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Professor Says History’s Best Known and Most Debated Star Proven
ASSIST News Service ^ | Tuesday, October 16, 2007 | Jeremy Reynalds

Posted on 10/16/2007 8:14:43 PM PDT by AngieGal

For centuries, historians, scientists and scholars have debated the existence of the Star of Bethlehem in the Biblical telling of Christ’s birth. Now Texas lawyer and professor Rick Larson says he has proven the existence of this celebrated, yet debated, star.

He sets forth his case in a documentary, “The Star of Bethlehem.”

“Historically, people have taken two positions on the Star,” said Larson in a news release. “Either they believe the Star is true or they think it was made up by the early Church. I took a different approach in my research and treated the Star as a mystery or puzzle, looking at the Bible and comparing the facts of Scripture with facts from science and history.”

Larson’s quest for answers began with this attempt to produce an accurate, visual portrayal of the Star in his yard for Christmas. He attempted to ask questions that many people ask each time the Christmas story is told. What did this Star look like? Where did it come from? How did it lead the wise men directly to “this” Child?

His investigation took him on a journey through historical documents, scientific findings and numerous theories to discover a celestial event pointing to the vastness of God's creativity.

“God began leading me on a journey and unveiling answers to me beyond my own understanding,” Larson said in the news release. “That God would ask someone not trained in astronomy to do this still amazes me.”

Using astronomer Johannes Kepler’s map of the solar system, Josephus’s calendaring system and Imaginova’s Starry Night® software, Larson said he pinpointed the year of the Star’s appearance. While most astronomers researching the Star only look to the sky, Larson said he took his findings a step further by utilizing a critical piece in the puzzle – the Scriptures from the Book of Matthew.

Larson’s in-depth study of Matthew led him to nine distinguishing characteristics of the Star that helped explain its existence. According to the news release, these features of the Star indicated that it signified birth and kingship; had a connection with the Jewish nation; rose in the East and appeared at a precise time that was unknown to Herod. It also endured over time; was ahead of the Magi as they went south from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and stopped directly over the city of Bethlehem.

The Biblical characteristics pointed to the Star being a natural occurrence. Larson’s study of wandering stars, or planets, and slow retrograde motion, created what he called a breaking point in his research. Larson said that in 3 and 2 B.C., Jupiter, known for ages as the “King Planet,” held the nine characteristics of the Star.

Having made this discovery about Jupiter, Larson continued his study of the stars, only to find another significant link to the starry sky and April 3, 33 A.D., the day Larson believes Christ was crucified on the cross.

“After discovering all of this, I looked up at the sky and said, ‘My God, what did you do?,’ Larson said in the news release. “This was poetry of terrible beauty. What the Creator revealed to me was something about His vast plan. He wrote poetry in the sky to record both the coming and passing of Christ.”

Larson has put together these findings on “The Star of Bethlehem” DVD.

For more information, visit www.StarOfBethlehemTheMovie.com.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bethlehem; christianity; coyotemanhasspoken; godsgravesglyphs; jesus; johanneskepler; ricklarson; starofbethlehem; staroftheeast

1 posted on 10/16/2007 8:14:45 PM PDT by AngieGal
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To: AngieGal

That’s cool.


2 posted on 10/16/2007 8:24:19 PM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: AngieGal
I wonder what this other "significant link" was.
3 posted on 10/16/2007 8:27:40 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: AngieGal
Professor Says History’s Best Known and Most Debated Star Proven

Proved? Where's the proof? Sounds more like a weak correlation than any kind of a scientific "proof."

(And, by the way, science does not "prove" things -- it either supports hypotheses and theories, or it disproves them. See my FR homepage for some definitions of scientific terms.)

It looks like this fellow is doing apologetics rather than science.

4 posted on 10/16/2007 8:35:10 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman

And the opposite of “dis-prove” is...? PROVE.

And the synonym for “support” is? PROVE.

You’re just playing word games. Of course science can prove hypotheses.

I hypothesize that if I let go of a brick on top of the building, that it will fall to the ground. I do my experiment and find that indeed the brick falls to the ground. My hypothesis is proven correct.

Other hypotheses that are proven: that animals deprived of oxygen will die. That you can control the flow of electrons from one point to another via a conducting material. That if you heat regular book paper to 451 degrees fahrenheit, it will start to burn.

You’re just trying to play semantics here.


5 posted on 10/16/2007 8:44:20 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man
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To: AngieGal

OK, but how did Jupiter appear directly over Bethlehem?

