1 year ago
Last edited at 4:57PM on 3/10/2013
Jesus was supposedly born in Bethlehem somewhere between Sept. 11 & 29th in the year 3 BC. Legend states he was born in a stable and laid in a manger (feeding trough). The Roman Emperor Constantine made December 25th to coincide with the pagan holiday of Yule (Dec 21) in hopes to sway pagans to convert to Christianity. This time of year is when the time when the Romans levied taxes on it's people. Each Citizen was to return to his city of birth to be taxed, hence the huge influx of people and lack of lodging in Bethlehem at that time. When Mary and Joseph arrived in the City, all accommodations were full. In innkeeper took pity on the expectant mother and offered to put the couple up in his barn.
The Biblical account mentions neither barn nor cave-it is assumed because of the manger. Mangers are animal feeding troughs, and barns are where one would expect to find them. But in the ancient world, as well as in primitive modern cultures, mangers are also found within the house itself. Animals are regularly kept in homes at night. A small number of flock animals were housed, not in attached exterior sheds, but inside the house in one of the ground floor rooms. Here, animals, tools and agricultural produce were stored. Here, too, food was prepared and possibly consumed. Family sleeping quarters were on the second floor (an upper room). By being inside, the animals were protected from the elements and theft. In addition, their presence provided body heat for cool nights, access to milk for the daily meal and dung as a critical fuel source.http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a012.html (cont in comments)
My pastor has visited israel several times and what he says is that Jesus was born in the place where animals were kept, very possibly a cave, that was almost certainly attached to a home complex that belonged to family but the home itself was already so crowded by relatives returning for the census that Joseph and Mary beded down in the stables.