Merry Christmas, 2014!
As many readers of my blog know, I have previously repeatedly shown that the literary history regarding the New Testament allows me to state that it is a FACT of history that the Gospel of Luke was written between the fall of 49 A.D. and the Spring of 51 A.D. Therefore, Luke’s Gospel is the first in the chronology of the 4 Gospels, and was written in the presence of and with the help of at least half of the Apostles in their careful recollections, and done while Luke assisted the Apostle Paul as he evangelized Corinth of Achaia with the Apostle Peter. The Gospel of John was the other multi-Apostle composed work, but the last Gospel (written very soon after Peter and Paul’s executions in Rome on June 29, 57 A.D.), while Matthew (comprising of Matthew’s witness) and Mark (comprising of Peter’s witnessing while he was at Rome), are the in-between Gospels in the chronological order in which the Gospels came into the world and were “published”, as it were.
In Luke Chapter 2, we start the Christmas event with the Shepherds in the fields some 4.5 to 6 miles south of Jerusalem in October of 5 B.C.
As to the location of the Bethlehem Jesus was born in, it remains BURIED on a hillside in Israel unto this day, and under alien authority (Fatah pseudo-Palestinian West Bank of Judea) governance and control.
Justin Martyr, in his Apology, 1.34, locates the Bethlehem of Judea in which Messiah was born into the world as specifically being 4 to 4.1 miles south of the what is probably the northern side of the Hinom valley at the southern city wall of Jerusalem in the First Century B.C., when he says:
"And thou, Bethlehem, the land of Judah" etc.
"Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, 35 stadia from Jerusalem, in which Jesus Christ was born, as you can [still] ascertain also from the registers of the taxing made under Cyrenius, your first procurator in Judea."
To the Romans of the era from Christ to that of Justin Martyr, 1 stadia was roughly 606 - 630 feet in our measurements. Therefore, 35 stadia was roughly 4.0 to 4.1 miles from Jerusalem's Old City.
Many historians quickly gloss over the significance of the statement of Justin Martyr, from which those having perspicacity can quite well understand the deeper insight from Justin Martyr’s statement from which I quoted, tells us his testimony is thus:
1) There were still existing meticulously detailed and publicly accessible Roman records in Judea about Judeans and events of Judea inscribed in those records, about a century and a half after their entry.
2) The taxing Bureaucracy were thorough and exacting record keeping Administrators who made sure that not only was Joseph and Mary taxed, but they also got the name of the baby born to them while they were at Bethlehem for the Census. This actually would tie in with Matthew 1:20-21,25 as to how Joseph named Jesus / Yeshua his name, when he had been recorded prior to the 8th day circumcision of the child after that Jesus / Yeshua was born.
3) Cyrenius was called the 1st procurator of Judea.
4) This Bethlehem location, no longer extant, and later replaced with a mistaken Byzantine location some 4 miles further away from Jerusalem, this correct 4 mile away from Jerusalem hometown and birthplace of King David as well as Jesus, was still existing in the second century A.D., as was factually known to have existed in Cyrenius' and Jesus' day (probably by both Roman records, and generational families that lived there, even through two major and disastrous Jewish revolts.
5) The location of this Bethlehem rules out all other nominations for Jesus' birthplace, being 35 stadia from Jerusalem.
Currently, the Bethlehem of Jesus' lies buried and unexcavated under open fields and winding roads north-northeast of the current city of Bethlehem. It is miles outside the boundaries of the modern Bethlehem, and almost half as close to Jerusalem as the one now occupied by Muslim fanatics wishing to destroy a true reality they cannot.
Furthermore, various Christian denominations and sects who are attached to the modern Bethlehem are currently worshipping in the wrong place.
