No, The Bible does not say this. However, as early as the second century, the Infancy Gospel of James, soon dismissed by the Church as unhistorical, speculated that the young couple did have a donkey.
Based on exegesis of Luke's Gospel, we can arrive at an informed view that they could not have had a donkey, in spite of Mary's pregnancy. Luke 2:24 says that they offered two doves as a sacrifice at the Jerusalem temple, instead of the usual sheep. This was a concession available to the very poorest in society, evidence that Joseph could not afford to own or hire a donkey and in keeping with his status as a village carpenter. Apart from this, anyone willing to lend a donkey would have risked the loss of a valuable asset if the young family were waylaid on this long and hazardous journey or if Joseph simply failed to return.
== == The Bible gives very little detail on Mary & Joseph's actual trip to Bethlehem. Considering the times and the location, though, it was very likely that they would've had a donkey carrying their belongings on the trip, and Mary, who was well along in her pregnancy, would've ridden it rather than walked the entire way. In the "Infancy Gospel of James" (Protoevangellium of James), Chapter 17, are the verses, "And there was an order from the Emperor Augustus, that all in Bethlehem of Judaea should be enrolled. And Joseph said: I shall enrol my sons[....]. And he saddled the ass, and set her upon it; and his son led it, and Joseph followed." Although not in the Canon, the "Infancy Gospel of James", possibly written as early as the second century, tends to cross over between apocryphal and Canon. Many of the images it describes have been used by artists and writers through the centuries.
The Flight into Egypt (paintings) depict Mary on a donkey with the baby Jesus.
This is so since the donkey was a common means of transport in those days. The truth is we don't actually know how they got there. It is likely though, that Joseph, being a considerate man, would have arranged transport for his wife and young son.
There are four accounts of the life of Jesus in the Bible, collectively called the Gospels.
The Gospel of Matthew gives Jesus' lineage, briefly discusses Joseph's struggle with the concept, and then about all it has to say about the actual birth is "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem..."
The Gospel of Mark pretty much starts with Jesus being baptised at around age 30.
The Gospel of Luke is the one with the all the familiar details about the angels and the shepherds and the manger (though the Magi come from the account in Matthew). It just says "Joseph went up [...] to Bethlehem [...] with Mary," it doesn't mention how they went, or say anything in particular about a donkey.
The Gospel of John starts before the creation of the Earth ("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"), but skips ahead really fast to, again, Jesus' baptism.
So, nope, no riding on donkeys there. It's certainly plausible, of course.
Luke's Gospel gives us the story of Joseph and Mary travelling from Nazareth to Bethlehem, but he does not mention how they got there, nor whether Mary was fortunate enough to have ridden an animal.
Since such a long and arduous journey on foot seems so improbable for a young woman in her late pregnancy, later Christian tradition says that she rode a donkey. Against this, a poor village carpenter, who could only offer two pigeons at the Temple (Luke 2:24), could never have afforded to hire a donkey for this long journey.
This journey only happens in Luke's Gospel, but Uta Ranke-Heinemann (Putting Away Childish Things) says the nativity accounts in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are both a collection of legends. Mary did not really have to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem in her late pregnancy.
Other answers from our contributors:
As a fact we dont even know for sure wether Mary and Joseph went on a donkey, we only presume so. There is no mention what so ever of Mary having a fall on the way to Bethlahem.
they had to travel thirteen miles for the birth of jesus ANSWER: The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem is approximately 80 miles. Considering that Mary was pregnant it probably took a week to travel that distance.
The Gospels of Mark and Luke state the donkey that Jesus rode had never been previously ridden. Matthew and John also mention that it was a colt.
They took one donkey for Mary to rest upon. .................................. There is no mention that Mary and Joseph had a donkey in any of the Gospels, or elsewhere in Scripture. One can assume that they walked, but the bottom line is that no one can be sure what their mode of travel might have been.
This is very easy. The answer is the Donkey. This is the symbol of Bethlehem..Common Knowledge.
As they walked slowly and Mary on a donkey, that does not travel fast like a horse they covered 4-to 7 miles a day s. so it took them time a year or two.
C F C G7 Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road C7 Dm G7 C Got to keep on plodding onwards with your precious load. Been a long time, little donkey through the winter's night Don't give up now, little donkey, Bethlehem's in sight. Chorus Am Em Ring out those bells tonight F G F G Bethlehem, Bethlehem Am Em Follow that star tonight F G F G Bethlehem, Bethlehem. Little donkey, little donkey had a heavy day Little donkey carry Mary safely on her way. Little donkey, little donkey, journey's end is near There are wisemen waiting for a sign to bring them here. Do not falter, little donkey, there's a star ahead It will guide you, little donkey, to a cattle shed.
If Mary and Joseph left Bethlehem to flee to Egypt, as stated in Matthew's Gospel, they would certainly have walked, since travelling on horseback would have drawn attention to themselves.If Mary and Joseph left Bethlehem to return to Nazareth via Jerusalem, as stated in Luke's Gospel, they could have travelled on horseback if they had sufficient money to afford to do so, but Luke's Gospel tells us they were so poor they could only offer two pigeons as a sacrifice in the Temple. In this story, they must have walked from Nazareth to Bethlehem and then back again.
The little donkey of Bethlehem
A:Many Christians assume that Mary, being heavily pregnant, simply must have ridden on a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. John Dominic Crossan (The Birth of Christianity) says that village carpenters were usually among the poorest of the poor, scarcely able to afford the necessities of life. Uta Ranke-Heinemann (Putting Away Childish Things) says that Mary's offering of pigeons in the Temple is clear proof of how poor the couple must have been. On this evidence, it is inconceivable that Joseph and Mary could have owned a donkey or that they could have hired a donkey for the long and dangerous trip to Bethlehem.
A Bethlehem donkey developed a black stripe down its back and one across its front shoulders creating a cross. These donkys only developed this after carrying Mary to Bethehem to give birth to Jesus Christ. This is a proven fact. WTB