Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Star of Wonder, Star of Night

The story of the Bethlehem star is well known. Every church nativity has a six year old dressed as a star and many Christmas trees are topped with one. And the star has been cast in many a Christmas movie. It's not uncommon for the protagonist to look up into the night sky and see a star. Although no explanation is given, it is understood that some connection between the present situation and that of the babe in Bethlehem is being alluded to.

The story is so well known that there have been a number of attempts by astronomers and others to determine what star the magi from the East saw and how it was that a star could move.  There are couple of articles on the topic of the star that I ran across this week.

At the Washington Times, Amanda Read provides a theological explanation of the star and what it meant.

At National Geographic Robert J. Vanderbei of Princeton University looks at the story of the Bethlehem Star and suggests that it was created by a convergence of Jupiter and Venus on June 17 in 2 BC.

At MSNBC Joe Rao asks if it was a star or a comet.

Finally, Kelly Oconnell at the Canada Free Press adds a perspective that combines faith and science.

1 comment:

  1. Add in Regulus. If I haven't forgotten what I saw earlier on this subject, it was there at the 2 BC convergence of Venus and Jupiter.

    Video I saw made the case that the earliest Josephus text we have has 2 and not 4 BC as Herod's death. IF that is true, Vanderbei may have "found it".

    For the sake of a more accurate hermeneutic, the star was said to have "stopped" over Bethlehem. Yet, it did not. It "appears to have stopped" to the human observer as it did a retrograde maneuver at that point.