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The Star of Bethlehem : The Legacy of the Magi Hardcover – September 1, 1999
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The story about the Star is found only in the Gospel of Matthew. There are three possibilities: 1) The star was a myth - invented by the writer of Matthew or earlier Christians whom he followed, in order to give Jesus appropriately royal auspices for his birth. 2) The star was a miracle provided by God to guide the Magi, even perhaps visible only to them. 3) The star was a natural astronomical event or events. These three are obviously mutually exclusive and exhaustive. If either of the first two possibilities are correct, there is little more to be said; therefore both of our authors give them short shrift.
Both books cover some of the same material in about the same way. Jesus was *not* born on December 25 of 1 BC as worked out by the Scythian monastic scholar Dionysius Exiguus (Denny the Dwarf) in 525 AD. King Herod, of whom the Magi inquired about the birth, died in 4 BC. For other reasons, the birth is fairly firmly dated to between 6 and 4 BC. If the shepherds were `abiding with their flocks by night', the birth did not take place in December. For various reasons, these authors agree that Spring is more likely.Read more ›
Molnar takes the astrological bull by the horns, and, combined with the very novel angle of first century coinage, provides a compelling and persuasive new theory of the true nature of the Matthean "star." Briefly, Molnar points to the language of the original Greek text of Matthew 2, and identifies unmistakable allusions to a star's helical rising, and to features of a planet's "retrograde" motion (he argues that the Greek for "went before" and "stood over" are clearly references to a retrograde loop and stationary point).
In a very well documented and easily readable account, Molnar traces the evidence to a helical rising and subsequent lunar occultation of Jupiter in April of 6 BC.Read more ›
Constructively, Molnar next shows what the Star must have been - based on what the *Magi* would have considered as important. As astrologers, they would take the Star to be a horoscope indicating the birth of a very great king in Judea. For the last decade, Molnar's scholarly articles have worked on many points of ancient astrology, where many surviving books tell us exactly what is needed for a regal horoscope and what would point to Judea. Molnar searches over a long range of time to find the one time when all the portents point to a very great king to be born in Judea. And the date fits well with all historical evidence. So I strongly conclude that Molnar has indeed correctly identified the Star of Bethlehem.
The implications of Molnar's discovery are less clear. For example, it does not decide on the divinity of Christ. Nor does it decide on the details of what actually happened.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great story- you can even do your own research using this as a base.Published 1 month ago by Raymond Flanigan
Interesting read, but I can't say I agree with all of it.Published 4 months ago by Kenneth R. Magar
Fascinating and scholarly research that posits the author's serendipitous discoveries from two fields of study to re-examine the nativity. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Tom B.
A great theory, well written, logically laid out. I appreciate the grounding in the astrological culture present at the time of Christ. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Marlin Hendricks
Molnar nails it! Finally, a definitive explanation for the elusive Star of Bethlehem. The prior reviewer's criticism about the wobble in the Earth's axis is sour grapes. Read morePublished 18 months ago by A customer