For centuries, historians, scientists and scholars have debated the existence of the Star of Bethlehem in the Biblical telling of Christ’s birth. Now the existence of this celebrated, yet debated, Star has been proven by Texas lawyer and professor, Rick Larson, in the documentary, “The Star of Bethlehem,” available on DVD Oct. 23 at national online retailers and local Christian bookstores, distributed by Mpower Pictures and Genius Products.
“Historically, people have taken two positions on the Star,” said Larson. “Either they believe the Star is true or they think it was made up by the early Church. I took a different approach in my research and treated the Star as a mystery or puzzle, looking at the Bible and comparing the facts of Scripture with facts from science and history.”
Larson’s quest for answers began from a simple effort to produce an accurate, visual portrayal of the Star in his yard for Christmas. This sent him into a whirl of questions that many people ask each time the Christmas story is told. What did this Star look like? Where did it come from? How did it lead the wise men directly to “this” Child?
His investigation took him on a journey through historical documents, scientific findings and numerous theories to discover a celestial event pointing to the vastness of God’s creativity.
“God began leading me on a journey and unveiling answers to me beyond my own understanding,” Larson said. “That God would ask someone not trained in astronomy to do this still amazes me.”
Using astronomer Johannes Kepler’s map of the solar system, Josephus’s calendaring system and Imaginova’s state-of-the-art Starry NightÂ® software, Larson pinpointed the year of the Star’s appearance. While most astronomers researching the Star only look to the sky, Larson took his findings a step further by utilizing a critical piece in the puzzle â€“ the Scriptures from the Book of Matthew.
Larson’s in-depth study of Matthew led him to nine distinguishing characteristics of the Star that helped explain its existence. These features of the Star included that it signified birth; signified kingship; had a connection with the Jewish nation; rose in the East; appeared at a precise time; was unbeknownst to Herod; endured over time; was ahead of the Magi as they went south from Jerusalem to Bethlehem; and stopped directly over the city of Bethlehem.
The Biblical characteristics pointed to the Star being a natural occurrence. Larson’s study of wandering stars, or planets, and slow retrograde motion, created a breaking point in his research. Larson discovered that in 3 and 2 B.C., Jupiter, known for ages as the “King Planet,” held the nine characteristics of the Star.
Having made this momentous discovery about Jupiter, Larson continued his study of the stars, only to find another significant link to the starry sky and April 3, 33 A.D., the day Larson believes Christ was crucified on the cross.
“After discovering all of this, I looked up at the sky and said, ‘My God, what did you do?’ Larson said. “This was poetry of terrible beauty. What the Creator revealed to me was something about His vast plan. He wrote poetry in the sky to record both the coming and passing of Christ.”
Larson has personally presented these findings to tens of thousands in the U.S. and Europe. “The Star of Bethlehem” DVD will be available Oct. 23 at Family Christian, Lifeway, Berean, and Mardel Stores nationwide or your favorite national online retailer.