Traditionally the innkeeper has often been the labeled as “heartless” for turning away the holy couple as there was no more room in his inn (and this is often taken out of context to remind Christians to keep the central focus central - a good Christmas message as an antidote to the frenzied Christmas shopping!).
However, the Greek word from which most English translations (including ESV, NASB, KJV, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, NLT) render as “inn” in Luke 2:7 is the word “katalyma.” Although “inn” is one of the meanings of “katalyma”, this Greek word can simply means a lodging place, a guest chamber or even a dining room.
The argument is, if Luke, being a careful, methodical historian, were to mean “inn” in Luke 2:7, why did he use another word (“pandocheion”) in Luke 10:34 in the account of the Good Samaritan taking care of the wounded Jewish man? Unlike “katalyma”, “pandocheion” specifically means a public house for the reception of strangers. In other words, the “inn” that Joseph and Mary came to could possibly be simply a neighborhood house with an extra or two rooms to spare and the innkeeper could possibly be no innkeeper at all as it were, in a commercial sense.
Furthermore, given the fact that Joseph and Mary were returning to Bethlehem, the city of Joseph’s family origin, certainly Joseph had family or relatives there. Hence, the lodging place in which they were unable to stay could even be the home of a relative.
Thirdly, given the economic difficulty that Joseph and Mary were in, it is likely that they could not afford a commercial lodging place at that time.
The third point has to do with the Greek word “topos” in Luke 2:7. This word is usually translated as “room” in many English translations (including KJV, NKJV, NLT, NIV, NASB). However, “topos” simply means a place, or space marked off, from the surrounding space. It does not specifically mean “room”.
"We should not romanticize this scene as being a pronouncement to hardworking and respected 'ranchers.' Shepherds were generally considered dishonest. The were unclean according to the law."
"Their [the dishonest shepherds] presence at the birth of Jesus was recorded by Luke to show his readers that the good news of the gospel is for the poor, the sinners, for outcasts, for people like these shepherds."
Wise Men from the East (Matt 2:1-12)
Popular folklore places three wise men at the manger alongside the shepherds at the time of Jesus’ birth. However, no where in the Bible does it mention three (the number is ambiguous in Matthew 2:1-12). Furthermore, Matthew points out that they found Jesus in a “house” (Matt 2:11), and not in a “stall with a manger” as in Luke 2:7.
Matthew’ reference to the slaughter of the children two years old and below suggests that two years had passed since the birth of Jesus.
The slaughter of the children (Matt 2:16-18)
This massacre is attributed to Herod the Great. Everything that we know about this man tells us that he was precisely the kind of person who would have done such an atrocious act. He was paranoid concerning his rule. He not only built fortresses such as Antonia in Jerusalem, Sebaste, Caesarea, Gaba, Herodium, etc. He killed his uncle Joseph, his mother-in-law (Alexandra), his sons Alexandra and Aristobolus, his favorite wife (Mariamne) and Antipater, the son he had chosen. As he was dying in the fortress of Herodium, he had the leading citizens of his kingdom gathered in the amphitheater of Jericho. Then he ordered that upon his death all these citizens be killed so that his death would be mourned! There was a saying that goes “Better Herod’s swine than his son” because Herod being half-Jewish, refrained from eating pork.
 The fact that Joseph and Mary were poor could be gleaned in Luke 2:24 when they could only afford two pigeons during Mary’s purification. According to the law, after the birth of a child, a woman would have to undergo a purification rite, which involved the sacrificial giving of a lamb and a pigeon or a dove (Leviticus 12:1-8)