Christmas question No. 5

94
By Travis Childs
Pioneer Sentinel

5. In what town was Jesus raised?

Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem from Nazareth.  The New Testament states many times that Jesus was from Nazareth, and Jesus and the Disciples traveled there as part of their ministry in Galilee, the home region of Jesus and the Disciples.  Nazareth and Bethlehem, 70 miles apart, were small towns in Jesus’ time.  It does not make much sense that Joseph and all his thousands of fellow descendants of David would crowd into the small town of Bethlehem for a census.

It does make sense, however, if Joseph and Mary are actually from Bethlehem originally.  Instead of going to Bethlehem because he was a descendant of David, Joseph went home to Bethlehem where he was raised and was a legal resident.  His family lived there as did his ancestor King David.  It is similar to Clay County residents that go off to college.  We keep Clay County as our permanent address and we continue to vote in Clay County.

In Luke 1:39, when Mary finds out that her cousin Elizabeth is six months pregnant, she goes to visit her and stay with her for three months in the hill county of Judah, traditionally En-karim a few miles from Bethlehem. That they are such close relations that Mary would travel from Nazareth indicates a connection to the area.  Joseph, Mary and Jesus stay in Bethlehem for perhaps years.  Who are they staying with, if not close relations?

Joseph was a carpenter, and Nazareth was only a few miles from Sepphoris (Tzippori) a thriving Roman/Jewish town and political center. Joseph likely lived in Nazareth and worked in Sepphoris, and may have moved there from Bethlehem for the work.  If he was a migrant worker it would explain why Joseph, Mary, and Jesus traveled back and forth between Bethlehem and Nazareth.

Editors Note: Travis Childs is a history instructor at Cameron University in Lawton, Okla. He is a graduate of Midway High School and lives in Bluegrove. He is currently president of the Clay County Historical Society.

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Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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