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iamjulian

Star of Bethlehem - solved!

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hi all

The thing you are all forgetting is this is all based on a book, all beint the Holy Bible, but see it was written in past tense, after it happened.

so there was a bright star which the three wise men followed.

In those days with no light pollution, anything would seem bright would it not.

Was it not a conjuction of Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus which caused such a thing?

Now this event would have been early morning or evening for Venus to be involved.

I watched a documentary some months ago where this was explained, and a series of astrologically significant events ran up to it.

points of interest, did the chinease report such an event?

Did anyone else, like the north american indians?

There is no supernova remnant which could explain it.

The bright object otherwise could have been anything.

Thats where my thoughts go.

But neverforget one thing, the Romans did all they could to destroy christianity. As you might think, they killed christ.

So it stands to reason, without causing offense of debate, the facts might also have been distorted a little also?

ATB

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I think we need to keep in mind that "proof" of a historical event is never the same as "scientific" proof.

Scientific proof is fundamentally experimental (I did x, and y was the result) that leads to predictions of how things will work in the future (if I do x again, then y will result again).

Historical proof is not repeatable. Just because Julius Caesar's expeditionary trips to Britain happened in 55BC & 54BC, that makes no prediction of how things will happen in the future. And it is not repeatable. Historical proof involves:

* What are the earliest documents we hold for the event? If the earliest manuscripts we have (often only fragments) are from near the event, they are probably more reliable that those later that have been copied more often. However, if these earliest fragments agree with the later ones, it adds weight to the accuracy of the content of these later documents.

* How many of these manuscripts do we have, and how well do they agree? If we have hundreds of these early fragments which match the later full copy, this again adds weight to being able to trust the authenticity of the full copy, compared to having only a few small scraps of early manuscript.

* Do we have any other sources, from a different perspective, covering the same event? Any one writer (even with the best will in the world) is subject to bias. If other writers reporting the same event give basically the same facts, those facts become more reliable [e.g. the same campaign of WW2 from both British and German sources]

* Do subsequent known events in history fit with the events being related? A document that says Napoleon built submarines, clearly does not match with subsequent known history. A document stating Napoleon wanted to find a way of attacking Britain stealthily, and wondered if there was a way of doing so under water could, however, be true, because it does not conflict with subsequent known history.

Looking at the new testament as a historical document, using these criteria, we find:

The earliest manuscript fragments are dated around 120AD, within 100 years of the events they are relating (compared to Caesar's British expedition, where the earliest original manuscripts date from around 1100AD), with a total of over 5000 such original sources (compared to 5 for Caesar's british expedition). There is a lot written about the same period from the Roman perspective, whose bias was different from that of the bible-writers, e.g. Josephus, Suetonius, Tacitus, some of which relates the same new testament events, with basically the same facts (although a very different interpretation). Subsequent history matches the claim that a group of people adopted (for whatever reason) a different approach to life from that which was prevalent at the time, and this group grew in influence.

NONE of the above requires either "religion" or "faith". It is merely looking at an allegedly historical document using the criteria of historical evidence rather than scientific evidence. The fact that some people (of whom I am one ... yes, there's my bias) have decided, as a consequence of this document, to exercise "faith" does not detract from the validity of the document as a historical one. If we are going to be dismissive and debunk the contents of this document, let us at least do it on the correct grounds.

Edited by Demonperformer

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hi all

But neverforget one thing, the Romans did all they could to destroy christianity. As you might think, they killed christ.

So it stands to reason, without causing offense of debate, the facts might also have been distorted a little also?

ATB

That's not technically true.

The Jews did not have the right to perform state execution, this had to be sanctioned by the Roman Governor who washed his hand of the affair and let the mob decide, which had been whipped up by the Jewish religious leaders.

So although it was Roman Soldiers ho performed the Crucifixion it was decided to be done by the Jewish mob, think of it how the law worked for the Hangman in this county who was fined a penny for each person he killed as he had technically committed murder.

Christianity became the State Religion of Rome as they found it was growing beyond there normal control, this was done during the reign of Emperor Constantine, who interestingly enough killed all his family off that was a threat to him and only "Converted to Christianity" on his deathbed. (typical Roman style)

This is the point in time where it can be said that the Classical Roman Empire became the Holy Roman Empire / Catholic Church under the head of the Pope / Holy Roman Emperor

It is very interesting that none of the major Astrological / Astronomical (very little difference in those times like Alchemy and Chemistry) documentation brings up anything special around the time

Historical observation taken from related documentation not religious debate.

