Many Christians accept the story of Jesus’ birth in a manger in Bethlehem in Judea. But what if there was no Bethlehem in Judea at the time of Jesus’ birth?
A Seniour Israeli Antiquities Authority archaeologist named Aviram Oshri argues that the Christian savior hailed from Galilee, not Judea.
“How would a woman who is nine months pregnant travel 175 kilometers on a donkey all the way to Bethlehem of Judea?” he asked. “It makes much more sense that she would have traveled seven kilometers,” the distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem of the Galilee.
Aviram Oshri spent nearly eleven years excavating artifacts in Bethlehem of the Galilee — an ancient biblical village near Nazareth that was later settled by German Templers — which he believes show that the traditional account of Jesus’s birthplace may be wrong.
During eleven years of excavations, Oshri found a massive Byzantine-era church, with a cave hidden under the apse, as well as parts of a wall that may have circled the village and another two-story building that could have been an ancient khan or guesthouse. All would be from the period of Jesus’ life.
The International Business Times is reporting that Israel archaeologist Dr. Aviram Oshri believes that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Galilee, nine miles west of Nazareth, and not where Christians for centuries have believed Christ’s birthplace to be: about 100 miles from Nazareth, near Jerusalem.Oshri has been excavating near what he calls the second Bethlehem for over a decade now, and has discovered a Byzantine-era underground.
“Underneath the church, where the holiest of holies usually is, there was a natural cave,” he added.
Some Christian theories have Jesus being born in a manger located in a cave
Oshri’s site shows what could have been a two-story inn underneath the recently found church. Another interesting fact is that historical records show a fortifying wall being built in biblical Bethlehem. Though no such wall appears in Bethlehem, there are signs of one in Oshri’s site.
Earlier in the last century, groups of German Christians colonized Bethlehem of Galilee in 1906 under the name of the Templers. The Templers felt Bethlehem of Galilee would be where the second coming of Jesus Christ would occur.
The Mirror is reporting that the Templers, who had no connection to the Knights Templers, were ostracized from the Lutheran Evangelical Church in the 19th Century. The Templers felt the Holy Land would be theirs to inherit, and would help save them from their sins, and not the Jewish people.
Oshri believes he is right and says: “As I dig deeper and deeper, I am more convinced.”