A new documentary from the History Channel has claimed that Jesus Christ may not have been born in a stable of an inn but a residential house owned by Joseph's relative in Bethlehem.
The new claim was presented in the TV series called "Robert Powell: The Real Jesus Of Nazareth," which focuses on what has been described as Jesus' "lost years," including his time as a teenager and a young man in Nazareth.
In an interview on the program, Claire Pfann, an archaeologist from the University of the Holy Land, argued that the word used in the Gospel for an inn could also mean guest room.
"It's not an inn, it's not a tavern, it's not a hotel. It might have been a 'basement cave' where you can store things," Pfann said, according to Express.
She further noted that the manger in which Jesus was born was "probably there for feeding animals. Part of the extra supplies for the house."
The academics who appeared in the TV program also asserted that Jesus was a stonemason rather than a carpenter.
Pfann noted that archaeologists have found that wood is used "very slightly" in the Holy Land. "The primary building material was stone and when we look at the images from Jesus's teachings we hear about buildings made from stone, not wood," she noted.
Powell, who played Jesus Christ in the 1977 mini-series "Jesus Of Nazareth," said that the theory "makes such sense."
"We were standing in this house in Nazareth but there was no wood around it and therefore being a carpenter would be unlikely," he said. "What there was in abundance was stone. It's only tradition that has him as a carpenter," he continued.
Before the documentary was aired, the History Channel commissioned a poll to test the British people's knowledge about the story of Jesus.
The study revealed that one in five Britons do not know that Christmas Day marks the celebration of Jesus' birth and nearly one in 20 thought that He was born over Easter, which actually marks his death and subsequent resurrection.
Around one in 10 were unable to name Bethlehem as his birthplace, and another 10 percent do not know that He was born in a stable.
One in 20 believed that one of the gifts presented by the Three Wise Men to Jesus was a donkey, while another five percent believed that they named a star after Him.
Only eight in 10 knew that the story of Jesus features a shepherd, star and a donkey, with others believing that the tale involves a Christmas Tree, a turkey dinner and even Father Christmas.