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Star of Bethlehem ???


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'Star of Bethlehem' - I am seeing in the media more and more reports about next weeks conjunction being a re-run of the 'Star of Bethlehem'.

For a kick off they are NOT stars! Giving them poetic licence and ignoring that fact I looked the location of Jupiter and Saturn around the alleged date of the happening and they were nowhere near each other!! Not even close.

See attached and notice the date - Christmas Eve just before the 'event' - I also scrolled backwards and forwards a few years each way and they were never even close to conjunction !! [I am assuming that Stellarium is accurate for years BC?]

For the pedants - you are quite right my house was not there over 2000 years ago!!!

Screenshot 2020-12-18 14.49.46.jpg

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All this talk of wise men following a wandering star to the baby Jesus made me think I would share a recent Christmas card.  Recieved from an unlikely source, a C of E Vicar and his wife. I think it

I doubt the ancients distinguished stars and planets in the way we do. Doesn’t the word planet translate as wanderer or wandering  star? 

But when you got there, did you  wash your socks by night ?

Posted Images

It's another depressing, dumbed down media rehash of partly understood facts, mostly by journos with pages to fill who have less understanding of science than my cat has ...

I've commented to a few folk  excited by the thing that if the 'wise men' were actually wise (number of them is unspecified in the bible BTW, the usual three is assumed from the number of gifts listed  ...) they'd not have been fooled for a minute to  'follow' such a 'star'

I'm just slightly relieved the astrology believers haven't had some widely publicized ridiculous contribution .... yet ....

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9 minutes ago, Ouroboros said:

I doubt the ancients distinguished stars and planets in the way we do. Doesn’t the word planet translate as wanderer or wandering  star? 

Highly likely they didn't know the difference - everything was all in the "celestial sphere(s)". As for the star of bethlehem, I think there's far too much unknown to decide either way and go beyond wild speculation. Just a filler on a slack-news day?

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By the way, when asked 'What is your star sign?' , before bursting out laughing and moving briskly away from the questioner, I try to find a moment to say

"Same as Jesus' , which alone instantly disproves the whole thing , eh ?"

Yes,I know JC's 'birthday' was randomly selected, probably with the aim of incorporating and eventually succeeding older established midwinter Mithraist celebrations, or Saturnalia, or Yule, or Hanukkah, or just the solstice, but if they believe in astrology, they probably wont know that !

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It’s always puzzled me how it’s possible to “follow” a star across a country and then have it lead you to one specific dwelling that it stops directly over. How can you tell which house is directly under a star? All this before sat navs!

Edited by Moonshed
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8 minutes ago, Moonshed said:

It’s always puzzled me how it’s possible to “follow” a star across a country and then have it lead you to one specific dwelling that it stops directly over. How can you tell which house is directly under a star? All this before sat navs!

If I followed the imminent conjunction, I'd get my feet wet somewhere around south Wales or Devon and give up 🙂

Edited by wulfrun
spelling/typo
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10 minutes ago, Moonshed said:

It’s always puzzled me how it’s possible to “follow” a star across a country and then have it lead you one specific dwelling that it stops directly over.

I once tried it and followed it across the country from Norfolk to Wales, I ended up in a field full of sheep.

Not impressed.

"Baa"

Edited by Mick H
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The magi from the East were probably acquainted enough with the movements of the planets to know exactly what a planetary conjunction was and how to predict it. The question is, what kind of omen did they connect to it.

Also, Jesus was most likely born around August.

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24 minutes ago, Ouroboros said:

I doubt the ancients distinguished stars and planets in the way we do. Doesn’t the word planet translate as wanderer or wandering  star? 

You may be surprised by the sophistication of ancient astronomy . Remember these advances were made without telescopes and with simple visual instruments to measure angles and times . Also an abacus as a calculator ... Those people were just as intelligent as we were , and trying diligently to understand the night sky.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_astronomy

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3 minutes ago, shropshire lad said:

I;m pretty sure I read that they dont know what time of year Jesus was born, but religious institutions decided that winter was free of events so went for December.

 

I think they picked December because Egyptian shepherds really love snow.

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11 minutes ago, shropshire lad said:

I;m pretty sure I read that they dont know what time of year Jesus was born, but religious institutions decided that winter was free of events so went for December.

 

I think the religious institutions stole it off the Pagan's, as they would drink fast quantities of alcohol and eat food have fun be merry, and then start arguing.

Move on too the present time it's the same as the Pagan's. 

 

Edited by Mick H
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I was given a very interesting little book a number of Christmases ago , its first chapter is 'The Bethlehem Star' , it's a cracking read

"Can Reindeer Fly ? The science of Christmas"  by Roger Highfield

Available at all good bookshops.      And amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Can-Reindeer-Fly-Science-Christmas/dp/0753813661

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18 minutes ago, Mick H said:

I think the religious institutions stole it off the Pagan's, as they would drink fast quantities of alcohol and eat food have fun be merry, and then start arguing.

 

That was my understanding, that it was a Pagan celebration -  I believe of the winter solstice December 21st - and taken over by the Christian religion as Christmas. The idea was to use an existing Pagan festival and change it to Christmas as part of the program to change the country over to Christianity and using existing festivals made the transition easier

Edited by Moonshed
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24 minutes ago, shropshire lad said:

I;m pretty sure I read that they dont know what time of year Jesus was born, but religious institutions decided that winter was free of events so went for December.

 

Far be it from me to suggest religious institutions may be fools, but if that was the reasoning , they'd not been paying attention :

Around mid winter there was Saturnalia, Yule, Hanukkah, Diwali, Sol Invictus, Koliada, plus a whole slew of now forgotten pre-christian midwinter celebrations which went  'hooray the days will begin lengthening and the grain stores might last, through the hungry gap,  so let's kill a pig to conserve fodder and throw a party !'

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47 minutes ago, Mick H said:

I once tried it and followed it across the country from Norfolk to Wales, I ended up in a field full of sheep.

Well,  funnily enough you might have been heading towards Bethlehem.......

O little (Welsh) town of Bethlehem - Ofcom

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10 minutes ago, Craney said:

Well,  funnily enough you might have been heading towards Bethlehem.......

O little (Welsh) town of Bethlehem - Ofcom

You used to be able to go to the small post office there and have them frank the stamps with their location rubber stamp... so "Posted in Bethlehem" would be on your christmas cards (for a small fee to charity) but think they stopped it.

Wales' Bethlehem prepares for annual Christmas post rush - Wales Online

 

 

 

 

Edited by shropshire lad
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18 minutes ago, wulfrun said:

It's just as well JC wasn't born in the UK. Imagine "sorry chaps, we'll have to camp for a few months coz the cloud's rolled in and we can't see the star now" 🙂

Gabriel said (who was from Yorkshire)

"There's a babby boy been booarn toneet, a reight special babby, who's liggin in a manger, wrapped up in swaddling bands, ovver in tut Leeds. God's own lad, Saviour o' World, Christ the Lord, the Messiah.

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46 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

I was given a very interesting little book a number of Christmases ago , its first chapter is 'The Bethlehem Star' , it's a cracking read

"Can Reindeer Fly ? The science of Christmas"  by Roger Highfield

Available at all good bookshops.      And amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Can-Reindeer-Fly-Science-Christmas/dp/0753813661

Had a quick read at Amazon and must say it looks good, interesting in a quirky way, humorous and informative.  Just made it onto my Santa List in the nick of time.

It’s not possible to have too many books!

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