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A Comet, Christ’s Birth, and Josephus’s Lunar Eclipse
|Title||A Comet, Christ’s Birth, and Josephus’s Lunar Eclipse|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Journal||Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship|
|Keywords||Astronomy; Flavius Josephus; Jesus Christ, Birth of; Jesus Christ, Prophecies of; King Herod; Sign; Star of Bethlehem|
A comet seen by the Chinese in 5 bc has been considered by some authors as a possibility for the Star of Bethlehem. This article starts with that premise and argues that Book of Mormon evidences reinforce that likelihood. The comet path can account for all events surrounding the Star of Bethlehem. Based on typologies in the scriptures, eyewitness reports, and the comet’s timing, the date of Christ’s birth can be determined. A proposal can then be made as to when and why the wise men began travelling to Jerusalem. The comet left a trail of debris the wise men saw on the night they located the house where Jesus was. The wise men and Joseph and Mary left Judea in mid-June of 5 bc and the slaughter of the innocents occurred later in that month. Using Josephus’s “Antiquities,” this article then argues strongly that Herod’s death occurred sometime after a lunar eclipse on September 15, 5 bc and before the next Passover. This serves also to support his death in the spring of 4 bc, contrary to some scholars who opt for a 1 bc death. This study reaffirms the reality of the Star of Bethlehem.
For a summary of this article, check out Interpreting Interpreter: https://interpreterfoundation.org/interpreting-interpreter-a-proposed-morning-star/
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