Tag Archives: Star of Bethlehem

The Great Christ Comet

Just in time for the Christian celebration of Epiphany, on January 6….

A few years ago, John Paine and I (following John’s lead) introduced the apologetic work of Rick Larson, regarding the date of Jesus’ crucifixion and the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus. Rick Larson is most known for his work on researching The Star of Bethlehem.

The father-in-law of Bible scholar Colin R. Nicholl got a copy of The Star of Bethlehem DVD, by Rick Larson, and convinced Nicholl to watch it. Despite the excellent production value of the film, Nicholl was not convinced by Larson’s argument. Egged on by his discussion with his father-in-law, Nicoll left his teaching position at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary to devote himself fully to the study of the Bethlehem star. The fruit of his research is available in the new book, The Great Christ Comet: Revealing the True Star of Bethlehem. You can read a brief interview with the author at the Gospel Coalition blog.

I would normally pass over something like this, except that the book comes with some high recommendations, including megachurch pastor Louie Giglio, Oxford scholar John C.Lennox, popular Christian writer Eric Metaxis, New Testament scholar Simon Gathercole, whose work has been discussed previously on Veracity, and my New Testament professor from my seminary days, Donald Hagner, among others. I took a peak at Eric Metaxas’ interview with Nicholl and I thought I would share it with you.  As John Paine would say, “judge for yourself.” Let me know your opinion: Do you think Colin Nicholl is right?

Judge for Yourself

Here’s a short video that makes a really convincing argument in support of the dating of Easter, and may just crack the door to the possibility for new thinking.

Many Christian apologists today propose that we should apply the same burden of proof in reading the Scriptures that we would apply in a court of law.  Unfortunately our natural inclinations seem to take us beyond that standard.  Either we want a red-handed crime scene video or some elevated form of proof, or we can’t be objective beyond our own biases.

There are a lot of things we cannot know for certain, and we do indeed have to take many things on faith.  But not everything.  Isn’t it curious that once we think we know something, it tends to stay known—at least as far as we are concerned.

The truth is that modern scholarship offers up new ideas and corroborating evidence for the veracity of the Scriptures on a daily basis.  For example, among many other things I thought could not be known, I always believed that we could not know the dates of major events—such as Easter—recorded in the Scriptures.

Enter Rick Larson and others like him who are keenly inquisitive and have a passion for “puzzling things out.”  I won’t spoil the video for you, but as you consider the evidence he and others have compiled and the case they make for the exact dating of Easter, think about the burden of proof and judge for yourself.

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