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jesus the radical pastor | exploring the life and mission of the 1st century Jesus for our 21st century » Blog Archive » Not Homeless! Joseph and Mary

The politically correct framework around the birth story of Jesus is that Joseph and Mary were homeless. Well, this is patently and politically incorrect.

Joseph, because of an imperial decree for more taxes, had to travel from his home in Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for the tax census. Joseph had a job. He was a tekton–a skilled laborer, either a carpenter in popular thinking or, perhaps more accurately, a stone mason. Mary was pregnant with Jesus and went into labor while in Bethlehem. Because the Roman tax census uprooted everyone, Bethlehem was teeming with travelers and no living space was available when Joseph and Mary arrived. Jesus was not born in a stable-cave because Joseph and Mary were homeless.

Joseph and Mary were poor, but not homeless. After Jesus’ birth, the trio travelled back to Nazareth where Jesus grew up.