Born in Bethlehem
Jesus fulfilled many prophecies during his lifetime, and some have accused him of doing so in order to try and appear as the Messiah even when he was not. However, several of the prophecies he fulfilled were fulfilled at his birth, something he could not have manipulated were he not the true Messiah. These include his lineage (a descendant of David, 2 Sam 7:12-16), the time of his birth (prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70, Dan 9:26), and the place of his birth (in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2). No one could change these things later in life, and the fulfillment of these prophecies point powerfully to Jesus as the true Messiah. The picture shown here is of Jesus’ birthplace, the village of Bethlehem. This photo was taken in the 1930’s, before Bethlehem grew into a sprawling modern city. The hill in the center of the photo is the location of the village during the time of Christ. The bell tower of the Church of the Nativity can be seen along the skyline. The Church of the Nativity was built in the early 4th century when Christianity was legalized under Constantine the Great, although the association of the site with the birth of Jesus is much older than that. Justin Martyr (c. AD 100-165) and Origen of Alexandria (c. AD 185-254) both make reference to the site as a known location. The Church of the Nativity was destroyed by fire in the 6th century, and was rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justinian in AD 565. Much of what still stands today is from that church. The bell tower was added by the Crusaders during the Middle Ages.