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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:43 pm 
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A must read article!

THE STAR OF CHRIST IN THE LIGHT OF ASTRONOMY

Extracts:

"Abstract

Centuries of both theologians and astronomers have wondered what the Star of Bethlehem (Matt 2:2, 9) actually was, from miracle to planetary conjunction. Here a history of this search is presented, along with the difficulties the various proposals have had. The natural theories of the Star are found to be a recent innovation, and now almost exclusively maintained by scientists rather than theologians. Current problems with various theories are recognized, as well as general problems with the approach. The interactions between the sciences and religion are categorized and explored.

“‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him’… and lo, the star which they had seen in the east went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was” (Matthew 2:2, 9 NASB).

With these few clauses, the impact of the stellar light known as the Christmas Star, the Star of the Wise Men, or the Star of Bethlehem is impressive, having generated a substantial quantity of literature (Freitag 1979). Presented here is a two-millennia history of the debate about the Star and its relation to the sciences, with emphasis on the last two centuries. Although there were centuries of astrological speculation, this overview shows that naturalistic theories of the Star are a late innovation that began with apologetic attempts in the nineteenth century and not long after left the mainstream of biblical scholarship, leaving mostly astronomers to give credibility to this tale. With this historical background, an assessment of the interactions between religion and science is provided."

"We see unanimously from the earliest Christian commentators to the High Middle Ages, that there were no attempts to see the Star as some natural light in the sky or astrological sign, but rather a miracle (Allison 2005, 18–21). In later centuries, views on astrology would change, and likewise interpretations of the Magi story."


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:02 am 
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natselection1st wrote:
A must read article!

THE STAR OF CHRIST IN THE LIGHT OF ASTRONOMY

Extracts:

"Abstract

Centuries of both theologians and astronomers have wondered what the Star of Bethlehem (Matt 2:2, 9) actually was, from miracle to planetary conjunction. Here a history of this search is presented, along with the difficulties the various proposals have had. The natural theories of the Star are found to be a recent innovation, and now almost exclusively maintained by scientists rather than theologians. Current problems with various theories are recognized, as well as general problems with the approach. The interactions between the sciences and religion are categorized and explored.

“‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him’… and lo, the star which they had seen in the east went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was” (Matthew 2:2, 9 NASB).

With these few clauses, the impact of the stellar light known as the Christmas Star, the Star of the Wise Men, or the Star of Bethlehem is impressive, having generated a substantial quantity of literature (Freitag 1979). Presented here is a two-millennia history of the debate about the Star and its relation to the sciences, with emphasis on the last two centuries. Although there were centuries of astrological speculation, this overview shows that naturalistic theories of the Star are a late innovation that began with apologetic attempts in the nineteenth century and not long after left the mainstream of biblical scholarship, leaving mostly astronomers to give credibility to this tale. With this historical background, an assessment of the interactions between religion and science is provided."

"We see unanimously from the earliest Christian commentators to the High Middle Ages, that there were no attempts to see the Star as some natural light in the sky or astrological sign, but rather a miracle (Allison 2005, 18–21). In later centuries, views on astrology would change, and likewise interpretations of the Magi story."

A for effort natselection1st, thanks for posting it but, that article was disappointing. Notice how it provides nothing more than a one-sided brief history and borders on incomprehensible? The author obviously knows very little about this subject outside the Christian mainstream status-quo. I suspect the author is a Christian who knows nothing about the pre-Christian mythological/astrotheological background primary source evidence such as has already been provided throughout this very thread. I was hoping for something interesting in that article as I was reading it, but it never came. I was really disappointed because the abstract you quoted sounded so good. I suppose it would be a good article for a Christian who wanted a one-sided brief history.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:05 pm 
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FTL,
What you say is true but there are some "inadvertent admissions" if you will that makes it stand out to me.

Examples:

Quote:
Ultimately, naturalistic explanations for the Star of Bethlehem came to exist because of the conflict between the scholars’ beliefs in the authenticity of the Bible and its marvels along with the nonmiraculous world. These efforts included reinterpreting—practically rewriting—the texts to make them better fit some possible physical event in order to guarantee the authenticity of the revelation from the Evangelists. The weaknesses in the approach did not take long to be noticed and were in a generation overrun by what has become the modern consensus: the authors of the Gospels were not concerned primarily with history but with theology, and their stories must be viewed critically.


