I listened a couple of days ago to two excellent podcasts by Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook about the life of Christ, part of their The Rest is History series. They were well done, if telling me what I already knew or have thought. I agree with them that the census story is ludicrous and he was born In Nazareth, not Bethlehem. He was clearly a northerner. He wasn’t a Yorkshireman though, a comparison they used to demonstrate his anti-metropolitan prejudices. That was totally wrong-headed. No Yorkie would ever have thought the meek blessed.
When I went to Nazareth as part of my grand Holy Land tour, it chucked it down. Jesus was definitely from the Lancashire side. But he’d have nothing to do even with Sepphoris, the big city close by to his Galilean roots. So he wasn’t a Manc, or a Scouser either. He was from a town from where a wanderer could set out to heal and preach good news. He’s forever a Boltonian.
I thought the programme could have speculated a bit more about the resurrection, but perhaps they were right. You’re bound to end up thinking, “Something must have happened but Christ knows what.”