Why was Jupiter different on the year Christ was born.

Just wondering how he figures.


6 posted on 10/16/2007 8:46:45 PM PDT by garjog (Used to be liberals were just people to disagree with. Now they are a threat to our existence.)
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To: SunkenCiv

This article seems like it would suit one of your ping lists.


7 posted on 10/16/2007 8:48:35 PM PDT by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq— via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.))
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To: Coyoteman
It sounds like the Professor was a bit out of his field according to this story. Maybe he was misquoted.
Plus, perhaps he used the word “proof” differently than you would. Maybe he uses it more in the sense of logic or truth.
Hard science is great, but it is limited even by its own definition.
That is where theology and philosophy come in. For example: what is the meaning of life and is there a God are not questions that science can answer.
Also, fragmented as this was, I would have a hard time believing the ancients that had no light pollution were not intimately familiar with the night sky and its occupants. Jupiter would be no more unusual than the moon. It is only in modern times we forget what the universe looks like.
I live outside of town and enjoy marking the seasons by the change of constellations. I’m sure the ancients did too.
8 posted on 10/16/2007 8:52:14 PM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local communist or socialist party chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing.)
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To: ThePythonicCow
I wonder what this other "significant link" was.

That "knowledge" will cost you.

9 posted on 10/16/2007 8:54:34 PM PDT by Joe Miner
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To: Quix

Interesting . . .


10 posted on 10/16/2007 8:58:27 PM PDT by Petruchio (Out to Lunch)
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To: Secret Agent Man

That is all he ever does. All you will get with this Coyote poster is a pocket full of “theory”. Which of course he claims are facts. He shows up on all threads like this to prove that there is no God. Without God, he only has these threads to grasp on to.


11 posted on 10/16/2007 9:00:22 PM PDT by fish hawk (The religion of Darwinism = Monkey Intellect)
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To: AngieGal
But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge. Daniel 12:4 (NIV)
12 posted on 10/16/2007 9:00:42 PM PDT by tang-soo (Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks - Read Daniel Chapter 9)
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To: Petruchio

Fascinating, indeed.

Thx.


13 posted on 10/16/2007 9:00:54 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: AngieGal

The ‘star’ was the shekina.


14 posted on 10/16/2007 9:04:08 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Turning the general election into a second Democrat primary is not a winning strategy.)
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To: Coyoteman
"Proved? Where's the proof? Sounds more like a weak correlation than any kind of a scientific "proof."

(And, by the way, science does not "prove" things -- it either supports hypotheses and theories, or it disproves them. See my FR homepage for some definitions of scientific terms.)

It looks like this fellow is doing apologetics rather than science."

Jumped on this rather fast, didn't you? If Jupiter was truly the bright star in the sky, (according to astrology, which was the established 'science' at the time) it would have given a favorable portent depending on other aspects. Combine the journey of astrologers to Jerusalem, and tales of the approach of Messiah, along with references to City of David, you might have a historical basis. The bit about hovering over the city might be embellishment.

Keep in mind that consulting stars was a regular occurence in that time. Kingdoms rose and fell (reference Cortez and the Aztecs) based on astonomical phenomena.

Don't let your obsession with 'fundies' get the best of you.

15 posted on 10/16/2007 9:05:27 PM PDT by Tench_Coxe
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To: AngieGal

Since Herod the Great, who sought to kill Baby Jesus, died no later than the Spring of 4 B.C., any theory positing the birth of Christ later than that date is rubbish. I personally lean toward an earlier date of 9 to 8 B.C. for several reasons.


16 posted on 10/16/2007 9:06:30 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - IT'S ISLAM, STUPID! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth)
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To: Secret Agent Man
And the opposite of “dis-prove” is...? PROVE.

And the synonym for “support” is? PROVE.

You’re just playing word games. Of course science can prove hypotheses.

I hypothesize that if I let go of a brick on top of the building, that it will fall to the ground. I do my experiment and find that indeed the brick falls to the ground. My hypothesis is proven correct.

Other hypotheses that are proven: that animals deprived of oxygen will die. That you can control the flow of electrons from one point to another via a conducting material. That if you heat regular book paper to 451 degrees fahrenheit, it will start to burn.

You’re just trying to play semantics here.

What you are describing are facts, or observations. They are not hypotheses.