Edited by Earl

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Have a watch of this, the beginning/intro is a bit long but there's a lot of astronomy info regarding biblical happenings, I don't know how much of it is bunkum but it seems to make a very good case, as I said, be patient with the beginning, it drags on a bit.

Zeitgeist: The Movie - 2007 by Peter Joseph on Vimeo

Is that the one about how Jesus was based on many other Christ-like figures from folklore - and then randomly goes on about 9/11 being an inside job?

From what I've heard a lot of the facts are maybe not entirely false but the truth is a bit (or a lot) streched.

I would recommend a programme called "Star of Bethlehem" that was on around Christmastime this year, if anyone has a way of getting hold of it. It does verge on being a religious programme (i.e. a little bit pro-Christian) in parts if you don't like that sort of thing - but overall it reamins fairly balanced and scientific.

Edited by JamesK
Clarification.

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Is that the one about how Jesus was based on many other Christ-like figures from folklore - and then randomly goes on about 9/11 being an inside job?

From what I've heard a lot of the facts are maybe not entirely false but the truth is a bit (or a lot) streched.

Yes, hence why I referenced the section on Astronomy and religion, I tend to research stuff myself though as opposed to basing opinion on what I've "heard", and it makes a very convincing argument, it has had debunkers, mostly from the religious community, but also a lot of the 'debunking' has been 'debunked'

At risk of goint OT, I don't think there's many that would disagree that 911 was at the very least a bit 'suss'.

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Do I sense a pattern with these threads. <G> Someone posts [iMO] a potentially INTERESTING question re. the potential corellation between astronomical events and religious texts. The "atheists" give a GENERALLY negative view of the latter. A "religious person" then informs us of the LITERALITY of the their text, despite having been previously unmoved to share anything (astronomical) with the forum. Traditionally, "we agnostics" - who might attempt to reconcile the sides, then get moderated? LOL. OK, maybe not on the rather free-wheeling SGL! :hello2:

But may I actually encourage the discussion. I am acutely conscious of having lived much of my "scientific" career in a spiritual and emotional vacuum (part serious). The only recommendation for "early retirement" (there aren't many!) was a personal possibility to read outside my former (and quite limited?) subject matter. Maybe even to meet people rather unlike myself - That at least made a change... :)

I am sometimes wont to "wind back" Stellarium just to see what was around (astronomically) at the time of many past dates... The slight cynic in me suggest a rather similar human nature at least. [teasing] :)

Edited by Macavity

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Religion and Astronomy are linked.

The Study of stars for Religious interpretation developed into the scinece we have today, even though the religious aspect actively tried to suppress this more scientific approach to the study of the stars.

And it could be said that science is the latest religion.

Which completes the circle.

Religion been a ideology based upon a mythological view of the Cosmos , Science creating a ideology based on the accurate study of the Cosmos

Edited by Earl

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At the end of the day although, I do not believe in the practice of religion. I do believe that everyone is entitled to believe in what every they want within reason.

I also believe that if someone is religious and by being religious it fulfills their believes and makes them happy in what they believe in and doesn't burden them in any way and as long as they don't try and push their faith in the path of myself or anyone without it being wanted or invited then I'm all for it.

People say that religion causes wars and it probably has done in the past but it also gives those people who believe a sanctuary at times of need which people that don't wouldn't be able to turn too So for all those people that have faith I'm very happy for you as all I have is my spaghetti monster.

So lets all stop debating this and move on, no one is right and no one is wrong it happened once upon a time and I'm sure something as important will happen again in the future.

Peace

P.S - please don't let them burn me.

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A couple of points.

Completely disagree with science being the latest religion, it has always been around in various forms but not perhaps labled as science or decompartmentalised into specific areas. Also it cant be a religion as it deals with quantifiable, repeatable experiments and facts....not faith, you can prove the facts yourself.

The newest religion would be that one in the states, which i wont mention as it could start a debate which is irrelavent, that the celebs follow.

As for the book, it is interesting when various points and themes are cross referenced to other societies to try to match dates and confirm things that happened but it doesnt mean they actualy happened the way it was written or in the manner.

Look at politics today, you cant trust what is written because facts are twisted, ie WMD, but you know a war took place...the details depend on who won and who is doing the writing.

As for the star and matching it to an historical event, that is difficult as many would say a specific comet is the star as it approximates to the correct date. But, to us a few years out is around the correct date so there is a risk that two unrelated events are matched together just because they fall into the correct timezone

Lastly, it is possoble to discuss this topic without straying you just need a bit of discipline.

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Which it seems we generally lack..reading some of the othet posts

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A couple of points.

Completely disagree with science being the latest religion,.

