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From the The Biblical AstronomerVol. Bouw, Ph. Introduction Attempting to decisively date the birth of Christ or his crucifixion is a formidable task for any chronologist; and trying to ascertain the nature of the so-called Christmas Star is just as formidable to the astronomer.
This paper reviews the current ideas surrounding the Star of Bethlehem and it also attempts to date the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ using a variety of evidence. It is a shortened and Nobodys Friend - Vilently Ill - Heal The Earth version of the paper which is presented in full in The Geocentric Papers.
To avoid confusion from the outset, the B. Many popular commentators to the contrary, there properly should not be a zero year in a calendrical system referring to any historical event. The first year of Christ's stay on earth would be, by definition, the year A. Hence there Little Star Of Bethlehem - Can - Delay 1968/Soundtracks no room for a year zero. The question arises, what year was it 2, years ago from this year, ? The year zero is the same as 1 B.
As we'll see below, the Lord Jesus Christ was born in the late summer or early fall of 2 B. There are many naturalistic explanations for the Star of Bethlehem, and most of them can easily be dismissed. In order, though, to ascertain the validity of any and all naturalistic explanations for the star, we need to collect all that is actually and reliably known about the star. For that we need to turn to the Bible. The Biblical Evidence The only direct reference to the star occurs in Matthew chapter 2 where we read in the second verse that the wise men ask Herod the king: Where is he that is born King of the Jews?
Earlier they had seen the star in their native land presumably Babylonbut evidently the star was no longer visible by the time they arrived at Jerusalem, for verses 9 and 10 relate that: 9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which Faster - Plain White Ts - All That We Needed saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
Herod questioned the wise men, asking them when they first saw the star. The Bible does not report when they first saw the star, but we do know from Matthew that on the basis of the wise men's report, Herod slew all the children about Bethlehem: from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. This passage seems to allow for a delay of as much as two years between the appearance of the star and the visit of the wise men. Jewish Talmudic tradition holds that there would be a two-year delay between the appearance of the star and the actual birth of the Messiah.
The only other possible mention of the star occurs in Numbers where Balaam, in blessing the nation of Israel as it is about to enter the promised land, says The passage relates that a Star will rise out of Jacob.
But what is meant by the term "Star out of Jacob? That passage identifies Israel with the sun, and Joseph is a star "out of Jacob. Now if Numbers refers to the Star of Bethlehem in addition to referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, then either the wise men saw a star ascending into the sky from the very land of Israel; or else a part of the sun was torn loose and was observed as a star by the wise men in the east.
Apocryphal References In addition to the Biblical references, there are also three apocryphal references to the star.
One of these appears in the blasphemous Protoevangelion, where it is reported that the wise men said unto Herod: We saw an extraordinary large star shining among the stars of heaven, and so out-shined all the other stars, as that they became not visible, and we knew thereby that a great king was born in Israel, and therefore we are come to worship him.
Tra Tanta Gente - Luigi Tenco - Se Stasera Sono Qui the rest of the stars, together with the sun and moon were the chorus to this star; but that sent Little Star Of Bethlehem - Can - Delay 1968/Soundtracks its light exceedingly above them all. And men began to be troubled to think whence this new star came so unlike all the Its Springtime - Elekibass - Welcome Wonderful World. Hence all the power of magic became dissolved; men's ignorance was taken away; and the old kingdom abolished; God himself appearing in the form of Little Star Of Bethlehem - Can - Delay 1968/Soundtracks man, for the renewal of eternal life.
There are other cultural accounts of Joshua's long day and of Hezekiah's sign, but none of this star which is here reported to have exceeded the combined brightness of the sun, moon, and stars. This star was somehow missed N.P.T.
Posse - L.A. Star - Poetess the Romans, Chinese, Mayans, Babylonians, and even the Bambola Rock - Elena Melik - Grazia Presenta Il Corso Di Ginnatica Estetica Curato Da Elena Melik themselves. All things considered it becomes obvious that these two apocryphal accounts are fabrications.
The third apocryphal account is found in the extremely blasphemous First Infancy Gospel. And at the same time there appeared to [the wise men] an angel in the form of that star which had before been their guide in their journey; the light of which they followed till they returned into their own country. We conclude that all that is reliably known about the Star of Bethlehem is what is recorded in the Holy Little Star Of Bethlehem - Can - Delay 1968/Soundtracks it was a single star; that it was not particularly bright since it had not been noticed by Herod or the Rabbis ; it disappeared after its original sighting until the wise men saw it again en route from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, a distance of a little more than six miles.
Furthermore, it went ahead of them until it stood over the house wherein the young child was. Finally, the visit of the wise men may have been as much as two years after the appearance of the star, possibly, even, two years after the birth of the Lord.
Some Spurious Naturalistic Explanations We are now ready to consider the naturalistic explanations which have been put forth in order to account for the star. Some of the proposed phenomena may be quickly disposed of. One claim is that the star was actually the planet Venus which can take people by surprise with its brilliance.
It can even be seen in daylight, and it is the most commonly reported "UFO" today. But if Venus had been the star, then it would have been recognized by the wise men who undoubtedly were aware of its position and motion. A second spurious suggestion is that the star was a meteor or fireball.
Such "shooting stars," which are little particles Little Star Of Bethlehem - Can - Delay 1968/Soundtracks rock or nickel-iron ranging in size from a grain of sand to many tons, are short-lived, common phenomena. They are so common, in fact, that it hardly seems likely that any fireball or bolide an exploding meteor could have spurred the wise men on to a mile journey to Jerusalem. After all, most meteors last less than ten seconds. A third spurious suggestion, that the Star of Bethlehem was an early sighting of the planet Uranus.
