Where Was Jesus Born?
Where Jesus was born?
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in the Judean Hills (in Judah). Bethlehem is 9 Kilometers (or 6 miles) south of Jerusalem. This is in the Holy Land. The Holy Land is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Bethlehem is in the West Bank, in the Palestinian Territories, in Palestine, in Israel.
Is Palestine in Israel?
Yes. Israel holds the land that is known as Palestine. Israel is a Jewish state. The Arabs that come from this land (that belongs to Israel) are known as Palestinians. Palestinians refer to this part of the land as Palestine.
Palestinians want to claim the land as their own, as it is their land of origin and the source of their religion. The same holds true for the Jews and Israel. In fact, Israel is the only truly Jewish state, although the Jews have been scattered around the world. This is why there is so much tension between these two groups of people over the same land.
What is the difference between Judah and Judea?
The terms 'Judah' and 'Judea' both refer to the same place. Judea is the Roman spelling for the Hebrew name Judah. The first and original name for this part of land is Judah - named after one of Jacob's 12 sons. Jacob's name was changed to Israel (see Genesis 32:28).
Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
Church of Nativity marks Jesus' birthplace
The Church of the Nativity is believed to be the location of where Jesus was born. This makes it one of the most important places for many denominations of the Christian faith. This church was built in 1686 AD.
What denomination is the Church of Nativity?
This church is governed by not one, but three, denominations. The denominations that govern this church are the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Church.
Are there prophesies about Jesus being born in the Old Testament (Jewish Tanakh)?
Did you know that the Torah only constitutes for the first five books of the Old Testament? The Tanakh (Also known as the Mikra or the Hebrew Bible) includes the prophets (Nevi'im) and the writings (Ketuvim) that follow, in addition to the teachings (Torah).
There are prophesies about Jesus' birth in Bethlehem. Refer Micah 5:2 (paraphrased)
But you, Bethlehem, even though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me One who will be Ruler over Israel - whose origins are from of old. These origins are from ancient times.
- This is the same Scripture that the teachers of the Law used to tell Herod, King of Judah, was going to be born.
- The last portion about Jesus' origins being of old confirms that He was with God at the beginning of time. It also confirms that He is the seed of David.
It was also prophesied that Jesus' mother would be a virgin as seen in Isaiah 7:14 (paraphrased)
The Lord Himself shall give you a sign. A virgin will conceive and bear a son. She will call his name Emmanuel.
- That fact that Mary was a virgin when she bore Jesus is another clear indication that Jesus is the much-anticipated Messiah.
- Emmanuel is a Hebrew name meaning 'God is with us'.
Emmanuel, Christ and Jesus are among many other names for Jesus. It was also prophesied that Jesus would be called many names in Isaiah 9:6 (paraphrased)
Unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given. The government shall be upon his shoulder. His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father and The Prince of Peace.
- This is one of my favorite verses that point to the divinity of Jesus Christ.
- Notice how one of His names is Father. This clearly shows us that we cannot separate the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are One.
In addition this this, the teachers of the Law knew that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, Judah. This is seen in Matthew 2:3-5 (paraphrased).
When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed - and all Jerusalem with him. When he called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was going to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied. For this is what the prophet has written.
- The priests then quote Micah 5:2 (seen in Matthew 2:6).
- This verse shows that the teachers of the law (who studied the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible) knew through scripture that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
If Jesus was born in Bethlehem, why was He called Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Nazarene?
Jesus is called a Nazarene because He grew up in Nazareth. When Jesus was very young, Joseph was warned about the coming massacre of the children of Bethlehem. He was warned by an angel in a dream. He then fled to Egypt until Herod died. On his journey back to Israel, he heard that Archelaus was governing Judea in place of his father Herod. He then decided to stay in Nazareth (a town in Galilee). You can read more about this in Matthew 2:13-21.
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