“Your Bethlehem Star Article is Wrong”
Your Bethlehem Star article is out of date. Check out www.BethlehemStar.net. Also, they recently discovered there were 2 Sejanuses to correct the date. Finally, check out The Case for Christ by Strobel.
I did indeed write the Bethlehem Star article well before Rick Larson and his Star model became better known.
However, I have come across it many times since then though I have never had the pleasure of seeing him personally.
He hasn’t convinced me.
1) He is correct that the Bible indicates that stars are for signs but it is very obscure as to what kind of signs. Psalm 19 only says the heavens declare God’s glory. The following verses he quotes don’t change the context. God’s glory is not the same as historical information.
2) The Romans 10 passage he refers to as obviously indicating that the stars communicated the “gospel” to Israel is a huge stretch for me. I just don’t see how he arrives at that obvious conclusion.
3) You mention Lee Strobel’s Case for Christ as apparently affirming something about Larson’s theory. I found no references to the Star, Wise Men, or Magi. Bethlehem was only discussed as it relates to the massacre of the innocents by Herod. However what I did find was on page 101 where Strobel mentions that Herod died in 4 BC and his interviewee, John McRay from Wheaton does not correct him.
4) From my quick reskimming of the website, Larson still does not engage the very reasonable possibility that the star was the shekinah glory of God and has nothing to do with actual astronomical events. This is still the most reasonable explanation to me. Other Christian astronomers I have consulted don’t give Larson’s idea much credit.
5) Larson embarks on a rather naturalistic, modernist explanation that is not necessary and despite his confident proclamations otherwise, has not firmly established Herod’s death in 1 B.C.
6) It’s interesting to me that the quotes he gives on the website while congratulating him for his scientific and reasonable approach, no one explicitly says they agree with him. I would think that if they had said they agreed with his theory, it would be quoted on the website.
Ray Bohlin, PhD
© 2006 Probe Ministries