I think everyone here would say (A)men to the last sentence highlighted above! Further, such a admission admits astro-mythology or astro-theology as the possible explanation for what is not fully fiction per se nor an actual historical occurence.

Quote:
For example, the theologian Heinrich Voigt (1911) tried to argue for an astrological hypothesis, but he considered much of Matt 2:9 to be metaphorical, allowing him to redefine most of the Gospel episode. However, one new step was taken by Voigt concerning the Evangelist's language. The phrase in Matthew 2:2, 9 was reconsidered and thought to mean not that the Star was seen “in the East” but “at its rising,” in particular a heliacal rising. Hence, a piece of astronomical terminology was woven into the First Gospel, giving renewed probability to astronomical/astrological Star theories. That the Evangelist used exacting terminology as well as metaphorical language may seem peculiar, but this was the proposed model.


Here is where the authors ignorance of the possible astro-mythological or astro-theoogical implication of what Voigt was trying to convey. The phrase "at it rising" brings to mind Sirius, the dog star of the Egyptians.

Quote:
However innovative, his view on the Greek phrase would be attacked and called naïve by no less an authority on philology and ancient astrology than Franz Boll (1917). Voigt was also ridiculed by the famous philanthropist and theologian Albert Schweitzer, saying how Voigt's astrological arguments were “not worthy of a German professor of the twentieth century,” that “ideas of this sort should not even be toyed with,” and he complained about Voigt's lack of consideration of objections (Schweitzer [1913] 2001, 464–5)


The above quote displays a specific instance of the one-sided treatment you may be talking about. Calling it naive rather than demonstrating why this explanation is wrong is of no use in evaluating the objection.Albert Schweitzer may here be using the earlier version of the "no true scholar" fallacy. Again none of these objections are presented here. I guess the author thinks repudiation and refutations are the same things.

Quote:
The last professional book on the subject by an academic theologian was a student of Zahn, Oswald Gerhardt in 1922, and by 1970 nothing in the peer-reviewed biblical journals was being written by professional Bible scholars defending the historicity or physical nature of the Star (for the last such article, see Gaechter 1968).

With the idea of a physical Star dead or dying in theological circles, the early twentieth century seems to be the time when astronomers became the primary advocates.


I guess theologians were waking up to the fact but this idea continue to permeate the world of ordinary believers and apologists.

Quote:
Little suggests a consensus is likely to emerge in the near future among the scientists that explore this issue, while biblical scholars either ignore this area of inquiry or do not accept the results while make passing and dismissive remarks about Star scholarship (cf. Brown [1977] 1993, 610–13; Beare 1981, 75, 80; Davies and Allison 1988–1997, 1:246–7; Luz 1989, 132; Allison 1993; Funk 1998, 508; Freed 2001, 92; Dunn 2003, 343–4; Holtmann 2005, 13,153; Nolland 2005, 109–16; Borg and Crossan 2007, 182; France 2007, 68–69, 74; Ehrman 2009, 32). As one scholar puts it, “The leading of this star is so obvious that it requires no scholarly interpretation. It points out the exact house where Jesus has been born. As a sign, it appears to function as a divine portent so blatant that any fool could follow it” (Powell 2000, 11). Another says, “If the apologists are right [about the Star], the Bible is wrong” (Price and Lowder 2005, 13). More notably, “No recognized New Testament scholar, Catholic or Protestant, would today seriously defend the historicity of these narratives” (Spong 1992, 44–45).


Quote:
If any breakthroughs are likely to happen, it will be concerning either the history of astrology or the Greek of Matthew. Molnar has already tried to relate particular words from the Nativity to astronomical/astrological language, which has not been accepted by Greek-reading scholars. While the phrase likely pertains to the rising of the Star, reading this as a heliacal rising is unlikely, since the term used by ancient astronomers was (Boll 1917; Roberts 2007, 120–1). The inability to read Greek is a pervasive issue among Star proponents who make numerous and sometimes ghastly mistakes.7 In spite of these rationalistic labors, some astronomers have called the story a legend, especially when comparative mythology place the tale in the same category of many other legends of past heroes (cf. Cullen 1979; Voigt 1989; Berman 2001; Jenkins 2004; Hansen 2005; Adair 2007; Plait 2009, 59–67). To quote Otto Neugebauer on recasting miracles including the Star: “I think it better simply to discard such sources for the reconstruction of historical data”(1975, 608).


