Finding the Wise Men's Star- Revelation 12

Finding the Wise Men's Star- Revelation 12
Written by: Samantha Wichman

It is almost universally accepted that Revelation 12:1-5 is speaking about the birth of Jesus. Although you’ll need to do some digging to understand what’s going on, simply taking a surface glance at the passage should help you see where this correlation comes from: a woman is giving birth to a male son who will rule all nations, and a dragon is on the scene trying to kill the baby boy.

It might not make complete sense, but doesn’t it sound awfully similar to what we know about Jesus’ birth and his relationship with Satan?

Something that you’ve probably never thought of, however, are the literal astronomical implications of Revelation 12:1-5. That’s right: I’m talking about stars, planets, and constellations.

At some point in time, someone realized that the imagery in Revelation 12:1-5 links up with the movements of some constellations and celestial bodies. Scholars believe that there are astronomical clues in Revelation 12:1-5 that allow us to figure out what star the three Magi saw that led them to baby Jesus. Confirming the identity of this star also lets us know the date of Jesus’ birth.

Let’s take a look at the passage: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun,” (Revelation 12:1a) “And a great sign appeared in heaven” means that something actually appeared in the visible sky. “A woman” is referring to the constellation Virgo (latin for ‘virgin’), and “the sun” is referring to the giant ball of hot gas that’s in the center of our solar system (the Sun is just the Sun: no gymnastics required here).

If you jump to Revelation 12:3, the “great red dragon” is referring to the constellation Draco (latin for ‘dragon’).

Taking all of this together, the statement “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet” (Revelation 12:1) would mean an overlap of some sort between the constellation Virgo and the Sun, with the moon appearing below them in the sky.

Two schools of thought exist between the scholars who’ve sifted through all of this information about the date of Jesus’ birth.

The first group believes that Jesus was born on September 11, 3 B.C. This school of thought is presented in “The Star of Bethlehem: The Star That Astonished the World” by Ernest L. Martin. Martin, based on his analysis of the data, even suggests a 90-minute window of time in which Jesus was born.

The second group holds to the belief that the star the Magi followed was actually a comet that appeared on September 15, 6 B.C. The book to read to understand the beliefs of this group is “The Great Christ Comet: Revealing the True Star of Bethlehem” by Colin R. Nicholl.

If you’d like to dig into these topics more, I encourage you to check out the two books linked above.

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