Do Sheep Graze in Bethlehem in December?| National Catholic Register

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Sheep (having wool coats) are easily able to endure even winter cold, and are grazed in the winter, even in very cold and snowy conditions.

One common polemical argument against a December birthdate for Jesus is based on a skepticism toward: “And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (RSV).

Atheists, biblical skeptics and even serious observant Christians make the fallacious argument that it was too cold at that time of year in Bethlehem for sheep to graze, or for shepherds to be in the field watching them. But this objection has no rational basis and is in fact a fatally weak and desperate argument, as I will demonstrate.

This question, then, basically comes down to four things:

  1. How much cold can sheep endure?
  2. Can/do shepherds graze sheep in the winter?
  3. What is the average temperature in Bethlehem in December?
  4. Were/are sheep in fact kept outside in December in or near Bethlehem?

Let’s consider each factor in turn.

Read on…

Do Sheep Graze in Bethlehem in December?| National Catholic Register

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