Whither Born Jesus? Is Aviram Oshri Right?
In looking at my Yahoo! mail page, I came across the article I expected to find much earlier in the month. It was entitled Whither the birthplace of Jesus? O little town of Bethlehem vs. the littler village of Bethlehem of the Galilee. The sum and substance of the article is that an Israeli archaeologist, Aviram Oshri, has made the claim that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem of Judea, as reported in both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (and as alluded to in John). Instead, he argues that Jesus was born in a little town of Bethlehem of Galilee. The article quotes Mr. Oshri as saying:
I had never before questioned the assumption that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea. But in the early 1990s, as an archaeologist working for the IAA, I was contracted to perform some salvage excavations around building and infrastructure projects in a small rural community in the Galilee. When I started work, some of the people who lived around the site told me how Jesus was really born there, not in the south. Intrigued, I researched the archaeological evidence for Bethlehem in Judea at the time of Jesus and found nothing. This was very surprising, as Herodian remains should be the first thing one should find. What was even more surprising is what archaeologists had already uncovered and what I was to discover over the next 11 years of excavation at the small rural site--Bethlehem of Galilee.Since some people won't search back into the archives here at CADRE Comments, I point out that I have already made a rather detailed response to Mr. Oshri's claims in Part V of my series on whether Jesus was born in Bethlehem and Galilee. In sum, I think that Mr. Osrhi's claims are not well supported, and I invite the reader who is interested to read some of the evidence that Mr. Oshri seems to conveniently overlook.