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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.


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โˆ™ 2016-10-02 21:34:06
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โˆ™ 2007-12-18 14:34:33

== == 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.

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Q: Does the Bible actually mention Mary riding a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem?
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How long did it take for Mary and Joseph to go from Nazareth to Bethlehem?

about four days by donkey with steady daily travel.


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Did Mary ride a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem?

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.


What was the name of Mary and Joseph's donkey?

The gospels talk of Mary and Joseph going on two long journeys around the time Jesus was born.In Luke's Gospel, they travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem just before Jesus was born, and then returned the same way to Nazareth forty days after his birth. On the other hand, Matthew's Gospel tells us that Bethlehem was already their home town, but that they fled from Bethlehem to Egypt shortly after the birth of Jesus.Because neither of these journeys seems possible for Mary without some form of transport, it has long been assumed that there must have been a donkey for Mary to ride on. Neither gospel mentions a donkey and therefore we can not know the donkey's name.We are told that Joseph was a poor village carpenter, so he certainly could not afford to own a donkey or even to hire one for a long and dangerous journey. The alternative is that neither Luke's journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and back, nor Matthew's journey from Bethlehem to Egypt really took place. That is the view of most New Testament scholars.


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There are no authoritative sources that state that the donkey had a name, and if it did, what that name was.


How did Joseph and Mary get to Bethlehem?

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