When Jupiter and Venus meet, it is a majestic sight to behold. But in the time of the birth of Jesus, there were several astronomical events that illuminated this planetary conjunction; including a full moon, Jupiter’s close proximity to Regulus, the King Star, and the prominence in Leo, the sign of the King. It must have been a glorious vision on that wondrous day, the day of our Lord’s birth!
For Christmas, One Saint would like to reference DR Ernest L Martin’s work, The Star of Bethlehem: The Star that Astonished the World, and celebrate the glory of God’s creation and the role it played heralding the miraculous birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder that His Firmament tells His Story?
Following, we have quoted DR Martin from an online version of his work. The Star of Bethlehem in History is the first of thirteen chapters. We recommend that you follow the link and read the entire work. It is excellent and in the spirit of Christmas that ASK ELM has posted the whole book online. You can read or listen to the entire book for free. You can find The Star of Bethlehem: The Star that Astonished the World at the ASK ELM website.
You can also listen to David Sielaff’s wonderful audio interview with George Ann Hughes at the Byte Show. These files bring us up to date, for David Sielaff continues the work of Ernest L Martin today. You will find the full interview at The Byte Show. Scroll way down to The Star of Bethlehem series, in fourteen parts.
You can also listen to all eleven parts of The Star of Bethlehem interviews Ernest L Martin did with Jeff Rense at ASK ELM.
The Star of Bethlehem in History (Chapter One)
"It was the early evening of June 17, 2 B.C.E. All the cities around Babylon in Mesopotamia were aglow with talk about a spectacular astronomical event being witnessed in the western sky. What had been monitored for several weeks was the planet Venus moving eastward among the stars on what appeared to be a collision course with the planet Jupiter. Now the expected event had happened right in front of their eyes.
“This astronomical drama being enacted in the western part of the sky showed the “collision” of the two brightest planets in the heavens. So small was the separation between them that to the naked eye they would have appeared not as two stars, but as one brilliant star shining far brighter than any other star or planet. Though the two planets were millions of miles away from one another, to observers in Babylon in the year of 2 B.C.E., they appeared as a single star dominating the twilight of the western sky in the direction of Palestine.
“This conjunction of Jupiter and Venus has also evoked the astonishment of modern astronomers. The use of computers has given astronomers today the ability to have easy reference to all the solar, lunar, planetary and stellar motions and their relationships with one another over the past five thousand years. And within the last twenty-five years no astronomical event of the past has caused more discussion between astronomers and historians than this conjunction of Jupiter and Venus on June 17, 2 B.C.E. It was Roger W. Sinnott, writing in the astronomical journal Sky and Telescope, who was the first to draw attention to this unusual conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. He said it was a brilliant “double star” which finally gave the appearance of merging into a single “star” as the planets drew nearer the western horizon. Sinnott showed that only the sharpest eyes would have been able to split them. The twinkling caused by the unsteady horizon atmosphere would have blended the two planets into one “star” for almost all viewers. “The fusion of two planets would have been a rare and awe-inspiring event.
“There is one thing for certain. This astronomical information given within this book makes this period in the history of the world come alive as never before. Whether people today view these planetary/stellar events from the early Roman, Mesopotamian or the Palestinian perspective, or even from a modern secular one, we now have clear evidence that there was once (at the very beginning of our era) a unique appearance of a magnificent star which must be called “The Star that Astonished the World.” “
Martin, Ernest L. “The Star of Bethlehem: The Star that Astonished the World.” 4 DEC 2012. <http://www.askelm.com/star/star001.htm>
You can purchase the hardbound version of The Star of Bethlehem: The Star that Astonished the World, by DR Ernest L Martin at amazon.com.