While most people are familiar with the general story of Christmas, there are many details about Jesus’ birth that may surprise you! Here are eight interesting facts about the birth of Jesus.
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8 Interesting Facts about the Birth of Jesus

Figurines from the nativity, Interesting facts about the birth of Jesus

Many of us have likely heard the story of Jesus' birth. We've either had our children participate in Christmas pageants at church (as angels or donkeys or sheep) and many of us have our own clay or porcelain nativity sets to call our own. But as is always the case with Scripture, you may discover something new at each reading. Let's dive into some interesting facts about Jesus' birth that you may not have known before.

What Is the Story of the Birth of Jesus?

We can find the story of Jesus' birth in Matthew and Luke. Mary, a young virgin, receives word that she will give birth to the Messiah of the world through the power of the Holy Spirit. She and her husband, Joseph, travel to Bethlehem to register for the Roman Emperor's census. When they arrive, they find the city packed to the brim. A stressed innkeeper offers them a place in a cave to stay the night since they have no room in the inn. There, Mary gives birth to Jesus.  Local shepherds (after receiving the joyful tidings from the angels) bear witness to this humble birth. And years later, wise men from the East arrive with gifts for the child. This child, three decades later, would save the whole world through his death and ressurection.

You are probably familiar with these details of the story. Here are some facts about Jesus’ birth that you may not have heard before. 

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8 Interesting Facts about the Birth of Jesus: 

1. Jesus Was Born in the Same Village as King David

1. Jesus Was Born in the Same Village as King David

“He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever” Isaiah. 9:7. 

One of Jesus’ disciples asked if anything good can come from Nazareth, but we know from the story of Jesus’ birth that Bethlehem at least was a popular city. Hence why Jesus’ parents could find no room in the Inn during the time of the census.

But not only does Jesus directly descend from David’s line, but he’s also born there as well. Not only does this fulfill Old Testament prophecy, but the symbolism of the heavenly king being born in the same place as the king after God’s own heart certainly has its significance as well.

2. The Birth of Jesus Ruined Joseph’s Reputation

Matthew 13:55: “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?”

We don’t really have any hints of what happened to Joseph after Jesus’ birth. He doesn’t seem to be in the picture during Jesus’ ministry, so we can assume he passed away sometime between Jesus’ teenage years and Jesus’ 30s. But we do know that if Joseph did not choose to kill marry (for what people would’ve perceived to be adultery) that he would’ve earned a bad reputation amongst his peers.

The passage above hints, in a somewhat derogatory way, that Joseph had thrown away his reputation when he continued his marriage with Mary after he discovered her pregnancy. They don’t even refer to him by name.

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3. Jesus’ Birth Came after 400 Years of Silence from God

Want to know what God did after the time of the Old Testament prophets? So would we! God remains silent for 400 years until the birth of Jesus. During this 400-year period, a number of nations overtake Israel. Israel successfully rebels against some (i.e. the Maccabean revolt) but by the time Jesus arrives, Romans had occupied Israel.

Similar to their 400 years in Egypt, the Israelites wanted a Savior. No wonder they clamored for Jesus to topple Rome, just as the Red Sea had toppled the Egyptians.

4. Joseph Could Have Had Mary Killed for Adultery

In Christian circles now, if adultery occurs, most likely the couple will divorce. But according to Old Testament practices (Leviticus 20:10) if someone committed adultery, this could get them killed.

Joseph, when he discovers Mary’s pregnancy, decides to attempt to divorce her quietly instead of sentencing her to death. Thankfully, an angel appears to him and explains Jesus’ true identity. As we witness in the above sections, Joseph proceeds with his marriage to Mary, no matter how much it will tarnish his reputation. 

5. Jesus Was Probably Not Born in December

“Then why do we celebrate Christmas in December?” We can thank Emperor Constantine for that in the fourth century. Many times Christians would hold holidays during the same times as pagan festivals for a wholesome alternative. In this case, Christmas occurred during the winter solstice.

While Christmas has been celebrated on December 25 for nearly 1700 years, Jesus was not actually born in December. In fact, he was not born in winter at all! In the year 336 AD Emperor Constantine established Christmas to be on the winter solstice, which is December 25. 

However, Jesus most likely had a spring birth, thanks to the mention in Luke 2 of shepherds abiding in their fields. During springtime, sheep gave birth to lambs, hence why they would stay out at night as well in case a night birth occurred.

But we cannot say for sure exactly when Jesus’ birth happened, as shepherds did stay out in the fields year-round.

6. The Narrative Intentionally Draws a Contrast between Jesus and John the Baptist

6. The Narrative Intentionally Draws a Contrast between Jesus and John the Baptist

The Bible intentionally pairs the stories of John the Baptist and Jesus’ births together. John the Baptist’s birth was nothing short of a miracle. Angel appearances and the fact Elizabeth had long since passed her childbearing years attest to this.

But this story seems to be a warm-up act for Jesus’ birth. His mother, a virgin, gave birth to Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. The timing, the birthplace in conjunction with Old Testament prophecies, hundreds of prophecies fulfilled … this could not have remotely happened if not for the power of God.

7. The Wise Men Were Not There

Many of you might have heard that the wise men did not appear during the night of Jesus’ birth, no matter what nativity scenes may try to tell you. In fact, it took them about two years to make the trek from their homeland to Judea, when they approached Herod. This means they did not see Jesus until he’d reached the age of two. Hence why Herod tries to kill children around that age.

8. A Manger Is a Feeding Trough

Forget the wooden props you’ve seen in Christmas pageants. The manger was used as a feeding station for the animals in the cave. According to Crosswalk, “In that part of the world animals were kept in caves, and feeding troughs were made out of stone, so Jesus was probably born in a cave around Bethlehem somewhere, and laid in a stone trough.”

Jesus’ birth is nothing short of a miracle, and even though many of us have heard the story many times, we can learn something new every time.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/kevron200


headshot of author Hope BolingerHope Bolinger is a multi-published novelist and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 1,200 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her modern-day Daniel trilogy is out with IlluminateYA. She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. And her inspirational adult romance Picture Imperfect releases in November of 2021. Find out more about her at her website.


This article is part of our larger Christmas and Advent resource library centered around the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!

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The History of Santa Claus: Origin of St. Nicholas & Christmas Traditions
Beautiful and Inspiring Christmas Prayers

The Beautiful Meaning and Purpose of Advent
Advent Wreath & Candles - Understanding the History, Meaning, and Tradition
The History and Meaning of the Advent Calendar

Listen to our FREE Christmas Podcast: The Characters of Christmas - The Surprising People in Jesus' Family:

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