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#61 No Room in the Inn? — Interview with Brad Gray

| Episode Guest: Brad Gray

"No room in the Inn?" What if there were no inn and no innkeeper? What if our understanding of the Christmas story is inaccurate and we need to understand it anew in its original context? That’s precisely what Brad Gray of Walking the Text is doing with the Christmas story in this new series. He's beginning with the Bethlehem events recorded in Luke 2. As we’ll see, Bethlehem wasn’t a place of rejection, but of reception for Jesus!

In the first episode of our new mini-series "Characters of Christmas", Pt 1: Town of Bethlehem, Brad examines some of the flawed thinking that has crept into the Christmas story.

By the end of this episode, you’ll gain new understanding and see that the town of Bethlehem welcomed Jesus with wonder!

To view the Discussion Questions for this episode, please go here ofchristmaspt1

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Further Study Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels: The Birthplace of Jesus and the Journeys of His First Visitors by Paul H. Wright – Chapter 1

Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels: Luke's Birth Narrative Reconstructing the Real Story – Chapter 2

 Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey – Chapters 1-4

Encountering Jesus in the Real World of the Gospels by Cyndi Parker – Chapter 6

Rose Then and Now Bible Map Atlasby Paul H. Wright – Chapter 19

Advent Part 1 (Context Matters Podcast) by Cyndi Parker (with Paul H. Wright) – Dec 10, 2020

Brad Gray has lived and has traveled extensively to the biblical lands and has been leading study trips since 2010. He is a national speaker, published author, former teaching pastor, and the Founder and Executive Director of Walking The Text. He has a BA in Business Management from Cornerstone University, a Masters of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary, and has done additional graduate work at Jerusalem University College in Israel. Brad and his wife, Shallon, live with their four children in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Biblical scholars believe Bethlehem, located in the "hill country" of Judah, may be the same as the Biblical Ephrath which means "fertile", as there is a reference to it in the Book of Micah as Bethlehem Ephratah.[17] The Bible also calls it Beth-Lehem Judah,and the New Testament describes it as the "City of David". It is first mentioned in the Bible as the place where the matriarch Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside" (Gen. 48:7). Rachel's Tomb, the traditional grave site, stands at the entrance to Bethlehem. According to the Book of Ruth, the valley to the east is where Ruth of Moab gleaned the fields and returned to town with Naomi. It was the home of Jesse, father of King David of Israel, and the site of David's anointment by the prophet Samuel. It was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his warriors brought him water when he was hiding in the cave of Adullam.

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