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NATIVITY SCENES ARE OLDER THAN WE IMAGINE!

A New Light Dawns!

,

A NATIVITY SCENE

WAS DESCRIBED BY

LUKE IN HIS GOSPEL

 ALTHOUGH WE DIDN'T KNOW THAT!

 

WITH ANGELS!

   FIRST, I'll Repeat the Story of my first visit to the Holy Land with Henry Feyerabend.

(Those who have already read it on this web site may skip to part 2)

 My first visit to Israel and to the "Shepherd's Fields"  of

BETHLEHEM,

where Israeli Tour Guides still tell

the scores of people who arrive

there every day on air-conditioned

tour buses, as I and my wife Edie

did 30 years ago, that the ANGELS

SANG near the "City of David", was

in 1983

I, Dr. Bob Holt, MD, was a successful Emergency Room Physician at that time, the  director of a group of doctors working at Sampson County Memorial Hospital in Clinton, North Carolina.  My wife Edie (pictured above) and I lived in our modest little home in Garland, North Carolina (also pictured above) that Edie had decorated in "Country French" style after I had expanded the house to accommodate Edie's four children from a previous marriage.  We had rented an empty Presbyterian church on Ingold Avenue, and starting as a Branch Sabbath School had recently gained enough members to become the Garland Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    We heard of a tour to Israel to be conducted that year by the Canadian Seventh-day Adventist evangelist Henry Feyerabend and at the proper date, Edie and I were on one of those air-conditioned buses peering out the windows at what our tour guide assured us were the very feilds near to Bethlehem that David as a shepherd boy had tended his flocks while playing his lyre or harp and then one thousand years later, a group of angels had serenaded other shepherds as Christ was being born in a cave nearer Bethlehem now marked with a silver star of David. A very old stone church was built a few centuries later over the cave to be called the "Church of the Nativity." Edie and I got off the bus and toured this church also, along with about 40 other people, mostly Seventh-day Adventists like us.

Pastor Henry Feyerabend

Shepherd's Field near Bethlehem with caves

Silver Star on floor of Church of Nativity

 Later on that same 1983 Holy Land tour with Pastor Henry Feyerabend, Edie and I toured the Qumran Monastery and Masada and slept in a hotel along the shore of the Dead Sea about halfway between Qumran and Masada.  I "walked on the water" there (stepping on barely submerged salt pillars") while Edie filmed me doing this with my 8 mm movie camera.  I did not know at that time that this was the same very salt water on which Jesus had "walked" 1950 years previously, a fact that I did not become aware of until 1992, nine years after my tour with Edie. By then Edie had divorced me and married Jeris Bragan, a much more accepted Adventist author than I have been.

The real "Shepherd's Field" at which Essene "Angels" sang is near the Dead Sea and Qumran Monastery at an unmarked site where once stood the "House of the Queen" recorded in the Copper Scroll.   

 I made this fake news article once I knew in 1992 the true locations.

 Top picture: View of marl cliffs at Qumran from Queen's House

THE MAJOR CLUE

THAT LUKE'S ACCOUNT OF LUKE  CHAPTER 2

IS OF A PLAY, NOT THE REAL BIRTH,

IS THAT HE DATES IT AT A 6 AD CENSUS!

Luke 2:1

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

     2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

     3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

     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:)

     5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

     6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

     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 him in the inn."

 WIKIPEDIA

     The Jewish historian Josephus recorded that in the year 67, after the exile of Herod Archelaus (one of the sons and successors of Herod the Great, Quirinius (in Greek, Κυρήνιος, sometimes transliterated Cyrenius), a Roman senator, became governor (Legatus) of Syria, while an equestrian assistant named Coponius was assigned as the first governor (Prefect) of the newly created Judaea Province. These governors were assigned to conduct a tax census for the Emperor in Syria and Iudaea.

Now Cyrenius, a Roman senator, and one who had gone through other magistracies, and had passed through them till he had been consul, and one who, on other accounts, was of great dignity, came at this time into Syria, with a few others, being sent by Caesar to be a judge of that nation, and to take an account of their substance. Coponius also, a man of the equestrian order, was sent together with him, to have the supreme power over the Jews. Moreover, Cyrenius came himself into Judea, which was now added to the province of Syria, to take an account of their substance, and to dispose of Archelaus's money;

Josephus links the census to an uprising led by Judas of Galilee. The most likely cause was the association between censuses and taxation, although there may have been religious objections stemming from a biblical account of Satan inciting King David to take a census. Although Josephus implies the uprising had little immediate success, he regarded their actions as the beginning of a Zealot movement that encouraged armed resistance to the Roman empire, culminating eventually in the First Jewish-Roman War.

