In this chapter, Oursler makes this statement: “In all his life Joseph had never been more than ten miles outside the town of Nazareth, and now, at last, he would behold the city and the Temple–a lifetime experience!” He’s talking about Jerusalem. But the problem with this is that, as far as I can recall, the Jews went to Jerusalem for the Passover every year, as Jesus did when he shared the Last Supper with his disciples. So Joseph would have been to the Temple lots of times. He took Jesus there himself when he was a child, and Jesus stayed there and worried his parents half to death. That’s probably coming up in this book eventually.
The second historical inconsistency I’d like to make is only one paragraph after that, in which it says “Mary and Anna mounted rented donkeys.” This is a cultural picture that we have projected onto the time, not what is actually historically accurate. We have seen so many portrayals of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem where Mary is riding on a donkey and Joseph is leading it. That could well be true considering how heavily pregnant Mary was at the time, but it’s not the norm for that culture. Typically, the man would ride the donkey, and the woman would walk, because women were viewed as really very little more than animals at that time in history. Maybe it was different for humble townsfolk like those of Nazareth though.