where was Jesus born?” is surprisingly difficult to determine. “In Bethlehem,” is a straightforward response. Yes, but where exactly? The traditional nativity scene depicts the holy family in a stable that resembles a barn, which is distinct from the Inn since there was no room in the inn. Is this, however, correct?

  • What We Already Know Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, where there was no space “in the inn,” and his being wrapped and put in a manger are all well-documented events in the Bible.
  • And, while they were there, the time arrived for her to give birth to their child.
  • Animals were kept in a variety of locations in ancient Bethlehem.
  • The Most Common Assumption: In a Barn, to be precise.
  • The explanation for this is understandable and goes as follows: Because Jesus was put in a manger, which was a feeding trough for cattle, it is reasonable to assume that he was born in the stable with the livestock.
  • This is where farmers currently keep their livestock.
  • The Traditional Perspective: A Cave The Early Church Fathers described Jesus’ birth as taking place in a cave.

During the reign of Emperor Constantine, the cave that was traditionally believed to be the place of Jesus’ birth was transformed into a holy site, which is today known as the ” Church of the Nativity.” The residents of Bethlehem were rumored to have kept their flocks in an adjacent cave, and there is archaeological evidence of livestock being kept in caverns dating back thousands of years.

  1. It is very likely that Origen and Jerome just followed Justin Martyr’s notion and, as a result, they are all incorrect – a position that has gained popularity in recent years.
  2. The graphic below is a recreation of what Bethlehem’s dwellings looked like in the past.
  3. The top level served as the family’s principal dwelling, and it was always equipped with a “upper room” that could be used as a guest room when guests came to visit.
  4. When it reads in Luke 2:7 that “there was no place for them in the inn,” the Greek word for “inn” refers to this particular guest room, not a hotel (there was a word for that, which is used in the Parable of the Good Samaritan).

This viewpoint also reflects the cultural importance placed on hospitality, as well as the high likelihood that Mary’s family would refuse to welcome her and Joseph while she is in her final day(s) of pregnancy, despite the scandal surrounding her being pregnant before their official marriage was finalized.

  • This point of view is also supported by renowned Bible dictionaries (see their articles for the terms “manger” and “inn” for examples).
  • This last perspective is something I’ve only lately discovered.
  • A key point raised by this viewpoint is that Bethlehem’s shepherds had been assigned the particular responsibility of giving birth to and caring for the lambs that would be used for temple sacrifice.
  • Swaddling cloths were used to protect lambs from damage while they were being put in mangers, exactly as Jesus Christ was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.
  • You may learn more about ithere by reading about it or watching a video about it.
  • The million-dollar question is: what should I do?
  • We’ve figured out all we need to know.
  • Despite his modest and lowly origins, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
  • The information provided above helps to fill in the context in various respects, which may be beneficial while considering the difficulties that Mary and Joseph encountered and when celebrating God’s providence.
  • Remember, in the middle of the ambiguous facts and whichever hypothesis you think to be the most plausible, to keep your eyes on the wonder: that a plain manger was transformed into God’s throne.

This is the purpose of the tale, and we must not lose sight of it because we are engrossed with the details that God did not consider significant enough to be preserved.

Was Jesus Born in a Stable, a Cave or a House?

Is it possible that Jesus was born in a stable? Is it possible that it was a cave? Alternatively, how about a house? The simple answer to this question is that we do not know. Unfortunately, we can’t be positive because the Bible does not expressly address this issue. We can, however, reason our way through this using the Bible, and we may speculate on where Jesus might have been born as well. A stable is where it is said that Jesus was born, according to tradition. That assertion is founded on the fact that Jesus was laid in a manger at the time of His birth.

Also, the following will serve as a sign unto you: you will discover the child lying in a manger clothed in swaddling cloths.

A Stable or a Cave?

A manger (also known as a phatne) was a sort of animal feed trough. As a result, nativity representations that portray a baby in a straw-filled feeding trough are largely realistic in terms of biblical interpretation (during that time feed troughs were made of stone, not wood). Due to the fact that Jesus was “laid in a manger” (Luke 2:7), it is likely that there were animals around, as depicted in traditional nativity scenes. The Bible, on the other hand, does not inform us that there were any animals there or that His birth took place in a barn.

See also:  What Did Jesus Teach About Forgiveness?

Historical documents reveal that animals were also maintained in caves around the first century AD, according to historical archives.

