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Featured The Star of Bethlehem

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Aaron, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Still cool to watch at this time of year.

    Regardless of one's thoughts on constellations and meaning in the stars, here are some other things to ponder.

    The Scriptures state that this world was created for Christ. Colossians 1:6

    The stars were created to give their light upon this earth. Genesis 1:15

    This earth was the stage upon which the Creator of the Universe earned His title as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Not just on earth, but in Heaven as well.

    This earth is at the center of God's purposes in Christ, and therefore, the commemoration of His advent is significant indeed. And, Yes, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever. Now that doesn't mean the hearts of the kings and their subjects are right. It just means that Christ is their Lord and their King, and they belong to Him as does everything that has been created.

    Did you also know that Edwin Hubble discovered that all the observable distant galaxies are red shifted? There are two explanations. 1) We're viewing them from the center of the cosmos, or 2) The cosmos is expanding , and the expansion is accelerating, and so we would see the same thing no matter from where we looked in the universe. The first explanation smacks of purpose, and is rejected. The second explanation allows the phenomenon, but keeps the earth conveniently tucked away as an insignicant rock in some forgotten corner of the universe.

    There is no scientific reason to favor one explanation over the other. The second explanation is the preferred one because atheistic philosophies are the preferred philosophies of the scientific community.



    Have you heard that the Cosmic Microwave Background has been fully mapped? And that it was discovered it has a structure? And that that structure is aligned with our solar system? And that the earth's ecliptic plane bisects the CMB, seeming to place us, again, in the center of the cosmos?

    Merry Christmas
     
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  2. Rockson

    Rockson Active Member

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    I tend to have a different thought on this although I acknowledge I could be wrong. I've heard variations of the planet or star conjunction thing before but there's something about it I have difficulty with. First let me say I watched this video and he does acknowledge the "star" moved as planets in retrograde motion appear to do but really not enough in my thinking.

    It has to do with the "star" and what it says in Matt 2 it did.

    After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Matt 2:9,11

    I mean this reveals it was pretty precise. The star, the luminary or light stopped over the place where the child was to the point it says on coming to the house? How could one define a star over a house or even over a town for that matter? Would that be possible with planets or what we know of as stars, literal stars in deep outer space? I think not.

    Let me explain....I live in a town....straight east of me is another town and east of that is another in a circle radius of say 80 miles. If I look to the east any star to any person in each town will appear...to the east that is if this light or planet is in outer space.

    If it looks east for me it will to them as well as long as we're talking about relatively short distances. When the Wise Men left Herod in Jerusalem, if the star directed them to Bethlehem that means it would have been seen in their south. And Bethlehem is only 5 miles from Jerusalem.

    If the "star" was a planet, Jupiter/Venus or a real star it would still appear to the south, never over the place where the child was. If we were to say a planet or let's call it an outer space star was directly over top of a location it would likewise be over top of a place 5 miles away too in either direction.

    So...to be that precise that it's shining down on on particular town such would mean a town 5 miles to the south would see this star in the north and to be in a town 5 miles north of Bethlehem (Jerusalem) you'd see it in the south. The only way you could have a bright luminary specifically over just one town, would have to mean the "star" light or luminary was way down low in the atmosphere of the earth.

    To be above over even the place where the child was and to show where exactly in the town he was....well that'd have to mean this "star" luminary came down as low as a thousand or a few hundred feet above the ground. This would go in line with how one triangulates a position.

    After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Matt 2: 9

    So what was the Star of Bethlehem? I'm thinking it was a manifestation of the glory of God which truly had the appearance of a star but was actually in the lower atmosphere of the earth. We know that the glory of God does appear as light, and brightness and we see the glory had manifested to the shepherds at an earlier time. (actually maybe two years prior but that's a different subject)

    And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:8-14

    So...perhaps the star the Wise Men were seeing was a manifestation of the glory of God? In conclusion does it really matter what it was? I don't think so. If some want to believe it was a planet, comet or outer space star that's fine with me. Just food for thought.


