Dating the birth of jesus and astronomy

David A Weintraub ne travaille pas, ne conseille pas, ne possède pas de parts, ne reçoit pas de fonds d'une organisation qui pourrait tirer profit de cet article, et n'a déclaré aucune autre affiliation que son poste universitaire.

Bright stars top Christmas trees in Christian homes around much of the world.

They also knew about the Old Testament prophecy that a new king would be born of the family of David.

Most likely, they had been watching the heavens for years, waiting for alignments that would foretell the birth of this king.

But Matthew chose his words carefully and wrote “star in the east” twice, which suggests that these words hold a specific importance for his readers.

Can we find any other explanation, consistent with Matthew’s words, that doesn’t require that the laws of physics be violated and that has something to do with astronomy? Astronomer Michael Molnar points out that “in the east” is a literal translation of the Greek phrase , which was a technical term used in Greek mathematical astrology 2,000 years ago.

It refers to a particular moment when a planet stops moving and changes apparent direction from westward to eastward motion.

This occurs when the Earth, which orbits the sun more quickly than Mars or Jupiter or Saturn, catches up with, or laps, the other planet.

In a human lifetime, virtually all the stars remain fixed in their places; the stars rise and set every night, but they do not move relative to each other.When they identified a powerful set of astrological portents, they decided the time was right to set out to find the prophesied leader.If Matthew’s wise men actually undertook a journey to search for a newborn king, the bright star didn’t guide them; it only told them when to set out.Is the star’s biblical description a pious fiction, or does it contain some astronomical truth?To understand the Star of Bethlehem, we need to think like the three wise men.

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And they wouldn’t have found an infant swaddled in a manger.

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