Problem: John thought Jesus wasn't born in Bethlehem
Verses: John 7:40-42; Status: Weak

This is from Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. An Old Testament prophecy in Micah 5:2 predicted that a great ruler would come from the town of Bethlehem, so it's no surprise that Matthew and Luke both place the birth of Jesus there. John however gives no description of Jesus' birth, and actually seems to believe that Jesus wasn't from Bethlehem, and that this fact confused people. Here's John 7:40-42:

When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This really is the Prophet." Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?" (ESV)

At no point does John indicate that these people were mistaken in what they said. So it seems that John is telling us that Jesus wasn't born in Bethlehem. However, I can't see this as a real problem, since John never actually says that. He merely reports a discussion, with no explicit endorsement of what was said, and so I file this as Weak.

Updated: 2009-06-15

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