    [​IMG]
     
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  3. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    LOL! That is the funniest post I have ever read on the BB.

    The star was NOT in the east. It was in the west. The Magi saw the star in the east. The star was not in the east. They were! "I saw the moon in Miami." What was in Miami? Me or the moon? Duh!
     
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  4. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    I think some of Larson's premises are questionable, and I don't see this as the authoritative or definitive description of what was recorded. But it does make for a nice discussion.

    As far as knowing which place the star was above: you might not understand how astronomers' observations are recorded. Astronomers are by necessity mathematicians, and the positions of the stars are recorded in reference to the surface of the earth. The ground points of stars can be calculated for a certain time stamp very accurately. Most observations are made with charts and maps, and viewing the sky is done primarily to confirm the math. So, it wasn't that they saw the star and could see with the eyes that it was right above the place, they saw the star and their math and charts told them the rest. And once they got to the little town of Bethlehem, they probably asked, Where is He that is born King of the Jews?

    I think the term "star" if it wasn't one of the stars, is descriptive, though. It had to have looked like one of the stars. Scripture didn't call the pillar of fire a star. Neither did it call the tongues of fire that rested on the disciples on Pentecost stars. And they didn't call the sun or moon stars either.

    I think if it wasn't very much like a star, it wouldn't have been called a star.
     
  5. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    If I say I saw the sun in the east, what would that mean?
     
  6. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Furthermore this star did something no astronomical star can do, ". . . went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. . . ." -- Matthew 2:9.
     
  7. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    If the star was in the east they would have gone to China, not Israel. :D
     
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  8. Rockson

    Rockson Active Member

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    Yeah well depending on what "east" is meant. Here's one writer (in the link) which makes an argument the Wise Men were from Anatolia, (Turkey)

    And what was the Greek term for Turkey in the first century (long before the Turks had arrived on the scene)? Anatolia, coming from “ἀνατολή” — East, or the Rising of the Sun. Greece literally named the neighboring land east of Greece, “East”.

    What "East" Were The Wise Men From? - Steve Simons

    He argues that if they were from the east of Israel they wouldn't have needed to try to divert another way back by avoiding Jerusalem....they could have just went straight east and stayed going east. Anyways doesn't matter. The subject here was what was the actual star.
     
  9. Rockson

    Rockson Active Member

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    No need to try to make fun of people here Cassidy. We're just trying to read and learn.
     
  10. Rockson

    Rockson Active Member

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    Yes it does
    .
    I wouldn't seek to refute what astronomers at the time could do. You might be right that that's how it all played out. But again....hmmm.....as 37818 pointed out,

    "Furthermore this star did something no astronomical star can do, ". . . went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. . . ." -- Matthew 2:9.

    To be right over the place where the young child was sure seems pretty focused with it's light if you get my meaning.

    I don't think the people of Bethlehem would have known what they were talking about though. This is another subject but I think there's good evidence to suggest Jesus had been born about two years prior.

    Matthew says Jesus was a young child when the Wise Men saw him Matt 2:9....not a babe. The shepherds on the other hand in Lk 2: 8 saw Jesus the night he was born. Would one describe a baby as a young child. Perhaps. I wouldn't think so though.

    True and the video of your OP suggests it could have been planetary in nature (Jupiter/Venus) which are star like in appearance but not literally stars. As you know Venus is so bright in rising people swear its something in Earth's atmosphere, and well many have thought it to be a UFO. Again to say the star positioned itself over the place where Jesus was seems pretty localized in the vicinity.(Have to say this for the record just to be clear. I'm not pushing any silly UFO nonsense. I think the star was either a manifestation of God's glory or a real star or a planetary alignment like the OP suggests)


    Very true. No it didn't. But can God manifest his glory in multiple ways? Your statement even points out tongues of fire rested on the disciples as the glory of God but it doesn't call it glory but I think we're safe to say it was a manifestation of glory.

    And yes the sun and moon aren't called stars, but it seems planets might go by that description, as your OP video seems to suggest, plus also meteorites as we read the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. Rev 6:13.

