Monday, September 15, 2008

Is this Jesus Christ's birthday?

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
Perhaps (in the Southern Hemisphere) we should deck the halls with boughs of spring flowers, because an English astronomer suggested that Jesus might have been born on September 15, 7 BCE.

Dr David Hughes, of Sheffield University, argued that September 15 is the real Christmas for the following reasons:

In the Gospel of St Luke we read that Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem because "... there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, every one in his own city" (Luke 2:1,2). Such a decree occurred about 8 BCE.

King Herod (Herod the Great) was so infuriated that a rival had been born (the 'King of the Jews') that he ordered the massacre of all baby boys in Israel, but Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt. They stayed there for two years until Herod's death, said to have closely followed a lunar eclipse. Lunar eclipses occurred in 4 BCE and 1 BCE.

The distinctive astronomical phenomenon that happened between 8 BCE and 1 BCE, that could be equated with the Star of Bethlehem, is the conjunction of the giant planet Jupiter with Saturn in the constellation of Pisces (considered the Zodiacal sign of the Jews). This began on May 27, 7 BCE and continued for some months – long enough for the three wise men (astrologers) to follow the phenomenon cross country. On September 15, the Magi (three wise men) would have seen a striking phenomenon, the conjoined rising of this celestial light on the eastern horizon, at sunset ...

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