Why Did Mary And Joseph Travel To Bethlehem?

Why Did Mary And Joseph Travel To Bethlehem
Gospel of Luke – The Gospel of Luke, an account of Jesus’ life which was written during the same period as the Gospel of Matthew, has a different version of Jesus’ birth. The Gospel of Luke starts with Joseph and a pregnant Mary in Galilee. They journey to Bethlehem in response to a census that the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus required for all the Jewish people.

  • Since Joseph was a descendant of King David, Bethlehem was the hometown where he was required to register.
  • The Gospel of Luke includes no flight to Egypt, no paranoid King Herod, no murder of children and no wise men visiting baby Jesus.
  • Jesus is born in a manger because all the travelers overcrowded the guest rooms.

After the birth, Joseph and Mary are visited not by wise men but shepherds, who were also overjoyed at Jesus’ birth. Luke says these shepherds were notified about Jesus’ location in Bethlehem by angels. There is no guiding star in Luke’s story, nor do the shepherds bring gifts to baby Jesus.

Luke also mentions that Joseph, Mary and Jesus leave Bethlehem eight days after his birth and travel to Jerusalem and then to Nazareth, The differences between Matthew and Luke are nearly impossible to reconcile, although they do share some similarities. John Meier, a scholar on the historical Jesus, explains that Jesus’ “birth at Bethlehem is to be taken not as a historical fact” but as a “theological affirmation put into the form of an apparently historical narrative.” In other words, the belief that Jesus was a descendant of King David led to the development of a story about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.

Raymond Brown, another scholar on the Gospels, also states that “the two narratives are not only different – they are contrary to each other in a number of details.”

Why did Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem?

In Luke, Joseph and Mary’s trip to Bethlehem is undertaken in order to satisfy an imperial command that all individuals return to their ancestral towns ‘that all the world should be taxed.’ Since Mary was pregnant with Jesus at the time the command had to be carried out, this explains why Jesus was born in the town of

What did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem on?

Answer: Nazareth Many stories exist as to why Joseph, and a heavily pregnant Mary riding on a donkey, took their five-day journey (possibly longer) from Nazareth to Bethlehem, often referred to as the Nativity Trail. The main one quotes Luke from the Bible, which states that Joseph’s home town was Bethlehem so he had to register his son’s birth there as strict laws had been enforced in order for every citizen to pay taxes.

  1. This, despite Joseph and Mary residing in Nazareth.
  2. Many historians argue that the dates do not match up when the emperor of the time – Augustus Caesar – issued this census.
  3. Others speculate that Mary was given information in a dream.
  4. Regardless, it was a hazardous journey of 160 kilometres (give or take), possibly encountering wild animals and thieves, which went along the Jordan River and through the hills of Jerusalem.

Upon arrival, however, there was no spare room for them to stay. They were forced to bed downstairs in a stable with animals, where Mary gave birth to Jesus. He was laid on a bed of hay in a manger (a trough for animal feed) and there marks the end of the journey and the beginning of a new one.

Why is Bethlehem so important?

According to the Gospels (Matthew 2; Luke 2), Bethlehem was the site of the Nativity of Jesus Christ. Christian theology has linked this with the belief that his birth there fulfills the Old Testament prophecy of Israel’s future ruler coming from Bethlehem Ephrathah (Micah 5:2).

How far was Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem?

A newly betrothed couple is forced to register for a census in a town far away. The woman is nine months pregnant. When they finally reach their destination after an arduous journey, there is no place to stay. The woman gives birth in a stable. Scholars and clergy differ on whether the Nativity stories in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew are historical accounts or symbolic narratives of Christianity’s beginnings.

But one thing is certain: The world of Mary and Joseph was a difficult and dangerous place, one whose harsh conditions were not fully chronicled in the Gospel accounts of their travails. Writers of the gospels of Matthew and Luke “are so laconic about the event because they assume the reader would know what it was like,” said James F.

Strange, a New Testament and biblical archeology professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Today, he added, “we have no idea how difficult it was.” Joseph and Mary’s hardships would have begun more than a week before the birth of their son, when the couple had to leave their home in Nazareth, in the northern highlands of Galilee, to register for a Roman census.

