The "inn" is not what you think it was.

The Christmas story is very familiar to many of us, but growing up certain images can cloud our view of what actually happened over 2,000 years ago. In particular, there is a common narrative that depicts Joseph pounding on doors trying to find a place where Mary can give birth to Jesus.

The owner of the local Motel 6 slams the door in Joseph’s face, saying that there is “no vacancy.” Then Joseph finally finds a stable where animals are kept and brings Mary to the humble place just in time before Jesus is born.

While it is an engaging story, it doesn’t match-up with the biblical account and the original Greek text.

Luke sets the stage, “And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

The last word, “inn,” is what usually fosters the narratives as described above. However, the English word is not a full translation of the Greek.

Guest room

The word used in the original text is kataluma and is best understood as a “guest room,” not a type of commercial inn used for travelers. For that type of lodging Luke uses the word pandokheion. Additionally, Bethlehem was Joseph’s “hometown” and he likely had relatives to stay with.

Even more to the point, very few people would want to give birth in a type of public motel. Inns at that time did not have a good reputation and Mary would have wanted privacy for such an intimate event.

Furthermore, a close reading of the text reveals that Joseph and Mary had been in Bethlehem for a number of days before her birth.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. (Luke 2:4-6)

According to Luke, the holy couple were already staying in Bethlehem when Mary went into labor. In other words, they weren’t rushing to find somewhere to stay on Christmas Eve, but looking for a proper place with enough space and privacy for the birthing process.

Since the census forced everyone to come back home, the “inn” or “guest room” was full. Mary and Joseph had to find another place.

Peasant homes included a stable

Archeological studies can help paint a better picture of what a house in Bethlehem looked like and where Mary likely gave birth.

A typical Judean house of that day consisted of an area near the door, often with a dirt floor, where the family’s animals were kept at night—so they wouldn’t be stolen or preyed upon and so their body heat could help warm the home on cool nights. The family lived and slept in a raised part of the same room set back from the door. There was also usually a guest room either upstairs on a second floor or adjoining the family common room on the lower floor. Typically the lower area near the door had a manger for food and/or water for the animals.

Another description explains how, “houses in Bethlehem and its vicinity often had caves as the back of the house where they kept their prized ox or beast of burden, lest it be stolen. The guest room was in the front of the house, the animal shelter in the back.”

So instead of subjecting the other guests of the home to the delivery of a child, Mary gave birth in a more private area where the animals were kept and laid Jesus in the feeding trough that was there.

This historical rendering of the biblical account is quite different from the narrative many of us grew up with, but it doesn’t diminish the humility of Christ’s birth. Jesus was still born in a place where animals were kept and in a simple peasant cave in Bethlehem. It remains a beautiful scene that changed the world forever.

Read more: How Did the Star of Bethlehem Appear? What Science Tells Us and the Saints

 

 

 

The stupidity of liberals, ability to ignore their ignorance

 

Original Post
Kraven posted:

The Christmas story is very familiar to many of us, but growing up certain images can cloud our view of what actually happened over 2,000 years ago. In particular, there is a common narrative that depicts Joseph pounding on doors trying to find a place where Mary can give birth to Jesus.

The owner of the local Motel 6 slams the door in Joseph’s face, saying that there is “no vacancy.” Then Joseph finally finds a stable where animals are kept and brings Mary to the humble place just in time before Jesus is born.

While it is an engaging story, it doesn’t match-up with the biblical account and the original Greek text.

Luke sets the stage, “And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

The last word, “inn,” is what usually fosters the narratives as described above. However, the English word is not a full translation of the Greek.

Guest room

The word used in the original text is kataluma and is best understood as a “guest room,” not a type of commercial inn used for travelers. For that type of lodging Luke uses the word pandokheion. Additionally, Bethlehem was Joseph’s “hometown” and he likely had relatives to stay with.

Even more to the point, very few people would want to give birth in a type of public motel. Inns at that time did not have a good reputation and Mary would have wanted privacy for such an intimate event.

Furthermore, a close reading of the text reveals that Joseph and Mary had been in Bethlehem for a number of days before her birth.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. (Luke 2:4-6)

According to Luke, the holy couple were already staying in Bethlehem when Mary went into labor. In other words, they weren’t rushing to find somewhere to stay on Christmas Eve, but looking for a proper place with enough space and privacy for the birthing process.

