The Annual Christmas Debate

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This is your day to call in and present your argument: Was Jesus born on December 25th? Does it matter? Should we celebrate Christmas? Is it a pagan holiday? Should we “keep Christ in Christmas”? All that and more as you call in and debate the issues. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Work this out, in terms of Christmas, between you and God as individuals and families, but whatever you do, always celebrate the Messiah’s birth.

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: There is hope for America. It ties in with God’s people humbling themselves, praying, and crying out. Our God will respond with mercy.

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Other Resources:

The Annual Christmas Debate

Don’t Be Afraid of the Holy Spirit!

Your Reflections on the Son of God Movie, and Dr. Brown’s Insights on the News

72 Comments
  1. Good morning Barrett,

    One of your arguements is making assumptions about what I am saying. I have not said that the image they created was not supposed to be Yahweh. But I have maintained that it was a false god (not Yahweh, but the idol/image). Mormons and JW’s worship Yeshua, but it’s the wrong Yeshua, a false Yeshua. The New Testament recognizes this as well in Acts 7:40-41

    40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

    41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

    As Spurgeon commented, “This again is another of the ways by which men attempt to make an idol god out of something which they can see, and to rejoice in what they themselves do instead of trusting in what the Lord Jesus has done.”

    You asked me, “Why do your actions of celebrating His birth not line up with the truth of when you admit He was born?”

    – My admission was this, “…I do not know when he was born…” in post #43. My admitted conclusion was that “any day is perfect to celebrate his coming.” I mentioned that my leaning was towards the date being sometime in September or October, and since I claimed that I do not know the exact date, that any day is fine, thus December 25th is fine to corporately recognize His first coming. If I chose a day in September/October I would still be guessing and it would be no different.

    You ended with the church fathers, “Apparently the Christians of the first and second centuries including the Church fathers disagreed with you about celebrating Yeshua’s birthday.”

    – I am thankful that church fathers are not our scriptural authority as they departed very early on, on many subjects. Let’s look to the Scrtiptures themselves to determine whether the fathers were correct or not.

    Shalom to you Barrett.

  2. I personally do not like Christmas. I feel unconfortable around trees being decorated.I find it offensive. But I don’t judge anyone that does that, it is just not for me.

    Santa Clause doesn’t do anything for me. I prefer celebrating just Hanukkah.

  3. Christmas appears to be idolatry in the eyes of Jews. It looks like it but it is not. No one worships their trees nor the decorations on it. But even looking like an idol worshipper bothers me.

  4. Sheila,

    You wrote:
    “It doesn’t sound like they were all on board.”

    Ex. 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

    They all agreed. Whether they were all aboard in their hearts, who can tell? The same would be said of Churchianity at the present time. They have all confessed “Jesus” as lord and a lot will likely hear “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Every idle word we speak, we will be judged by. When we say that we will serve YHWH and obey Him and then do not, it does not matter what excuses we have.

    When we find out that He commands us to keep His Holy days and we do xmas instead, it is very revealing.

    Shalom

  5. Eliyahu Moshiach,

    You wrote:
    “Christmas appears to be idolatry in the eyes of Jews. It looks like it but it is not. No one worships their trees nor the decorations on it.”

    We are to neither make a graven image nor bow down to worship it. We are to not try to worship YHWH the way the heathen worship their false elohim. When we covet/lust after something that YHWH has forbidden us it is idolatry even if we are not bowing and singing to a physical idol. Covetousness is idolatry. Worship is more than bowing or praying to something. It is allowing it a place that compromises our complete surrender to YHWH.

    Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

    A decorated tree is not necessarily directly an idol. It is the inability to give it and xmas up that shows that we serve it. It is worship by virtue of dedication. Dedication is the ultimate worship. Yielding ourselves to obey is worship. We are the servant to whom we yield our members to obey.

