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Thread: The "Star" of Bethlehem was not light years away (and it wasn't Jupiter either)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    The "Star" of Bethlehem was not light years away (and it wasn't Jupiter either)

    And according to our primitive ancient ancestors, comets were omens of Doom, not of goodness, victory, success, and other sweet things. You cannot follow a meteor on horseback for five miles, it poofs long before that.

    Star of Bethlehem in General:

    Star of Bethlehem in King James version of the Bible:


    [1] Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
    Jerusalem <-Wise Men<- EAST

    [2] Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
    E King A of Jews' S Star T

    [3] When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
    [4] And when he had gathered all the chief preists and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
    The answer given by the chief preists and scribes:

    [5] And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
    [6] And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
    [7] Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

    [8] And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
    [9] When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
    2 Interpretations

    Interpretation #1
    Result: It no longer went before them when it both came and stood over where the young child was.
    The Question Raised: When did they no longer see it in the east?
    Answer: When they looked away, only to see it later in the south.

    Interpretation #2
    Result: They saw it in the east until it came and stood over where the young child was.
    The Question Raised: How can this be true if the "star" was seen in the southern sky?
    Answer: It's not true that the star was in the east during the journey, so this interpretation must be wrong.

    Normal Star:

                                                                   <Southernly Star>
       Magi------->          .J.e.s.u.s.
                                                                   <Southernly Star>
                                                                   <Southernly Star>
                                                                   <Southernly Star>
                          .J M e A s G u I s.                       Something else
    Two types of "above"

    Physical "aboveness"
    Result: The star is directly above Bethlehem when the Magi are close by.
    The Question Raised: Is this "star" at the zenith?
    Answer: A star that was in the east could, at the Middle East Latitudes, be located at the Zenith. A two hour journey would be consistent with a celestial sphere rotation of (2/24)*360 degrees or 30 degrees, which is about three times the width of a fist held along the celestial equator. The east from "two hours ago" must have been very insignificant if a star (a real one to put it midly) would have been directly above when the Magi were at Bethlehem. With horse travel the stars would have little chance not to travel less than 30 degrees in the sky, making the "eastwardness" of the "star" at the beginning of journey even less significant. Would you try to follow a star that is right above you head for over 5 miles? (fyi. exactly following a star will render a curved, indirect path)

    Perspective "aboveness"
    Result: Bethlehem seen from a distance is seen under the location of the star in the celestial sphere.
    Question: From what perspective and distance is this acceptable?
    Answer: From the north, looking in a southernly direction from a sufficiently large distance from Bethlehem, but not within Bethlehem itself. At Bethlehem, the "star" is seen "above" something else that may be 5 miles to the south!

    A solution:
    The (so said) "star" had perspective aboveness with respect to Bethlehem during most of the journey, and physical aboveness over Bethlehem during the end of journey. Going "before" the 3 Wise Men, was the (so said) "star", which is consistent with a mobile "leader" which the Wise Men followed in the same direction that the (so said) "star" travelled.

    [10] When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
    [11] And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
    Is the diagram above correct? If yes or no, where is the "star" at this point? If you said no, and if you believe the star is at the zenith with respect to Bethlehem (5 miles from Jerusalem), then explain how you believe that the three wise men followed this star. If you said yes, then why by the time the 3 Wise Men reach Bethlehem is the star "over" a place 5 miles to the south, for because of this the star is no longer "above" Bethlehem for people at Bethlehem! If you said no, and answered that the so-called "star" was moving at a pace similiar to the 3 Wise Men's mode of travel, but somewhere above and front of them, then you understand where I'm coming from.

    • Not all "wise men" (magi) are "astrologers". That should be obvious.
    • Primitives did not need a "special star" or planetary alignment to navigate their way from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    The "Star" of Bethlehem was not light years away (and it wasn't Jupiter either)

    Who said it was??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I suspect this might be bumping up against the no religion rule here

    But where does it say there were three wise men?

    Three gifts, yes but it does not say three wise men.

    Any hue, what I heard was that the star was a special conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constelation of Aries the Ram. The Jews did not study astrology so missed this, but to the unspecified number of magi, Saturn and Jupiter is the birth of a king. In Aries the Ram, from among the Jews, whose symbol was the ram.

    Would such a conjunction of two planets in the same piece of sky be of higher luminosity than normal? (Sorry I have to ask)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by kmarinas86
    for we have seen his star in the east
    I did not read your post very thoroughly but have a comment on the above portion.

    Are the wise men saying something to the effect of: "In the east, where we are from, we have seen his star"

    Since Israel is on a west coast then to look east would mean the wise men were on the Mediterranean Sea and saw the star and; therefore, I would tend to believe that the "in the east" clause is in reference to their homeland.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    IMHO, the real `Bethlehem` was not 5 miles from Jerusalem.

    Blame the early tourist guides.
    The tourist Bethlehem is often mistaken for the real Bethlehem that was located near Nazareth in the Galilee. Both these towns were satellites towns for the nearby Roman palace of Sephoris.
    This was no where near Jerusalem, But rather near the old port of Caesarium.

    (i`ll mull over if i will post a google earth image....)

    The appearance of the Star of Bethlehem most likely occurred sometime between the years 7 and 2 BC.
    The Magi must have visited king Herod sometime between 4 BC and 1 BC, just before he died.
    I won't go into the Roman consensus dates.
    Leading up to this, the Magi would have seen, and predicted, rare astronomical events.
    On the evening of Feb. 25, 6 BC a rare triple conjunction or "great conjunction" of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, happened in the constellation of Pisces, the Fishes. Pisces, was astrologically associated with the land of Judea.
    Jupiter and Saturn passed each other three times, between May and December in 7 BC. Jupiter appeared to pass one degree north of Saturn on May 29; practically the same on Sept. 30; then finally a third time on Dec. 5.
    Jupiter and Saturn remained within three degrees of each other, from late April in 7 BC until early January, 6 BC.
    To the early astronomers, Leo was a constellation of great astrological significance and associated with Kings.
    A very close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter would have been visible at dawn on Aug. 12, 3 BC.

    The conjunction of June 17 of 2 BC Jupiter and Venus appeared even closer together than they did in the dawn skies of the previous August, so close in fact that they would have appeared as one star. And it occurred near to the bright star Regulus, that had always been associated with royalty and kings.

    As a side note, ancient Chinese astronomers recorded a faint nova between the constellations Capricornus and Aquarius, in the spring of 5 BC. It is not known if they recorded any bright comets.
    But this event along with a bright comet, to the ancients, would surely have signified that a new king was to be born.
    I have run a few simulations, I have run a few simulations, and have found that there were a few comets in the sky... Although, the data isn't very accurate due to the nature of comet out-gassings and perturbations.
    It seems that there was a comet seen during March 10 and April 27 5 B.C. in Capricornus. In 4 B.C. a comet or nova was noted in April 24 in Aquila.

    Take your pick...I would tend myself to go with the June 17, 2 BC Conjunction, (I of course discount a supernatural explanation)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    This is clearly a religious topic which is against the rules. As such the thread has been closed.

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