Question:

Christ was born in Bethlehem which is a distance from Jerusalem. Assuming
Mary the mother of Jesus, when coming from Nazareth passed through
Jerusalem, what were the two towns like? Looking at a map of Israel I was
very mixed because I thought Nazareth was somewhere closer to
Bethlehem, or somehow connected with it.

Answer:

At the time of Jesus, Nazareth was in the province of Galilee, in the
northern part of Israel, west of the Sea of Galilee. The city is
about sixty-five miles north of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Both Bethlehem
and Jerusalem were in the Roman province of Judea, considerably to the
south of Nazareth, which explains why the journey for Mary, being near
the end of her pregnancy, was such a hardship. Bethlehem is about six
miles south of Jerusalem. It is a pretty reasonable guess that Joseph and
Mary traveled past Jerusalem on the way to Bethlehem, as it was in the
direct path from Nazareth to Bethlehem, although the biblical account does
not specify this. It would be fair to say that Bethlehem and Jerusalem
were politically connected at that time, since they were close to one
another and they were in the same province of the Roman empire. Nazareth
had no connection to Bethlehem at all. The only connection those two
cities had is that Jesus lived in both at one time.

John Oakes




What do you think?