    Ro 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    Shalom

  6. Benjamin,

    You say “I have not said that the image they created was not supposed to be Yahweh. But I have maintained that it was a false god (not Yahweh, but the idol/image). Mormons and JW’s worship Yeshua, but it’s the wrong Yeshua, a false Yeshua. The New Testament recognizes this as well in Acts 7:40-41”. I could not agree more! And I said as much in my last post. In fact you are making my point for me. It does not matter if we claim or think that we are worshiping YHWH if in reality we are disobeying Him. The Israelites were trying to worship YHWH but they failed miserably! They were not worshiping YHWH, they were disobeying Him. And I submit to you again that when Christians are celebrating Yeshua’s birthday they are not worshiping YHWH, they are disobeying Him. I agree with you that Scripture should be our guide. And Deut12:30-31 Says not to worship YHWH with pagan practices. I did not bring up the early Church fathers because I believe that they are infallible or authoritative. Although I do find it interesting that early Christianity believed and taught that celebrating the birth of Yeshua was a pagan practice and was not to be done. And while not authoritative. I believe it to be strong evidence for my position being the correct understanding of the Scriptures on this subject. My position on the subject can be traced back to the Christians of the first century. While you simply cannot claim the same for your position.

    When I asked about the truth that you admitted I was not referencing your belief that Yeshua was born in the fall. I was talking about when you said “it’s true that December 25th was not His birthday” post #40. So again I ask, why do your actions(celebrating His birth on Dec 25th) not line up with the truth that you admitted(that He was not born on Dec 25th)?

    Shalom

  7. The Christian use of December 25 pre-dated the pagan use of the date, according to what some historians have recently put forward. Food for thought.

  8. The “Christian” use of 12/25 did not originate with the scriptures, the apostles or those that came after them. That is something to think about also. Paul and Peter and Messiah warned that there would be apostasy coming post haste. John said that it was already starting.

    Shalom

  9. Bo,

    Mikra Kodesh is definitely not Christmas according to the Tanach and Brit Chadashah.

    But likewise, Hanukah is not a Mikra Kodesh neither is Purim. Neither are the middle days of Pesach on which the resurrection of Yeshu is claimed to have taken place.

    So Easter and Christmas are not Mikra Kodesh according to Torah.

    But Judaism took on new days for a yearly remembrance, to honor YHWH. Purim with Esther and Hanukkah with the Maccabees, which Yeshu celebrated.

    Yet these are not a holy day of remembrance – my definition of “Mikra Kodesh” but rather Mikra Hol. These are non holy days, or better yet just regular days, like a birthday party or an anniversary.

    Christmas and Easter are the mikra hol of the Christians, meaning regular days. At best its a birthday party for Yeshu and at worst it is Santa Clause, rein deers, elves, presents, going in debt with gift buying, etc,

    I personally don’t like Christmas or Easter, it is just not for me.

    Actually MLK Day is like Christmas, one seeks to honor MLK and the other seeks to honor Yeshu.

    Christians really believe they are honoring Yeshu on this day.

    Yet idolatry surrounds this day. The 25th day of December.

    That is like a Catholic wanting to honor Mary the mother of Yeshu, and invented an idea that she was born on Halloween. And every year we celebrated Halloween with costumes and candy to honor Mary’s supposed birthday.

  10. Hi Eliyahu! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen your name come up. I hope you’re well!

    What do you mean you celebrated Mary’s birth on Halloween? The Catholics do that? I never knew that. I knew it was “All saints eve” when the souls of the dead walk the earth, but, never knew anything about Christian tradition with it.

    I never liked Halloween at all. It was spooky.

  11. Barrett,

    Actually, I think there’s some truth to the claim made by a well known theologian, Dr. Michael Heiser, who used a computer program to run the alignment of the stars and planets backwards to the conjunctions found in the book of Revelation, and what he found will startle you! I tend to believe he has the right formula to work with and the Bible, too, tells us that God set the signs in the heavens for all to see, therefore we are without excuse for not believing~~as Peter was saying of the Hebrews of his day.

    To consider that when the universe came to be, the birth of Jesus was already written into the very fabric of the heavens is an awesome truth to consider!

