MemberDecember 1, 2021 at 10:14 am
I was introduced to The Star of Bethlehem by Rick Larson a number of years ago. I bought the DVD and shared with family members also. I had been researching the Josephus timeline of King Herod the Great and believed that, due to the eclipses mentioned by Josephus near the time of the King’s death, the accepted version of his dying in 4 BC had to be wrong. Even the closest eclipse that fit that accepted timeframe didn’t allow for all the activities of Herod before his death nor of those who buried him after his death. Rick Larson’s research gave me the understanding that the first printing of the Works of Josephus contained the error in calculations regarding the life and death of Herod. That earlier manuscripts had data showing that he would have died in very early 1 BC (January?) and not in 4 BC. This also corroberates early Christian Fathers who calculated the birth of Christ and death of Herod at 2/1 BC.
MemberDecember 1, 2021 at 11:59 am
That’s very interesting that you state your research invalidates a 4 BC death for Herod. Actually the information contained in Josephus can only result in considering a 4 BC death of Herod due to the available eclipses.
As I lay out very specifically in my book, “Herod’s death occurred shortly after a lunar eclipse during a fast and shortly before the following Passover which was thirty-four years from the time Antigonus had been executed. Since the Jewish calendar is tied to phases of the moon, a lunar eclipse can only occur at the middle of a month during the full moon phase. The only Jewish fast which occurs during the middle of the month is the Fast of Esther or Purim which takes place in February/March.” Only two eclipses occur in the middle of the month shortly before the time of Passover – on Mar 13, 4 BC and Mar2, 3 BC – during Purim – a fast. The 3 BC eclipse was of a penumbral type – very limited visibility. The 4 BC eclipse was a partial eclipse and much more visible. Antigonus, having died in 37 BC, 34 years later, Herod dies (inclusive reckoning) in 4 BC. These details are found in Antiquities, 17, 6, 4 and 17, 8, 1.
In addition, Molnar’s book “The Star of Bethlehem” lays out the astronomical events which occurred in 6 BC in great detail.
Also, the ubiquitous assumption by early Christians that the the birth of Jesus Christ happened in 304 Anno Alexandri has not been adequately recognized. This information is found in al-Biruni’s “Vestiges of the Past”. It seems much information has been lost over the centuries. This 304 date specifically points to the year 6 BC.
And my ground breaking research regarding “Eclipse Event Signs” which definitively shows that God uses eclipses to mark special events in the history of the Jewish people shows that 6 BC was in fact the birth year.
MemberDecember 2, 2021 at 7:13 am
I’ve studied the research of others more accurately, Andrew E. Steinman and Rodger C. Young, who side with the 1 BC death of Herod. Perhaps I should consider your publication.
MemberDecember 2, 2021 at 8:39 am
You will find every assertion referenced and documented so anyone can verify the information for themselves. My research ties together and gives literal and historical answers to many topics: the year of birth and death of Jesus Christ, the proper sequence of event of the Passion Week, who the Magi were and where in the Bible they were prophesied, the proper understanding of the 70 Weeks in Daniel, the proper understanding of the 430 Days of Ezekiel and how it ties to the 70 Weeks exactly, how the 70 years spoken by Jeremiah is the unrealized key to the prophetic timeline, how God marks important events of the Jewish people with groups of eclipses. All of these are explained in detailed verifiable charts.
MemberDecember 2, 2021 at 9:04 am
The main issue with my research is that I’m not “connected”. I’m not part of the prophecy industry. I’ve never been to a prophecy conference. I’m not part of the “in crowd”. You probably have never heard my research before. I’ve tried to verify if anyone has ever discovered what I have discovered. No one has. It seems people parrot the latest fad and don’t really dig in and verify too much. A lot of what Christians assume to be true these days are built on a lot of tradition and that tradition has many errors.
MemberDecember 17, 2021 at 12:01 pm
I got through watching the Star of Bethlehem video. Mr. Larsen made the statement in the video that earlier editions of Josephus pointed to the Herod of Jesus birth dying in 1 BC rather than four BC. Something you could not have known only reading modern editions of Josephus. Alleges something about twenty-two years of something to do with Tiberias got copied incorrectly to become twenty years in the versions that became our modern editions of Josephus writings.
Mr. Larsen gave a website in the video of Bethlehemstar.net Typing that link in goes to Bethlehemstar.com From there you can go to the page on the website with academic information. https://bethlehemstar.com/academic-resources/
From there you can find a link to a book
“Josephus Reexamined: Unraveling the Twenty-Second Year of Tiberius,” David W. Beyer, Chronos, Kairos, Christos II, edited by E. Jerry Vardaman (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1998) ISBN 0-86554-582-0.
From there you can find some of the key parts of the book at a google books page. From there you can read some sections of the book, including this section closer to the bottom of the available sections to read.
Josephus Reexamined: Unraveling the Twenty-Second Year of Tiberius by David W. Beyer.
Scribal errors took place… I also started to read and read or skimmed an Academia paper “The Death of Herod the Great and the Latin Josephus: Re-Examining the Twenty-Second Year of Tiberius
by Raymond J Jachowski” He (to me) fairly dealt with all the different versions that were possible in a whole slew of proposed scribal errors … but then his conclusion left him seeing a contradiction in the Bible. I’m less inclined to believe a major mistake took place with the Bible writers and I’d rather shift my support to the textual evidence from Josephus about Tiberias that puts Herod’s death back in the one BC camp.
