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tv   The Nativity  FOX News  December 25, 2013 2:00am-3:01am PST

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♪ >> christmas eve in >> christmas eve in bethlehem. the birth of jesus christ has been celebrated for 2,000 years. the tradition continues today with a procession joyful music and thoughtful prayer. for christians around the world this is the god that became man and the mt. seessage of love ch the world forever. >> hark the herald angels sing
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glory to the newborn king. every year they celebrate the birth of our savior with songs of prayer. welcome to our special "the nativity." >> how much do we really know about the fnativity story? is it a complete and true history? is some of it tradition? is any of it myth? we take you to israel and palestine to trace the remarkable story of jesus' birth. you will see the spot in nazareth where word of a virgin birth first came to a girl. king herod the ruler who wanted to kill the newborn king. the road to bethlehem was long and dangerous for mary and joseph. to understand who jesus is we start where his life began. >> where are we right now? >> we are standing in the little
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town of bethlehem. as you can see the little town of health bethlehem is a vibrant city. we are in the heart of the city which is where the city of jesus -- the jewish vil labelling where jesus centered himself right here at manger square. >> this is so different than the song oh little town of bethlehem. >> she takes us to the church of the nativity despite where the gospel tells us jesus was born. >> this tradition goes back to the 2nd century when the local people remembered where the families lived. >> bethlehem is on the edge of the judean desert 60 miles south of jerusalem and 80 miles away from nazareth. it has been there since the 4th century. >> the first thing you sees the
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columns. what is that? >> many people thought they were marble and i am ported but they were quarried in bethlehem and they are from our rose colored granite that polishes to a high sheen and gloss. most of the columns are from the church that goes back to the 4th century. >> after con stin teen converted to christianity he sent his mother helena to build chapels at the birth sight and where jesus was crucified. they are the good news accounts of jesus' life ministry death and resurrection. the birth stories are only found in the gospel according to saint matthew and the gospel according to saint luke. >> the christmas story occupies a few verses in matthew, a have you verses in luke, not at all in mark and is hinted at in john. >> a former bishop of the
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anglican church in england. >> there's a sense of awe and wonder as you go back to the birth stories you can hardly bring yourself to say it but this is how the living god became human. >> they emphasized different aspects of the events to bring out the different theological points. >> a roman catholic priest is professor of biblical studies. >> nonetheless all of these gospels present us the honest truth. they faithfully tell us what jesus actually said and did. >> scripture is not something to eat quickly it is not fast food. it is a luxurious banquet. >> father mark is a translator of the bible. >> it is not supposed to be a videotape that we can play on the history channel and watch. what it is it is an account through a specific lens with a specific purpose to invite us into the life of god to the life
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of christ and the church. >> god sent forth a son born of a woman. what was the reason for that we could not find salvation on our own so god enters into our world. >> for people who have not visited bethlehem entered the church of nativity or sent it into the grato they may be surprised to learn he was born in a cave not a stable. >> as we are in a natural cave with the soft light we see first the grato of the first the nativity where traditionally mary gave birth to jesus. as we step over to the left we have the manger, the altar of the manger which had the crib according to luke chapter 2. >> the language of the bible writers were hebrew, aramaic and greek and translations.
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>> why did they go into a cave to have a baby. luke tells us that they laid him in a manger because there was no room in the inn. now this word inn is what trips us up every time. the greek word is a simple word and it means the guest room or the upper room. it means that the house is full and there's no privacy. rather than being able to give birth in the guest room they take her down into basement cave where things are quiet there aren't a bunch of children around and where they can have warmth and she gives birth there. clearly she is in a family setting. >> (speaking hebrew) which means he is born in a cave and laid in a manger. a manger is a trough or animals feed from. that's where they put him for a bed. the swaddling clothes are grape
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clothes. orthodox christians we understand his birth as a sign of his humility. they are the book ends to a life that is transformed in resurrection and that transforms our life. >> the old testament prophecy becoming of a jewish messiah a triumphed king who would throw out the aggressors archnd recla jerusalem. but the setting isn't as important as the prediction he would be a descendant of the royal house of david the beloved king of israel. the birth would be in bethlehem. >> we have to try to remember the history leading up to the birth of christ a great sense of unhe's to jewish people the monarchy had come to an end five centuries didn't have their own king. they were under the babylonians and persians then under the
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greek. when is he going to act to transform our situation to bring justice and peace to the world? >> regardless of the fact fictions and faith the nativity story becomes more meaningful when we know the history of the first century in the holy land. >> most christians today think of christmas as a cute family festival with presents and christmas trees and so on. it is the most powerful and subversive thing he can be celebrateling. it is about the entire over throw of the way the world is and its replacement with a different sort of world all together. instead of power being about the big boys bullying everybody into submission this is as jesus himself said about someone who didn't come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. that is spiritually powerful, it is also politically dynamite. >> we will return to bethlehem for the tour of the church of
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the nativity. first we travel north to galilee where jesus lived and conducted his ministry. >> in maze rhett we will see evidence of a first century house. we can't say jesus grew up in it but we can be fairly certain he walked by. ♪
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>> when jesus began his ministry a man from galilee asked can anything good come to nazareth? the battle was attached to his home town because as a backward peasant village it was known for the lack of culture. this modest place would have a much richer history than originally thought. >> nazareth located north of jerusalem in the galilee region is today a bustling arab community one-third are christian. 2,000 years ago it was a small jewish village only a few hundred people.
