FAQ
It is currently Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:21 am


Author Message
anticorncob28
Post  Post subject: Examining the star of Bethlehem  |  Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:23 pm
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 10:31 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Nebraska, USA

Offline
(I had a very hard time deciding if this topic should go here or in the Astronomy section.)
My aunt, who (as she says) is Christian but does not believe Jesus was the son of God, sent me a link to a website about the star of Bethlehem:
http://www.davidreneke.com/was-the-xmas-star-real/
The article speaks of the star of Bethlehem being a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus (and thus not an actual star).
However it seems like this conjunction is a very common occurrence, and indeed we had one in August 2014. Why then are these astronomers so amazed at what's happening here?

_________________
"Climate change is the canvas on which the history of the 21st century will be painted."
-Mark Lynas, Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet


Top
PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Examining the star of Bethlehem  |  Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:21 pm

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:44 am
Posts: 499
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Offline
The thing about people that try to justify bible stories and look for scientific evidence for them is that they make stuff up or hijack any phenomenon that might fit regardless of credibility... I've personally heard people claim the star of Bethlehem was a) a supernova, b) a comet c) a conjunction of two (or three planets), d) a UFO (yes really! That guy was particularly thick) and e) a wandering planet entering our solar system. AFAIK there is no astronomical evidence for any of these (not even the UFO :lol:) and there is no evidence outside the bible there ever was anything that needs to be explained... If there was a noticeable thing in the sky you might have expected other cultures to have noticed and mentioned it.

_________________
"The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart"

- Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan


Top
marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Examining the star of Bethlehem  |  Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:55 pm
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4848
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Offline
i remember Isaac Asimov writing an essay called "Star in the East" (compiled in "The planet that wasn't") where he goes to show that the star only makes it in five verses of Matthew's nativity scene
Luke's nativity scene makes no mention of a star, and Mark and John's gospel don't have a nativity scene at all

so to say that the bible mentions a star of bethlehem is maybe trying to overselling a casual remark in one out of four gospels

so then Asimov goes through the various options : religious mystery, pious invention, a miraculous event only visible to the wise men, and finally a real astronomical event

of the astronomical possibles he goes through

Halley's comet : too obvious for everyone to see
supernova : likewise
the planet Venus : too ordinary, happens all the time
meteorite : too transient

in the end he settles for a combination of Venus, Jupiter and Saturn in close alignment as something that might be meaningful for astrologers but not necessarily to the general public - and then discards it by saying "No, the whole tale is but an ingenious working-out after the fact"

in short, a pious invention to try and tie in predictions of the Messiah with the Star of David

so yes, the Scientific Study of Religion is the right part of the forum for this discussion

_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


Top
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Print view

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
Jump to:   
cron

Delete all board cookies | The team | All times are UTC


This free forum is proudly hosted by ProphpBB | phpBB software | Report Abuse | Privacy