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Bethlehem is traditionally the birthplace of Jesus. Matthew 2:1 has Jesus born in Bethlehem, and He is greeted by Magi, who followed the star of Bethlehem. In verse 6, Matthew explains that Jesus was born in Bethlehem to tie into Micah 5:2-4. Luke 2:1 has Jesus born in Bethlehem, but He is greeted by shepherds. Here Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem to abide by a census.

Bethlehem is also said to be the place of the massacre of the innocents, when King Herod the Great ordered all boys two years and younger slaughtered in an attempt to kill the baby Jesus. There is no evidence outside the Bible for this supposed massacre.

As Jesus’ birthplace, it is revered by all Christians, who honour the birthplace of their Lord and Saviour by scrapping in its holy places[1][2][3][4] and endangering buildings by arguing about who has the right to repair them (as opposed to actually, y'know, repairing them).

Other Bethlehems[edit]

Wikipedia lists ten Bethlehems in the USA, and one each in the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland and Wales. Bethlehem of Galilee is in northern Israel, and Bethlehem Chapel is in Czechia. Confused? Try the Bethlem Royal Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in London which gave its name to the word Bedlam.

The Bethlehem in Pennsylvania was founded by members of the Moravian Church, a German-speaking Protestant sect, who had emigrated from Moravia Bohemia, in present-day Czechia. One of this Bethlehem's tourist attractions is the "Holiday Putz Trail" at Christmastime, where people traditionally display "Christmas villages"Wikipedia (known as Christmas putzes in Bethlehem) and Nativity scenes.Wikipedia[5] This can cause some snickering among people who know a bit of Yiddish or Yiddish-influenced English, for whereas in German putz only has non-obscene meanings, in Yiddish it means "penis" or a "stupid, worthless person".