Stephen: Just a preface to this post from Alice…With Comet ISON (which various sources have described as ‘a comet’, ‘a ship’ and a combination of both!) and its unique and special energetic gift sweeping by us at its closest point to Earth between this evening, Christmas Day/Night(depending on where you live), and through until the December 28, there is much reason to look up to, and connect with, Heaven-wards, at this very special Christmas time.
From Space Weather – December 24, 2013
According to some scholars,the Star of Bethlehem (also known as the Blue Star – see link and excerpt from separate article below) might have been a close encounter between Venus and Jupiter. The two brightest planets in the night sky, merged, would have made a spectacle of Biblical proportions.
This Christmas, NASA’s STEREO-B probe is observing a conjunction of three planets – Venus, Earth and Jupiter:
Unlike conjunctions of the distant past, this one includes our home planet.
STEREO-B is located on the far side of the sun where it can look back and see Earth along with other worlds in the Solar System.
Only NASA’s twin STEREO probes, equipped with their high dynamic-range Heliospheric Imagers, can witness this kind of conjunction.
As the enlarged image below illustrates, from STEREO-B’s point of view, Earth and Jupiter are less than 0.4 degrees apart, while all three planets fit in a circle 2 degrees in diameter.
This meeting is not nearly as tight as the putative Star of Bethlehem conjunction ~2000 years ago. At that time Venus and Jupiter could have been as little as 6 arcseconds (0.00166 degrees) apart. Nevertheless, the ongoing display is still special because it’s the first “Christmas Star conjunction” from space.
The Star Of Bethlehem: An Astronomical And Historical Perspective
By Susan S. Carroll (not to be confused with Suzanne Lie /Suzan Carrol)
The Star of Bethlehem is one of the most powerful, and enigmatic, symbols of Christianity. Second perhaps only to the Cross of the Crucifixion, the importance of its role in the story of the Nativity of the Christ child is almost on a par with the birth itself.
However, the true origin of the Star of Bethlehem has baffled astronomers, historians and theologians for the past two millennia.
For the purposes of this discussion we shall consider four possibilities:
- That the star was a one-shot occurrence – never before seen and has not beenseen since; it was placed in the sky by God to announce the birth of His Son;
- That the Star was added to the story of the Nativity after the fact;
- That the Star was a real, documentable astronomical object;
- That the entire New Testament is fake.
If you subscribe to the first theory, then we, as astronomers, have nothing to talk about. It was a supernatural miracle that defies scientific explanation. However, many theologians insist on putting some sort of divine interpretation on Matthew s writings.
By admitting that the Star was a natural phenomenon, with an actual scientific explanation, is tantamount to totally removing its heavy symbolic significance. After all, how could something so miraculous have such a mundane explanation?
There is a certain amount of credence to the second theory. At the time of Jesus’ birthvery few people recognized its significance. The only time the Star is mentioned at all is in the Book of Matthew. It is not mentioned in any of the other Gospel accounts of the Nativity. Matthew, writing some time after Jesus was crucified, may have added the star to the account, because all great kings at that time had stars associated with their nativity.
Jesus significance did not become apparent until after he began his ministry, at the approximate age of 30, the age at which Jews reach spiritual maturity.
As bizarre as the fourth theory may seem at first glance, there is a certain amount of credence to it, also. This theory holds that the entire New Testament was written by members of the Roman ruling family, for the specific purpose of splitting the Jewish people as a political and religious entity. Rome had just fought a third war with the Jews that began in about 60 AD, and although they won the war, they knew full well that Rome could not survive another war with them, unless they could be defeated from within, using a divide and conquer strategy.
The character of Jesus was said to have been modeled after one Arrius Piso, who is said to have written, among other Books of the New Testament, the Book of Matthew. The rest of the New Testament was written by other members of the Piso family, one of the ruling families of Rome.
Although the strategy itself is sound, the evidence to support it is largely circumstantial, and most historians and theologians do not give it much credence. For our purposes, however, we shall subscribe to the third theory – that the Star of Bethlehem was a genuine astronomical occurrence.
To continue reading this story, you can dowwload the full 15-page pdf here: https://www.tccsa.tc/articles/star_susan_carroll.pdf