Quote:
The defense of the Star's reality would better fit with apologetics and evangelism, which can be seen by the use of Star scholarship


In sum there was a lot of waffling and that shows the gymnastics that otherwise intelligent persons will perform when their faith conflicts with reality!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:13 pm 
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I've just stumbled across this blog by Aaron Adair and feel it must be addressed:
Code:
The Star and Zeitgeist
http://gilgamesh42.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-star-and-zeitgeist.html

Aaron, there are many sloppy errors here that show you've not actually read any of Acharya's work and are relying on others who also have not studied Acharya's works. For starters, you say that "Zeitgeist," Part 1 is "based on astrology or astrotheology." This assumption is false, as astrology as we know it today and astrotheology are two completely different things that have next to nothing to do with each other. It's a sloppy and egregious error. Had you read Acharya's work you'd already know this fact.

It's also very biased to provide completely unrelated trash from Richard Carrier about Luxor, Egypt, without providing Acharya's responses to it. Acharya S has responded to Carrier's trash, demonstrating he made sloppy and egregious errors in his criticism of her work. Carrier simply doesn't have the integrity to admit his errors, especially since he got caught by Acharya herself (I guess Carrier assumed she couldn't read German). Carrier has never been a reliable or credible source on the work by Acharya S, as he has never read a single book of hers and doesn't know her work at all. Harshly criticizing another's work one has never read is well known as intellectual dishonesty. Carrier and his fanboys will continue to spread these lies across the net without any regard to accuracy at all; it's an embarrassment to all freethinkers, mythicists etc..

Quote:
"However, in "skimming" Brunner's text, as he puts it, Carrier has mistakenly dealt with the substantially different Hatshepsut text (Brunner's "IV D"), demonstrating an egregious error in garbling the cycles, when in fact we are specifically interested in the Luxor narrative (IV L)."

- Luxor

Parallelophobia, personal attacks and professional jealousy: A response to Richard Carrier's 'That Luxor Thing'

Is Jesus's nativity an Egyptian myth?

What Egyptologists (and other scholars) say about Egypt's role in Christian origins

Myopia is not expertise

Aaron Adair wrote:
"Most all her secondary scholarship is at least a century old, a time when quality was much lower in scholarship."

These are lies spread across the net by mendacious people who also have never read a book by her, and/or it's just an attempt to smear the author by bludgeoning her to death with a few minor errors from her first book from 1999. Acharya is in the process of writing a new 2nd edition. It's also incredibly unscholarly to smear all scholars of the past century by claiming that "quality was much lower in scholarship." That's a malicious lie - these older scholars were often better educated than most people are today. They actually read Greek and Latin on a regular basis, and they studied the primary sources in their original languages.

Aaron, it's important to keep in mind that you are a Grad Student at OSU for physics, not theology, not mythology - nothing related to these issues. What linguistic skills have you - do you read ancient Greek, Hebrew, Latin or Egyptian? Acharya S specializes in linguistics, and she cites the primary sources and highly respected scholarly commentary on them from relevant experts - another fact that one would already know had one actually read her work, instead of lying about being an expert on it.

Aaron Adair wrote:
"the connection to December 25 is a false lead because, again, the Christians didn't think Jesus was born on that day until centuries later"

It's significant to realize that it was Christians themselves who chose that date based on their own research at the time. It's still the date used to celebrate Jesus's nativity to this very day. Celebrating birthdays was not a popular theme in those days, in fact, they were against it. It's still just more evidence that Jesus is a mythical character. This is an absurd straw man argument that holds no water at all. "Christmas" was established in imitation of solar mythology. So too was much of the gospel story, which actually has indications of the winter-solstice birth as well. If you read Acharya's ebook Jesus as the Sun throughout History, you would comprehend the significance, but you haven't read Acharya's work and are just pretending to be an expert on it and on the subject. You aren't.

Quote:
"The birth of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ are detailed in Luke chapter 1 and chapter 2. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the CONCEPTION of John the Baptist was September 24th. While the feast celebrating his birth, known as St. John's Day, is June 24th - coincidentally 3 days after the summer solstice. This puts Jesus' birthday, which the bible says is 6 months after John the Baptists', at Christmas. It's also significant to keep in mind that St. John's Day is one of the first or oldest celebrations of Christianity."