A few of the definitions from my FR homepage:

Theory: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses." Addendum: "Theories do not grow up to be laws. Theories explain laws." (Courtesy of VadeRetro.)

Theory: A scientifically testable general principle or body of principles offered to explain observed phenomena. In scientific usage, a theory is distinct from a hypothesis (or conjecture) that is proposed to explain previously observed phenomena. For a hypothesis to rise to the level of theory, it must predict the existence of new phenomena that are subsequently observed. A theory can be overturned if new phenomena are observed that directly contradict the theory. [Source]

Hypothesis: a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices."

Proof: Except for math and geometry, there is little that is actually proved. Even well-established scientific theories can't be conclusively proved, because--at least in principle--a counter-example might be discovered. Scientific theories are always accepted provisionally, and are regarded as reliable only because they are supported (not proved) by the verifiable facts they purport to explain and by the predictions which they successfully make. All scientific theories are subject to revision (or even rejection) if new data are discovered which necessitates this.

Observation: any information collected with the senses.

Data: Individual measurements; facts, figures, pieces of information, statistics, either historical or derived by calculation, experimentation, surveys, etc.; evidence from which conclusions can be inferred.

Fact: when an observation is confirmed repeatedly and by many independent and competent observers, it can become a fact.

All of your examples come under "observations" or "facts" rather than hypotheses or theories.

The difference is that hypotheses are attempted explanations of why that brick fell, or why that animal died, or why combision of paper is at 451 degrees. That they do so is an [b]observation[/b] or a [b]fact[/b].

I am not trying to "play semantics" but rather to be accurate in my use of scientific terms.

And, where we came in, with the "Professor Saying History’s Best Known and Most Debated Star Proven" -- at best he is making an hypothesis. It will be up to other scientists to evaluate that claim and to determine whether that hypothesis is supported or not supported. If it is supported over repeated tests, and if it allows accurate predictions, it might advance to a theory.

It will never be "proved" -- but it may be disproved.

That is the way science works. One researcher does not come up with in idea, a tentative explanation, and announce that the matter is "proved."

17 posted on 10/16/2007 9:06:49 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman
"It looks like this fellow is doing apologetics rather than science."

This time you're almost right. He actually was doing neither. To attempt to relate a spiritual event or phenominon to a material object is foolishness.

18 posted on 10/16/2007 9:07:00 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Turning the general election into a second Democrat primary is not a winning strategy.)
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To: Kevmo
Attributing the Star of Bethlehem to the planet Jupiter has been suggested before. Let's see if I have that... hmm, this isn't what I was thinking of, but here's something from 2001.
The Magi and the Star
by Simo Parpola
Further evidence of how ancient astronomers would have understood this conjunction has been revealed by excavations in Babylon, which have uncovered four clay tablets bearing astronomical computations for the year 7 B.C.E. This almanac indicates that, from the beginning of the year, Jupiter and Saturn were continuously visible in Pisces for 11 months. In other words, for most of the year the constellation Pisces served as a backdrop for the planets Jupiter and Saturn as they traveled slowly through the night sky. The movements, stationary points, risings and settings of both planets are accurately registered month by month. They came closest together on three nights in May, October and December. It appears from the almanac that toward the end of the conjunction, Mars also moved into Pisces; it was visible near Jupiter and Saturn in mid-February.
Anyway, yes, I may ping this as a GGG topic, assuming this doesn't become another bloodbath. Thanks!
19 posted on 10/16/2007 9:22:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Tuesday, October 16, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Okay, here's another file, from 2000. The local paper once had an article on another supposed astronomical connection with the Star of the East found in the Book of Matthew. Deborah Haarsma, a professor at Calvin College, noted that Molnar's book of 1991 attributes the phenomenon to Jupiter. Here's an old link:
Coin May Link Star of Bethlehem to King of Planets
by Henry Fountain
The Star of Bethlehem has been called many things by many people: a comet, a conjunction of planets, a supernova, a miracle, a myth. With just one biblical account, in the book of Matthew, of the star and how it caused the wise men to come to Judea in search of the newborn Jesus, exactly what it was, if indeed it was anything at all, remains an open question.

Dr. Michael R. Molnar, an astronomer and physicist and former teacher at Rutgers University, proposes that the star was the planet Jupiter, seen in the constellation Aries the ram on April 17, 6 B.C. A Roman coin, which Dr. Molnar bought for $50 at a New York show for his collection, was minted in Syria around A.D. 6. It showed Aries looking back over his shoulder at a star. The Romans, he learned, annexed Judea in A.D. 6, and Aries first appeared on Roman coins in that year. That told him that Aries was a symbol for Judea, a fact confirmed by reading Ptolemy.