But does any of that take away from the historical reality of Christ, of who He is, what He did in coming to Earth from Heaven to be born among us and what He did at the Cross, or the reality of His dying as our atonement of sins, being raised the 3rd day, ascending to back to Heaven visibly before more than 120 witnesses, et cetera? Absolutely not. The historical record and the true reality of things remain sound, even if people are misled, intentionally or otherwise, as to the specific square footage plots as where Jesus was born, or where Jesus suffered on the Cross (being the Kidron and Hinom Valley Juncture, but still at Jerusalem as the Scripture says – Revelation 11:8)
King James Version (KJV)
King James Version (KJV) in aqua Blue
Alternate Word Pictures with Reiterations Version (AWPR) in Yellow
My Comments are in Green
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (KJV)
1) And it came into being then in those days,
(there) went forth out a dogma – decree – command
from near and with the force of Caesar Augustus,
(that) all the (ones) dwelling in permanent dwellings
(were) to be written down – enrolled – registered in writing.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
2) That was the first writing down – enrolling – registration
in writing that came into being.
Acting as ruler – governor – procurator of
[Note: The 5th century Codex Bezae (D) moved the words of Luke 2:2 after this translation, so as to read:
“This coming into existence writing down – enrolling – registration. First governing (the) Syria: Kureniou / Cyrenius.”
The First Greek version of the Codex Siniaticus has a differing word order than what we are now accustomed to in our modern Greek translations. That word order reads:
Haute apographo egeneto prote hegemoneuontos tas surias kureniou.-- Earliest Codex Siniaticus
"This writing down – enrolling - registration BEGAN TO COME INTO EXISTENCE first - (that is,) before the governing of Syria by Kureniou/ Cyrenius." (translation mine) ]
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. (KJV)
3) And running and passing through / traveling together
went all / everyone to be
written down – enrolled – registered in writing.
Each one into (his) own (private)
individual city/protected settlement
having ascended up – went up.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) (KJV)
4) Then also Joseph from Galilee --
out of the city - inhabited /protected settlement
of Nazaerth, (went) into Judea,
into the city - inhabited /protected settlement
of David, which is called (by name) Bethlehem through it being
of the House and Family of David –
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (KJV)
5) To be written down - enrolled - registered in writing
with Miriam / Mary:
the one recollecting, being betrothed to him
(as) a betrothed / engaged
maid –damsel – wife to be
[by means of a contractual promise],
existing as one being
inswelled – heavily pregnant – heavily with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. (KJV)
6) Then it came into being – it happened
in their being – existing there / in that place,
the days (for) the bearing and bringing forth (of) her
were fully past – completed – fulfilled.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (KJV)
7) And she bore and brought forth the first-born son of her,
and she enwrapped Him in clothes as in a band about Him,
and reclined – laid Him in the stall – pen – manger,
for that on account of [this reason] – because (there)
certainly not was for them a (dwelling) place (or room)
in the Katalumati / The Inn – the place of loosening
[of belts, sandals, burdens].
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (KJV)
8) And Shepherds were in the range – grazing lands –
fields of the province / region/ country.
The same (persons)
remaining and living in the range – grazing lands – fields
of the province / region/ country,
also observing and keeping a watchful preserving
guard /custody of the night over / upon the flock of them.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. (KJV)
9) And behold, look and see! An angel of the LORD
Stood near upon and over them,
And the glory – dazzling brightness and radiant splendor
of (the) LORD / of YHVeH
shone – lightened up with brilliant light like a lamp about them;
[Acts 26:13 describes brilliance above the brightness of the sun,
Isaiah 30:26 puts such light as 7 times the brilliance of
the noon-day sun.
The text here says that brilliance lit up and focused in
and around the shepherds,
NOT that the whole world was lit up].
And they feared and trembled with a great terror.
[They feared and shook nervously, greatly frightened,
and were seized with a sudden instinctual fright that inclined
them greatly to run away.]
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (KJV)
10) But spoke to them the Angel:
'Do not fear and tremble / do not fear (and run away).
Behold, look and see;
for because I bring and proclaim good news to you;
a great and growing joy [cf. Hebrew 'gadol']
which will be to all the people [of Israel] /
which will be to all the nations
[both of the Gentiles as well as Israel].'