A manger, a phatne, a fodder crib, or a cattle stall are the only things that are mentioned.

A House?

Other theories about Jesus’ birth include that he was born in the basement of a house, which is highly plausible and perceptive, although it is not frequently accepted. According to the Bible, Joseph journeyed to Bethlehem, the city of their forefather David, with his betrothed bride Mary in order to comply with the census mandated by Caesar Augustus, who was then in power (Luke 2:1). This would have been a significant difficulty for Mary and Joseph – physically for Mary because of her pregnancy, and financially for Joseph because they had few financial resources at the time.

As a result of this reasoning, it is possible that Joseph and Mary sought accommodation with a relative in Bethlehem.

We should also examine the fact that their journey to Bethlehem was likely to have been extremely delayed due to Mary’s condition, which was that she was almost full term pregnant.

Consequently, if they traveled to the home of a cousin, it is possible that the house had already been occupied by other relatives who had also come to comply with the census.

The Inn?

What about Luke 2:7, on the other hand? It is stated in the verse above that they went to an inn rather than a relative’s house. Luke 2:7And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and placed him in a manger, because there was no space for them at the inn where they were staying. The English term “inn,” which appears in Luke 2:7, is often taken as meaning paid accommodation; nevertheless, it might be referring to something different. Do you think it’s the residence of a relative?

  • Strong’s Dictionary defines Kataluma as follows: from G2647; prop.
  • (by implication) a lodging-place: –guestchamber at a hotel.
  • In Greek, kataluo means to loosen up (disintegrate), which means to demolish (literally or figuratively) anything; specifically, to halt for the night:–destroy, dissolve; be guest; lodge; come to naught; overturn; hurl down; to loosen up (disintegrate); to loosen up (disintegrate).
  • As a place of rest, accommodation, or guest quarters it is defined as follows: Neither public lodgings nor paid accommodations are mentioned in this section.
  • The innkeeper is an addition to the story, and he is frequently shown in nativity plays.
  • The suggestion of an innkeeper really adds to what is already stated in the biblical text.

The Guest Chamber?

The upper room serves as a guest chamber, while the lower level serves as a shelter for animals from the first century. The term kataluma is also used in the book of Luke. In this passage, a different word is used to translate the same phrase: 22:11 (Luke 22:11) In such case, you will inform the housekeeper that “the Master has asked thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples?” will be spoken to him. The word “kataluma” is translated as “guest room” in this context.

This is a reference to a room on the second floor of a home.

An allusion to a guest chamber may also be found in the Gospel of Mark: 14:14 (Mark 14:14) Then, whenever he enters a home, tell the goodman of the house: “The Master asks, “Where is the guestchamber, where I shall enjoy the Passover with my disciples?” It is in the upper room, as described in these passages from Luke 22 and Mark 14, that Jesus shared His final supper with His disciples on the night before He was betrayed.

No, this was not an apartment; it was an upstairs room, a guest chamber (katalu), located in the home of an acquaintance. It was not a “inn” in the traditional sense of a place where people paid to stay or be accommodated.

When an Inn is Really an Inn

The term “inn” is also used in the parable of the Good Samaritan, which is an English word. As implied by the paragraph, this certainly denotes paid lodgings. Although it is a translation from a Greek term with an entirely different meaning, 10:34 (Luke 10:34) And went to him, bandaged up his wounds with oil and wine, and placed him on his own beast, escorting him to aninn, where he was cared for by the villagers. 10:35 (Luke 10:35) And the next morning, before he left, he took out two pennies from his pocket and gave them to the host, telling him to take care of him and that anything he spent in excess of that would be reimbursed to him when he returned.

The Greek word for “host” in verse 35, according to Strong’s Concordance, is described as “an innkeeper (warden of a caravanserai)–host.” There is clear doubt that the inn where the Good Samaritan slept in Luke 10 was a paying establishment, and the host was an innkeeper who was compensated for his services by the Good Samaritan.

  • If it had been a paid accommodation, why wouldn’t Luke have used the right phrase to express that it was a paid accommodation?
  • His works are meticulous and exacting in both concept and word choice.
  • Most scholars believe the Greek word “kataluma” in Luke 2:7 was intended to refer to a “guest chamber” in a residence.
  • Even after taking into consideration the fact that Mary and Joseph were most likely turned away from a relative’s house, the question of where they found shelter remains unanswered.

