Evidence for Jesus’ miracles has been hotly debated over the centuries, and now one astrophysicist claims there is evidence for the Star of Bethlehem that led the Magi to the baby Jesus Christ.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, when one skeptic wrote an article claiming that Jesus Christ never existed, both atheists and historians disputed this controversial idea. Archaeologists also recently announced scientific evidence for the existence of King David and Solomon of the Bible. There was also a rumor going around that written evidence for Jesus’ miracles had been documented by a historian of the time period.
Many aspects of the traditional Christmas story about Bethlehem have come under attack by various scholars. One claims that Jesus Christ was born in a house, not a manger, as described in the Bible and shown in nativity scenes. One Israeli archaeologist even claims a secret Nazi enclave in Bethlehem of Galilee is the real birthplace of Jesus.
Going against this trend, Dr. Grant J. Mathews, a professor of theoretical astrophysics and cosmology at the University of Notre Dame and the director of the school’s Center for Astrophysics, believes the astronomical event that led the Magi to the manger where Jesus lay is quite real. The only dispute Mathews has with the Star of Bethlehem is that it may have not been a real star, since people of that time period would have perceived a star to be a bad omen.
“It’s probably not a ‘star’ somehow hovering over a manger and pointing a beam of light as we traditionally view it. Any new star or comet in the sky was usually taken as a harbinger of disaster at that time,” Mathews said. “It was most likely an unusual planetary alignment.”
If the planets were to align in that era, Mathews believes it was the “occurrence of the Sun, Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in Aries, with Venus in the next-door constellation Pisces along with Mercury and Mars on the other side in the next constellation Taurus.” The ancient astronomer Ptolemy is said to corroborate this theory since the constellation Aries is associated with ancient Israel.
Michael Molnar published his own ideas on this theory in The Star of Bethlehem, and in a recent interview with Christianity Today he offered an exact date for when it occurred.
“I was amazed to find April 17, 6 B.C., was exactly when Jupiter was ‘in the East,’ a morning star,” Molnar said. “So I knew I had an answer to the Star of Bethlehem.”
This would mean that when the Bible speaks of the “the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was” would have referred to the planet Jupiter coming to rest in Aries.
“The other planets and the Sun and Moon being there would have strengthened this and held great significance to the Magi,” Matthews said. “That is why they would have arrived in Herod’s court to ask, ‘Where is new born ruler of Judea?'”
Out of all of Jesus miracles, Mathews said that such a planetary alignment is truly unique since it will not occur again for the next half a million years.