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village life into jesus' time is reenacted in the open air museum on passion farmland on modern nazareth. it was a relatively new town when jesus grew up here. >> scripture says jesus of nazareth but it also says he was born in bethlehem. jesus of nazareth and jesus of bethlehem. let's bring the two together. >> almost every christian in the world believes he was born in bethlehem. >> he is a methodist minister and archaeologist. >> the vast majority of critical new testament scholars have come to the conclusion jesus was probably born in nazareth. >> why is that? >> he is never called jesus of bethlehem. >> one of the interesting things regarding tradition of jesus birth there is no serious counterclaim among the early christians that jesus was born outside of bethlehem. >> the old testament includes prophecies that a messiah was
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expected to come from bethlehem. >> there were people who were saved. this is the time we have been counting and calculating worked out from the prophecies when this ought to occur and we think it is pretty much now. >> in recent years they have found facts to support that tradition. >> our work in the jewish villages is proving in the time of jesus 80 percent of the jews came from judea. that is bethlehem. we are not only people of faith we are people are line. archeology can't form faith. but archeology is absolutely important for informing faith and we would like to ask every question possible. what we can be certain about is we can call jesus of nazareth. this is where he spent his early youth. >> the nativity story begins here in nazareth. the gospel of luke says the
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angel gave god to tell mary a virgin she would have a son through the hill oh loy spholy . we visited the church where roman catholics believe the miracle happened. >> just a few blocks away is saint gabriel's church where the greek orthodox say the annunciation was. below that is mary's well the traditional sight of the place where mary and young jesus would have drawn water. >> i don't think we need to say it was here or there to be able to affirm something beautiful and wonderful h entered our world. >> why is the presence of angels in not only mary's life but joseph's life as well. >> in the first century jews believe the cause was full of demons and angels and the power of god. this is a fact of history.
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not that angels appeared but they believed they had experienced angels and this gave them a meaning in life that maybe we have missed. >> what do we know about mary? >> she was living in a patriarchal society where she obtains meaning because men gave her meaning. her dream of course would be to have a man that would love her and help her bring a family into this world. so her dream would be to some day be respected and to have a son. >> now joseph, we don't know much about joseph. >> joseph seems to disappear in the midst of history. >> right nearby is st. joseph the church marking the home of the holy couple. tradition says the structure was built over joseph's carpentry workshop. when we look at the actual trance ligs from the greek bible we discovered something else. >> this idea of joseph with a saw and a saw horse is probably a row mant sized version of joseph.