Direct link to the Academia article that supports Ron’s position but fairly put forth the dispute and also raises other possibilities for Herod to have died later … and also he states that the four bc position requires a contradiction between gospels.
The simplest way to see the evidence for a one BC death of Herod is to just watch the Star of Bethlehem video. To get deeper look to the academic resources on the Bethlehem star website. Then to see what some critics think of those arguments go to the embedded link for the Academia article and then decide or do more research.
Chronology isn’t something I’m called to. Yet I’m just sharing this so that others may be aware of it. The video Star of Bethlehem is good. I’ll hold off talking more about it until I can better digest and rewatch and ponder the information in the video some more.
MemberDecember 17, 2021 at 12:10 pm
My research does not depend on any dates in Josephus. To be honest I’m not even sure what you are referring to. Anyway, the proof for 4 BC death of Herod has to do with details in the narrative and comparing with available eclipse data. There is no way scribal error has anything to do with that.
In any case, the death of Herod is only one data point for the birth of Jesus Christ in 6 BC. I have at least 6 others that show 6 BC is the correct year.
MemberDecember 22, 2021 at 10:49 pm
Ron, how does your date for Jesus’ birth work for the year of his death, which I think we have elsewhere agreed was 31 CE. What age does that make him… more than 33 for sure. Coming up to 40?
MemberDecember 23, 2021 at 12:58 am
That’s correct. Not 33. That seems to be one of those church traditions which is not based in reality. It seems people assumed 33 because they assume He was born in 1 AD (or 0 even though there is no 0) and that he died in 33 AD. The Bible does not give an exact number.
So yes, the evidence points to 6 BC birth and 31 AD death. There are Eclipse Event Signs for both of those years which mark God’s special action using the heavens. Jesus died when he was 35.
MemberJanuary 9, 2022 at 6:14 pm
This is a very intriguing discussion. It is interesting that Deborah Hurn estimated 40 years old according to the proposed information about the year of death of Jesus, which got my attention, because 40 years in the wilderness and 40 years old sojourning this earth seems to be a parallel having significant purpose somehow. I’ll check back for more interesting questions, research and findings about this topic. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts about this. And, by the way, The Star of Bethlehem documentary came into my life at a time when I needed The Bright and Morning Star. Life changing!!!
MemberJanuary 17, 2022 at 3:15 am
There are two very important items of evidence in the years after the crucifixion which do lend strong support for a 30 AD crucifixion date which would then support the more accepted Passover 4 BC date for Herod’s death and a birth of Jesus date no later than 5 BC.
1) The Roman siege of Jerusalem started 40 years to the day after Passover 30 AD.
Nisan 14 is the true Passover date according to Leviticus 23:5. Jesus kept the Passover on the evening before the Jews kept it (compare Luke 22:13-15 with John 18:28). The Jews to this day still incorrectly keep Passover on the night of Nisan 15 (first day of Unleavened Bread). Jesus was killed on the day part of the Passover before the start of the annual sabbath (high day) that was Nisan 15 (Leviticus 23:6-7, John 19:31)
IF Jesus was crucified on Passover in 30 AD notice what event took place 40 years <b style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit;”>TO THE DAY as recorded by Josephus:
“And indeed, why do I relate these particular calamities? – while Manneus, the son of Lazarus, came running to Titus at this very time and told him that there had been carried out through the gate, which was entrusted to his care, no fewer than a 115 880 dead bodies, in the interval between the 14th day of the month Xanthicus [same as Hebrew Nisan – see Antiq. 2, 10, 5)] when the Romans pitched their camp by the city and the 1st day of the month Panemus [Tamuz]. (War of the Jews Volume V, Chapter 13, Verse 7)
The Roman siege of Jerusalem began on Nisan 14, 70 AD – the Passover – 40 years TO THE DAY after Passover, 30 AD and remember the significance of the number 40. It is the number of trial and judgment.
2) Ongoing signs in the Temple for 40 years before Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 AD.
When Christ died there was a great earthquake and darkness, the recently deceased saints temporarily came back to physical life and there was a tearing of the great curtain that covered up the Holy of Holies in the Temple. These were great public signs God gave to the people letting them know who the true Messiah was. God gave even more public signs like these.
The Jerusalem Talmud tells us about some more of these great signs to the Jews of that day:
“Forty years before the destruction of the Temple [starting in 30 AD]
– The western light went out,
– The crimson thread remained crimson, and
– The lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand.
– They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open [These huge gates took 20 men to open and close].
(Sotah 6:3, Jacob Neusner from his book The Yerushalmi, pages 156, 157.1).
The fact that these signs started 40 years before the Temple was destroyed or from the year 30 AD is strong evidence that 30 AD was indeed the correct year for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Personally I put more faith in those signs than rather than ambiguous astronomical interpretations.
My take on the star of Bethlehem is that it is likely to have been an angel as we find that a star is a symbol for an angel in Revelation.
It’s an awkward fit to say that a star or planet moved and then directly stood over a particular house (Matthew 2:9).
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