The Christmas Blog
The Christmas story is kind of interesting, as it has a number of anomalies in it.. the first one being that the Christ was born before herod died, and herod died in 1-2 BC, so Christ was born before Christ was born.
We can thank Dionysius for that. Dennis the smaller (thats what his name means) came up with some random calculation while working out his easter calendar. He also chose December 25 as the birthday, but without any real evidence. Oh well.
The second one is that Mary and Joseph werent married. Why register for a census together if you arent married? And why go all that way with a woman who’s about to drop a bundle? Perhaps because tongues were wagging in the hometown and this is a chance to get away from the nastiness.
Quote from Ben Witherington III’s blog:
But there is a further factor in the story seldom noticed. Joseph and Mary are registering for a census in Bethlehem, but if we ask what the function of such a census was, it was to count heads so that they could be taxed. Every able-bodied male and female between 13 and 62 had to be registered so they could be taxed. It was a head tax, and they were expected to pay a silver denarius each—yes ‘the render unto Caesar coin” which Jesus was later to say Jews should ‘return to sender’. These coins had the image of Augustus Caesar on them in those days, a ruler soon to be dubbed a deity. But the real deity was Jesus himself the spitting image of his heavenly Father, unlike the poor likeness of the Emperor on those tribute money coins.
Interestingly, Ben tells us that the Greek here says “she wrapped him in cloth and laid him in a corn crib, as there was no room in the guest room”. In those days the guest room was at the front of the house, and there was a cave out back where the prized beast was kept so it couldnt be stolen. So, when Joe and Mary turned up at the relatives place, they were too late for the guest room, so they got the stable.
Thanks to Ben Witherington for posting this information on his blog. Be sure to go and have a read.