I've had ideas for stories before, but the idea of research always turned me off to the idea. This story, though, I'm antsy to get researching. The first step of course is to study the Bible in these areas. I already know the spiritual significance and it is well known in my heart and mind and soul.
Now to look at God's Word for its historical fact. And then to look beyond the Bible for context. (The Bible is full truth, but it doesn't include certain bits of information. Information not needed for our spiritual well-being, but information that does exist somewhere.) Research the culture, weather, politics, etc. I want to create a blog to help record my journey and to help keep track of things as well.
I'm seeing my probing, questioning mind as a blessing at the moment. Such a mind can make it easy to doubt. I'm thankful He's given me such a strong, stubborn faith to counteract the mind He's given me. I've always needed to get to the truth of things (or I choose to not care about it at all). People might seem to think that means I want to be right, but no. I just want to find the truth. Even if it means I'm wrong and I'd willingly admit that.
I want to list the questions I want answered in this phase of the book-writing process. I moved these questions to a tab since it'll be a constantly updated element.
The first step is to read all the Gospels about his birth up until they had to flee. In all English versions. The same for the prophesies about the Messiah. I might even go deeper and seek out original language versions. I have a feeling doing this might bring as much if not more questions than answers about some details, but I welcome that.
* What were they? Wise Men? Kings? Magi?
* What were these things back in the day?
* What were their job descriptions?
* What were their incomes?
* What was their status, social standing, political standing, religious standing, etc.?
* What was their calendar like? What did they call the year, month, day?
* Did they have families?
* Where did they come from? East? Orient?
* How long was their journey? 3 years?
* Did it need to take that long?
* What obstacles could have made it longer?
* What was the weather like as they traveled?
* Did they stop in towns?
* How long did they stay?
* When they had to camp along the way, what dangers would they need to watch for?
* What shelter did they have?
* What foods would they travel with?
* What would be carried to drink?
* How did they travel?
* What was their transportation?
* What would they pack?
* What would they carry it in?
* Were they traveling all together?
* If leaving from different places, would they eventually meet up and agree to travel together?
* Would any of them be in a caravan?
* Did anyone else travel with them? Servants?
* Did they take any part of the spice route?
* What routes were there they would have taken?
* Would they have traveled off path?
* Did the star shine that whole time as if waiting for them to find the Messiah?
* What exactly did the prophecy say in its exact language?
* What language was it originally written in?
* Would they have had to translate it?
* What did they know?
* What were they expecting?
* What kind of home would Mary and Joseph have lived in?
* Why were they still in Bethlehem?
* Did censor counting take that long?
* Did they just decide to stay?
* Did Joseph find work there?
That last question might be moot, but I do think they didn't have to leave until there was a decree to kill children under 3 years old and that's how we know it took the wise men 3 years to get there. So they were still in Bethlehem at the time.