There's a groundswell of people accepting that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, just not the one we've known for years.
The International Business Times is reporting that Israel archaeologist Dr. Aviram Oshri believes that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Galilee, nine miles west of Nazareth, and not where Christians for centuries have believed Christ's birthplace to be: about 100 miles from Nazareth, near Jerusalem.
Part of Oshri's argument lies around Mother Mary herself.
"How would a woman nine months pregnant travel 175 kilometres on a donkey all the way to Bethlehem of Judea? It makes much more sense that she would travel 14 kilometres," Oshri states.
Oshri has been excavating near what he calls the second Bethlehem for over a decade now, and has discovered a Byzantine-era underground.
"Underneath the church, where the holiest of holies usually is, there was a natural cave," he added.
Some Christian theories have Jesus being born in a manger located in a cave
Oshri's site shows what could have been a two-story inn underneath the recently found church. Another interesting fact is that historical records show a fortifying wall being built in biblical Bethlehem. Though no such wall appears in Bethlehem, there are signs of one in Oshri's site.
Earlier in the last century, groups of German Christians colonized Bethlehem of Galilee in 1906 under the name of the Templers. The Templers felt Bethlehem of Galilee would be where the second coming of Jesus Christ would occur.
The Mirror is reporting that the Templers, who had no connection to the Knights Templers, were ostracized from the Lutheran Evangelical Church in the 19th Century. The Templers felt the Holy Land would be theirs to inherit, and would help save them from their sins, and not the Jewish people.
David Kroyanker, author of a specialist book on the German colony, says, "Many of the young were easily influenced by Nazism. "There were many young Templers who studied in Germany at the time and when they came back they were very excited about Nazism."
The Templer's presence here became significant when Adolf Hitler, with Heimlich Himmler assisting, tried to rewrite Jesus Christ as Aryan, not Jewish.
In 1939, many Templers left to fight for Hitler in the German Army. Any Templers remaining were considered enemy aliens. Bethlehem of Galilee was quickly turned into an internment camp.
Many people have claimed Dr. Oshri's work to be erroneous. The Israel Antiquities Authority denounces his work as "worse than a joke."
Oshri remains undeterred. "As I dig deeper and deeper, I am more convinced," he says.
[Image courtesy of The Mirror]