I’m starting to see an increase in the number of visitors to this blog, but it should be more! I ask that if you are a regular visitor to spread the word. If you want to keep the Judeo in Judeo-Christian values, then mean it! Talk about this in your Bible school classes, ask your pastor about it, and tweet over and over. The Integral Existence is much more than the historical dating of important events (Nativity and Resurrection). It is proof that the Talmud, based on the Oral Law of God foretells of the birth and death of Jesus (read last week’s blog). I’m not the biggest fun of Bible prophecy, but this is a solid theory with a simple to understand verse from the Talmud. It provides evidence that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, and could help Christians to not become involved in the ever increasing anti-Semitic agenda. Last week I examined the “teachers of the law”. This week I’m examining what the Magi didn’t know in Matt 2:3-4. It states,
Matthew 2:3-4 states, When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.
Apparently the Magi did not know much about Jewish prophecy. This really debunks some of the more complex Star of Bethlehem theories. I question how complex astronomical events such as conjunction can be interpreted as Jewish signs to the Magi. It was the Magi who lost track of the Star and needed Herod’s priest and “teachers of the law” to tell them to go to Bethlehem. But, somehow conjunction theories are still popular among many theorizers. For example, In December of 1996, Craig Chester wrote in an article for Imprimis about the possibility of a conjunction being the Star of Bethlehem:
According to him, “In 3 B.C. And 2 B.C., there was a series of close conjunctions involving Jupiter, the planet that represented kingship, coronations and the birth of kings. In Hebrew, Jupiter was known as Sedeg or “Righteousness,” a term also used for the Messiah.
In September of 3 BCE, Jupiter came into conjunction with Regulus (the star of kings), the brightest star in the constellation of Leo. Although Chester does not force the issue with an exact date for the Nativity, he does think in the article that the events were enough to signal the Magi to travel to Judea. In order for his theory to hold up, he needs to go against the consensus of most historians and move the death of Herod from 4 BCE up to 1 BCE.
One of the problems with conjunction theorist is how they explain the accounts in Matthew of the Star standing over Bethlehem. Chester points out that conjunctions do appear to move when they exhibit a retrograde loop, showing both backward and forward movement. In order to give the article a feel-good Christmas mood. Chester notes that, “We do know for certain that Jupiter performed a retrograde loop in 2 B.C. and that it was stationary on December 25, interestingly enough, during Hanukkah, the season for giving presents.”
More recently, Rick Larson, a lawyer from Texas, has added to the hype created by Chester. Larson has done an ample amount of research on the Star of Bethlehem and found a new and somewhat convincing contender for it by extending the assumed date of Herod’s death, thought by conservative scholars to be 4 BCE, by three years. Like Chester, he points to other scholars, Andrew Steinmann in particular, who studied old manuscripts of Josephus and found that the date of Herod’s death might have been copied incorrectly or wrongly calculated and may have occurred in 1 BCE, not 4 BCE.
Inept copyist and mathematical errors were common until the invention of the printing press and computers. This was sometimes on purpose, and sometimes just negligent. If this theory is correct, then it contributes to an already confusing matter by adding three more years to account for in determining the date of the Nativity.
According to Larson, the first conjunction in September of 3 BCE was the Conception of Jesus, and nine months later, in June of 2 BCE, Jesus was born.[This also allows for the Magi visiting Jesus around December 25, when he was six months old. Bestowing to theory, Regulus was Jesus’ star and Leo was the constellation of Judea (supposedly based from Bible verses. Jupiter moving in front of Regulus told the Magi that Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews. Once again, this requires knowledge of the Bible, something the Magi did not have according to Matt. 2, and the ability to read the sky. The 3 extra years to the death of Herod are a mood point.
I noted in the book The Essence of Perfection that there is no primary source of this, no Magi book of secrets and horoscopes that informs us how they calculated these theories, and the fact that horoscopes by the Magi were never the same, never for an unknown king, and were based on factors we will never know, like the weather. Chester and Larson believe that conjunctions provide for a neatly compact theory, but in reality its a mess not based on Matt 2, historical artifacts, or the Old Testament.
For more on the following topics read The Essence of Perfection
1. The Integral Existence theory defined (Greek philosophical roots)
2. How a few 2nd century Church Fathers promoted it.
3. The difference between lunar (the Jewish calendar) and solar calendars (Gregorian).
4. How antisemitism and competition with pagan holidays by a few 2nd-5th century Church Fathers moved the date of Nativity from March 25 to December 25. Ending the Integral Existence.
5. How the Nativity and Resurrection fit into the Integral Existence theory
6. What was the result of Jesus’ perfect existence not only spiritually but chronologically.
1 Craig Chester, “Star of Bethlehem.” Imprimis 22(12) (December 1993): 1–7.
3 Rick Larson, The Star of Bethlehem, DVD, Stephan Vidano, Stephen Vidano Films, Mpower Pictures. 2009.
15 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest, I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.