I've always tended to favor some sort of astronomical event (comet/nova/conjunction ) as the source. My only problem is I don't see how a 'star' could lead you to a particular town. If it's in the east at sunset and you start walking towards it, it will be in the west by sunrise. Unless you're near one of the poles, things in the sky just don't just stay overhead.
Along a similar vein, did anyone ever see that episode of the twilight zone where the astronauts find a planet (orbiting another star) that had been burned up when it's star went Nova? They find records of the race who had died on the planet, do the calculations, and determine the Nova would have been visible on Earth on December 25, 0 BC.
There is, right now, in the sky, a comet that is rising in the east at around sunset and for the next month will be moving up in the sky to the zenith. My theory is the wise men didn't walk much at night and so didn't notice that the comet was also tracking east->west!
The wise men were also known as astrologers during those times...I have read many instances while studying astrology that the Star of Bethlehem was the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the sign of Pisces. Kepler was able to calculate that these conjunctions happen every 800 years.
I'm looking at a star chart and not seeing it - what year and date do they use (isn't it some time in April?)?
the dates i do not have, why do you come up with april? and what year are you using? essentially, you would have to go back to the year that suppossedly christ was born, and look for when saturn and jupiter were conjunct in pisces (from the earth's perspective). the earth's axis may have been slightly different then it is today (i think??)
I thought I read somewhere that historians think Jesus was born in April. Dunno. [short time later] After talking to my religious boss, he says historians think between 4BC and 2AD, in April.
Looking at a star-chart program, Pisces is visible in April in the east in the morning (so it wouldn't be directly overhead as talked about in the Bible) and neither Jupiter, nor Saturn are anywhere near it (and are on opposite sides of the sky from each other). Venus, however, was in Pisces in April of 3BC and 1AD.
I still think a comet is a more likely candidate (if it existed at all).
Yes, but a good star chart program accounts for precession of the axis and proper motion of the stars.
The source Ivan lists at the top of the thread states the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces happened 7 BC. There was also another conjuction of of Jupiter and Venus in 2 BC. The only star program I have doesn't let me move back that far, so I can't check it.
Hmm - guess I shoulda read the link?
Yeah, Jupiter and Saturn had a conjunction in Pisces in November of 7BC, but I can't imagine that that would be something interesting enough to use as a guide-star. And it would have been ~40 degrees up, to the south, at its highest. Maybe an astrological sign (I don't believe in such things), but not likely the Star of Bethlehem.
The Jupiter-Venus conjunction would have been neat to watch though - according to my star chart program, they passed within about 10 arc-sec of each other (a fraction of the diameter of either) on 6/17/0002BC.
Interesting to note the author states this (more his opinion) yet, after a series of somewhat rare astronomical events all taking place during a fraction of time, a man (Jesus) is born that still affects millions of people today.
Star of Bethlehem
Any celestial event that is assigned a 'meaning' (beyond physics) is within the realm of ancient astrology. Astronomy is 'observation' and astrology is 'interpretation'.
To date, all of the astronomical theories and possibilities have been thoroughly investigated. All of the astronomical theories are mundane, however, all astronomical commentators have done a superb investigatory job probing the window of time (7 BC to 4 BC) and coming up with possible 'Star of Bethlehem' candidates.
At the time of the birth of Christ astrology and astronomy were the same 'science'. In fact, the only reason that celestial events and objects were studied was to try to ascertain what 'meaning' was to be derived from the observed phenomena.
Christ, according to the New Testament, was born before King Herod died. Herod's death is a matter of historical account and it occured in April of 4 BC ( 3 B.C.E. because of no year "0" ).
Additionally, NO ONE but the Magi 'saw' the star.
Also, the 'star that rises in the east' is (also) the Sun. I mention this because there is a great deal of astrological/astronomical allegory incorporated into The New Testament account of Christ's birth. For Instance, 'a star that stopped over a house where the child and his mother were'.
