The Star of Bethlehem

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Cosmic event, comet, nova, UFO?
Earthlings still captivated by the Star of Bethlehem

... What exactly was that mysterious beacon that guided the Magi across the desert? Theories range from the miraculous to the mundane, from angel to UFO. Most explanations, though, posit some sort of astronomical event.[continued]
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1225skywatch25.html [Broken]
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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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.
 
  • #3
russ_watters
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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!
 
  • #4
Kerrie
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russ_watters said:
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.
 
  • #5
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Kerrie said:
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?)?
 
  • #7
Kerrie
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russ_watters said:
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??)
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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Kerrie said:
the dates i do not have, why do you come up with april? and what year are you using?
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).
the earth's axis may have been slightly different then it is today (i think??)
Yes, but a good star chart program accounts for precession of the axis and proper motion of the stars.
 
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  • #9
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Russ:

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.
 
  • #10
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Grogs said:
Russ:

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? :redface:

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.
 
  • #11
Kerrie
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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.


People of the time did think that important circumstances on Earth would have a sign in the stars," he said. "If you were an early Christian and wanted to promote the origins of your sect, you'd want there to be some celestial sign associated with the chief icon in your sect, in this case Jesus. You would indeed look for something whether or not it occurred
 
  • #12
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).
See, http://www.templeofsolomon.org/Pyramids/pyramid_symbolism.htm
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:
http://www.templeofsolomon.org/pageone.htg/pageone.htm

and a comparison of astronomical charts and astrological charts for the
2nd of March 5 BC can be seen here:
http://www.templeofsolomon.org/StarofBethlehem-star.htm

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).


Best Regards,
John Charles Webb, Jr.
 
  • #13
SGT
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.
 
  • #14
Ivan Seeking
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What was the Star of Bethlehem

The Star of Bethlehem has left its mark on the gospels as well as a constellation of holiday songs. Was it purely a divine sign, created miraculously to mark Jesus’ birth? Or was it an astronomical event in its own right? John Mosley, program supervisor for the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, says there are several scientific scenarios for the “Star of Wonder.” [continued]
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077385/
 
  • #15
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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.
 
  • #16
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Merry Christmas everyone!
 
  • #18
arildno
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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! :smile:
 
  • #19
Doc Al
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By the way:
Wherever is there any evidence for some Magi being in Judea at all? Or following some sort of "star"???
Get real! :wink: 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).

Happy Yuletide and sun-return to all of you!
Here, here! :biggrin:
 
  • #20
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
 
  • #21
Gokul43201
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I've always tended to favor some sort of astronomical event (comet/nova/conjunction ) as the source.
I thought this was accepted to be the triple conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. I didn't know there was much doubt. If there is, then I must add an errata to one of my quizzes.

4. In 1604, Johannes Kepler studied this phenomenon which he claimed was associated with the triple conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. He calculated the periodicity of this event to be about 800 years.

How do we better know this phenomenon ?THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=281531

Grogs said:
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.
The year of the Christ's birth (by consensus) is refered to as 1AD, not 0BC (though historically, there is much doubt as to the correct year). Furthermore, the date of birth is most likely not 25 December. If I recall correctly, there is no mention of a month in the Bible, but according to Jehovah's Witnesses, the month is Ethanium (September- October). I think the Quran describes the time of Jesus' birth as the summer.

The choice of December 25 for celebrating Christmas was made sometime around the 3rd century AD, when Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire. It had nothing to do with the Birth of Christ. Most dates for important Christian events were actually chosen to attract pagan worshippers from other faiths. At the time, the most popular faith in Rome, besides Christianity, was Mithraism - which evolved out of Persia around roughly 2000BC before it spread to India in the east, and eventually, after modifications from Zoroaster (Zarathustra) and others, came to Rome around the 4th century BC. There are some serious doubts about the continuity of Mithraic beliefs from its early days to the form it took in the early AD.

Mithra/Mitra/Mithras (Persian/Indian/Roman) was a mediator between God (Ahura Mazda) and man. He was considered to be born (according to the Avesta, I think, and the Rigveda) a few days after the solstice (and his birth attended by shepherds), and the Mithraic worshippers of Rome had been celebrating his birthday on Dec 25. Others celebrated the solstice itself as a significant date. I guess it made sense to Constantine and his advisors to pick a date around this time to include the largest number of people.

By the way:
Wherever is there any evidence for some Magi being in Judea at all? Or following some sort of "star"???
From what I recall about this, the NT makes mention of Magi who saw a star during their visit. What there is no mention of, however, is the number of Magi. I think the belief that there were three of them comes only from the record of the three gifts, and nothing else. There could easily have been 4 of them, and one forgot to do his shopping on time! Also, if I recall correctly, the Magi were supposed to be priests (or as someone stated in this thread, astrologers), not kings.

we all know that stars do affect the greatness of men
the field of astrology has a great hand in it
The field of astrology is considered non-scientific (a euphemism for nonsense) by mainstream science.
 
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  • #22
arildno
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Hmm..no text in the Bible can count as historical evidence due to the large-scale emotional investmest the authors brought into it.

Lists of the number of barrels of grain in a store are great as evidence, panegyrics are not.
 
  • #23
Gokul43201
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I thought you were asking about evidence for the story, not for a real incident. I know of no independent support of the NT account of the Magi. There is no mention of them in the Gnostic texts, for instance.
 
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  • #24
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... "The standard viewpoint over the years is that it's a massing of planets, or what we call planetary conjunction, when planets move past each other," he said.

But here's the curious thing:

Mathews says this conjunction wasn't just a few planets.

"Basically every known planet at the time was amassed all at once," he said.

And it wasn't anything astronomers had recorded before.

"To have all of them line up like that at once was a very rare event," Mathews said. [continued]
http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/12804447.html [Broken]
 
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  • #25
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http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/12804447.html [Broken]
From the link:
On April 17, 6 B.C., Jupiter, Saturn, the sun, and the moon all aligned in the constellation Aries.
The sun and the moon?? There was also a solar eclipse then? Doesn't make sense to me - what am I missing?
 
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