Do you think Jesus was born in Nazareth? A few weeks ago I went to both Bethlehem and Nazareth. I always thought Jesus was born in Nazareth but most there focused on Bethlehem as Jesus’s birth place. Is there strong evidence for either?
Yes, when you visit Israel today, or when you ask any Bible-believing Christian, or when you ask most any Christian, or most any other human being, you will hear that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The reason is not hard to find: the only references to Jesus’ birth in the New Testament squarely place his birth in Bethlehem. There are, as many of you know, only two passages of the New Testament that narrate the events surrounding Jesus’ birth: Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. And they both agree in placing it in Bethlehem.
And yet there are compelling reasons for questioning that view, so that a large number of critical scholars – even prominent Roman Catholic scholars – think that it is more likely that Jesus was born in Nazareth. Let me explain why.
The first thing to stress is that
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