Anyone who has followed me for while knows that I believe that Jesus was born during the Passover month of Nisan in 5 BCE. This is based on information from the Talmud and the Chinese who observed a comet during that same time. I write about this in great detail in my book, The Essence of Perfection. But, from time to time I’m confronted by someone who has been falsely deceived into believing that that Jesus’ Star of Bethlehem was a planetary conjunction. Nowhere in the Bible are celestial conjunctions used to predict or warn the people. Prophecy given by God to the Jews was done through dreams, angles, or God directly speaking to people, and never through interpretations of conjunctions. But, today some are using the signs in the heavens to justify current or future events. The alignment of Jupiter and Venus are not signs from God, only natural occurrences. Never-the-less, people can use the flexibility of conjunctions to proclaim them as "signs" for the second coming of Jesus or the birth of Jesus. For example, one of the more well known is from Rick Larson, a lawyer from Texas who believes the Star of Bethlehem was a conjunction.
According to Larson, a triple conjunction started on September 11, 3 BCE, which he believes was the Conception of Jesus. This was the first meeting of Jupiter and Regulus (looking east). Regulus is the brightest star in Leo and thought to be very special. The nation of Israel is often referred to as the “Lion of Judah,” so this meeting would have been important to this theory. Then, nine months (the duration of a pregnancy) later, on June 17, 2 BCE, Jupiter and Venus (the planet of mothers) met in Leo (over Israel this would have been in the west), and it would have been a very bright “star” indeed. This would have marked the birth of Jesus. Then on December 25, 2 BCE, if you were in Jerusalem looking south toward Bethlehem, Jupiter would be “standing” in Virgo, the constellation of the Virgin (Mary being a virgin). Larson believes that this was the day the Magi visited the baby Jesus.
Major flaws include; First, many nations are represented by lions, its too easy to speculate. Second, most historians agree that Herod died in 4 BCE, thus Jesus could not have been born after that in 3 BCE. Third, Herod's sons date the beginning of their reigns as 4 BCE. If you believe Herod was a mega-manic, you know he would not have shared his reign with anyone. His sons would have to wait for him die. Fourth, the Magi did not chart horoscopes for unknown people. They were for mostly the rich, or soon to be new royalty. Their horoscopes were based on many factors we can not possibly know today. For example, the weather and direction and speed of the wind was important in their predictions. This means each was different and unique. Also, there is no evidence from the Bible that combined conjunctions and prophecy. Finally, there are no primary sources from this time that mention anything special about the 3 BCE alignment. I have not found mention of this or any other conjunctions from any Babylonian sources or other sources. This also includes Jewish sources. The Jews were not astronomers, and focused only on Moon phases and Lunar and Solar Eclipses. This is very muddled research conducted by Larson. All of this information is easy to find. I know many Christians have watched Larson's documentary have been inspired by it, but his research is not valid, and way too much speculation is involved for any real historian to use. Whenever confronted with someone who believes strongly on the Star being a conjunction, I ask them these questions.
Time to wake up people, Jesus was Jewish, and the last Jewish Patriarch. His life was perfect. Not only spiritually, but also chronologically based on the Jewish calendar. He was born during the month of Passover and died during the month of Passover as foretold in the Talmud just as Isaac before him. If you want to know more, follow me on twitter! Until my next post, as always GO WITH GOD!
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.