Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Bethlehem is a small city in the West Bank, 9 km south of Jerusalem, on the road to Hebron, at the northernmost tip of the Hebron Mountains and on the border of the Judean Desert. It lacks springs or other perennial surface water sources and until late Hellenistic or early Roman times, depended on cisterns. The Hebrew name is BethLeḥem (“House of Bread”), the Arabic is BaytaL…

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Schwartz, Joshua, “Bethlehem”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 25 June 2022 <>
First published online: 2021

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