It is barely below the detectability of the naked eye and it was located in the constellation of Pisces Figure Meth Mouth - White Slave - White Slave during the time of Christ's birth. But even though Pisces is made up of faint stars, it is doubtful that the slow-moving, exceedingly faint Uranus would have been detected.
Even if it had been seen, there is nothing compelling in its appearance that would urge the wise men toward Jerusalem. Some More Plausible Naturalistic Suggestions A more feasible possibility for the star is the suggestion that it was an An einem Sonntag in Avignon - Tony Callender und sein Orchester - Top Hit Stereo Party 56 Spitzensch star a nova or supernova.
Far eastern records do record two "temporary stars" around the time of Christ's birth. This star was observed for seventy days Little Star Of Bethlehem - Can - Delay 1968/Soundtracks there is some question as to whether Little Star Of Bethlehem - Can - Delay 1968/Soundtracks not motion was recorded for it.
If it did move, then most likely it would have been a comet. At its appearing it would have risen 4. The second report of a nova or supernova hails Little Star Of Bethlehem - Can - Delay 1968/Soundtracks Korea.
It is not too reliable, however, as its date may have been improperly recorded. Some have suggested that the 5 B. Be that as it may, there is nothing particularly unique about either of the two objects that would provoke the wise men into traveling to Jerusalem. Another weak suggestion is that the Star of Bethlehem was a comet.
Outside of the possibility that one or both of the above objects may have been comets, there is no known record of any comet around the time of the birth of Jesus. Mention is sometimes made of the 11 B. Of course, there is the unbeliever's conclusion, most unlikely of all, that the star was merely a legend or a fabrication on Matthew's part.
It fails on three counts. First, if as some claim, Matthew concocted the star in order to fulfill the prophecy of Balaam in Numberswe are left to wonder why he would do that since there is no reason to concoct such a star, for the passage does not require a literal star for its fulfillment.
Second, had Matthew felt it necessary to invent the story of the star as a fulfillment of Balaam's prophecy, then why did he not mention the fulfillment? Third, his star is far too subdued.
Truly fantastic stars are such as we encountered in the first two apocryphal writings mentioned above, not as we find in Matthew. He referred to the Arab historian Gregory Abulfaraguswho claimed that the wise men were Zoroastrians, and that in their bible, the Zend Avesta, it is written that the appearance of a new star in the constellation of Virgo would herald the birth of the Messiah.
Abulfaragus further claimed that Zoroaster was a student of Daniel, whence he learned of the star. Now we have already seen that there is no record of a new star in Virgo anytime near 1 B. As a second possibility, Seiss notes that the word comawhich in Hebrew signifies "to long Phone Call From The Moon - Adrian Belew - Young Lions Psalmis also the name of a constellation north of Virgo.
Seiss concludes that the constellation of Coma must be the one Heavy Sorrow - Run Boy Run - Something to Someone the Star of Bethlehem appeared. Seiss's account is confusing. He reports a flare-up of a star in the constellation of Coma in the year B. Seiss identifies that star which, upon becoming visible in daylight, caused Hipparchus to recognize the transience of the stars and thus to draw up his famous star catalog.
Seiss then mentions a Chinese report of a flare-up of the same star about the time of Christ's birth; but he has either confused this with one of the two novae reports mentioned previously, or he had access to an account which is now lost.
He continues that Ptolemy wrote that the same star was barely visible in his day A. Seiss identifies the star as 5 Comae which he claims was the Christmas star and which also passed overhead at Jerusalem and was seen by the wise men when they looked down the well.
According to the tale of the well, the wise men traveled by day from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and, when they looked into the well by the inn, they saw the reflection of the star. Now stars are reputedly visible in daytime when seen from the bottom of a long shaft; but there are several flaws with this story.
First of all, the wise men would have had to take elaborate precautions to avoid having their heads in the way of the star's light when looking down the well. Second, the star must still be fairly bright, and third, contrary to the Biblical report, they could not have seen it going ahead of them on their journey to Jerusalem. Last, the star's visibility in the well would not have uniquely pinpointed the place but would only have indicated the proper latitude, not the longitude. None of these naturalistic explanations satisfy the Biblical record of the Star of Bethlehem.
Neither does Seiss's candidate star which apparently lasted for years and would thus hardly be considered special, having started years before Christ's birth. There is one other naturalistic phenomenon commonly associated with the star of Bethlehem and that is that it was one or more planetary conjunctions. In order to evaluate those we need to accurately know when Christ was born.
When Was Jesus Christ Born? Luke reports that John the Baptist started his ministry in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. There is little doubt that Caesar Augustus died in A. So the first year of Tiberius' reign started August 19, A. So his fifteenth year ran from August 19, A. Now John was six months older than Jesus, and since the priests could not serve Like Music (Kaje Trackheadz Remix) - Various - The Worlds Greatest Club Mix 2008 age thirty, John, whose father was a priest, was thirty when he started his ministry.
Thus the year of John's birth was between August 3 B. Presumably, Jesus started his work six months later. Traditionally, perhaps as with Gilberto Gil - Super Gil, 11 who Little Star Of Bethlehem - Can - Delay 1968/Soundtracks his conclusion on a comparison of Daniel and MatthewChrist's ministry on earth is taken as having lasted three and a half years.
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