The Star Over Bethlehem
The Legend and the Truth
The Christmas star has traditionally been associated with the spirit
of the celebration. What is so special about it?
The stars that appear in the sky today are the same ones that were there
two thousand years ago. Was there a nova at the time of Jesus' birth? The exact time of His
birth is not known, but astronomers cannot place a new star appearance
anywhere near the possible time. Could it have been a shooting star?
Again, the astronomers say it was not likely. A meteor lasts only a few
seconds or minutes at best. The wise men followed the star for weeks
looking for Jesus. We can rule out comets as well. They can be seen by
the naked eye for a week or months. But modern astronomers know which
comets were close enough to earth hundreds and thousands of years ago
and there was no comet visible to humans around the time of Christ's
Some star gazers suggest that if we move the birth of Jesus to the
springtime of 6 B.C., we can attribute the star to the time the planets
Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were close together in the heavens. They
formed a triangle in the group of stars known as Pisces.
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