- John the Baptist and Jesus' Birthdays

"Were the Chalki manuscript of Hippolytus genuine, evidence for the December feast would exist as early as c. 205."
- Catholic Enc. "Christmas"

Aaron Adair wrote:
"all the historical and mythological connections are not valid, the astronomy is wrong, and the match between the alleged myth and the Gospel story is poor"

A ludicrous assertion, to say the least, that demonstrates you are extremely ignorant of the subject. From what I've seen from you so far, I don't think you've studied the issue well enough to jump to such assumptions:

The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ

Zeitgeist Part 1 Sourcebook with the transcript & sources

Aaron Adair wrote:
"The much more popular account given by biblical scholars is citing Jewish literature which definitely influenced early Christianity, namely the Star Prophecy of Numbers 24:17. It was used by numerous Jews, including Josephus, rabbis in the Talmud, and the Qumran sect."

Acharya discusses Numbers 24:17 in 'The Christ Conspiracy' and 'Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection.'

Aaron Adair wrote:
"I hope this helps you. In the mean time, I strongly recommend you be careful about your authorities. See what their sources are, if they cite primary literature rather than old, secondary literature, and if their work has had peer review. It's the only way to have some confidence in the facts presented; otherwise, your have to check everything yourself, thus making the book a pointless read since it didn't inform you but for your own research. Save yourself the time and headache."

What your comments in this blog help me with is in determining that you've never read a single book by Acharya S and are in no position to comment on the subject, as your assumptions are false, and it appears you've gotten your information about this author from others who also have never read her work, yet they're prejudiced against it (misogyny ?). I hope you will be more responsible and careful next time. You have lost all credibility and reliability here on this blog regarding "Zeitgeist," Part 1 and the work by Acharya S, who has never used the name "Dorothy," which is just a sign of disrespect on the part of those who use it.

Aaron Adair, age 27:

- Grad Student - Physics
- Ohio State University Researcher/TA
https://plus.google.com/113175244343413640359/about

kirk703's channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/kirk703

Star of Bethlehem Index
http://gilgamesh42.blogspot.com/2010/11 ... index.html

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:13 pm 
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So, we have Neil Godfrey's new blog:
Code:
The Star of Bethlehem — the “common-sense view”
http://vridar.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/the-star-of-bethlehem-the-common-sense-view/#more-33027

Then, we have the anti-ZG1, anti-Acharya crusader Aaron Adair posting a link to his article (linked on the previous page) in the comments.

I was unaware that 'Aaron Adair (Gilgamesh)' created a video:

Code:
The Star of Bethlehem & Zeitgeist - Is It True?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUr0IFF6_48

Comments in that Youtube video by Maber01 are right, Aaron Adair is either not aware or purposely being dishonest. It's as if he's being paid by Richard Carrier to smear Acharya S.

The 3 Kings & Sirius definitely point to the place of the sunrise & peeps can see it themselves as I, and many others do every year.

Neither ZG1 (Zeitgeist part 1) nor Acharya ever claimed that Sirius and the 'Three Kings' in Orion's Belt only align to "point to the place of the sunrise on Dec 25th" but, what's significant is the winter solstice, which either Aaron Adair doesn't understand or never checked to find out that it's proven to be a well known Pagan sun god celebration date for thousands of years - long before Christianity was ever invented. Orion, 3 Kings, Sirius were all important to the Egyptians as primary sources prove, which again Aaron Adair is either unaware or omits.

Jan 6th was the winter solstice in other calendars, which is another point in fact that Aaron Adair appears to know nothing about. This alone proves Aaron Adair has not studied this subject at all and are only out to smear others to make himself appear smart. This should not be acceptable at Ohio State University.

Aaron Adair appears to know absolutely nothing about the pre-xian Pagan history of celebrating the sun god around the winter solstice. Due to that fact, the premise is flawed making his entire argument a truly pathetic one as he's essentially claiming that the whole thing was made up whole clothe.

Quote:
Your Thoughts on Bethlehem's Starry Night (from 2007 ?)

"The name "3 Kings" is from later Christian tradition and the only place I have found using that designation for the belt stars is in South Africa."

