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The Actual Star of Bethlehem Revealed

The Star of Bethlehem was an actual historical event and now provable through the science of astronomy. So why is there little or no mentioned about the Star in the history books? Well, the main reason is that the Star’s existence could not be proven until the math was finally created to accurately chart the movements of our solar system. The math is rather complicated but today, thanks to computer technology, anyone can purchase and install an astronomical application then actually watch the planets and stars movements from tens of thousands of years in the past to tens of thousands of years in the future.

Most people have heard of the Kepler Telescope once used to look for earth size planets. It was named in honor of Johannes Kepler 1571-1630 the German astronomer and mathematician that developed the laws or math concerning planetary motion. Kepler worked out these equations in 1609, just two years after the founding of Jamestown. And unbelievably, it has taken over 400 years to use this same math to discover the Star of Bethlehem. I know… it boggles the mind!

Johannes Kepler

This is the exact same math used today by NASA to launch all spacecraft, probes and satellites. We can now explore space because we can now accurately determine where planets, comets and asteroids will be in the future. We can even use the computer program to observe the sky viewed from any point on the earth at any time in the remote past or distant future! As you may have guessed, the first thing Johannes did when he got the math worked out was to go looking for…. you guessed it… the Star of Bethlehem. His problem in finding the star was the same problem that has plagued men from Kepler’s time until now. Everyone starts looking by relying on a wrong date concerning Herod’s death. The history books we have today state that according to the famous Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, Herod died during an eclipse of the moon which occurred in 4 B.C. However, Josephus only says that Herod died during an eclipse of the moon and does not give a date. So, Kepler reasonably began looking for the Star in the night skies of 7B.C. through 4B.C. And guess what he found? Absolutely nothing! And here’s why.

All the ancient manuscripts written before 1544 A.D. tell us that Herod the Great died in 1 B.C. All manuscripts written after 1544 A.D. say Herod died in 4B.C. There are only two ways to explain this sudden change in dates. It was either a misprint that was picked up and continued in later printings. Or, some well-respected historian at that time, came up with a hypothesis for an earlier date and his colleagues, out of respect, adopted his date in their writings. And honestly, the idea that Herod died in 4B.C. as opposed to 1B.C. probably did not make any difference to anyone. And this would be true except, it is this date that is closest to the date of the birth of Jesus. So, three years difference makes all the difference if you are actually looking at the sky in order to discover the famous Star of Bethlehem. If you run Kepler’s math equations based on the wrong starting date, you draw a wrong conclusion. Sort of the old adage junk in…junk out. But today, when we program our astronomical software to look up at the sky from the vantage point of Bethlehem in 1B.C., guess what? We see not one but two eclipses of the moon just as Josephus noted! One occurred in January 1B.C. and the second on December 29th of 1B.C. So, now we have a much narrower list of possible dates with which to start a search for the elusive Star of Bethlehem!

In the Book of Genesis, God said He made the lights in the heavens as a way for man to know the times, seasons and as signs (Genesis 1:14). God is not hiding himself but instead revealing himself through His creation. God is not hiding the Star but simply wants to know if we are interested enough to take the time to find it! It is completely unremarkable to think that if the God of creation were to become a man and be born as the savior of the world, that He would make this extraordinary supernatural event eternality known to the entire world … right? Would He not use the stars in the heaven to proclaim this tremendous event? Of course He would and He did! God would not create a one-time spectacular astronomical event to announce the birth of His Son only to then hide it so that it could not be authenticated by future generations. Why would He do that? Not only did He not do that, He did it in a way that all generations of people can know the exact date of this extraordinary event. It was an actual, factual and historical event that can now be revealed and proven thanks to Mr. Kepler.

Jesus told believers to look to the heavens for signs of the times and signs of His Second Coming (Luke 21:25). So why not look to the heavens for signs of His First Coming. See related paper, "Daniel's Magi Follow a Star". However,  while the stars and planets are God’s creations, they are never to be looked at in order to try and discern the future. The pagan practice of astrology is against the will of God (Deuteronomy 17:2-3; 18:10-14; Micah 5:12; Leviticus 20:6, Leviticus 19:26). Matthew wrote that, “After, Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem…”to see the newborn King of the Jews (Matthew 2:1-2).  As we learned from Book of Daniel, a person that had the ability to provide interpretations of signs would be given a high rank in the court. Joseph and Daniel both reached the highest governmental positions due to their God given abilities to interpret signs as revealed in dreams (Genesis 41:38-46; Daniel 2:48; 5:29). Even today, a person who can make accurate prediction about world leaders or the economy are given very high positions of governmental power.

Daniel’s Magi Follow a Star
The Magi were an ancient sect of priestly scholars. Their religion is known as Zoroastrianism and was founded in Persia. It is a monotheistic religion and is still practiced today making it one of the oldest surviving religions in the world. The word magic is derived from the word Magi.

Matthew uses a Greek word concerning the Magi meaning they came “up-aim places” meaning the Magi came from several places (Matthew 2:1). So there were not only more than 3 Magi but they came from multiple cities. The country of Babylonia is located directly west of Judah, as is Iraq and Persia. Therefore, it was either one, or perhaps several groups of Magi from several of these kingdoms that conducted this trip to Judah. They were traveling from the East to the West to find the area directly underneath this rare astronomical event.