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he was a builder. he made things. t it is someone who makes things oh who creates something. >> it is a miss translation when people thought builders worked with wood. we have stone here. >> remember we row mant size about joseph in lots of ways. joseph and mary were never married. most don't realize that. >> didn't they get married later? >> no. he is never called anything except for herbie troether betr. >> it is a legal contract. it is not the same as being married but it is a stronger bond than we would call today being engaged. >> the virgin birth, how would that go over in a first century nazarene town. >> a lot of jews would say she obviously got raped a roman his
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name was pantera. the claim of being born a virgin as unusual it was not unthinkable. >> a 13 or 14-year-old girl bound to be pregnant and she is not married. >> this was the high point in joseph's life because he could have exposed her. you are right. she could have been stoned. he protected her. you can have facted, you can have history but at the end of the day you don't want to always separate was virgin birth fact or fiction? >> at easter sometimes we hear the question, how important, how essential is it that jesus actually rose physically from the dead? would it be woke to say jesus somehow rose in the spiritual way in people's minds and hearts and the physical body is still in the tomb? i would say no in the mist of
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the passions and resurrection we have to understand something about the history of t mystery beginning of his life. >> no objects have been found that are directly linked to jesus. the way archeologists have come to find evidence as herod the great. just before christmas in 2009 a house in the time of jesus was unearthed across the street from the church of annunciation. >> for a long time we have been trying to find any evidence of jewish life in nazareth. >> could this have been the home of mary and joseph? >> it is conceivable that mary and jesus and joseph lived here. it is much more likely they visited and a little boy named jesus was running around all of these houses, but there is nothing jesus lived here. if we find something from the first century it was built by a builder, one of the
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possibilities is joseph. but don't forget another possibility is jesus. >> today the direct route from nazareth to bethlehem is south on highway 6. it can take two to three hours depending on traffic near jerusalem. for mary and joseph traffic wasn't a problem. they had to worry about herod the great and the rugged terrain. which route did the holy family take? that's next.
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welcome back to the nativity, fact, fiction, and faith. 2,000 years ago, one in 8 people in the world was dominated by the roman empire. >> so we are now standing overlooking an ancient over looking an ancient jewish village or more of a town than a village. it was called gomla it comes
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from the word meaning camel. it is shaped like the hump of a camel. >> she is an expert on daily life in the time of jesus. >> coming down you see the breech in the wall where you actually have a hole that was bashed through the wall and then you continue down the wall continues down the slope of the hill. so you just -- one of the things you have to image when you are here is the roman legions stationed out here all of this artillery the catapult and then they are bringing battery rams. >> 30 years after her crucifixion a defensive wall was built around this town to protect the 9,000 jewish bombers living there. it was front to the roman rulers. >> you have to realize the romans were ruling all of these different native people. if they allowed the jews to rebel successfully and gain
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independence what would have happened? their empire would have fallen apart because of all of these other people would have said the jews did it we can do it, too. we have a town frozen in time in the year 67 a.d. the moment it was destroyed by the romans. that's what makes it so special. >> at least 5,000 jews died at gama others may have escaped. it was abandoned for 2,000 years. the ruins and artifacts found here tell us how people lived in the first century. >> life was much like village life through out the rest of the roman empire by our modern standards it was dirty it was not high genic or sanitary but those were the conditions people lived in normally as the course of everyday life 2,000 years ago. >> what was life like for a little boy growing up in nazareth? >> you have to go out and work in the field or help your father
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with whatever his craft was. >> what is this? >> we are in the room of a first century house and we have a grinding stone for grinding bean. you had to grind grain so you could make your bread. >> it is a wonderful impression of what everyday life was like in the first century. they had to grind the grain to make the bread from scratch and bring in water and wash the clothes my band. what to us today look to us to be difficult and a poor lifestyle. this was the lifestyle of the majority of the people in the ancient med trinian world and they took it for granted. >> the bats el at gamla was first of three of the revolts. jerusalem was under siege for three years and the second temple was destroyed. 1 million jews were slaughtered this is during the time of the gospel writers. when jesus was born the roman
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pact of peace prevailed. >> when the romans took over this area they issued laws that guaranteed the jews freedom of worship. by the first century by the time of jesus jews were building to accommodate these assemblies. we happen to be sitting in a first century synagogue building in the town of gamla. >> all seats going around and little bit of you see some of the columns and original decoration. >> it is more than worship. romans did not interfere with the jewish laws for daily living. but it did not exempt jews from being counted in the ro he man census. he was forced to travel with pregnant mary to bethlehem his ancestral home. >> he talked about the journey from nazareth to bethlehem. which route would they have taken from nazareth to
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bethlehem? >> i actually don't believe they made that trip. i think the birth narratives are inserted into the gospels, two of the gospels by the way because only two have first narratives. they are not the same narratives they differ. but i think the birth narratives were inserted in order to connect david with judah in order to be descended from king david he had to have a judean heritage. >> while there is no archaeological evidence of the holy fm family's trip they can speculate about their route. >> the main way to go from north to south through this country always even today is along the coast. that will take you far out especially if you are going from nazareth to bethlehem. >> the coastal route was already a century old trade route that success sended from mesopotamia. it was the main thoroughfare and a good reason they would have avoided going that way. >> the easier way would be to
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cut south through the interior hill country. and then by way of the area down to bethlehem it cuts through the west bank today. the interior is hard because it is not as rugged and if the situation is unstable security on the roads is not guaranteed a lot of criminals running around bandi bandits. cut east through the jezreel valley from nazareth then you follow the gojordan river south toward the dead sea. when you get to the city of jericho you cut up toward the direction of jerusalem. going south toward bethlehem and passing along the way the site of herod yum where king herred ro the great was buried. >> the gospel according to matthew tells the story about the wise men who traveled from the east guided by a prophecy and a star. they were looking for the newborn king of the jews the
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christ child. first had he to had contend with herred ro the great. the roman em tire had given that title to him. [ male announcer ] at progresso, we lieve the second chapter of your life should be just as bold as the first. try the new bold flavors of heart healthy so from progresso.