    You can see Dr. Heiser’s youtube clip by following the link below. Also, if you can watch “The Star of Bethlehem” by a lay person, his last name is Larson, but, I can’t think of his first name right now, you’ll have even more to think on. If you can find a video with the bonus material at the end, watch that one as it will give you cold chills……

    When did the heavens tell of Jesus’ birth? Listen to this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZhfp02PsS4

  12. Barrett,

    Good afternoon friend. Thank you for pointing out an error that I made in my statement, “it’s true that December 25th was not His birthday”. That was a false statement the way I had worded it, I should have lessened its intensity by adding alternatively “likely was not”, since indeed it very well could have been the date He was born on. I cannot prove that it wasn’t. My statement was overly strong, to the point of inaccuracy. Thank you again. I tracked down the paper Dr. Brown mentioned about the date actually being December 25th (I hadn’t listened to the broadcast until yesterday as I was out of town when it aired), and as Mike said, it was well written and gave me lots of things to ponder in regards to the date and when it began to be observed.

    I respect a believers choice to not celebrate Christmas, as I equally respect the choice of those who do. I do not see the arguments presented here, against, aptly being applied to Christmas as observed by the body of Christ, or some being relevant to the issue at hand.

    For anyone who is curios and has some time, here is the paper Dr. Brown discussed: http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/58/58-2/JETS_58-2_299-324_Simmons.pdf

    Sheila, if I have time tonight or tomorrow I’d like to throw around some ideas together with you regarding the Heiser video you posted and how it may or may not tie into other thoughts on the subject. 🙂

  13. Hi Sheila!

    Michael Heisers astronomical video was interesting in how it interpreted the constellations and his connection of it to Revelation 12.

    I’m not sure if Heiser associates other meaning to it as well or if he takes it purely as descriptions of the constellations (and their associated meanings). I understand the passage in Revelation 12 somewhat differently so now my task is to see if they agree with each other or diverge.

    It seems that Revelation 12 describes the Jews flight out of Israel starting with a historical review in verses 1-5.

    1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

    2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

    3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

    4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

    5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

    These verses summarize the entire life of Messiah, starting from before He was born up to His ascension. John saw two signs, the first in verses 1-2 where Israel is pictured as a woman, a motif taken from the Old Testament understanding of Israel being the Wife of Jehovah. The sun, moon and twelve stars are all common Old Testament representations of Israel. The background for this sign in Revelation 12 is found in the Old Testament dream of Joseph in Genesis 37:9-11:

    9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

    10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

    11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

    From these Old Testament passages we learn what the sun, moon and stars mean. The sun represents Jacob, who was renamed Israel, and both of these are often used to represent the entire nation. The moon is Rachel, who is representative of Jewish women, especially Jewish motherhood (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:18). And the twelve stars represent the twelve sons of Jacob, the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel.

    An interesting thing here is that normally when the word ‘star’ is used symbolically, it always refers to angels. Star was used this way several times in prior chapters of Revelation and is used again this way in verse four, where it is taught that one-third of the angels God created fell with Satan. Verse one may be the only exception to this rule since it’s based on Joseph’s dream and represents the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel. Though there is a difference between what Joseph saw and what John is seeing. In Joseph’s dream, he actually saw stars, which represented the twelve sons of Jacob. When a star is used symbolically for an angel, no actual star is seen. An angel is seen, but called a star, such as Revelation 8:11; 9:1, etc. What John saw was an angel, but called him a star since that was the Old Testament symbol for angels. Joseph actually saw stars, but they represented his brothers. The woman here, arrayed in the sun, moon and stars then represents Israel. In verse two she is seen in the final stages of pregnancy, about to give birth to a child. The vision is of the nation of Israel just prior to the birth of the Messiah.

    The two signs come together in verse four. Satan brought his entire demonic host out of his third abode. Using his permission of access to the earth, he brought them down to slaughter the child about to be born. This attempt to devour the child was the slaughter of the babes of Bethlehem in Matthew 2:16-18. Verse five points out the failure of Satan’s attempt to destroy the child. This child, destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron survived until His proper time for death. After His resurrection, He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father.

    John’s vision then moves forward to things that are yet to come, verse 6 being one of them:

    6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

    With Satan’s attempt against the child thwarted, he now turns against the nation that produced Him.