  1. They had to travel 90 miles to the city of Joseph’s ancestors: south along the flatlands of the Jordan River, then west over the hills surrounding Jerusalem, and on into Bethlehem.
  2. It was a fairly grueling trip,” said Strange, who annually leads an excavation team at the ancient city of Sepphoris, near Nazareth.
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“In antiquity, the most we find people traveling is 20 miles a day. And this trip was very much uphill and downhill. It was not simple.” Strange estimates that Joseph and Mary likely would have traveled only 10 miles a day because of Mary’s impending delivery.

And the trip through the Judean desert would have taken place during the winter, when “it’s in the 30s during the day rains like heck,” said Strange. “It’s nasty, miserable. And at night it would be freezing.” To protect themselves during inclement weather, Mary and Joseph would likely have worn heavy woolen cloaks, constructed to shed rain and snow.

Under their cloaks, the ancient residents wore long robes, belted at the waist. Tube-like socks and enclosed shoes protected the feet, Strange said. And the unpaved, hilly trails and harsh weather were not the only hazards Joseph and Mary would have faced on their journey south.

  1. One of the most terrifying dangers in ancient Palestine was the heavily forested valley of the Jordan River, Strange said.
  2. Lions and bears lived in the woods, and travelers had to fend off wild boars.
  3. Archeologists have unearthed documents warning travelers of the forest’s dangers, he said.
  4. And “bandits, pirates of the desert and robbers” were also common hazards along the major trade routes like the one Joseph and Mary would have traveled, said the Rev.

Peter Vasko, a Catholic priest and director of the Holy Land Foundation, an organization that works to retain a Christian presence in Israel and promotes the restoration of sacred Christian sites there. The threat of outlaws often forced solitary travelers to join trade caravans for protection.

What animal did Mary ride into Bethlehem?

Mary rides on a donkey as she travels with Joseph to Bethlehem. Unless otherwise indicated, individuals may post material from the Gospel Media portion of this site to another website or on a computer network for their own personal, noncommercial use.

Did Mary actually ride a donkey to Bethlehem?

From nativity plays to crèche sets to Christmas cards, animals are ubiquitous in our vision of the birth of Christ – but according to the Bible, not a single animal was there. Where did all these animals come from, and why are they now so central to the story? Only two parts of the Bible talk about Jesus’ birth: the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.

  1. Mark and John skip over Jesus’ infancy and head straight to his adult life.
  2. So how similar are the narratives of Matthew and Luke to the version familiar to anyone who has attended a Christmas church service or children’s nativity play? Christmas carols such as Away In A Manger sing about the cattle lowing – and in Little Drummer Boy they keep time.

There’s even a song called Little Donkey about the beast that carries Mary to Bethlehem in our vision of the Christmas story. But do these images appear in the actual Gospels? All of our stable and manger imagery actually comes from just one Gospel – Luke’s.

  1. In Matthew’s Gospel, Mary and Joseph seem to already live in Bethlehem, and Jesus is born in a house,
  2. The magi – the three wise kings – visit Jesus in this version.
  3. Luke, however, gives us an account of the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem – and the visit of the shepherds.
  4. The first animal we might expect to meet in the Christmas story is the dutiful donkey, the faithful beast of burden carrying the pregnant Mary on its back.

But you may want to sit down, dear reader, for this next part. Mary did not ride to Bethlehem on a donkey. Nowhere in any Gospel does it say that Mary did anything but walk. The whole journey is given in three lines: Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem and while they were there, she went into labour.

  1. No mention of transportation,
  2. Now you will say, well, what about the sheep? “While shepherds watched their flocks by night” is the refrain we hear.
  3. But that’s from a carol – the biblical text doesn’t say that the shepherds took any sheep with them when they went to go and find Mary and Joseph and the baby.

The shepherds go to Bethlehem and find, as Luke says: “Mary and Joseph and the child lying in the manger.” But the Bible makes no mention of animals adoring the Christ Child.

Where did Mary and Joseph go after Jesus was born?

The return of the family of Jesus to Nazareth, also known as the return from Egypt, appears in the reports of the early life of Jesus given in the canonical gospels, Both of the gospels which describe the nativity of Jesus agree that he was born in Bethlehem and then later moved with his family to live in Nazareth,

  • The Gospel of Matthew describes how Joseph, Mary, and Jesus went to Egypt to escape from Herod the Great ‘s slaughter of the baby boys in Bethlehem.
  • Matthew does not mention Nazareth as being the previous home of Joseph and Mary; he says that Joseph was afraid to go to Judea because Herod Archelaus was ruling there and so the family went to Nazareth instead.
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The Gospel of Luke, on the other hand, does not record anything about the flight to Egypt, but says that Joseph had been previously living in Nazareth, and returned there after the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple,

Why is Bethlehem called house of Meat?