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towards men message of the birth and life of jesus christ. >> irng because the christmas story has been domesticated into this realm of fairyland and grato. it is very clear in matthew and luke. >> they may have different accounts of jesus' birth dbut their message is the same. >> in luke you have augustus caesar sitting on his throne. we need to raise more taxes. at the far end of the empire this couple set off and a baby is born who within 100 years will be the talk of the town around the roman empire. for matthew we have to focus on king herod who kills the people in his own family and any one who gets in his way this little weak human baby who we have
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invited to see as not only changing the very meaning of power itself. >> the whole story of king herod is almost a play on word. every time king herod, but the reader knows who the real king is. the real king is jesus. >> they bring gospel analysis and archeology nool focus at a place mary and joseph could not avoid on their way to nazareth from bethlehem. >> herod is concerned about security. it is a palace fortress important politically for places like this. to be not just impressive but intimidateling. >> this volcano shaped mound is clearly advivisible.
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this is before the birth of jesus. >> it is a little imagination it is easy to visualize how beautiful the place is. what we are looking at now are the bones of the structure. image if we are in a palace where the walls are decorated with lav vic fresco brilliant colors there would have been possibly guilding. water is one of the principle features of a roman palace. it also demonstrates a command of resources. it is meant to impress. >> herod the great ruled judea and much of palestine from 37 to 4 b.c. >> he rebuilt the second temple made it much larger much more lavish. he made the water sis nem in
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jerusalem built the palace on top of macada. he built another fortress palace. >> he is respected as the greatest builder but reviled as a paranoid mad man who killed his wife three of the children and the rabbi of the jewish dynasty. in matthew's gospel when the magi followed their star to jerusalem and asked herod where the king of the jews had been born he commanded soldiers to kill all of the babies in bethlehem. the slaughter of the innocent. >> would mary and joseph felt o oppre oppressed? is i would have in their position. already it would have been a very intimidating place for
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them. >> why are they so different? >> different audience, different geography, different authorship, different needs for the community. the gospels are essentially four different perspectives on jesus' life. if you look at matthew's gospel. jesus says i have come not to abolish the torah i have come to fulfill it. he lived and died as a jew. >> why would it be meaningful for the jews in galilee? >> they have seen baby jesus taken to egypt after jesus was born. that's not found in luke's gospel? why is it in matthew's gospel? to conjure of image of moses. they both preach from the top of the mountain. they both interpret law. they both cross waters linking moses to jesus. >> that mu is saying to a jewish audience you need to pay attention to the story. this is your story coming with surprising fulfillment.