    The woman comes back into the picture in verses 13-17, picking up where verse 6 leaves off:

    13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

    14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

    15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

    16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

    17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    Now to some of the questions I have in regard to constellations seen in verses 1-4:

    1. Was John seeing constellations and stars in the heavens, or was he seeing a vision and not actual stars? In considering this I thought of previous chapters of Revelation where John sees many things in heaven, and hears them talking, angels, elders, etc. If it was constellations, what do we do with John seeing these stars flee into the wilderness and others persecute the remnant of believing Jews who did not escape. In other words, they move, so was he seeing or describing constellations?

    2. Does this line-up of the constellations indicate the timing of Yeshua’s birth? I’m not sure how often this occurs, or if it has occurred only once. And it’s always fun to discover major events that occurred at the same time as another important event, in this case, our Messiahs birth and the lining up of these constellations, but the question that keeps coming to me, is: Why does this line-up indicate the ‘timing’ of His birth? I consider that the vision John sees encompasses much more time than just the birth, but prior and much later events as well such as the ascension and Jewish flight into the wilderness, etc.

    3. If Jesus was born on the feast of Trumpets, Matthew and the other Gospel writers most likely would have mentioned it since it was very important the them to let us know in the Gospels when Jesus did something on a feast day. Specially Matthew who wrote to Jews. It’s not impossible, but would most likely have been mentioned if it was on a feast day. Funny thing is that I have historically been one who believes he was born on a feast day. But recently I’m open to other times as well. I’m torn at the moment so to speak : )

    4. One other thing I think of is if it matters that John is seeing this vision 60 to 95 some odd years after the actual event of Messiah’s birth? Was he seeing a constellational line-up from a few decades ago or were they possibly lining up at the time of his vision? From my understanding he wasn’t actually seeing stars.

    There is a lot to consider. I would like to see a longer, in-depth discussion by Heiser regarding this view since he said that none of the other timing considerations prove to be problems for this view. And why he believes that the lining up of the moon under her feet ‘times’ the birth.

    I always find it fun to think about and examine these things, looking at various interpretations, etc.

  14. Hi Benjamin, I’m just now seeing your post. Let me read over it several times and I hope to get back to you this evening after dinner!

    Looks like a great discussion to have!

    Thanks!

  15. Hi Benjamin,

    I fell asleep early last night and forgot we had some birthdays to celebrate today at my sister in law’s. We have so many people in the extended family that we group them together every couple months. I’ll get with you tomorrow as it’s about 10:30 pm now.

    It’s a topic I find very interesting, especially in light of this years numerous blood moons!

    Talk to ya tomorrow!

  16. Hi Benjamin,

    I’m running late. I had some thoughts I was typing up last night, but, I fell asleep and my laptop went ahead and downloaded the updates I had postponed and wiped out my unsaved document. Oh well, I’ll just go from here.

    I think the quest for the planetary conjunctions of the time of Jesus’ birth began with what some people think (believe) it must have been that the Magi saw that would have convinced them that “The” King of the Jews had been born! There’s been books written about the conjunctions that occurred in the time frame from the death of Herod, trying to line up which planets and stars would have led them to believe the promised Messiah had been born. I read one of them years ago now, but, I can’t for the life of me remember the author or even the title right now. I’ll look in the den for it tomorrow. It seems there’s a theory that in the writings of Josephus, there was a copying error and when scholars were going by the death of Herod, they had the wrong date and that threw all previous notions of the right time/year/conjunctions off! That would do it for sure, but, I don’t think anyone before Larson, and then Heiser, ever even mentioned the book of Revelation. I could certainly be wrong, but, I don’t remember any when I was researching it many years ago.

    You asked, “1. Was John seeing constellations and stars in the heavens, or was he seeing a vision and not actual stars?”

    I think it could have been both, especially in the case of Rev, chapter 12, that tells of the birth of Messiah. It’s my opinion that Revelation was first and foremost a vision and a warning of the eminent destruction of Jerusalem and the persecution and death that many believers had suffered and would continue to suffer under the emperors of Rome. Like many other prophesies, there seems to be a “near/far” correlation that can be made. The near warning was of the destruction coming in their day and the farther application is of the “Day of the Lord” and of antichrist.

