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The Star of Bethlehem: A Skeptical View Paperback – September 9, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Onus Books (September 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956694861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956694867
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,584,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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I have thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Adair's book.
Minnie
A valuable offering and necessary tool in the skeptical toolbox when it comes to debunking the Judeo-Christian historical claims.
Johnny P
I added on my own blog review of the book, that Adair's bibliography alone is of great value.
Richard C. Carrier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Johnny P on November 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a superb tour de force with regards to both a concise and comprehensive debunking of every theory which purports to show that the Star of Bethlehem was a real phenomenon.

Adair should now be seen as the go-to guy on this topic. It would be great to see him in documentaries which look into the historicity of the astrological phenomenon.

He looks at all of the theories and takes them all down one by one. A valuable offering and necessary tool in the skeptical toolbox when it comes to debunking the Judeo-Christian historical claims.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Minnie on November 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Adair's book. He is an excellent writer and proves his point many time over. Although I am a religious person.. I am open to hearing other people's ideas. I think Aaron Adair does a marvelous job in this book and has many references to back up what he feels.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eric Haas on November 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Adair does an excellent job of debunking rationalist explanations for the star of Bethlehem, leaving the star as a literary creation of the author of Matthew being pretty much the only possibility.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Richard C. Carrier on December 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
I was a peer reviewer for this book's ancient history content, and I was very impressed. I have a Ph.D. from Columbia University in ancient Greco-Roman science, philosophy and religion, and yet even I learned things from Adair's book. It contained no significant errors (within my specialization) that I could detect. The rest of it impressed me as well. So I contributed the promotional quote:

Well researched, scientifically reasoned, elegantly concise, this book will long be required reading on the ‘Star of Bethlehem’. Full of fascinating historical facts, and better informed and more careful than any other book on the subject, this should be on the shelf of everyone interested in that legendary celestial event.

I added on my own blog review of the book, that Adair's bibliography alone is of great value. Scientists will find the book especially heartwarming. Historians will as well. It even taught me a few things. Even the foreword by astronomer and science writer Bob Berman was educational, with an example of creationists even interfering in public astronomy education, through the pretext of the Star of Bethlehem literature. So Adair's book is much needed and will be of value to science educators.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James A. Lindsay, Ph.D. on December 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read Adair's book not expecting too much since I have very little interest in the Star of Bethlehem or the specifics of other nonsense miracle stories that get treated as if they are legitimate aspects of history, but I was pleasantly surprised at the thoroughness of his case. Adair uses his expertise to dispel many of the specific attempts to make the Star narrative in the Gospel of Matthew non-miraculous, leaving it hanging as the kind of immensely improbable fairy story that it is. He then goes on to use a well-researched understanding of the relevant history to undermine any hope that the narrative is more than literary creation, even if one is predisposed to believe in the existence of miracles. This, of course, strikes a major blow to the credibility of the Gospel of Matthew and thus serves as a handy reference for those preparing for debates or lectures that hope to throw cold water on that particular Evangelist.

For anyone interested in understanding why the Star of Bethlehem story and hence the Gospel that contains it cannot stand up to scrutiny, or for anyone who believes some attempt to explain it as a potential historical event of any kind, this book is highly recommended.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Aaron does a fantastic job of evaluating the 'best' theories for the Star of Bethlehem and shows how they are all lacking any kind of real evidence, both scientific and historical. He goes on to do a great job of showing how the Star should be understood as a theological event used by a Gospel writer for very specific theological reasons, not historical ones.

In short, if you have any interest in the Biblical birth stories and/or want to find out about the Star, this is your best bet. Aaron stays very focused on that target but also includes references and citations galore to other works in case you'd like to fact check or if you'd like to read more on the topic.
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