The Magi's Famous Star
In the last years of the first millennium BC, a series of unexpected and often relatively discreet celestial manifestations took place over many months. The phenomena, as viewed in Mesopotamia and Iran, involved the sun, moon, as well as several stars and planets. A series of events involving a principal "star" named MUL.BABBAR by the Babylonians or Sedeq (Tzedek) by the Jews caused a small group of wise men from the east journey to Judaea in search of a messianic king. Their story is told in the opening chapters of the Gospel according to Matthew.
Today the "star" is known as the planet "Jupiter." The visible planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, all look like stars to the unaided eye. They were called "wandering stars" in the ancient world because with time they do visually move across the heavens.
This site summarizes a new concept concerning the so-called "Star of Bethlehem." Many people may have no problems with the traditional idea of a star leading men across deserts to Jerusalem and on to Bethlehem. However, some skeptics and astronomers have raised serious objections to the traditional story. It has been known even from the earliest of times that one cannot follow a normal star anywhere. Stars and planets rise in the east and set in the west like the sun and the moon. It is impossible to follow the sun or the moon through a whole night or day, in a similar way one cannot follow comets, nova, stars or planets.
Matthew's text is accurate. A real star existed, and there were real wise men. However, despite popular belief, it would appear that the wise men did not visually follow the famous star anywhere at any time. Many of the popular interpretations of Matthew's text about the star and the Magi are probably in error. This site explores these matters in detail.
While the wise men were in the east, the star became a sign proclaiming the coming of the Messiah. Above Bethlehem, the star became a sign affirming his presence in the town. The wise men were interested in signs, not directional indicators.
The Bible has been misunderstood and misinterpreted concerning the celestial manifestations accompanying the arrival of Israel's Messiah. The rest of this site explores the men and events surrounding the star.
For those who may not be familiar with the story, reading the short biblical account of the star and the Magi's visit found in the Gospel of Matthew is encouraged. See MATTHEW 2.
It is suggested that interested readers should begin by exploring the section named: KEY CONCEPTS in the menu.