The star that 'stops' is the sun at a solstice point (solstice means 'sun stationary') and a 'house' is a component of an ancient (and contemporary) astrological chart. The 'house' of the mother is the astrological 4th house which begins at the time of the summer solstice.
Some evidence is now forming which indicates a possible astronomical/astrological allegory.
The Old Testament states that the Messiah/King will be born in Bethlehem (Hebrew for 'house of bread'). Bread, in astrology is related to the astrological sign of Virgo (The Virgin). There is further writing in the Old Testament about a 'star' (asterism, which may be plural (also) for a collection of or constellation) linked to the birth of the Messiah/King.
The Persian Magi were highly advanced astronomer/astrologers. By 'highly advanced' I mean being possessed of the knowledge of the entire solar system as it is encoded in mathematic symbols in the construction of The Great Pyramid at Giza (2800 BC).
for a virtual mind boggling overview of The Great Pyramid.
With that said, it is my opinion that the Star of Bethlehem was an astrological event witnessed ONLY by the highly advance Persian Magi. The 'Star' was (IS) revealed in an ancient astrological chart by the astrological geometric associations (aspects) of the Sun, Moon and planets. The chart can be viewed here:
and a comparison of astronomical charts and astrological charts for the
2nd of March 5 BC can be seen here:
Note: (opinion) A certain group has gone to a great deal of obfuscation including 'calendar errors' (like no year "0") and ridicule of astrology in what can be interpreted as an attempt to hide the star. Including also having astrology be 'The Forbidden Zone' because astrology reveals the genesis of Christianity (The Sun/Son and the 12 astrological signs - or 12 apostles).
It is unimportant if astrology is considered by some to be 'non-science'. The astrological charts have been prepared by employing methods that were used at the time of the birth of Christ (same as the western astrological chart of today).
John Charles Webb, Jr.
As Kerry already mentioned, the Magi were astrologers. They saw some planetary configuration (not necessarilly a conjunction) that informed them that a new king of Judea was born.
The Bible does not say that they followed the star all the way from Persia to Judea. It only mentions that they saw the star in the east. It is not clear if they saw the star east of them or, living in the east, they saw the star anywhere in the sky. If they had followed the star to the east they would have ended in India, not in Judea.
Since they were in search of the king of the Jews, they went to Jerusalem, where king Herod, who had no new son, addressed them to Bethlehem, where the Messiah was supposed to be born.
From Jerusalem to Bethlehem (5 miles apart) they followed the star until they found Jesus.
What was the Star of Bethlehem
There are several artrological references in early christianism. Jesus, the Lamb (Aries) of God, replaced Mithra, associated to Taurus. Later, greek speaking christians used the initials of Iesus Christos Theos Orbi Soter (Jesus Christ God of the World Savior) to form the word ICHTHOS meaning fish or Pisces.
May be it is now the time to associate Christ to Aquarius.
Merry Christmas everyone!
By the way:
Wherever is there any evidence for some Magi being in Judea at all? Or following some sort of "star"???
Happy Yuletide and sun-return to all of you!
Get real! Stars heralding the birth of gods and great men were a mythological commonplace back in the day--check out the stories of Buddha and Krishna (and many others).
we all know that stars do affect the greatness of men
the field of astrology has a great hand in it
by the stories of krishna and buddha mentioned in even the rig veda and their birth charts and all you find very unique patterns
in india when a child is born taking into account the positions of stars and date and time of birth a birth chart is prepared called "janam patrika " in hindi or sanskrt
now this chart for even RAMA the one i have at home is supposed to be very very unique
i mean i guess no one else can ever have that kind of a chart
now from these charts we can find out the possibly the position of stars and other planets and then using precession and other phenomena we could calculate the age or the exact time at which they were born if we go by the belief that these charts are true and that such people were born
lets see what happens
its a pretty interesting sphere and maybe some help from national agencies should do the thing
similarly we could find out when Jesus Christ was born
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