     All sorts of explanations have been made for hundreds of years to get around the discrepancy here between two of the best established dates of ancient history, the date of Luke's census in Chapter 2, and the not quite so certain date of Jesus' birth, which must have been before 1 AD.

But the also quite certain date for the death of Herod the Great in 4 BC increases the supposed error to at least 10 years. (4+1+6=11)

    Herod would have to be still alive to do all the things, or indeed any of the things he is described as doing in Matthew chapter 2.  And indeed he was so ill during his last year that a longer gap is more likely. (11-12 years).  

     It should have occurred to someone a long time ago that Jewish males for many centuries have undergone a ceremony named Bar Mitzveh at about 12 years old, and having a play celebrating that person's birth 12 years previously is a time-honored way of honoring a male Jewish child at his Bar Mitzveh ceremony.   This is exactly what Luke has done here, mixing the real date of this ceremony with the actual facts of Jesus' birth 12 years before 6 AD. 

      Because Luke does such things all through his gospel and Acts to keep unauthorized people from knowing and understanding the real history of the very human Jesus, he has left out those few words and explanations that would have made this clear.  (And spoiled things for a church that has depended on a Divine Jesus for 1900+ years)

Luke's Nativity Story Repeated

with the missing "Bar Mitzveh Play"

information added by Dr. Holt

(which he obtained from Dr. Thiering's book)

Luke 2:1

     "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

     2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

     3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.   This trip by Joseph did occur in 6 AD, but by then Jesus was 12 years old, time for his Bar Mitzveh.

     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:)

     True also, except that the Essenes had designated everything south of Ain Feshkha in the Qumran area as "Galilee", and the Mar Saba monastery was known by them as "Nazareth".  So Joseph had less than 10 miles to travel, not 90 miles as we have supposed!

     And his final destination was not the City of Bethlehem, but the "Queen's House" 1 Km south of the Qumran monastery.

     5 "To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child."

    The taxing registration was actually done in 6 AD, but Mary was only feigning, playing the part, of being "great with child", with Jesus, then 12 years old!

     6 "And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered."

     "The days were accomplished" here means the 12th anniversary of the previous event.

   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 him in the inn."

     This was the re-enactment of the birth, perhaps quite humorous to watch, as Mary groaned in feigned labor, and the  12 year-old Jesus appeared, almost naked, from beneath a sheet or quilt draped over the reclining Mary.  The "swaddling clothes" kept the scene legal, and the manger was a large one.  The "inn" referred to was Mar Saba 10 or more miles distant.

    8 "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night."

     These were not shepherds of ordinary wholly-backed sheep, but leader-shepherds of the married Essenes who lived in "Galilee", south of Ain Feshkha.

     9 "And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them: and they were sore afraid."

     One of these Essenes leaders whose real name was Simon Magus (of the Magi) called himself (singular-superlative) "THE Angel of the Lord," and also the "Glory of the Lord", and he and Theudas were Zealots, so there was reason to be "sore afraid".

     10 "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be for all people."

     As Judas the Galilean was stirring up his fellow Zealots to war against the Romans (tax revolt) another Essene was advocating "peace".

     11 "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

     Even at this early age of 12, Jesus was on the side of "peace" not "war."

"Born this day" means "Bar Mitzveh". The age on which a Jewish male became a responsible person -- a "man".   A "man" whose ancestor was King David.

     12 "And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

     This is the clue to the "shepherds" that it is time to go down to the "Queen's House" and watch the feigned birth of Jesus.

     13 "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

     14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

      "Multitude of the heavenly host" means the constellations of the Zoidiac to Essenes, who were astrologers.  Also it refers to Job chapter 38, which names some of these constellations and also the Zodiac itself ("Mazzaroth").  The reference is most specifically to Job  38:7 "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy--"  This is also another piece of evidence that an Essene group of female singers called the "Daughters of Job" were singing here in unknown ("Angelic") tongues.

      15  "And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us go now even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."

    And now they're all headed for the Queen's House, a walk of 5 kilometers.

     16 "And they came in haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."

     Even 12 year-olds dressed in swaddling clothes need a nap on a hot desert afternoon at Qumran in March.

     17 "And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning the child."

     Jesus, for a while at least, was accepted by the "shepherds" as the legitimate descendent of King David, eligible to be their Messiah in 29 AD.

 

THE NEXT PAGE WILL BEGIN A SERIES ABOUT "JOB'S DAUGHTERS", BEGINNING WITH THE STORY OF JOB HIMSELF!

For Dr. Bob Holt's account --

Click Here!

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