Since the census forced everyone to come back home, the “inn” or “guest room” was full. Mary and Joseph had to find another place.

Peasant homes included a stable

Archeological studies can help paint a better picture of what a house in Bethlehem looked like and where Mary likely gave birth.

A typical Judean house of that day consisted of an area near the door, often with a dirt floor, where the family’s animals were kept at night—so they wouldn’t be stolen or preyed upon and so their body heat could help warm the home on cool nights. The family lived and slept in a raised part of the same room set back from the door. There was also usually a guest room either upstairs on a second floor or adjoining the family common room on the lower floor. Typically the lower area near the door had a manger for food and/or water for the animals.

Another description explains how, “houses in Bethlehem and its vicinity often had caves as the back of the house where they kept their prized ox or beast of burden, lest it be stolen. The guest room was in the front of the house, the animal shelter in the back.”

So instead of subjecting the other guests of the home to the delivery of a child, Mary gave birth in a more private area where the animals were kept and laid Jesus in the feeding trough that was there.

This historical rendering of the biblical account is quite different from the narrative many of us grew up with, but it doesn’t diminish the humility of Christ’s birth. Jesus was still born in a place where animals were kept and in a simple peasant cave in Bethlehem. It remains a beautiful scene that changed the world forever.

Read more: How Did the Star of Bethlehem Appear? What Science Tells Us and the Saints

 

Great (accurate) story, I've heard it many times and it's amazing how many people though do associate that story as if it were some commercial (Holiday Inn) type place.  Another mistake many people make, when reading scriptures, is similar to the mistake so many made long ago by considering Earth the center of the our Solar System.  Many readers consider scriptures from the the standpoint of America and the United States when the correct thing to do is to look at Scripture from the standpoint of the Jews and Israel and the Middle East.  The Prophecies and stories are all about events happening in the Middle East and surrounding Israel.  Many people are amazed to discover that, with one possible vague reference in Revelation, that America/The United States is not represented in Prophecy and Scripture.  

Kraven posted:

Jesus was a new born when the wise men made their appearance...

Giving points to Best on this one.

Baby Jesus presented at Tempe.
Before the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem, Jesus traveled to and from Jerusalem for presentation in the Temple (Luke 2:21-22).

Also, the wise men clearly did not visit Jesus when he was still lying in the manger, as is commonly shown on greeting cards and in plays. The magi did not arrive until sometime after Christ’s presentation in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22-39).

Child - Jesus Christ.

At this time, Scripture calls Jesus a “child,” not a “baby.” It is possible that little Jesus was walking and talking by then. Based on the calculations of King Herod and the magi (Matthew 2:16), Jesus could been two years old or under. [Learn more: About the “wise men” (magi)]

Maybe you found the word Baby in the Bible, Child or Infant is
all I have found. Have you not consider the purification of Mary.?
Herod the great acted as soon as he learned the Wise Men left
without informing him of the child's whereabouts.....

The Magi, Wise men, astronomers many have alluded to them by many different names but they did see and comprehend the signs of a miraculous event, the birth of the Savior, and they traveled toward the Holy Land to find and acknowledge this as well as find the child, if they could.   It did take time to travel and little did these men realize but their visit to Herod, who died in 4BC, set forth a horrible event but also gives indication that the actual birth of the Christ Child took place sometime before 4BC possibly 5BC even.  Herod, after hearing about the birth of the one to be "King of the Jews" issued orders, based upon the timing of the inquiry from the Magi, and seeking to cover a wide swath of time so issued the order to kill all male babies up to 2 years of age from that time seeking to kill the Christ child.

Here is a few links which gives far more detail:

Bible.org website with information about the Magi

Info from Answers in Genesis group

There is much about the "Story of Christ/Christmas" that many haven't really much definite knowledge about.  The important thing to take away was that these travelers knew, foresaw, and expected the event to happen based upon prior prophecies and their knowledge of the stars/heavens and that it centers around an actual historical event.  

Nothing new about politicians lying either ... Herod told the Magi to send word upon finding the Child so that he could come and worship him.

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