Your missing the point.

Religion was what defined the Cosmos and your place in it based upon a Mythology.

Science does exactly the same thing just in a different way.

I think you need to view in a far broader meaning of everything and the observers place in it to see my point.

Faith and fact are just interchangeable terms from a point of view and overall are irrelevant from the position of the observers view of his Cosmos.

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Nope sorry i dont agree, fair point well put though. But one is your place in the universe based on observable repeatable experiments, the other is your place in the universe based on a different set of criterion some of which are based on emotion, some facts and some faith but not totally in the physical sense as in A causes B.

So i still disagree with you, science is not in anyway a religion in my opinion only.

We would need to continue "science religion or not" somewhere else as it is off topic...that always annoys me!

P.s i understand your view point and the broader aspects but i dont agree with them.

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observable repeatable experiments

Big bang

Inflation

Dark Matter

Dark Energy

All right, before anyone starts bashing me over the head about it, this is slightly tongue in cheek and I am not disputing the existence of any of the above. But none have been observed, or repeated. They are deductions based on our current understanding of the physical universe as we see it.

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But we have faith in them been there..

OOPS :)

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Yes, hence why I referenced the section on Astronomy and religion, I tend to research stuff myself though as opposed to basing opinion on what I've "heard", and it makes a very convincing argument, it has had debunkers, mostly from the religious community, but also a lot of the 'debunking' has been 'debunked'

At risk of goint OT, I don't think there's many that would disagree that 911 was at the very least a bit 'suss'.

Yes, I understand what you were referencing. I've watched the film myself (admittedly a fair while ago), just pointing out that a lot of well-respected websites/blogs have disputed some of the other content, and it is therefore a bit "suss" in terms of overall accuracy.

I'm also wondering how far this thread can get stretched before the "NO RELIGION" ruling comes into play. :)

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I just put -1.12.25 into Stellarium and selected the middle east. At 1800 Capella & Betelgeuse are high to the E, Procyron is in the E, Sirius is in the SE. Also high to E is Saturn. Quite a collection of bright objects in the E. Nothing much in the W, except perhaps Capella which is quite high.

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"I'm also wondering how far this thread can get stretched before the "NO RELIGION" ruling comes into play."

I for one think this thread has been a good example of being able to tackle some of the issues with restraint and mutual respect and I would think it a great pity if the mods close it down.

However, if the mods leap in and close us down, I would suggest we could set up a "social group" on the site, where the discussion could be continued in more freedom.

Edited by Demonperformer

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You missed out higgs bosen...

But then everything scientific that isnt a theory and has been proven exists via tests and experimenration, will exist regardless of what a person believes. It is a fact and physical reality.

So are scientific theories Religion...and if a religions deity becomes proven to have existed, for example another being from an alternate dimension, then that is no longer a religion but a historical figure which requires study to sort out myth from fact (or tracing down and having an interview on sky)

All very interesting but still a science is not related to a persons place in the universe or their views. It is a statement of fact based on repeatable experimentation.

A religion seems to be a mixture of many many things open to the interpretation of the individual...but it is so much more than that as well.

Interesting but firmly in the thread locking side of forum rules :-)

To confuse matters there is a form of religion where the deity has been removed and it is a celabration of science and mother earth but with similar moral rules to some relgions....discuss!

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what are the star positions like for October / November

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So, Neil, how would you go about proving that I exist to someone who does not believe that I do?

You might point to my posts on SGL, only to have your disbelieving friend say that they are fabrications of a group of mods who have decided to fool everyone by setting up an alter-ego.

You might point to my avatar and say "here is a picture", which your friend could simply dispose of as a fake: "After all, no one could really look like that", he might say (with good reason?).

You might introduce your friend to members of SCAG who have actually met me - only to have them dismissed as deluded or liars.

And yet, no matter how much your friend may think otherwise, I do actually (and factually) exist.

No ... really ... I do.

Edited by Demonperformer

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Religeon is based on peoples belief, i was the one who started the Science Vs Religeon thread some time ago which got rather heated so will not be responsible for catalysing another.

All i will say is there is evidence for and against a devine spirit if you know where to look and indeed want to look there.

The point of the thread however is, Star of Bethlehem, which does concern us and is indeed an interesting point of discussion.

The religeous significance is neither here nor there, but what was it.

I'll have a play with Starry night later and see what comes up.

Interesting though as i said, no one else reported it. No other civilisation. Or am i wrong here?

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There has been some interesting discussion but as many posters have surmised, it has become too much of a religious discussion for our rules.

Thread closed.

Mike

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