The Gospels carry out not specify whether Mary and Joseph go or used a donkey because that transportation.

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The most typical image the Mary and also Joseph travel to Bethlehem functions a pregnant mar riding a donkey, while Joseph is top the method on foot.

Is this an yes, really portrayal the what yes, really happened? Did mary ride a donkey?

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The Gospel itself pipeline out such details, together everyone knew at the time it was written how people traveled.

So all checked out be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee native the city of Nazareth to Judea, come the city that David that is dubbed Bethlehem, since he was of the house and also family of David, to it is in enrolled v Mary, his betrothed, who was through child. When they were there, the time came for she to have actually her child, and she gave birth to she firstborn son. (Luke 2:3-7)

There is no point out of a donkey, camel, or any type of other mode of transportation.

Where the donkey tradition originated

One of the key reasons why a cheat is associated with the Christmas story is due to the fact that of The Protoevangelium the James, an ancient non-biblical account the Mary’s life that is traced come the second century.

And there was an order native the Emperor Augustus, the all in Bethlehem the Judæa should be enrolled. and also Joseph said: “I shall enroll my sons, yet what shall I do with this maiden? how shall ns enroll her? together my wife? ns am ashamed. As my daughter then? yet all the sons of Israel know that she is no my daughter.” “The work of the mr shall itself lug it to pass together the lord will.” And that saddled the ass, and collection her ~ above it; and also his boy led it, and also Joseph followed.

This story of Jesus’ birth photos St. Joseph together an old man, that has youngsters from a ahead marriage. The scene has Mary sitting on a donkey, led through Joseph’s son.

It is feasible that St. Joseph go in reality lead mar to Bethlehem top top a donkey. This to be a common means of traveling at the time and also donkeys were popular amongst all class of people.

Possibly a caravan

However, most modern-day biblical scholar say the it is more most likely that the Holy household traveled in a caravan that people.

Chris Mueller in an short article for Ascension Press paints a much different picture.

Mary and also Joseph were no the only ones taking the journey. Much more than likely, the routes between cities were crowded with travelers. No one would take into consideration taking a trip like this alone. It would not have been safe, as the territory between towns was no policed and also bandits would have been a actual concern. The human being probably traveled in good caravans because that convenience and safety. Mary and Joseph would have been amongst the huge migration that people. The must have actually been an remarkable sight come see.

This monitoring is additionally made through in an write-up published in the Los Angeles Times.

And “bandits, pirates of the desert and robbers” were also common perils along the significant trade routes like the one Joseph and also Mary would have actually traveled, claimed the Rev. Peter Vasko, a Catholic priest and director the the holy Land foundation … The danger of outlaws often forced solitary travelers to sign up with trade caravans for protection.

We may never recognize the specific mode of transport that Joseph and also Mary used, however we do understand the possibilities space many. They can have used a donkey, walked over there on foot, or traveled through others in a caravan.

Whatever it can have been, the road was arduous, and their journey motivates us along our own spiritual trip to the feast that Christmas.

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