Bumpy Ride to Bethlehem


A quote from John Spong's book "Born of a Woman":

Everything about the birth of Jesus had to reveal a status higher than that ascribed to John the Baptist. John was, for Luke, a Jewish figure born during the reign of Herod. Jesus was a world figure whose birth was dated from a decree from Caesar. John's birthplace was anonymous. Jesus was born in the city of David to which he was brought by Scripture and divine guidance. So Luke took a census, of which he was vaguely aware, that had occurred, he thought, sometime near the time of the birth of Jesus, and he used it to accomplish his literary purposes. Is it literally probable that any first-century man would have put his near-term pregnant wife on a donkey and forced her to ride sidesaddle for approximately one hundred miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem? As one feminist scholar observed after reading this narrative, "Only a man who had never had a baby could have written that account."