Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

4 An Astronomical and Historical Evaluation of Molnar’s Solution

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

Previously, the most prominent explanation for the Star of Bethlehem was to identify one of many astronomical events as the inspiration for the journey of the magi. However, all of the astronomical answers have detailed refutations, as this chapter will demonstrate. As astrologers, the magi would have derived meaning and importance only from arcane patterns of the positions of the seven planets, as presented in a horoscope. There would have been no meaning for ancient astrologers in triple conjunctions, Venus/Jupiter occultations, or any other spectacular astronomical event; they were looking down at their horoscopes and not up at comets, novae, or supernovae, which were never placed in a horoscope.In 1999, Michael R. Molnar proposed a completely new solution to the problem of the star, in which the star originated as a report of a natal horoscope for 17 April 6 bce. This natal horoscope shows very impressive regal portents and points to Judea. It is very improbable that such a rare planet configuration (occurring on average only once per millennium, or even more rarely) would coincide with the restricted date of Jesus' birth unless there is some causal connection. The magi were astrologers, so they were only interested in horoscopes. The primary tool of the astrologer is the horoscope, and natal horoscopes tell exactly—and only—the date, country, character, and future for the birth of a child; this is exactly the information that Matthew tells us the magi got from the star. This astrological solution ultimately provides simple and natural explanations for many of the ways in which the star operated. Notwithstanding other issues regarding the historicity of the information provided in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth, for the issue of the Star of Bethlehem alone, Molnar's astrological solution is convincing.

10.1163/9789004308473_005
/content/books/b9789004308473_005
dcterms_subject,pub_keyword
10
5
Loading

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation