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Saturday, July 13, 2024 - 06:56 AM


First Published in 1994


It's Christmas time, so in this article, we will look at the star Of Bethlehem. What are some of the theories as to what it was and how well do they fit what the Bible actually describes.

Matthew 2:1-12

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,

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.

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 priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

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, enquired 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.

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.

12, And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Over the years a number of naturalistic explanations have been attempted. They include planetary alignments and supernovas. But none of these phenomena fit the description and the star of Bethlehem. Both of these phenomena would have been noticed and even recorded by people all over the world. This would be particularly true of a supernova. Furthermore, none of these phenomena would have appeared two years later to guide the wise men to the specific house where Jesus was.

Now there are two known phenomena that if seen by the Wise men probably would have been referred to as a star, that would have been incapable of moving to lead them to the house where Christ was as long as it was guided by God. Those phenomena are called earth lights and ball lightning. They are both plasma phenomena that meet the description as well as having the mobility described the Matthew.

Unquestionably the Star of Bethlehem was a supernatural phenomenon but that does not mean that it is not a known phenomenon. It could have been a phenomenon that we would recognize that was being used by God for the specific purpose of guiding the Wise men. If that is the case, then these two phenomena are the most likely possibilities. Whatever the star of Bethlehem was it was a special symbol from God to the Wise men, it may or may not be something we can identify.

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