    Again can't stress enough. It doesn't matter to me what it was except we do know it led the Wise Men to the Christ. It does make however for some interesting discussion especially at Christmas time. You could be very right. I acknowledge that I don't know for sure. :Cool
     
    #10 Rockson, Dec 15, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
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  11. Rex77

    Rex77 Member

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    Came across this in some notes, food for thought.
    ---------------------------------


    How Did the Wise Men Know? or Is Astrology Valid?

    Though this event is widely known by many - believers and non believers in Messiah alike -several misconceptions have arisen based on this passage. In fact, because the Scriptures tell us that the Wise Men were led to Yeshua by the appearance of a star, some Christians have actually ascribed validity to astrology. Some have even attempted to develop a doctrine of biblical astrology.


    Let us first focus our attention on the issue of the star... certainly, no ordinary star. It is referred to as "his" star, the "King of the Jews" star, in a way that cannot apply to other stars, this star appears and disappears. This star moves from east to west. This star moves from north to south. This star hovers over one single house in Bethlehem, pointing out the exact location of the Messiah. It is very evident that this cannot be a literal star, as we know that any such star hovering over a single house would, in fact, destroy the entire planet.

    Obviously, this star is something different, but what? The Greek word for "star" simply means "radiance" or "brilliance." With this star coming in the form of a light, we have the appearance of the Shechinah Glory - the visible manifestation of God's presence. Whenever God became visible in the Old Testament, such a manifestation was referred to as the Shechinah Glory. This manifested most often in the form of a light, fire, cloud or some combination of these three things. And, so, in Babylon appears a light, a brilliance, a radiance that may look from a distance like a star but has actions and characteristics that no star can or does. What these Wise Men actually saw was the Shechinah Glory, and they deduced that it was a signal that the King of the Jews had finally been born.

    Still the issue remains, how did the Wise Men know? For this, we must look to the Old Testament. We must note first that the only passage in the Old Testament dating the Messiah's coming is found in the famous 70 weeks ofDaniel 9. The Book of Daniel was written not in Israel, but in Babylon, much of it in Aramaic, the language of the Babylonian empire.

    There is more. Daniel was always associated with Babylonian astrologers (Daniel 1:19-20; 1-13, 47; 4:7-9; 5:11-12). Nebuchadnezzar, not realizing that the source of Daniel's ability was not the stars of the heavens but the God of Heaven, made Daniel the head of all the astrologers of Babylon. As Daniel eventually also saved the lives of these astrologers by
    interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream - there is little doubt that he was able to lead many of them to turn away from the worship of the stars to begin worshipping the God of Israel.

    So then, a line of Babylonian astrologers spanning generations worshipped the true God, and having Daniel's prophecy, looked forward to the coming of the King of the Jews. We can conclude from the Book of Daniel, then, that Babylonian astrologers did know the time Messiah was to be born. However, Daniel says nothing about a star that would herald Messiah's birth. Again, how did the Wise Men know?

    To find the answer, we must go back even earlier in the Old Testament to the prophecies of Balaam. Balaam was hired by the king of Moab to curse the Jews. He attempted to do so four times and each time God took control of his mouth so that he ended up blessing the Jews instead. In the course of these blessings, he sets forth four key Messianic prophecies. One of is found in
    Numbers 24:17:
    I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel,and shall smite through the corners of Moab, And break down all the sons of tumult.

    Much to his own regret, Balaam was forced by God to prophesy of the coming of the Jewish Messiah, which he related to a "star." But this is not a literal star, because it says, "And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel." The star and the sceptre in this text are one and the same. We know this because the prophecy is in the form of Hebrew poetry, which is not based on rhythm or rhyme but on parallelism.) And the term "sceptre" is a symbol of royalty or kingship. This star that would rise out of Jacob, is himself a king.


