2:8 shepherds out in the field. Animals to be used for the temple sacrifices were kept in the open, even in winter. The presence of shepherds outdoors does not prove that Jesus was born in a warm time of year. Shepherds were a despised class because their work prevented them from keeping the ceremonial law, and as they moved about the country it was common for them to be regarded as thieves. They were considered unreliable and were not allowed to give evidence in the courts.