The Bethlehem Star: A Documentary You Just HAVE to See

Several years ago I heard an advertisement on EWTN Catholic radio for a DVD about the star of Bethlehem. Because it was almost Christmas, and I happened to be looking for science material for my five children (my oldest son particularly likes astronomy) I decided to purchase it. I thought I was purchasing a documentary, but when it arrived and I watched it, I realized that I had purchased a remarkable tool for learning, evangelization, and spiritual growth and I just had to share it with anyone and everyone I knew...it's that good.


It is called the Star of Bethlehem, it is narrated by its creator, a lawyer and devout Christian named Rick Larson. You can investigate this phenomenal video by going to the website: www.bethlehemstar.net


By high school, teens begin to study sciences at a deeper and more sophisticated level than they had when they were children. The emphasis in the average high school is placed on discovering scientific patterns and theories that explain the universe in terms that man can understand and predict, making it much less a mystery. Man sometimes gets so caught up in his own insights and discoveries that he forgets just Who it was who designed these patterns and mysteries and then beneficently “set them out” for us to find, and si it becomes easy for some to explain away the magnificence of God.


During the time of Christ, men slept outside on their roofs to escape the summer heat, and because electrical streetlamps were not in existence, they were able to contemplate the beauty of the stars quite uninterrupted. Later in time, God would deign to allow man to understand the movement of the stars around the sun in orbital fashion and man would begin to see patterns of motion and constellations of stars that would travel together.


Some say there is a legend that God gave the story of the salvation of the world to Moses. As God told the story, he pointed out the constellations in the night sky, as an illustration, giving us the zodiac. The ancient Egyptian sphinx is it’s key, telling us to go through the 12 constellations in order from Virgo (depicted as the head of the animal and signifying the Virgin) to Leo ( the tail, the figure of Christ coming from the tribe of Judah) to understand the story of salvation. We are warned in scripture not to look upon the stars as determining the future, a trait that would make them like God, but to see them as a tool used by God to reveal His plan.


First, let us begin, as we usually do, by investigating what scripture has to say about the stars.


God is the creator of the stars:

Job 9:9: He is the Maker of the Bear [Ursa Major] and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.

Job 38:31: Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? 32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons...

Isaiah 40:26: Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Not only does scripture tell us that the stars were created by God, but that He made them in order to communicate with us.

Psalm 19: 1 ...The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world...

Later in history, when the apostle Paul is asked whether the Jews in Christ’s time knew that the Messiah had come, he quotes the above psalm saying that they most certainly HAD! He says:

Romans 10: 17: Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they [the Jews] not hear? Of course, they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

In other words, the STARS must have told them.

This verse clearly indicates that God created the stars to declare His plan and that they did somehow declare the coming of the Messiah in a way that the Jews would surely have noticed. There were other allusions to the signs in the heavens that the Messiah would be among us.

Luke 21: 25 "There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars..."

Now we are certain that there were such signs, but what were they? Modern science has provided us with the means to find exactly that. Johannes Kepler gave mankind the knowledge of the clockwork rotation of the stars and the mathematical principles required to predict it. Today’s information technology had made it possible for every human being to access this knowledge at will. Mr. Larson, the creator of the video, purchased a set of software designed to display the planets, stars, and other celestial bodies in their proper alignment and position in the sky from any vantage point on any given day, past, present, or future. You can see the possibilities that would intrigue any dedicated Christian who possessed such a tool. He set to work.


Mr. Larson determined from the account of the star in Matthew’s gospel, that there are nine facts that we know to be true about the star. He reasoned that since we believe in the truth of the gospel, all nine points must be met completely for any premise about the star to be accepted as truth.

These are the nine facts:

1. It signified birth.

2. It signified kingship.