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Historic Jesus

Aug 05, 1996 05:39 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Abrantes writes:
>Discussing about Jesus' life under Pilate, arouse a doubt about
>the star of Bethlehem as described in Matthew's gospel. Is such
>story possible?
><New Scientist> december 1995 pages 34-35

Speculations regarding the nature of the star of Bethlehem has
become quite a fad as of late in this country.  Every local
Observatory seems to have a program on it during the Christmas
holidays.  There are several videos that are broadcasted on the
TV stations around Christmas time too, with new ones coming out
every year.  I think some of these videos are quite good, and
include extensive commentaries and speculations from major
Biblical Scholars and Astronomers.  The "expert" opinions range
from "it happened just like the Bible says" to "the whole story
is a fabrication."  The speculations in between run from the
appearance of a nova, a comet, and a triple conjunction between
Jupiter and Saturn.  Each explanation seems to cover some of the
Biblical evidence and miss others.  The NEW SCIENTIST'S article
speculating upon the event being an occultation of the moon and
Jupiter in 6 B.C. is an interesting addition to the already
unwieldy collection of speculations.  I think Michael Molnar is
correct in his opinion that the ancient astrologer would have
known of this event even though it was not visible to the casual
observer.  But I do not agree that the astrologers would have
considered it to be such an important event.   It is fairly
common for the moon to occult planets.  It seems to happen every
year.  The occultation of Jupiter would be no more or less rare
than the occultation of any other planet.   That the occultation
occurred at helical rising is more significant, and would have
caught the attention of the astrologers, but it is hardly an
event of great rarity.  Even this article points out that the
same event occurred again in A.D. 51.  Events that occur fifty
years apart are very impressive to ancient astrologers, but not
earth shattering.  Then, there is the question as to whether the
astrologers might have considered this event more important than,
say the triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, or of a nova
(recorded around that time).  The answer to such a question must
be partly  subjective.  More important about these events is that
none of them, including Molnar's, fit all of the information
given in the Bible.  That the star is seen rising in the east
fits this event okay, but according to your quote from Matthew,
"the star went before them, till it came and stood over where the
young child was."   That means that the star rose in the East,
took a hard left to the South and settled over Bethlehem.  For
any astronomical object or phenomena to act in this manner is
absolutely unprecedented.  If it had occurred, one wonders why
such a spectacular event was not recorded all over the world.

Personally, I think the star event is not a literal description,
of an astronomical event, but a symbolic description alluding to
the changing of the age as understood by the Roman Stoics and the
followers of Mithras as early as 100 B.C.  Like the Jupiter
occultation of 6 B.C., this astronomical event is quite real and
was calculated by the astrologer, but "not seen" by the
uninitiated.  But unlike the event of 6 B.C. that may occur every
fifty years or so, this astronomical event of 100 B.C. occurs
only once every two thousand years.  The event I'm speaking of is
the precession of the equinoxes, and is called a "messianic
cycle,"  because messianic leaders (i.e. saviors of humanity) are
supposed to be born during these events.  In the case of the
event of 100 B.C., the precessional point moved from Aries to
Pisces, and may have something to do with the early Christian's
association of the sign of the fish to Jesus.


   |Jerry Hejka-Ekins,                      |
      |Member TI, TSA, TSP, ULT                |
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