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (KJV)
11) Because was born - brought forth to you, today,
a Savior, who is Christ (the) LORD,
in the city - protected settlement of David.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (KJV)
12) And this to you,
a sign - an event - a mark - a token of confirmation:
you will search inquire - find / discover a babe
[brephas - before birth and after birth, a baby; one who
is directly dependent upon the mother for nourishment or
breastfeeding for survival. see also v. 11 "born this day" ]
having been enwrapped about (as) in a band
of swaddling clothes,
placed laying down - set down reclining
in the stall - pen / manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, (KJV)
13) And unexpectingly suddenly (there) came into being
together with the Angel
a great throng - multitude (a fullness of people all around)
of a Heavenly Angelic Army
praising [giving exhortations of blessing and well speaking]
GOD, and speaking - uttering definite words - saying:
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (KJV)
14) 'Glory - Praise with thoughtful recognition and honor duly rendered
in highest places / (the) highest
and upon Earth:
Peace (with Tranquility) -
Peace of mind, body, and spirit with kindness and happiness;
[cf. Hebrew 'Shalom']
in men, pleasing favor / good will
in - among - before men.'
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. (KJV)
15) And it came into being (just) as the angels
withdrew - departed from them into the Heaven,
and (then) - and (after that) the men, the shepherds
said - spoke up alongside with one another,
[suggests to us that they were at differing points of distances from one
another surrounding the flock/herd they were keeping, and it follows that the
dazzling brilliant light of the Angel of the LORD lit up the flock also]
'Let us indeed - Let us by all means go through
and let us experience the seeing of this spoken word
the which the LORD
made known - declared - revealed to us.'
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. (KJV)
16) And they came hastily - hurrying quickly,
and diligently sought out and found out
both Miriam / Mary and Yosef / Joseph
and the (newborn) baby
lying down - reclining in the stall - pen / manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. (KJV)
17) Then experiencing the seeing,
they made known and distinguished -
they publicly spread and made distinctly known
around concerning - about in respect to
the spoken word to them
concerning / about / in respect to this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. (KJV)
18) And all those attentively hearing - listening
were struck with marvel - astonishment / wondered
concerning - in respect to - about
the random things spoken
by - through - (otherwise having occurred)
without notice by
the Shepherds up alongside with them.
[Comment: Why did the hearers marvel?
Because the hearers were Jews,
and the Shepherds were of the Gentiles,
who in verse 20 'epestrephan' / 'converted' to Judaism
because of this Angelic Proclamation.
Luke uses the same word for conversion
in the previous chapter in Luke 1:16,17.
True Heaven sent proclamations will always uphold
and proclaim Yeshua / Jesus as mankind's only means
of true Peace with GOD the Father and amongst ourselves. ]
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. (KJV)
19) Then Miriam / Mary intensely kept and guarded all the
spoken words / sayings cast together / pondered and
in the heart of her.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (KJV)
20) And the Shepherds converted
glorifying - giving esteem and honor with recognition
and singing praises to GOD upon / over all things
which they had (intently) listened to / (carefully) heard
and beheld (with the eyes)
even as - inasmuch as was spoken up alongside with them.
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. (KJV)
21) And when were accomplished - completed - fulfilled
8 Days to circumcise the recently born / little child,
also was called forth the name of Him, Jesus / Yeshua;
that called through / under the Angel
before He was grasped and taken together / conceived
in the womb.
22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (KJV)
22) And when were accomplished - completed - fulfilled
the days of the cleansing - purification of her,
according to the Law - Statute of Moses,
they took up - brought - carried Him
to present - to place near the LORD.
23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) (KJV)
23) As according to (what)
has been written - inscribed - carved
in the Law - Statute of the LORD.
'Every male opening a womb
shall be Holy to the LORD.'
24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. (KJV)
24) Also to give - bestow - present -offer a sacrificial offering
[of obedience] according to - in respect to
that said - declared in the Law - Statute of (the) LORD:
'A yoke - a joining of two - a pair of turtledoves,
or two young - nestling doves.' "
Disclaimer: The Alternate Word Pictures with Reiterations (AWPR) translation should be used as a Bible Study Aid only, and it is recommended that a direct literal translation or the King James Bible be used for regular and ecclesiastical purposes, and that the AWPR be used in association only as a Bible study aid so as to help the reader / user in their Bible Studying to clarify context and Scriptural Intent. Thanks. -- Brianroy