Dr. Jack Finegan, an emeritus professor at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif., and author of "The Handbook of Biblical Chronology," a standard reference on the subject, now puts Herod's death more likely at 1 B.C. John Mosley, program director at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and an expert on the Star of Bethlehem, said that while it may never be possible to know what the star was, "when Herod died was an actual event and should be knowable." And if Herod died in 1 B.C., he added, "you can't stretch the birth of Jesus back to 6 or 7 B.C."
Others have made the connection with Aries. Some have pointed to a nova which seems more likely to me. Bright Jupiter is in the sky at least as often as not. The presence of Jupiter in Aries wouldn't have heralded the beginning of an astrological "age". There are no astronomical or astrological clues in Matthew, and this Aries connection is just a supposition. The Romans may have commemorated their conquest by minting coins showing Aries fleeing in vain. A portent of Jupiter in Aries would have looked pretty good in retrospect to the Romans.

There's no relationship between the three wise men or kings of the book of Matthew and any known annal or archive of any kind outside of the New Testament. Trying to come to a definite conclusion about what these three must have been seeing may be futile and perhaps foolhardy.
Searching for the Star of Bethlehem
by Ned Rozell
Alaska Science Forum
December 12, 1996
In 5 BC, Chinese sky watchers saw a "broom-star," a comet with a tail that seemed to sweep the sky. Colin Humphreys, a researcher at the University of Cambridge in England, thinks it was this celestial fireball, which probably looked much like Comet Hyakutake, that guided the three wise men on their journey. The Chinese observers saw the comet for 70 days, plenty of time for the wise men to reach Jerusalem from their homes in Persia, Humphreys claims. Matthew's description of the star of Bethlehem, "lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was," could easily describe a moving comet... Henbest suggests Matthew could have made up the tale of the star to enliven the story. Or maybe the guiding star was a miracle, the result of divine intervention. The only sure bet is the origin of the star will remain a mystery for many Christmases to come.

20 posted on 10/16/2007 9:23:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Tuesday, October 16, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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The Star of Bethlehem [Bristol Astronomical Society]
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution | Rod Jenkins
Posted on 12/19/2006 12:31:25 PM EST by Alex Murphy
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1755792/posts

Ready for “Little Christmas”?
Fish Eaters: The Whys and Hows of Traditional Catholicism | Vox
Posted on 12/25/2005 9:25:25 PM EST by Catherine A
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1547002/posts

FOLLOWING THE WISE MEN
NY Post | December 23, 2003 | JOHN J. MILLER
Posted on 12/24/2003 10:16:30 AM EST by presidio9
Edited on 05/26/2004 8:18:01 PM EDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1046052/posts


21 posted on 10/16/2007 9:26:47 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Tuesday, October 16, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: fish hawk
" He shows up on all threads like this to prove that there is no God. Without God, he only has these threads to grasp on to."

There is a GOD, only a fool would believe there is no GOD.

PSALM .53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart, there is no GOD.
22 posted on 10/16/2007 9:43:33 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM .53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart, there is no GOD.)
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To: editor-surveyor

Why?


23 posted on 10/16/2007 9:44:20 PM PDT by madison10 (Trying to buy USA Made Christmas gifts this year? Good luck with that.)
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To: editor-surveyor
“To attempt to relate a spiritual event or phenominon to a material object is foolishness.”

Like the crossing of the Red Sea?

The Bible almost ALWAYS links significant spiritual events with historical/material events.

As Paul said, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

In other words, if the historical event of Christ’s resurrection did not occur, then the Christian faith is worthless.

24 posted on 10/16/2007 10:04:29 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: madison10; editor-surveyor
The Star could have been Angel since it appeared to have intelligence.

It led the Wise Men to the young child (already born) and then stopped where the Lord lived. (Mat.2:9)

Either that or God moved a star around Himself.(also possible)

25 posted on 10/16/2007 10:26:01 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration (We must beat the Democrats or the country will be ruined! - Lincoln)
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To: AngieGal

My theory is that it happen a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away....

26 posted on 10/16/2007 10:33:55 PM PDT by Bommer (“He that controls the spice controls the universe!” (unfortunately that spice is Nutmeg!))
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27 posted on 11/30/2010 6:32:25 PM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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