Tag Archives: Bethlehem

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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2) Did Jesus, Mary, and Joseph go to Egypt or Nazareth?

Question

Did Jesus, Mary, and Joseph go to Egypt or Nazareth?

Answer

They went to Egypt first and then, 2-3 months later, they went to Nazareth from Egypt.

Discussion

Luke recounted that Joseph family performed all things according to the injunction of the Lord before went to Nazareth.

και ως ετελεσαν απαντα τα κατα τον νομον κυριου υπεστρεψαν εις την γαλιλαιαν εις την πολιν αυτων ναζαρετ

And when they had performed all things according to the injunction of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. (Luke 2: 39)

The injunction of the Lord included:

  1. Circumcision

    Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. (Leviticus 12: 2-4)

  2. Purification

    Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. (Leviticus 12: 2-4)

  3. Escape to Egypt and back to Palestine after Herod death

    And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. (Matthew 2:13-15)

Time in Julian Calendar Event Ref
25th of December 5 BC Jesus was born in a cave in outer skirt of Bethlehem. SeeTrain of Thought about Christmas December 25
A day between 26th and 30th of December 5 BCE Joseph, Mary, and Jesus moved to a house in Bethlehem City. Matthew 2: 11
31st of December 4 BC Preparation for Jesus circumcision (religious and social event) in Bethlehem. Considering social setting of Luke 2: 21
1st of January 4 BC Jesus circumcision in Bethlehem Luke 2: 21
2nd of February 4 BC Purification of Mary in Jerusalem Luke 2: 22
February and/ or March 4 BC Fled to and dwelt in Egypt Matthew 2:13-15
April 4 BC Herod death, Mary family went to Nazareth Luke 2:39; Matthew 2: 15, 19-23

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Where did Christmas originate?

Question

Where did Christmas originate?

Answer

Bethlehem.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. (Luke 2: 13-15)

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and Christmas celebrated by the angels and the shepherds was held in Bethlehem for the first time.


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3) Where in the Bible does it say to celebrate Christmas?

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Soal

Where in the Bible does it say to celebrate Christmas?

Jawab

  1. Following example of the angels (Luke 2: 13-14).

    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2: 13-14)

  2. Following example of the shepherds (Luke 2: 20).

    And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2: 20)

  3. Following advice to remember Jesus of David lineage  (2 Timothy 2: 8)

    Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel (2 Timothy 2: 8)

Christmas celebration 2014 in Manger Square, Bethlehem, Palestine, which was officially held by Bethlehem municipality.
Christmas celebration 2014 in Manger Square, Bethlehem, Palestine, which was officially held by Bethlehem municipality.

 

Biblical reason for the shepherds to watch flocks in the open field in December

Disinformation

At the time that the angel announced His birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem, they were feeding their flocks by night in the open fields [see Luke 2:8]. It was not the custom for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later than about the end of October.

The truth

Torah requires its adherents to sacrifice animal every day, morning and twilight.

Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two one year old lambs each day, continuously.  The one lamb you shall offer in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; (Exodus 29:38-39)

This verses created a real need of two lambs (young sheep) in Jerusalem every day in any weather, including December weather. However, citizens were prohibited from raising sheep inside Jerusalem.

One may not raise small cattle [i.e., sheep, goats, etc.] in the Land of Israel, but one may do so in Syria or in the uninhabited parts of the Land of Israel (Mishna Baba Kama 7)1

The sheep farming, which are located close to the highway to Jerusalem, on Bethlehem pasture, supplied and met the daily need.

Shepherding on Bethlehem pasture
Shepherding on Bethlehem pasture
Bethlehem pasture.
Bethlehem pasture. Source: http://www.carrollcrossroads.com/uploads/7/4/9/9/7499075/206870_orig.jpg

The ritual of animal sacrifice needed sheep every day in any season, weather, temperature, and month; and the sheep farming on Bethlehem pasture was always there to meet the need. Here is a reason for the presence of shepherds and their sheep on Bethlehem fields in December.

Conclusion

The shepherds of Judea watched their flocks in the open fields in any month, including December, to meet the need of daily sacrificial lambs in Jerusalem, near the pasture.


 

Bibliography

1) http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0005_0_04581.html. January 9, 2015. 11:49

7-14° C is Bethlehem temperature in December

Disinformation

December in Bethlehem was much too cold for sheep to be staying in the field.

The truth

Bethlehem-in-December Facts :

  • Average temperature: 7-14° C (44-58° F)
  • Average night temperate: ±7° C (44° F)
  • Minimum temperature (rare) : -1° C (30° F)
  • Position: 31° 42′ 11″ N 35° 11′ 44″ E
  • Zone : Sub-tropic (warm-temperature zone)

Sheep facts

  • Lowest temperature of survival: -40° C (-40° C)
  • Fleece protect sheep from warm winter temperature.
Sheep with thick fleece
Thick fleece protects sheep from winter temperature.

 

Compare 7-14° C (44-58° F) to -40° C (-40° C). Bethlehem in December is not too cold for sheep to be staying in the field.

Conclusion

  • Average Bethlehem temperature in December: 7-14° C (44-58° F)
  • Lowest temperature of sheep survival: -40° C (-40° C)
  • Bethlehem in December is not too cold for sheep to be staying in the field.

Bibliography

1http://www.myweather2.com/City-Town/Israel/Bethlehem/climate-profile.aspx?month=12; May 9, 2014

Suhu rata-rata bulan Desember di Betlehem
Suhu rata-rata bulan Desember di Betlehem

2 http://www.ontariosheep.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=QaeULBxtXxw%3D&tabid=95, December 30, 2014, 15:58.

Chambers, Robert. 20xx. Wintertime Ventilation Needs of Sheep. http://www.ontariosheep.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=QaeULBxtXxw%3D&tabid=95
Chambers, Robert. 20xx. Wintertime Ventilation Needs of Sheep. http://www.ontariosheep.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=QaeULBxtXxw%3D&tabid=95

A reason for shepherds to be on Bethlehem pasture in December

Torah requires its adherents to sacrifice animal every day, morning and twilight.

Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two one year old lambs each day, continuously.  The one lamb you shall offer in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; (Exodus 29:38-39)

This verses created a real need of two lambs (young sheep) in Jerusalem every day in any weather, including December weather. However, citizens were prohibited from raising sheep inside Jerusalem.

One may not raise small cattle [i.e., sheep, goats, etc.] in the Land of Israel, but one may do so in Syria or in the uninhabited parts of the Land of Israel (Mishna Baba Kama vii 7)1

The sheep farming, which are located close to the highway to Jerusalem, on Bethlehem pasture supplied and met the need.

Shepherding on Bethlehem pasture
Shepherding on Bethlehem pasture
Bethlehem pasture.
Bethlehem pasture. Source: http://www.carrollcrossroads.com/uploads/7/4/9/9/7499075/206870_orig.jpg

Conclusion

  • The sheep farming on Bethlehem pasture was always there, so were the shepherds, to meet the need of daily sacrificial sheep in any season, weather, month, and temperature.
  • Here is a reason for the presence of shepherds and their sheep on Bethlehem fields in December.

 


Bibliography

1 http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0005_0_04581.html. January 9, 2015. 11:49

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