Monday, December 24, 2007

A Star To Follow?

Phil at Bad Astronomy has an interesting post about the (alleged) Star of Bethlehem. Basically, it says that over the years various astronomers have tried to pinpoint the particular celestial event that would have accounted for it. The bottom line, unfortunately, is that it apparently never happened. There is no planetary alignment or supernova that would have accounted for it, and no other cultures have any record of such a "star" at that time.

But then Phil proceeds to further analyze the biblical passages which describe the event, and the bottom line is that it just doesn't make sense. The Bible, for example, says that the three Wise Guys came "from the east to Jerusalem," then later says that they saw the star "in the east."

If they saw they star in the east and traveled towards it, then yes, they would have been moving east. But the other passage says they came from the east, in which case they would have been traveling west.

Hmmmm.... Bit of a contradiction, eh?

Then there's the whole question of the Earth's rotation and how that would have affected the star's apparent location. Granted, it would have risen in the east, but then it would have traveled across the night sky and eventually set in the west. So if the Magi truly kept following the star, they would have ended up going in circles, getting sick, throwing up, becoming dehydrated, and eventually dying in the desert. Then Jesus would never have received his gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Over the subsequent years he would have grown up to be a bitter and vindicative savior.

Hmmm.... Come think of it, that's exactly how many evangelicals portray him.

No record exists of whether their camels were equipped with GPS units, like a Magellan. Then archeologists should, theoretically, be able to boot them up and retrace the precise route of the Magi.... Assuming, of course, that the batteries still work after 2,000 years.

Now I know what some of you are thinking: "Lugosi, you're a blasphemous idiot. That's the most ridiculous thing you've ever said. There's no way they could have had Magellans. Magellan wasn't born for another 1500 years AFTER the birth of Christ!!"

A good point, and one that I'm very well aware of. That's why I said "LIKE a Magellan." More likely, it would have been some other brand, such as a Pontius Pilot.

Yeah, I'm gonna burn for that one.

0 thoughtful ramblings: