12 Myths of Christmas: Bethlehem
So far we have learned that Jesus was not born on December 25th, that Herod did not kill any babies, be it 10 or 100, Magi did not come and visit the baby Jesus and that the no signs of divine kingship via stars occurred. If the Christian writers were Pinocchio, that nose would be pretty big by now. But if Jesus did exist he must have been born. So we at least know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. We might not know the exact date but we have a location. Right? Wrong!
Watch that nose continue to grow.
Myth #5: Jesus was born in Bethlehem
Early Christians didn’t give a shit about Jesus’ birthday. The Gospel of Mark, which scholars believe to be the earliest gospel, makes no mention of the nativity. The earliest writings would be Paul’s writings and he doesn’t even acknowledge that Jesus was ever flesh let alone talk about a birth.
Early Christians thought Jesus was the Jewish Messiah who was going to come with an army and destroy the Romans. They were shocked when Jesus ended up dead. Nobody thought the Messiah would end up nailed to a tree. So they sat there dumbfounded trying to think of what to do next. What happened was a re-imagination of the Messiah.
So we have many Christianities in the first and second centuries. People had all kinds of gospels and letters and stories to tell. What we have in the canonical bible is basically what some men decided should be there and much of what did make it into the bible were forgeries. Pretty lame when you think about it.
So when Luke and Matthew sat down to pen their gospels, they decided that a birth worthy of a Messiah should be included. Knowing that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, both set the nativity there. But where Matthew just says, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea” and is done with it, Luke makes up some stupid-ass story about a census in order to get our main characters to the town. This census is complete bullshit. The Romans would have never demanded that people should be counted in the town of their ancestors. This is just another attempt to connect Jesus with the house of David, since it claims that Joseph was from that family. Since Joseph isn’t Jesus’ biological father, his lineage is pointless.
The reason the Romans would have a census was to tax people. It would defeat the purpose for census takers to count people in a town they didn’t live in. They census will be a future myth in this series so I won’t get too detailed. For now, it is important to know that it was invented as a way for the writer of Luke to get Joe and Mary to the birthplace of the Messiah.
So where was Jesus born? Most scholars believe he was born in Nazareth. Since the gospels speak of him as Jesus of Nazareth, it stands to reason that he was born there.
It would have been a pretty big deal if he was born in Bethlehem. Because of this, one must find it very telling that Mark and John or even Paul did not mention his birth in Bethlehem. A birth in Bethlehem is gold when it comes to proving your guy is the Messiah. So either these writers did not know, didn’t care or it didn’t happen. Considering who these writers are claiming Jesus was, you would think they would cash in every awesome detail they knew would confirm it. This fact alone is all I need to say that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem.
I can’t talk about Bethlehem without stating that I HATE the song O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM. Such a shitty song. Makes me want to blow my brains out when I hear it. I would go so far to say that it is…