The Hebrew Bible, which says that the city of Bethlehem was built up as a fortified city by Rehoboam, identifies it as the city David was from and where he was anointed as the king of Israel.

Bethlehem
Name meaning House of Meat (Arabic); House of Bread (Hebrew & Aramaic)
Website www.bethlehem-city.org

What does Bethlehem stand for?

The Meaning of the Word Bethlehem In Hebrew, the city’s name is pronounced ‘Beit-lehem.’ ‘Beit’ means house and ‘Lechem’ means bread – together being ‘House of Bread’. Jesus said at one point, ‘I am the bread of life’ (John 6:35;48) and ‘I am the manna that came down out of heaven’ (John 6:51).

Which religion did Jesus follow?

Of course, Jesus was a Jew. He was born of a Jewish mother, in Galilee, a Jewish part of the world. All of his friends, associates, colleagues, disciples, all of them were Jews. He regularly worshipped in Jewish communal worship, what we call synagogues.

How long did Mary and Joseph stay in Bethlehem after Jesus was born?

Gospel of Luke – The Gospel of Luke, an account of Jesus’ life which was written during the same period as the Gospel of Matthew, has a different version of Jesus’ birth. The Gospel of Luke starts with Joseph and a pregnant Mary in Galilee. They journey to Bethlehem in response to a census that the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus required for all the Jewish people.

  • Since Joseph was a descendant of King David, Bethlehem was the hometown where he was required to register.
  • The Gospel of Luke includes no flight to Egypt, no paranoid King Herod, no murder of children and no wise men visiting baby Jesus.
  • Jesus is born in a manger because all the travelers overcrowded the guest rooms.

After the birth, Joseph and Mary are visited not by wise men but shepherds, who were also overjoyed at Jesus’ birth. Luke says these shepherds were notified about Jesus’ location in Bethlehem by angels. There is no guiding star in Luke’s story, nor do the shepherds bring gifts to baby Jesus.

  1. Luke also mentions that Joseph, Mary and Jesus leave Bethlehem eight days after his birth and travel to Jerusalem and then to Nazareth,
  2. The differences between Matthew and Luke are nearly impossible to reconcile, although they do share some similarities.
  3. John Meier, a scholar on the historical Jesus, explains that Jesus’ “birth at Bethlehem is to be taken not as a historical fact” but as a “theological affirmation put into the form of an apparently historical narrative.” In other words, the belief that Jesus was a descendant of King David led to the development of a story about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.

Raymond Brown, another scholar on the Gospels, also states that “the two narratives are not only different – they are contrary to each other in a number of details.”

How old is Mary when Jesus was born?

Birth of Jesus – A nativity scene in France. Santons featuring the Virgin Mary. According to the author of the gospel according to Luke, a decree of the Roman Emperor Augustus required that Joseph return to his hometown of Bethlehem to register for a Roman census, While he was there with Mary, she gave birth to Jesus; but because there was no place for them in the inn, she used a manger as a cradle.

: p.14  From the age at which Jewish maidens became marriageable, it is possible that Mary gave birth to her son when she was about thirteen or fourteen years of age. No historical document tells us how old she actually was at the time of the Nativity. After eight days, the boy was circumcised according to Jewish law and named ” Jesus ” ( ישוע, Yeshu’a ), which means ” Yahweh is salvation”.

After Mary continued in the ” blood of her purifying ” another 33 days, for a total of 40 days, she brought her burnt offering and sin offering to the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22), so the priest could make atonement for her. They also presented Jesus – “As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord” (Luke 2:23; Exodus 13:2; 23:12–15; 22:29; 34:19–20; Numbers 3:13; 18:15).

  1. After the prophecies of Simeon and the prophetess Anna in Luke 2:25–38, the family “returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth”.
  2. According to the author of the gospel according to Matthew, the Magi arrived at Bethlehem where Jesus and his family were living.
  3. Joseph was warned in a dream that King Herod wanted to murder the infant, and the family fled by night to Egypt and stayed there for some time.

