The Catholic Defender: The Star of Bethlehem Shines On Christmas Night
The Season of Advent and Christmas was added to the Church Calendar for specific reasons. Primarily to help people in their faith, to keep alive the relevance and foundation for our holy Catholic Faith.
The past few days I have written on the belief that Jesus was born literally on December 25, 2 B.C. We have shared this through the lessons of history, that the Church didn't set Christmas up to combat Paganism, the weather, the politics at the time, and the scripture. Tonight I will give a scientific perspective to add on what we have already demonstrated.
There are many people who regard Christmas as simply a holiday taking fore-granted the real reason for the Season. I truly believe that what Christmas is really about can change a person’s life, can change the world.
Two things to consider that is happening almost simultaneously yet independent of each other that bares much into this discussion:
1. October 3 B.C. The Day of Atonement-Yom Kippur, the busiest Temple day of the Temple year (Luke 1:10) sometime late March early April. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Zachariah and announced the coming of John the Baptist.
2. September 3 B.C. The planet Jupiter was in conjunction with Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo-(Leo the Lion). This would be the star the Wise Men would follow leading them to Bethlehem. They followed the star for about 16 months until the Star rested over Bethlehem for six days beginning on Dec 25, 2 B.C.
Coinciding almost precisely with the time Zachariah would have been serving in the Temple (Yom Kippur-Luke 1:10), a mysterious star began rising over the middle east in what is now modern day Iraq. This star was in fact the planet Jupiter. It would continue it’s rise for about 9 months. What happens next is simply astounding.
Science can now know factually testifying that on the evening of September 17, 3 B.C., a spectacular astronomical event took place in the heavens capturing the attention of astronomers in modern day Iraq.
The planet Venus appeared to move eastward as if from the naked eye, looked to collide with the Planet Jupiter, The two planets appeared as one large star in the Western sky leading towards Palestine.
Jupiter was known astrologically as the Father of the Gods. The planet Jupiter symbolized this deity. And in early August 2 B.C.E. Jupiter had just left its vicinity near the Sun and conjoined with Venus (Known as the Mother of the Gods). This happening was seen as a birth, a birth of a king.
Jupiter often was associated with the birth of kings and therefore called the "King planet.” And here was the King planet in conjunction with Venus. To the Chaldeans and the Magi, Venus was Ishtar, the Mother, the Goddess of Fertility. Thus Jupiter (the Father) was now in conjunction with Venus (the Mother). Could this have signified to astrologers that the birth of a new king was imminent?
This happening does not happen often, usually several centuries will pass before such a sign would be seen again. Soon, Venus (the Mother) approached the planet Mercury coming within .36 degrees. A New Moon was prominent as the Jewish New Year was approaching (September 11). Simultaneously, the planet Jupiter, known as the king planet, appeared to be approaching Regulus, the "king star".
The head of the Zodiac, Leo the lion, had three conjunctions between Jupiter and Regulus within it's constellation. (The three conjunctions with Regulus were August 12, 3 BC; February. 17, 2 B.C, and May 8-9 2 B.C).
This conjunction could have been a favorable sign because these two planets were known by astrologers as the Greater and the Lesser Good Fortunes of all the planets. And note this: while this conjunction was occurring, the Sun (the Supreme Father), the Moon (considered a Mother), and Mercury (the Messenger of the Gods) were located in the single constellation of Leo, the Lion. Christians called Jesus “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.” These primary bodies clustering in Leo while Jupiter and Venus were now in close union may reflect biblical significance.
Gen 49:10 had foretold there would always be a ruler from Judah, whom Jacob called the lion, until the time of the Messiah. Leo was dominated by the star Regulus, which astronomers called the King Star. The Magi, being astronomers and astrologers, would surely read these signs.
The Lion was the symbol of the Tribe of Judah, and the constellation appears in the Hebrew zodiac. … The association of Leo with Judah arose from the fact that Leo was Judah’s natal sign. In the Bible there are frequent allusions to this connection between Leo and the tribe of Judah. Thus we read: ‘Judah is the Lion’s whelp,’ and again, ‘The Lion of the tribe of Judah.
In Hebrew Jupiter was called sedeq, righteous, a term specially pertaining to the Messiah. On Sept 11, Jupiter was close in the constellation of Virgo, the virgin. On Sept 3 of 3 BC Jupiter was in conjunction with Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo–Leo the Lion, which was associated with Kings, and the Lion of Judah, as foretold by the dying Jacob in Egypt in Genesis 49. 10. Also, on Dec. 25 of 2 BC, Jupiter stopped for 6 days over Bethlehem.
The only thing that could add to this would be a neon sign saying Jesus Christ, born here December 25.
The June convergence of Jupiter and Saturn would have been so spectacular that the Wise Men believed this sight was significant. It also would have coincided with the birth of John the Baptist. The Magi would certainly have seen this as the sign and began their journey which would have led them to Jerusalem. As they arrive in Jerusalem and inquire about the child, Herod asks them when they first saw the star at it’s rising. This would have been about 15 months. It is not a stretch to say that Herod rounded this figure off to 2 years to determine which children to slaughter.
The star then went before the Magi and rested over Jerusalem on December 25th. It was about a 6-12 day journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. This does not take us beyond January 6th- the traditional day of the visit of the Magi.
It is less than a week to the eclipse that marks beginning of God’s judgment on the life of Herod for his abominable crimes.
The bottom line is that I am not an astronomer, but I can still trust the science and the knowledge of those who do know. I do not specifically know Greek, yet I trust those who do. In all of this, I trust the holy Catholic Church who through history, tradition, Scripture, and science teach the whole Truth who is Jesus.
From Deepertruth, I want to wish everyone a great Advent as we prepare for the Coming of the Lord. Like the Wise Men, we are on journey.