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one of the extraordinary things wi about jesus is he is constantly telling stories saying -- even his own cousin john the baptist sends him a message, are you the one we were looking for or should we be looking for someone else. jesus sends it back get a load of this the lepers are cleansed the lame are walking the dead are being raised. yes, i am actually the one that israel of the world has been waiting for. >> up next more fact and fiction about the nativity story. why december the 25th may not be the actual date of jesus' birth. then our religious scholars tell us how faith ended it all. g cat. it's not the "sign up for rewards each quarter" card. it's the no-games, no-messing-'round, no-earning-limit-having, do-i-look-like-i'm-joking,
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>> odd used to be 100% christian, but now it's not. where have all the christians gone? >> beteh >> bethlehem was 80 percent christian and 20 percent muslim in the early 1990s. now the reverse is true. 20 percent christian and 80 percent muslim. we have seen a tremendous amount of immigration out of the bethlehem area especially since the second fatah. >> any one who wants to enter
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bethlehem to see the sign of jesus' birth is required to pass through a checkpoint at this enormous wall part of a 96 mile separation barrier built over the past ten years because of the intense friction between israelis and palestinians. tensions between the palestinians and israelis go back to the establishment of the state of israel in 1948. in 2000 the second left a high number of casualties on both sides. todays is more peaceful, but still the threat of violence remains. this wall hasn't stopped pilgrims and tourists. >> has there been a rebirth in bethlehem and church of the nativity. >> we have seen christians from every background whether western christians or orthodox christians or christians from africa acknowledge bethlehem as the birth place of jesus. >> just like today's pilgrims the wise men took a journey of their own more than 2,000 years
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ago to see the newly born messiah. >> the gospel tells us about the magai. it doesn't tell us the number that come. >> while few facts are known about the wise men they play a big part in today's christmas celebration. >> the three kings isn't an aberration. the only reason we think there are three of them they brought gifts gold, frankincense and myrrh. >> just as mysterious as the wise men was the ways they followed. they saw an exploding star or come met or maybe the planet jupiter or was the star of bethlehem a miraculous event which no one can explain? >> it is a great irony because they come to jerusalem and they come to herod and they say where was this kyled born king of the jews. the star was led hem almost far enough bau actually to the wrong king. we often miss that this is much
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more about the fact of jesus is going to draw people from east and west and north and south. >> the nativity scene as we envision it today was not largely the result of a devotion of saint frances who has life size nativity scenes with live animals. there are elements of the way christmas is celebrated that go beyond the gospel. >> so many krreenactments of th nativity show this drama about making it to bethlehem and how difficult it was would he travel 90 miles with a pregnant wife. >> when i talk to my classes about the narratives i always say stop, pause, remind. forget the christmas cards and forget all of the movies, because we need to hear what luke wants us to hear when he tells us this story. the story of the drama the story he have being pregnant and labor does not come from the gospels.
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you won't find that anywhere in the new testament. we read luke we understand she is not about to give birth they arrive there before she is going to give birth. >> not far from the birth place of jesus is shepherd's field. this church was built on a site where it is said angels appeared and told the shepherds of the messiah's birth. >> luke focuses on these shepherds and shepherds as often today were poor they often lived outside of the towns and only came in from time to time and luke focuses on them as the ones who were right at the center of the action to their own surprise as everybody else's. >> why is jesus' birth celebrated on december 25th in the middle of winter? >> if the gospel of luke is any indication of the time when we have shepherds on the hillside at night raising their sheep we know it is not in the dead of winter. it is freezing here in the winter. but spring and summer you could be outside all night it would be
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lovely. we don't know the dates. december the 25th was chosen partly in a response to pagan religions which had a winter celebrati celebration. the early christians wanted to have a christian focus in the winter time. it is almost symbolic in the sense that we celebrate the light coming into the world at the very darkest point of the year. >> the gospels tell us that jesus is born during the reign of herod the great. >> there is also the question about the year of jesus' birth. >> herod the great according to the standard consensus died in the year 4 b.c. the gospel of matthew with the story of the massacre said that herod had children less than two years old murdered. from that if herod dies before b.c. with he go back two years
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scholars typically come up with a date of say 6 or 7 b.c. for the birth of christ. >> over the past 2,000 years pa fact and fiction has been combined for the christian celebration. for christians only one thing is essential. >> i think there are people looking for facts and there are people looking for fiction. i think people of faith look for truth. i think in both narratives there is the truth. and truth sometimes goes a lot deeper and a lot further. >> request the story of jesus it is something which must transform the whole of one's life true one's life. >> coming up next our tour of bethlehem and the church of the nativity.
