What About That Star?

Dec 21, 2020 5:09 PM

Within the hour from this posting there will appear in the heavens a rare conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, the first in about 800 years. Many are heralding it as a fresh appearance of the Star of Bethlehem, that is, the star that guided the Magi to the newborn King of the Jews (Matthew 2:1-12).

Well, while I’m looking forward to the astronomical display, it’s probably too much to say that it is the same thing that alerted the Magi to the Messiah’s arrival and guided their journey. But it does raise the question: what was that star really?

In 2017 I appeared (it’s probably too much to say “starred”) in the motion picture Chasing the Star (a Collective Development, Inc. production) playing the legendary magi Melchior (whose name, incidentally, means “the King is my light”). Based on the episode in the Gospel of Matthew (but not too tightly bound to it because, after all, who knows anything about the magi who alarmed Herod’s court seeking help for their quest), the story is focused on the magi themselves and not on the star. It is, like the Bible itself, wonderfully ambiguous about the nature of that star. Was it a natural phenomenon, a miraculous apparition…or perhaps an amalgam of both?

Not many years ago I actually recorded a lecture on the subject. I was going to post it here, but I mislaid it somewhere. That’s just as well, because I’m sure it is in need of revision. 

But lacking that, let me in the meantime direct you to an interesting and informative article from my friend Dr. Ray Bohlin at Probe Ministries, International. "The Star of Bethlehem from a Christian View" is the transcript of a popular radio broadcast. Dr. Bohlin considers the main theories as to the nature of the star and concludes...

Well, I’m not going to tell you what he concludes. I’ll let you read to find out for yourself.

What do I conclude? Was it a natural astral phenomenon, a miraculous apparition…or perhaps an amalgam of both?

I’ll tell you later. Meanwhile, here’s the link. Check it out.

The Star of Bethlehem from a Christian View

For more about the movie, which is the second film in a trilogy, see below.

The Quest Trilogy: Trailer

Chasing the Star: Trailer