Monday, December 04, 2006

No Room in the Inn

In response to a great post at "By Common Consent," I had the following thoughts about some of the details of Jesus Christ's birth.
An opinion by 2 female, near-eastern studies PhDs said that Jesus was probably not born in a cave. Rather, Joseph and Mary would have had family in Bethlehem and would have planned to stay with them. Houses in Jeruselem at that time were two levels. The animals lived on the ground floor while the people lived upstairs. The verse "no room in the inn" could be translated to mean, there was no room in the upper part of the home, so they had to stay with the animals on the ground floor. According to them, there was no going from inn-to-inn looking for a place to stay.

This interpretation fixes another conundrum. It says that when the wise men found Christ, still in Bethlehem, they found him in a house. Matthew reads, "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother" (Matt. 2: 11). I recognize that that this is a trivial point, but I like to think that Joseph was a good boy scout.

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