Was Christ Born in a Stable?

SEE ALSO: WHY WE CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF CHRIST ON DECEMBER 25TH       

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            The text of Luke 2 notes there was no room for Mary and Joseph in

            the “inn.” Unfortunately, the Greek term translated inn (kataluma) had multiple

            meanings.

            

            Ktaluma was used only one other time in the New Testament (Luke

            22:11 and the parallel passage, Mark 14:14), it was the place where Jesus observed

            the Last Supper with His disciples. Here Luke gave additional information

            about the kataluma. He said it was a furnished large upper story room within a

            private Jerusalem house. The kataluma of the last night of Jesus' earthly

            ministry was the “upper room.”

            

            The "kataluma" where Jesus was born was a similar room in Bethlehem.

            Mary and Joseph came into town with Mary ready to deliver. Arriving at

            Joseph's ancestral home, they found it already full of other family members who had

            arrived earlier. While the exact reason space was not made for a pregnant

            woman is unknown, it probably indicates the house was full of elder members

            of Joseph's family, who had priority.

            

            Christ was in fact born in a manger but in the ancient world, as

            well as in primitive modern cultures, mangers are also found within the house

            itself. Animals are regularly kept in homes at night.

            

            A small number of flock animals were housed, not in attached

            exterior sheds, but inside the house in one of the ground floor rooms. Here, animals,

            tools and agricultural produce were stored. Here, too, food was prepared and

            possibly consumed. Family sleeping quarters were on the second floor.  By

            being inside, the animals were protected from the elements and theft. In addition,

            their presence provided body heat for cool nights, access to milk for the

            daily meal and dung as a critical fuel source.

            

            Excavations in Israel have uncovered numerous installations within

            domestic structures containing ancient stone mangers. 

            

            Consequently, Mary and Joseph did not find space in the living

            quarters of the ancestral family home. Instead, they stayed downstairs in the

            domestic stable, still within the ancestral home, where a manger or two made of stone

            was located; Here they were visited by the shepherds

            

            Please pray for me, a repentant sinner, worker in the vineyard of

            Christ and

            

            His Unworthy Priest,

            Bishop Brian J. Kennedy, O.S.B.

            

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WE ARE SUCCESSORS TO THE APOSTLES, IN UNION WITH THE ORIGINAL 12 AND ALL THOSE WHO CAME AFTER THEM AND WITH ALL THOSE WHO WILL COME AFTER US. 

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