This star is also said in scripture to have stopped. We know today that stars are fixed in their position and do not move. Genesis tells us this fact when it says, “: He made the stars, and God set them in the firmament of heaven” (Genesis 1:16-17; Psalm 8:3-4; Jeremiah 31:35). Today we know that every galaxy has at its center a black hole. The stars closet to the black hole move quickly around it. But the outer stars move much faster than the inner stars in order to keep up with them. Thus, all the stars in a galaxy both rotate yet at the same time are fixed as they are set in lock step with each other. Modern astronomy cannot explain how this phenomenon is possible.

On the other hand, planets do move according to their orbits and never stop. While they may appear to stop, this is only an optical illusion as we are viewing them from our own planet that is in its own orbit moving at a speed different from the other planets. The earth’s orbit routinely catches up to the orbit of other planets giving us the illusion that they have stopped. But they have not stopped their orbit, instead the earth simply caught up with them and for a brief moment, it seems they have stopped. Then they appear to move in an opposite direction which is called retrograde motion. But they have not changed direction. Instead, the earth has pulled ahead of them in their orbit.

Mary With Herod Serving Satan the Dragon as an Antichrist Waiting to Murder Her Child Jesus

John the apostle recorded in the Book of Revelation an amazing vision after he was suddenly transported from his exile on the Isle of Patmos into heaven. He wrote, “And there appeared a great wonder in Heaven; a woman clothed with the Sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head was a crown of twelve stars. And she being with child cried … And she brought forth a manchild who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God and to His Throne.” (Revelation 12:1-2,5) Because we now know that Jesus was born in June of 2 B.C. all we need to do is look back at the sky 9 months earlier to see what they reveal and to explain what John saw.

According to astronomical software, in the early morning of September 12th, 3 B.C., Jupiter the King planet came into a close conjunction with the Regulus the king star in the constellation of Leo the Lion. Jesus was from the king tribe of Judah whose symbol was the Lion. And the paw of Leo was on the head of the constellation Hydra the serpent. This heavenly scene was a prophetic representation of the future defeat of Satan by Jesus the Lion of Judah. This was the first prophecy ever given and it was by God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15; Revelation 12:9).

As this scene rose higher into the morning sky, the constellation Virgo appears from beneath it. She has 12 stars over her head, the brilliant rising sun in her stomach and a new moon at her feet. Because it was the month of September and there is a new moon, it would have been the day of Yom Kipper. This is the highest and holiest day of the Jewish people. They pray earnestly for 7 days to be forgiven of their sins and to be allowed to live another year. This was also the only day that the High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies on behalf of his nation and put a drop of blood from the sacrifice of a he goat on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant. This was done to temper the anger of God brought about because of the sins of the nation. The morning sky of September the 12th, 3 B.C. was undoubtedly a heavenly sign that the annunciation or conception of Jesus the Messiah of Judah had taken place. The Magi no doubt saw this amazing sight in the skies over the land of Judah and knew that something remarkable was about to happen.

When we run the software forward nine months to June of 2 B.C., several more very rare astronomical events occur. The celestial events of September 12th over the land of Judah would have caused the Magi to review the Messianic prophecies made by Daniel, Chief of the Babylonian Magi 550 years earlier (Daniel 2:48). Then, on June 17th 2 B.C. they watched as Venus, the brightest planet also known as the mother planet of love, approach and stacked within 2 degrees of Jupiter known as the king planet of power. This gave an appearance to the unaided eye as the largest and brightest star ever seen. The Magi of Babylonia immediately recognized this event as a sign from the God of Daniel that the Messiah of Judah had been born. They continued to watch the Star or, what we now know today were two planets, throughout the night and saw that in the early morning, the star set in the West directly over the land of Judah. They now understood that nine months earlier, they had witnessed the conception of the King of Judah and that the appearance of the Star now heralded his birth to the world.

This understanding caused them to plan and conduct a 900-mile expedition around the Arabian and Syrian deserts to Jerusalem the capitol of Judah and birth place of Daniel. The Magi probably spent the tremendously hot summer months of July and August purchasing supplies, organizing staff and collecting documents they would deliver to various heads of state in the territories they would be passing through. They would probably have left Babylon in late September and apparently took with them, or joined up with other Magi from other kingdoms. Scholars believe that a day’s travel in the first century was approximately 17 miles. The Magi with a large caravan of solders, staff, pack animals loaded with large tents and supplies probably traveled 15 miles per day, 5 days a week or 300 miles a month. Allowing for extended stays in certain provinces due to celebrations and discussion with other Magi in other courts, the Magi arrived in Jerusalem after 3 months of travel in late December. Once again, we can now know for certain that this was in fact their arrival date due to a series of retrogrades by the planet Jupiter.

