The birth of Jesus

This is Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus.

Census

Around the time that Jesus was due to be born, Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. This was before the census ordered by Quirinius, when he was government of Syria. [Theophilus, you remember the census that was taken under Quirinius, when Judea became a Roman province . It resulted in riots against the Romans, which were put down violently. We discussed this – this was not Quirinius’ census, but one that was taken earlier.] Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own home town. {One can suspect that if anyone failed to register himself (or herself) that person lose whatever property rights that person might possess – it is likely to would have worked a bit like the Norman’s Doomsday book.}

Bethlehem

Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first born son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger – there was no room for them to say in the inn [or guestroom].

Angel throng and humble shepherds

There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David’s town your Savior was born – Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger”

Suddenly a great army of heaven’s angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them. The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.

TEV [adapted] Dr Graham Lovell / Historian / Sydney

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