    I think John’s inclusion of the birth of Jesus as it had been written in the stars was in keeping with the story of the wise men from the east coming to find the “King of the Jews” because they’d seen his star and followed it to Judea because that’s where it appeared to “stop” and in traveling there they learned that Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. This news, especially after the slaughter of the innocents there, would not have been soon forgotten by anyone. The heavenly signs that accompanied Jesus’ birth was very likely noised about all around Judea, is what I would think. We later have Psalm 19 used in Paul’s short discourse on “why” the Jews should have known of Messiah in Romans 10 where he pulls out various verses from the FT as witness to the truth. He quoted almost word for word from Psalm 19 that tells us about the heavens declaring the glory of God.

    1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    And the firmament shows His handiwork.
    2 Day unto day utters speech,
    And night unto night reveals knowledge.
    3 There is no speech nor language
    Where their voice is not heard.
    4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,
    And their words to the end of the world.

    I think Paul’s tying the two events together and making his case, that surely you people standing here know of the planetary conjunction we all saw (or heard of) about 30 yrs. ago and the wise men who came looking for Messiah and of Psalm 19! But, that’s just my understanding of it. He could just as well have been one of those Bible students that can find a verse for any situation at all! 🙂

    I have to believe, though, that because of God’s calendar and the way in which He designated the Feast Days for Israel according to the lunar cycles, that the movement of the heavenly bodies would have been something they were used to observing. That and we have Jacob’s dream involving the heavenly bodies, which you pointed out, and He said they would be for “signs and seasons” and we were not to worship them as the pagans did. I’ve always seen instances in which our adversary makes a counterfeit of the truth to throw us off….so, in having people looking into astrology and the taboo of it, we left off the importance of “astronomy” and it wasn’t until the advent of the computer that anyone at all can run the planetary bodies backyards and discover these things! I don’t know, but, maybe the blood red moons are serving a purpose as well. We should be prepared to accept some things as “signs” seeing that God set up the very time of His birth when it all began!

    To your other questions:

    “2. Does this line-up of the constellations indicate the timing of Yeshua’s birth? ’m not sure how often this occurs, or if it has occurred only once. And it’s always fun to discover major events that occurred at the same time as another important event, in this case, our Messiahs birth and the lining up of these constellations, but the question that keeps coming to me, is: Why does this line-up indicate the ‘timing’ of His birth? I consider that the vision John sees encompasses much more time than just the birth, but prior and much later events as well such as the ascension and Jewish flight into the wilderness, etc.”

    I agree with you. I think it’s only just those few verses in Rev. 12 that are literal events from the past and the rest of the book is yet future. But, maybe he’s wanting to alert us that we may be getting some heavenly signs ourselves when the end is drawing nearer? Because there sure is a great deal of heavenly imagery going on. Perhaps the symbolism that John used throughout the book has been lost on us today? I would think, though, that if it was known in ancient times we would have discovered it by now.

    A little bit about the reasons for some thinking it was Jesus’ birth being described is from what we do know of the ancient symbolism of the planets. I can”t take credit for any of it myself. 🙂

    The moon has always been symbolic of fertility and new birth.

    The planet, Venus, is also associated with women and it’s one of the brighter ones we can observe by plain sight. It’s also a metaphor used by Jesus in Revelation in association with Himself. I think it hearkens back to Balaam and his prophecy.

    “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult” (Numbers 24:17).

    Revelation 22:16, which says, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

  17. Sorry, my keyboard got hung up so I went ahead and posted what I’d written so far. I’ll pick it up later today as I’ve got to get ready for another Monday!

    …it’s a cliff hanger…

  18. Good morning Sheila,

    Interesting thoughts.

    I guess you could put me in the “supernatural” line of thought on these occurances.

    I will use “the King of the Jews’ star” as an example that the Magi from the east followed. I do not see it being a star or astonomical event (planets, etc) for a number of reasons due to the actions of this star.

    1. This star is referred to as his star or “the King of the Jews’ star” in a way that the other stars simply cannot be.

    2. This star appears and disappears.

    3. This star moves from east to west.

    4. This star moves from north to south.

    5. And, this star hovers over one single house in either Bethlehem or Nazareth, pointing to the place where the Messiah is.

