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April 3rd

Was the Star of Bethlehem a real astronomical event? A myth created by the early church? Explore the history and science for yourself…Star of Bethlehem.

“well-researched and reasonable”
Former Chief of Planetary Astronomy, NASA, and Technical Editor, Sky & Telescope magazine

“wide-ranging and insightful scholarship”
Former Publisher and Editor, Scientific American magazine, and President, American Association for the Advancement of Science

An evangelical Protestant, Larson began his star quest several years ago after he and his daughter made some Wise Men decorations for their front yard.

“When we were done putting those up, Marion, who was probably 8 at the time, says, ‘Daddy, make a star.’ And so I was hit with this question. ‘Yeah, I’ll make a star, but what was the star?'”

Larson looked for clues in Matthew’s account. He came up with nine data points.

“When the Magi arrived from the East, perhaps traveling from Persia or perhaps Babylon, they asked a question, and it’s loaded,” Larson said. “They say, ‘Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews?’ Now something they’d seen in the sky suggested to them a connection with birth, kings and the Jewish nation.

“And they saw the star when they arrived in Jerusalem,” he said. “So it endures over time. So that’s another clue because most celestial events endure over time, but not all do.”

Larson bought an astronomy computer program and started searching calculations of what the ancient skies looked like. And he considered the meanings that constellations and planets had to people in that time. Jupiter, he said, was the king planet and Venus the mother planet. In June of 2 B.C., Jupiter and Venus came together in an extremely rare conjunction — close enough, Larson said, to get the Magi’s attention.

He says other astronomical events are laden with religious symbolism, including a vision recorded in the Book of Revelation that might refer to Jesus’ conception and a lunar eclipse at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion.

For Larson, the Bethlehem star “is just the beginning of a celestial poem that ends at Christ’s death at the crucifixion.” Seeing that poem, Larson said, has strengthened his faith and revealed a new side of God.

“To see that he would write in the sky, from before time, celestial poetry to announce the coming and passing of our Messiah took me to a different place,” he said. “To a place where I could see beauty in our Creator that I hadn’t known.”

USA Today Article

Larson’s findings regarding Revelations and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is nothing short of astounding.  “Celestial poem” is the perfect description.

You can see the entire presentation via Youtube (in 8 separate videos), and even though it isn’t great quality video, it is worth a look.  Or, you can que it up in Netflix though there is usually a short wait. :)

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