Magi Prepare to Leave Babylonia

Late in the month of October, the Magi were 300 miles into their journey to Jerusalem when they saw Jupiter begin to make the first of what would turn out to be three retrogrades over a three-month period. As the Magi completed another 300 miles, they watch and charted the king planet’s second retrograde. When they reached Jerusalem, they continued to watch Jupiter for a sign. During their short stay with Herod, the Magi learned from one of his Scribes that the Messiah was prophesied to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:6). The Magi left Herod’s palace heading south when they saw Jupiter’s third and final retrograde. And it occurred directly over the village of Bethlehem exactly as prophesied and noted in the Gospel of Matthew.

Jupiter’s first retrograde occurred on October 30th, 2 B.C. The second occurred on November 25th, 2 B.C. And Jupiter’s third and final retrograde occurred directly over Bethlehem on December 25th 2 B.C.!  Again, astronomy software is accurate to the year, month, day and even hour. So, it was in fact on December 25th 2 B.C. that the Magi finally arrived in Bethlehem. And, on that exact same night, according to scripture and now supported by indisputable astronomical mathematics, the king planet Jupiter came to a complete stop or “rested” over Bethlehem (Matthew 2:9)!

Magi at Home of Joseph w/Jesus a Toddler

Matthew noted that at the arrival of the Magi, Jesus was a toddler and living in a house with Joseph and Mary (Matthew 2:10-11). The term toddler in the first century meant that Jesus was no longer a newborn but an infant who was capable of turning over on his own. The shepherds had arrived quietly the night Jesus was born (Luke 2:15-20; Psalm 72:9-10). The Magi arrived six months later and it was their grand arrival that “troubled Herod and all of Israel” (Matthew 2:3).  And it was their arrival in the village of Bethlehem on December 25th that was erroneously remembered as the birth date of Jesus. It should also be understood that literally and figuratively, this was the date that wise men came looking for and found Jesus. Scripture tells us they found the family living in a “house” and seeing Him, they fell down and worshipped Him and presented to Him treasures befitting His stature (Matthew 2:11). He was given the gift of gold that signifies kingship and virtue. Frankincense that represents deity, priesthood and prayer. And myrrh which represents healing, anointing and is also used to embalm the dead. The light of the world had finally come to His people. His conception and birth were prophesied in the Old Testament and acclaimed in the heavens above Judah. Yet the King of Judah, the religious leaders and the people sat completely unaware in the dark. It was the gentile Magi that understood the importance of this event and traveled almost 1,000 miles to meet, worship and present Jesus with treasures and praise. King Herod, on the other hand, plotted to have Him murdered as an infant and the religious leaders would plot to have him murdered 33 years later (Matthew 2:16-18; Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 26:3-5).

The first mention we have of December 25th being the birth date of Jesus was in 221 A.D. by the Christian historian Sextus Julius Africanus in his five volume treaties Chronographiai. Hippolytus of Rome (170 A.D.- 235 A.D.) also wrote circa 200 A.D. that Jesus was born on December 25th. The first celebration of December 25th as Christmas occurred between 250 A.D. and 300 A.D. The Church held a special midnight Mass on this date to commemorate the birth of Jesus. This Mass was called Christ's Mass which has been abbreviated to the word Christmas. It should also be noted that the abbreviated term Xmas dose not take Christ out of the word Christmas. The first letter of the Greek word for Christ is "X" pronounced "kai" in Greek. According to oral tradition, Emperor Constantine was the first to use this one letter in place of the word Christ. In 312 A.D., he had it put on the shields of this infantry during a decisive Roman civil war battle. Scholars are in agreement that the earliest written example known to exist using this shorthand was made by an Angle-Saxon scribe in 1021 as a way to save space on valuable parchment paper. Thus, this substitution has been used throughout the history of the church to represent Jesus' title of Christ or the Anointed One of God.

Also, there has never been any evidence found to date that support the theory that December 25th was arbitrarily chosen as Jesus' birth date to compete with the pagan festivals of Saturnalia, nor the sun god Sol, nor the winter solstice which, by the way, was celebrated on December 21st.

Jacob on Death Bed Prophesying Over Sons

On a closing note, there was a prophecy given by the patriarch Jacob on his death bed to his son Judah concerning the arrival of the Messiah. He said, “the scepter kingly power will not depart from Judah, nor the rulers staff self-rule from between his feet until Shiloh the Messiah come to Judah to whom it belongs (Genesis 49:9-10). True to this prophecy, Judah had lost its authority of self-rule and to impose capital punishment when it was conquered by Rome in 63 B.C. The Jewish Midrash is a compilation of scholarly works authored by venerated Rabbis concerning commentary on various Old Testament people, historical events, customs and scriptural understandings. The Midrash states that in 6 A.D. the Temple Priests walked the streets of Jerusalem in sack cloth, mourning and weeping that they had lost self-rule to pagan Rome yet the Messiah had not appeared. Therefore, this ancient and revered prophecy of the patriarch Jacob had failed to come to pass. What they did not realize was that, at this same time, a 7-year-old boy by the name of Jesus was alive and helping his step father Joseph in a workshop located in the little forgotten town of Nazareth. Amazing!

Jesus Helping His Step Father Joseph in the Family Workshop

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