    There are a couple of ways you could take #3, either the Magi saw the star over Judea from the east where they were, it caught there attention and they traveled to Jerusalem from Mesopotamia. Or they saw the star “in the east” near them, and it guided them by moving to the west. I tend to think that they saw the star far away over Israel, it was new and caught there attention by it’s actions and led them to believe it was the King of the Jews star.

    Regarding #2, it appears and dissapears. The wise men saw it from the east, but at some point it dissapeared since when they arrived in Israel, they no longer saw the star and went to Jerusalem and inquired of King Herod, where is he who is born king of the Jews? If the star/planet was still in the sky they would not have had to inquire of Herod. We also see that when Herod sent them on their way, they rejoiced when they saw the star again, indicating it’s reappearance.

    #4 relates to Number 3 in that after the star lead them from east to west, when they left Jerusalem, it leads them North (if Jesus was in Nazareth at the time), or South (if Jesus was in Bethlehem still). So the star that lead them West, is now leading them either North or South, something an astronolical event cannot do (unless God changes their course).

    #5: Notice the star ‘went’ (it moved), ’till’ it ‘stood over'(stopped moving) where the young child was. Matthew 2:9-11:

    9 And they, having heard the king, went their
    way; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

    10 And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with
    exceeding great joy.

    11 And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him;…

    – It also seems that the star indicated to them the very house that Mary and the Messiah were in.

    The root for the Greek word “star” means “radiance” or “brilliance.” This brilliant light that the astrologers were witnessing was not an ordinary star, but rather the appearance of the Shechinah Glory of God. In the Old Testament, the Shechinah Glory is the visible manifestation of God’s presence. In most cases, the Shechinah Glory came in the form of a light, fire, cloud or some combination of these three things. In Babylon, when this light, a brilliance, a radiance, first appeared, it may have looked like an ordinary star from a distance, yet its actions demonstrated that it was no ordinary star. What these Magi actually saw was the Shechinah Glory. When they saw this Shechinah Glory, this unusual brilliance, they deduced that it was a signal that the King of the Jews, the Messiah, had finally been born. They deducing this from both Daniel and Numbers.

    This post was more just about astronomical views and supernatural views, and is sort of off the main topic of the stars timing His birth. Though I do find the astronimcal view interesting.

  19. Hi Benjamin,

    There’s some interesting things, though, in the way certain of the planets and stars behave that would have been noticeable and maybe even familiar to the astronomers/astrologers in Babylon.

    The Zodiac, for instance, is a very old grouping that all had names that never changed since the time of Lot where we first hear of the Mazzaroth, which I believe is the same as the Zodiac.

    All ancient people got a much better view of the heavenly bodies than we do today and those that studied them would have been very excited to see the conjunctions they did!

    They didn’t differentiate between planets and stars as we do, to them they were all stars. I think the brilliant star they were following was a conjunction of the planet, Jupiter and the star, Regulus, if I’m remembering correctly. I’ll check to make sure.

    Once again it’s late and I’ll try to better explain what I’ve heard of the conjunction that made so much sense to me. The star of Bethlehem and that in Revelation is speaking of the same event.

    Talk to you then!

  20. Hi Benjamin!

    Sorry, I’ve been sick now with a bad head cold that’s got my chest a bit sore too. All this extreme wind together with the frigid temps and rainy days!

    I don’t know whether you had a chance to watch the Youtube video of “The Star of Bethlehem” which does speak to the star that guided the Magi. Larson doesn’t contend that Jesus was born on December 25, but that the stars were continuing their celestial dance in the sky at that time. The retrograde motion of the two as they circled each other, caused the one to be behind the other and then “reappear” as if by magic and with the retrograde motion the brightest star in the heavens at the time time indeed appeared to “stop!” I can only believe that God when He called them all by name set them up as signs to announce and bear witness to the greatest event in the history of mankind; the birth and adulation of our Messiah!!! So, the first “gifts” were given in worship and celebration of that event by the magi from the east on December 25th, 1BC!!!

    Here’s the video and I hope to be feeling better soon and talk some more as I find it awe inspiring that God placed these signs in the heavens as a further witness for us!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyAoNOc_gjg

    Oh, what an awesome God we serve!

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