Star of Bethlehem


The star over Bethlehem ("House of Cancer") seen in 5 B.C. would not have been the same as the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in 7 B.C. What do you suppose this star above the constellation of Cancer would have been? Perhaps one of the planets? It would surely not have been hanging literally over the city of Bethlehem, but an astrological marker of some kind. Might be interesting to use one of those computer programs and see what was going on in that part of the night sky in 5 B.C.

The Christ of Paul is far more abstract (mythological) than that of the Gospel writers, which was necessary for marketing to Gentiles. But it is clear in 1 Corinthians, one of the earliest Epistles, that Paul expects a military triumph of the Herodian Jesus to take place very soon. He urges converts to ignore material and marital concerns and ready themselves for the big day. Like his role model King Saul, Paul also expected to give way to second coming of Jesus as the new David. That day did not come, life went on, and the church adapted.


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