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Digital Subscriptions > Life and Work > December 2019 > Bethlehem reality

Bethlehem reality

The Bethlehem of the celebrated carol did not reflect reality at the time of Jesus’ birth nor today explains the Very Rev Dr John Chalmers.

O little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep The silent stars go by; FOR many people it’s the old Christmas carols that draw them into church at this time of the year, and who would deny anyone their once a year opportunity to bask in the memory of their childhood or enjoy the romanticised idea of a Victorian Christmas? The problem, however, for those who have to interpret the Biblical text or who have to make comment on the present situation in the land of Jesus’ birth, is that most of the old carols greatly distort the reality of life in Bethlehem both as it was in Jesus’ time and as it is now.

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CHRISTMAS IN THE HOLY LAND - Tiberias and Bethlehem contrasts DISCIPLESHIP AND ME - Following Jesus around the world 'A REAL HONOUR AND A REAL PRIVILEGE’ - Mark Evans DCS, President of the Diaconate Council much more packed across 60 pages