Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shepherd's field

We visited some churches and some caves out at Shepherd's field.  Here are some beautiful murals inside one of the churches...

Tom reading the Latin.  It says, " God, and on earth peace, to men...".

 Down in one of the caves.

It's obviously impossible to know exactly where it was that the shepherds saw the angels.  But this area is where many believe it would have been for a couple of different reasons.  First, there are a lot of caves that would have been used as stables.  There is also a really good water source here, and the remains of ancient water cisterns.  Even back in Byzantine time, they thought this was the area because there are remains of a big church here.

One thing that Sahar told me on this trip that I hadn't heard before, was a theory about why those particular shepherd's would have been chosen to see the angels and witness Christ as a baby.

It's possible that they were "royal shepherds" raising and preparing sheep for ritual sacrifice at the temple.  They essentially would have been doing a holy work, and who better than them to witness the birth of the Sacrificial Lamb for whom their sheep represented?

No comments: