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