Upper Room vs Lower Level

During biblical times, the upper level of a two-story house would have served as the dining and sleeping facilities for the family. During severe weather, the bottom floor was frequently utilized as a shelter for the cattle on the property. Our knowledge of the situation is that Mary and Joseph were turned away because there was no room in the guest chamber (the top room, known in Greek as the kataluma), although it is possible that they were provided sanctuary at the lower level among the animals.

  1. This does raise the question of why a relative would refuse to let a pregnant lady into their home.
  2. Before she married Joseph, Mary had discovered that she was pregnant.
  3. Because betrothal was legally binding, much like marriage, Joseph even had the authority to put Mary to death (Matthew 1:18-19) for having committed adultery, despite the fact that the relationship was not legally binding.
  4. It was only after he made the choice to “send her away quietly” (Mat 1:19) that an angel appeared to him and revealed the news of Jesus’ pregnancy.

Because they were unaware of what had been revealed to Mary and Joseph, the family would have assumed Mary was pregnant with Joseph’s illegitimate child, as would have been the case (or another). Nobody knew she was expecting the genuine Son of God since they had no means of knowing.

Rejected by His Own

Dining and sleeping rooms would have been located on the upper floor of a two-story residence during biblical times. During severe weather, the lower floor was frequently utilized as a cattle shelter. There is little doubt that Mary and Joseph were turned away because there was no room in the guest chamber (the top room, known in Greek as the kataluma), but it is possible that they were provided sanctuary on the lower level with the animals. Having access to a manger in which Jesus was placed would explain how they came to be there.

  1. There is a possibility that Mary’s pregnancy would have been deemed dishonorable in her society.
  2. A sin of enormous embarrassment, this one was!
  3. No, he didn’t.
  4. His choice to “send her away quietly” (Mat 1:19) was made only after an angel appeared to him and informed him about the pregnancy of Jesus.
  5. Given that they were unaware of what had been revealed to Mary and Joseph, it is possible that they assumed Mary was carrying Joseph’s illegitimate child (or another).

Still Only A Theory

This notion of Jesus being born at a lower level of a house is both plausible and quite likely to be correct. But keep in mind that this is still simply a theory. The Bible merely mentions that they were turned down for a room in a guest chamber and that Jesus was put in a manger after being rejected by them.

40+ Days Later

It has been reported that “after the days of purification according to the law of Moses had been completed, they transported him to Jerusalem, to bring him before the Lord.” (See Luke 2:22.) It had been more than 40 days since the birth of Jesus when this occurred. According to Luke 2:21, Jesus’ circumcision would have taken place eight days after birth, while Mary’s purification would have taken 33 days (Leviticus 12). It was only after these 40+ days that they were able to travel to Jerusalem and visit the Temple.

The landowner (perhaps a relative?) may have felt sympathy for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus following the departure of the upper room occupants and offered them to relocate from the lower to the higher level.


I cannot emphasize enough that this hypothesis is based only on God’s Word and not on any other sources. The Bible doesn’t tell us what sort of shelter Jesus was born in, so we have to guess. The fact that, at the outset of Jesus’ life, He was turned away from an upper room because the people did not know that Mary would give birth to the Messiah is fascinating to contemplate. They had no idea who her kid was, and they were not willing to create place for Him in their lives. Even while still in the womb, Jesus was rejected by His family, and only a handful of loyal witnesses were present to witness the birth of the Christ Child.

During their time in the upper room, they were in close company, and following Judas’ departure, Jesus revealed to the faithful eleven astounding revelations and bestowed several rewards.

This hypothesis of Jesus’ birth at a lower level of a house provides answers to numerous problems while also posing a number of new questions.

God sent His son to earth, to be conceived in the womb of a young woman, to be born in humble circumstances, to live a sinless human life, and then to present Himself to the world as the sinless Lamb of God, thereby completing the work His Father had commissioned Him to do—to atone for the sins of the entire world.

Remember that the sacrifice of the cross began in the cradle, and that we would not have the Calvary Cross if it were not for the Christmas Cradle.

In Isaiah 9:6, the Bible says In fact, God loved the world so much that he gave his only born Son, in order that whomever believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life with him.

Because God did not send his Son into the world in order to condemn the world, but in order that the world could be saved through him. (See also John 3:16-17.) THE REASON FOR THE SEASON IS JESUS CHRIST! *}}}

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