The Case for Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem

Most Christians tend to take for granted that Jesus was born in Bethlehem but most New Testament scholars think the opposite, that it was an invention of Matthew and Luke to bolster Jesus’ prophetic credentials as the Messiah. New Testament scholar Jonathan Rowland in his paper On Chickens and Eggs: The Use of Old Testament Prophecy in the New Testament Birth Narratives of Jesus makes a scholarly case for why Jesus was born in Bethlehem and why it matters but not exactly for the same reasons as most Christians would suspect.

Not only does he argue effectively for the Bethlehem birth, he shows how it is a prime example of how the New Testament interprets Old Testament prophecy in the light of what happened to Jesus.  You can read the full paper here.

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