After Herod’s death in 4 BC, they returned to Nazareth in Galilee, rather than Bethlehem, because Herod’s son Archelaus was the ruler of Judaea. Mary is involved in the only event in Jesus’ adolescent life that is recorded in the New Testament. At the age of 12, Jesus, having become separated from his parents on their return journey from the Passover celebration in Jerusalem, was found in the Temple among the religious teachers.

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How long did it take the three wise men’s journey?

Dec.22, 2000 – Just as the biblical three wise men from the East once did, 15 pilgrims have been traveling across field and fountain, moor and mountain to make it to the Christian Holy Land this Christmas Eve. Journeying more than 900 miles, the pilgrims, representing seven nationalities from four continents, have been walking from Iraq to Bethlehem for the past three months in what is being called the first re-enactment of the expedition of the three kings — or Magi — 2,000 years ago.

  • The trip, called “The Journey of the Magi,” is being made on camel and on foot, using the original trade routes that connected the Euphrates River in Iraq to the Holy Land in ancient times.
  • Needless to say, the journey has had its difficult moments.
  • It is not easy to ride a camel,” said group leader Robin Wainwright, 59, in November.

“We count on Jesus.” This time though, the pilgrims have been bearing not gold, frankincense and myrrh, but a message of peace, brotherhood and community work. The latter, called “Gifts of the Magi” includes a daily routine of community and humanitarian projects in the countries they traversed including Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

Sponsored by the Holy Land Trust, an American nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of the Middle East, the trip was launched in late September in three ancient cities — Hamadam in western Iran, once known as Ecbatana and revered as the site of the tomb of the Jewish heroine Esther; Mosul in northern Iraq, across the Tigris River from the ruins of Nineveh; and Muqaiyir in southern Iraq, once Ur, the early home of the biblical patriarch Abraham.

However, the pilgrims are also conducting a virtual journey, documenting their trip on a Web site that includes daily journal entries, photos, video clips, message boards and resources for parents and educators. A Cultural Education One of the goals of the trip is to expose Western Christians to Arab Christians in the Middle East.

  1. In the Western world, everything we see in the movies, books and newspapers carries a negative image of both the governments and the people of the Middle East,” said Peter Ryan, a journalist traveling with the group.
  2. The people here are friendly, generous, and hospitable.” Along the way, the pilgrims also intend to increase their awareness of the current conflict that has gripped the Middle East.

Their message and their destination — Bethlehem — could not have been more timely. The year 2000 is regarded as the 2,000 anniversary of the birth of Christ, and of the journey of the three wise men who came to honor the baby Jesus. Bethlehem was expected to be a hub of tourist and holiday activity this anniversary season.

  1. But the latest round of conflict, which began in September, has, Grinch-like, stolen Christmas from Bethlehem.
  2. In three months of violence, more than 340 people have died, most of them Palestinians.
  3. Access to Bethlehem — which lies south of Jerusalem in Palestinian territory — is controlled by Israeli troops.

Vehicles with Israeli plates are not permitted in Bethlehem and tourists have had to switch to Palestinian taxis or simply make it on foot.

Why did Joseph and Mary go to the City of David?

The main part of the Christmas Story, the birth of Jesus! But why was Jesus born in such unusual surroundings? Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him, being pregnant.

Where did Mary and Joseph go after Jesus was born?

The return of the family of Jesus to Nazareth, also known as the return from Egypt, appears in the reports of the early life of Jesus given in the canonical gospels, Both of the gospels which describe the nativity of Jesus agree that he was born in Bethlehem and then later moved with his family to live in Nazareth,

The Gospel of Matthew describes how Joseph, Mary, and Jesus went to Egypt to escape from Herod the Great ‘s slaughter of the baby boys in Bethlehem. Matthew does not mention Nazareth as being the previous home of Joseph and Mary; he says that Joseph was afraid to go to Judea because Herod Archelaus was ruling there and so the family went to Nazareth instead.

The Gospel of Luke, on the other hand, does not record anything about the flight to Egypt, but says that Joseph had been previously living in Nazareth, and returned there after the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple,

Who ordered the census which brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem?

The Census of Quirinius was a census of Judea taken by Publius Sulpicius Quirinius, governor of Roman Syria, upon the imposition of direct Roman rule in 6 CE.

What is the meaning of the word Bethlehem?

/ˈbeθ.lɪ.hem/ a small town close to Jerusalem, where Jesus is said to have been born.