Friday, December 26, 2014


We wrap up Christmas Week with one more Bethlehem Picture. This picture was taken around 1900.

There was some interesting conversation in the comments yesterday regarding the possible sources of the star the Maji saw. The thing that remains a mystery to me is this. It is fairly normal to have a comet fly over, or to have planets align in a certain way, or other events that will cause bright objects in the sky. What was it about this particular event that motivated the Maji to pack their camels and go on a long, dangerous, expensive trek in search of the Messiah. What was different about this astronomical event that would motivate them to actually pack up and go to Jerusalem. This is one of those things that will probably remain a mystery until Christ's second coming.


  1. The star that Matthew records in the Bible is different from normal stars, comets, or planets. After the wise men visited Herod in Jerusalem, the Bible says that the star "went before them" to Bethlehem, until it "came to rest over the dwelling where the child was" and then the maji entered the house. I don't know about you, but I've never seen a star, comet, or planet appear in one part of the sky, then change directions to head the opposite way, then come to rest over a specific house. Based on the description in the Bible, I'd guess that the star was actually an angel.

  2. The Magi were Zoroastrians--notice the implication there to astronomy? Their religion was based on close observation of the stars and on what the motions of the stars meant. Astronomical events that weren't daily, like the rotation of the stars, but that could be predicted, like comets, had religious meanings to them. They predicted future events, and in this case, this particular comet at this particular time foretold the birth of the Messiah. As to the changing of the direction of the star as described in the Bible, that's indeed a different mystery.