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How Did the Star of Bethlehem Guide the Magi to Jesus? Catholic Apologist Explains Ancient Theories

Could there be more to the celestial story of the Nativity?

In this episode of “The Catholic Talk Show,” Ryan Scheel, Ryan Dellacrosse and Fahter Rich Pagano join Jimmy Akin for a cosmic journey through the biblical infancy narratives and the celestial phenomena surrounding Jesus’ birth!

The guys kick off by debunking the myth of a “year zero,” suggesting Jesus was likely born a little earlier than commonly thought.

There is no year zero; we go from 1 B.C. to A.D. 1. The Church Fathers broadly agree Jesus was born in the 28th year of Augustus Caesar, corresponding to late 3 B.C. or early 2 B.C.,” Akin clarifies.

Various theories, from meteors to comets, are possible explanations for the enigmatic Star of Bethlehem that heralded the birth of Jesus, but ultimately the best explanation might be involving the movements of planets, particularly Jupiter.

Akin explains, “In 3 B.C., Jupiter did this loop around the “little king” star Regulus… coinciding with the Jewish New Year, suggesting Jesus might have been born around this time.”

The guys also discuss how the Magi, known as ancient astronomers, might have been guided by Jupiter. This aligned with ancient Babylonian astrological theories which viewed Jupiter as a symbol of reconciliation. “When Jupiter reaches its halting point, enemy kings will be reconciled, so that’s a very promising sign,” Akin says.

Contrary to popular belief, the Magi were led more by interpretation than direct guidance of the star.

Akin elaborates that the Magi did not follow the star in a literal sense. Instead, they saw the star, interpreted its significance, and “it’s a providential coincidence that they saw the star when it rose” over Bethlehem on their arrival.

However, the historical accuracy of Gospel accounts, especially Mary’s eyewitness testimony, makes the Nativity story undeniable.

“We have information from an eyewitness that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in fact, from the woman who bore him in Bethlehem, that it happened in Bethlehem,” Akin says.

The guys invite listeners to remember these starry secrets that lie hidden in that silent, holy night next time you gaze at a Nativity scene!

This episode will challenge and enrich your understanding of the Nativity story. Watch it below

Click here if you cannot see the video above.

Let’s embrace the Nativity’s grace!

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