2) Did Bethlehem temperature on December 25 by night allow infant Jesus to survive?

Question

Did Bethlehem temperature in December 25 by night allow infant Jesus to survive?

Answer

Yes.

Average Bethlehem temperature on 25 Desember by night ranged 6-14° C. Night temperature was about 6° C in the open air. But, infant Jesus, Mary, and Joseph dwelt within a cave, not in the open air. Temperate in the cave was warmer than in the open air.

According to Justin Martyr living in 100-165 AD, the cave 1 was close to village Bethlehem.

But when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find a lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him.2

In 327 AD, Church of the Nativity was established over the cave as a monument to signify the sacred place.

Lokasi Isa Al-Masih lahir ditandai dengan bintang. Lokasi ini diteruskan dari generasi ke generasi secara tradisional selama sekitar 2.000 tahun.
A star signifies the spot of Jesus birth in the Church of the Nativity.3 This spot was traditionally inherited from generation to generation for around 2,000 years.

Infant Jesus was laid in stone manger   which was of course covered with soft and warm pads (possibly, hays or straws), and the manger was put within the cave. The wall resisted cold outside air.

Artifak palungan batu ini ditemukan dalam ekskavasi arkeologi di Megiddo, diperkirakan berasal dari abad 9 SM. Palungan biasanya diisi air atau rumput untuk ternak domba, unta, sapi, dsj. Menimbang latar belakang sosial-budaya, maka palungan semacam inilah yang digunakan untuk menaruh bayi Isa Al-Masih (Yesus Kristus) usai dilahirkan (Lukas 2: 7, 12, 16). Dalam interpretasi simbolik, hal ini menunjukkan bahwa Isa Al-Masih bukan hanya diperuntukkan bagi golongan yang disimbolkan dengan "domba", tapi juga yang disimbolkan oleh Alkitab dengan simbol "onta", "keledai", "kuda", "kambing", dan "lembu".
Stone manger artifact found in archaeological excavation site in Megiddo was estimated from 9 BC century. The manger was usually filled with water or feed (hays, grasses, straws) for sheeps, camels, cows, etc. Considering socio-cultural background, Jesus was likely put into such manger (Luke 2: 7, 12, 16) in 1 BC century.

Moreover, the newborn were oiled and wrapped by thick cloths around his body. Oil and the swaddling cloths kept the newborn warm.

Gospel also tells that the shepherds saw the infant Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes on Christmas Eve at around midnight to 2 a.m. This implies there was a light source, i.e. fire / fireplace, in the cave. And, fireplace warmed the air in the cave.

Pada waktu antara tengah malam hingga 2 malam, di dalam gua, bukan di alam bebas, para gembala dapat mengenai Yusuf, Maria, dan Isa/ Yesus serta kain lampin yang membebatnya. Ini mengindikasikan ada api/ perapian yang jadi sumber penerangan itu. Api bukan hanya menerangi gua, tapi juga menghangatkan gua dan mengusir hawa dingin.
In between midnight to 2 a.m, in a cave, the shepherds recognized Joseph, Mary, and Jesus as well as the swaddling clothes, as Gospel implies. These indicated that there was a light source(s) (fire/ fireplace) illuminating and warming the cave.

 

Conclusion

The swaddling clothes, a cave, and fire/ fireplace contributed to warm the newborn Jesus, that he survived in Bethlehem temperate on December 25 by night.


 Bibliography

1http://www.jesus.org/birth-of-jesus/bethlehem/was-jesus-born-in-a-cave.html; access April 27, 2015 19:15.

2Justin Martyr, “Dialog dengan Tripho”, Bab LXXVIII. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-dialoguetrypho.html; access April, 27, 2015 19:43

3http://www.sacred-destinations.com/israel/bethlehem-church-of-the-nativity; access April 27, 2015 20:04

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