Fascinating facts about Bethlehem
Bethlehem has different meanings - Bethlehem has been inhabited by many different peoples throughout history, and as such its name has different meanings.
The Amarna Letters -
The Amarna Letters are tablets that contain correspondence from Egypt's pharaoh with foreign rulers.
Archaeological evidence confirms the town existed in Biblical times - Excavations in Jerusalem unearthed a piece of an administrative seal that mentioned the word "Bethlehem."
Rachel's Tomb -
The Jewish matriarch Rachel is buried on the road at the entrance of Bethlehem. It is mentioned in Genesis 35:19.
Bethlehem was King David's birthplace - Bethlehem was also another important Biblical figure's birthplace: a shepherd boy named David, who would become king of Israel.
Jesus' birthplace -
It is believed that Jesus was born in a cave/grotto, where the Church of the Nativity was built upon.
The Church of the Nativity is shared - The larger shareholder is the Greek Orthodox Church, which holds around 80% of the Church of the Nativity.
The Church of the Nativity is shared - The rest is shared between the Roman Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Church of the Nativity fights -
A fight broke out between the two groups on the borders of their respective areas.
Bethlehem's Christian population is decreasing - In 1950, over 85% of Bethlehem's inhabitants were Christians of various denominations.
Bethlehem's Christian population is decreasing - The number of Christians declined to 12% in 2016, and is likely lower currently.
Christmas is celebrated three times in Bethlehem - Bethlehem sees the birthday of Jesus being celebrated on different dates.
Christmas is celebrated three times in Bethlehem - The Gregorian calendar marks December 24-25 as the celebration dates.
Christmas is celebrated three times in Bethlehem - The Armenian Apostolic Church, which uses the old Julian solar calendar, with the holiday being celebrated on January 19.
Bethlehem is famous for its dresses - Bethlehem is known for its distinctive style of embroidery, that is often used in wedding dressings.