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>> from where we're standing, this is jesus's ancestral home from the family of joseph.ries >> although we know he grew up in nazareth, we know there were relatives in this area, he was the family of david. the wonderful thing aboutack the nativity is thisy wh tradition goes back to the second century when the local people remembered where the family lived. >> she celebrated christmas at the church of thehe nativity many times over the past 30 years.y >> in the fourth century, queen helena came. she conferred with the local christians to ask about the traditions of wa jesus' birth.he they agreed this was the place that the family hadd ta lived and that the birth
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had taken place. >> constantine, the firstsent roman emperor to become a christian, sent helena to the holy land.e ch the c nativity evolved over time. >> this is the original door way here that was subsequently blocked and wer slowly the doors were filled in perhaps as a defensive measure to protect against soldiers on horseback and ultimately a very small door that youown have to bend down to enter in reverently. burned and destroyed in the sixth century, evidence of the original church remain.i >> what are we seeing here,oo this mosaic?he >> we're looking at the floor of the fourth century constantinian church. it's done in a typical byzantine style of geometrics and floral.he
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no depictions of people and animals of the out of the fourth century church what we see are pillars and this floor and that's about it. >> in the late sixing century, a roman emperorrusa rebuilt the church. crusaders expanded it andgs used it for the coronation of their kings.ho others fought at this holy place. the persians, the turks, most recently in april of 2002 when palestinian militants wanted by the israeli defense force built refuge here for 39 days. priests carried bodies ofed ten palestinians who were killed when the church came under fire during the siege. >> beautiful. it is beautiful. >> we're walking up to the main altar area of this church from the greek ogt docks tradition -- greek orthodox tradition. it is decorated in a way unfamiliar to us in the west.
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they have a beautiful screen with silver and gold depictions of the saints and the holy family. this is seen as a connecting point betweento o heaven and earth.arme to our right we have the armenian altar. and to the left a smallhe altar as well. here in bethlehem we getwe h christmas three times. we have christmas onwest december 25 for the western rite. the catholics celebrate eve je mass there and bring a dollit i of jesus. they put it in the nativity. on january 7 we have greek orthodox christmas. on january 19 we have armenian christmas. it's a very special place in christian religious experience. >> wow. this is a total different>> world. >> it is. we've stepped from the easte we into the west and we've had walked into the medieval cloister of the church of
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st. catherine named for st. catherine of alexander. the real hero, the real star isn't st. catherine. it is st. rome. m >> he lived in bethlehem in the latete tpourg century and wrote about the tradition of theth birthplace of jesus. >> the most important thing he did was translated the bible into latin.the here below st. catherine the chaplain of the holy innocence, it representse ar children who were massacred by a king.the we're coming into the continuation of the cavevity complex that is underneathwa the church of the nativity. >> that is where jesus was born. he was born in sort of a h cave, like sort of a cellar or basement of somebody's home? >> that's right. burial places are behindisti this wall.ishe >> these early christians established the first
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monasteries in bethlehem and commemorated a sitehere where some would say facts, fiction and faith comere together. the grotto,, a site whereed w tradition says the holy family hid when herod sent his soldier to kill all the babies in bethlehem. >> according to the first christian belief, while o mary was nursing her baby here some drops of her milk cav fell to the ground. >> tradition says a miracle occurred in this cave a short distance from jesus'alls birth site when the drops to of mary's milk turned theopin walls white and people come. here hoping for more miracles.r >> because mary's milk fellmi here they ask for the powder of this milk. what do they do with this? with the husband they would put a small grain into milk, water or juice and drink it.t. there is a special devotional prayer if they're catholic. not catholic they pray with faith and from the heart to be healed
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of maternal problems so they can have aa family. i have over 2,000 babies born from women who werear c not able to even to conceive. >> how canei we believe it? >> we receive every monthd i, testimonies. the letters always say we're writing you to say thank you because my husband and i, we couldn't have children for 22 years. we believe the virgin mary mother of jesus would help us have a family. we believed this and it happened because we believe. >> returning to the church of the nativity, one question remains. >> how do we know for certain the church of the b nativity marks the place where jesus was actually born? >> i don't know if we can ever know for sure. the only way you would know for sure if somebody had inscribed in the rock in the first century this is the home of jesus, mary and joseph. then maybens we would know
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for sure. but the traditions themselves are more trustworthy than many traditions that are associated with holy spots. the second thing that is very interesting is that there has never been athle competitor.. no other site in bethlehemver or in this region has been proposed as an alternative. but everyone from all the traditions, western and t eastern alike, have always looked to this place as the place of the birth. ♪ ♪ >> wishing you and your family a very merry christmas from the holy land, lauren green, fox news. ♪ ♪
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hello and good morning. merry christmas everyone. it is wednesday, december 25, 2013. i'm anna kooiman. you're looking live at the vatican where the people's pope, pope francis is delivering his first christmas message to the world. tens of thousands gathered and we'll bring you there live straight ahead. >> home for the holidays, america's bravest men and women coming home in time for christmas. this morning we will meet one of our nation's heroes and his lucky family just glad to have him back home. >> which state was the first to make christmas an official holiday? do you know the answer? time to put your thinking


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