    Furthermore, Balaam's occupation was that of an astrologer. Even more significant is that he came from Pethor, a city on the banks of the Euphrates River in Babylonia (Numbers 22:5; Deuteronomy 23:4). With the Book of Daniel and the prophecy of Balaam, we have a double Babylonian connection here. Hence, the revelation of a star in relation to Messiah's birth via a Babylonian astrologer who, no doubt, passed the information down to his colleagues. Centuries later, Daniel was able to expound to the Babylonian astrologers as to the time that "the star of Jacob" would come.


    How did the Wise Men know? Not by gazing at the stars through the pseudoscience of astrology, but by revelation of God as contained in the Scriptures through the prophecies of Balaam and Daniel. The story of the Wise Men gives no validity to astrology whatsoever.
     
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  12. Jesus Saves!

    Jesus Saves! Member

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    I feel like that star still shines today into our hearts and points us to Christ. The light shines into the darkness and shows us Jesus is the way. You can't find the way walking in darkness until the light shines to show you the way.
     
  13. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    The stars were made for signs, or "omens." Genesis 1:14

    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. Matthew 2:2
     
  14. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    That star moved over that house, ". . . the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. . . ." It was not any kind of star of Genesis 1:14-16. Also the wise men came from the east from where they were when the had seen that star and had came west, not east to Judea.
     
  15. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    I think the Magi knew the difference between something that was a star in the heavens and something that was not.
     
  16. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Points of light are called stars. And what is as described in Matthew 2:9, ". . . the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. . . ." is a flying star for what it did. Nothing natural.
     
  17. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    Interesting article in September's Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation

    "Matthew's Magi Never Visually Followed a Star Anywhere" [LINK] (unfortunately the full article is password protected)

    [​IMG]

    Orodes
    II of Parthia was the king of the Parthian Empire from 57 BC to 37 BC.
    In Babylonian and Assyrian cultures (as well as Roman and others), king's and gods had celestial connections.

    A Star Proposal
    All Bethlehem star theories involve presuppositions and spoken or unspoken assumptions. Here are important points for the star proposal in this article.

    Point 1 - The star was a herald of the Messiah, it was not a guiding light. The wise men witnessed a celestial announcement about a great king. They never visually followed anything, anywhere, at any moment. The star was given to inform, not to guide. Like normal travelers, the wise men probably traveled only during the daytime.

    Point 2 - The star was a natural celestial object. The heavenly signs surrounding the Messiah's coming seem to have been arranged since the time of creation.

    Point 3 - The star was not the brightest heavenly object. It never had a tail. The star was not overtly spectacular while it was manifest to the wise men in the East or above Judea.

    Point 4 - The star was symbolically significant, but it did not indicate the specific day or time of Jesus's birth. The star announced the coming of a messianic king. Above Bethlehem, the star affirmed the Messiah's presence in the town.

    Point 5 - The star became symbolic in a context involving other stars, planets, and the sun and moon. It was involved in a series of celestial events centered on kingship.

    Point 6 - The wise men arrived in Judea about a year and a half after the first celestial signs. The young Messiah was probably about one year old. The wise men were not present with the shepherds at the time of Jesus's birth.

    Point 7 - The wise men went to Bethlehem during the daytime, and, over a short period of possibly several days, they made a careful search in order to find the Messiah's family. The men presented their gifts in the context of a private home. Matthew's mentioning of the "house" concerns the private nature of the meeting. The mention of the house is not meant to localize the star. (See Matt. 13:36-43; 17:24-27, as well as Matt. 17:19-21 and the parallell passage in Mark 9:28-29) (pp. 162-163)


    Conclusion
    The Messianic Star seems to have been connected to symbolic royal celestial events at the heart of Babylonian planetary science. (p. 172)
     
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  18. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    That all depends upon whether or not you're understanding the narrative. Larson makes a good case for his understanding. Worth your time to listen even if you don't agree.
     
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  19. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    ". . . there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, . . ." -- Matthew 2:1.

    ". . . for we have seen his star in the east . . . ." -- Matthew 2:2.

    ". . . the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. . . ." -- Matthew 2:9.
     
  20. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    I actually liked your explanation. Well thought out.
     
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