Scala/Art Resource, NY

Jesus emerges from Nazareth a grown man in Georges Rouault’s 1948 oil painting, just as in the Gospel of Mark, which makes no mention of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem or of his childhood. Mark consistently refers to Jesus as “Jesus of Nazareth.” The evangelist’s motivation is difficult to determine: Did Mark simply not know of the Bethlehem tradition, or did he wish to conceal the story in order to distance Jesus from Jewish traditions of a Messiah from Bethlehem, the home of King David?