- Aaron Adair

Notice he doesn't provide a source or citation? It appears that this article is from October 2007, just a few months after Zeitgeist came out in June. So, this guy, Aaron Adair, has been an anti-ZG1 and anti-Acharya advocate basically from the start. Thing is Aaron Adair studied physics - he is not any sort of theologian or astronomer or biblical scholar:

Aaron Adair wrote:
"...my paper on the Star of Bethlehem was cited extensively earlier in that forum, so you can see that I have studied theological literature and the interpretation of the Star for the last 2000 years. Since that made it through peer-review among those that are theologically mindful, that should give me a bit of credit about when I speak of things related to the subject."

There's no doubt that when dealing with religious concepts that are thousands of years old that much has been lost &/or destroyed. It's always a work in progress as we could always use more credible evidence but, what this guy, Aaron Adair, is doing in his Youtube video is not much different than what the bigoted Christian fundamentalists Keith Trash and Chris White are doing by omitting primary sources and highly respected scholar commentary on them that prove them wrong. Aaron Adair appears to be another Pseudo-skeptic like Ed Winston and company over at 'skeptic project.' This guy is simply not a credible or reliable source for information on this subject.

The question is how did Aaron Adair's article even make it through the peer review process? I think we know why - very few are well informed on the subject including those who supposeply peer reviewed it. I'd like to know who these "peers" really are - Rook Hawkins, Neil Godfrey and Richard Carrier?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Ok, so now Aaron Adair has published his book and gotten Dick Carrier to write a blurb for it on the back cover as well as a review claiming to have debunked Zeitgeist part 1, Astrotheology and Acharya's work. I see the same sophomoric errors right off the bat that were in Adair's stupid Youtubue video and several posters even point them out - I find it very difficult to believe this guy, Aaron Adair, has ever spent even one day in any astronomy course as he makes the same sloppy and egregious errors as Christian apologist from Jerry Falwell's 'Liberty University' Dr. Mark Foreman.

Zeitgeist part 1 wrote:
"... The Three Kings and the brightest star, Sirius, all point to the place of the sunrise on December 25th. This is why the Three Kings “follow” the star in the east, in order to locate the sunrise — the birth of the sun."

Notice how the narrator of Zeitgeist, Peter Joseph, says: "POINT to the PLACE of the sunrise"? He's not talking about the sunrise itself there so, that error alone debunks Aaron Adair's entire premise on that issue. Anybody can see Orion and Sirius moving east across the night sky POINTING to the PLACE of the sunrise. I find it laughable that anybody who's taken an astronomy course could possibly make such a noob error as anybody who's spent any time looking at the stars already knows that one cannot see the stars when the sun is up, DUHH! That's why astronomers work at night, silly, and usually as far away from city lights as possible! It appears that Aaron Adair never heard of these basics before. This is an error that is simply inexcusable for someone like Aaron Adair who proclaims to be some sort of astronomer who's taken astronomy courses - and Richard Carrier wrote a blurb for his book? Seriously? :lol: Carrier has a very bad habit of jumping the gun on these issues such as when Carrier claimed Lippard's blog as "the best critiques" for debunking Zeitgeist yet, Lippard's blog was annihilated in the comments area with links to the facts and credible evidence that proved him wrong. So, what does that say about Carrier's opinion on the subject of astrotheology? - the biases and utter ignorance from Carrier and Adair are as transparent as glass for all to see.

Zeitgeist never claimed that it only happened on just one night anyway so, this is merely another straw man argument from Aaron Adair, and a pathetic one at that. Zeitgeist Part 1 is only around 25 minutes long so, it never intended to cover everything, obviously, but it sure did hit a nerve didn't it? Aaron Adair should read what a professional astronomer, Dr. Edwin C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, has to say about all this.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not tossing out the baby with the bathwater, I look forward to reading the book at some point and making good use of any accurate info and sources, however, from what I've seen thus far, his utter biases against Zeitgeist part 1 and Acharya's work is sloppy and full of egregious errors. On the subject of Zeitgeist part 1 and Acharya's work (which I'm not sure is even mentioned in Adair's book, 'Star of Bethlehem'), it's blatantly obvious that Aaron Adair starts with pre-conceived conclusions and goes from there. On that point, we will prove with primary sources and scholar commentary on them in Acharya's book, Christ in Egypt, (which Aaron never read) that Aaron Adair is attempting to argue far above his station.

To be more clear, not having read the book yet, we probably don't take issue with his work regarding the 'Star of Bethlehem,' there's likely plenty we agree on, my problem is with what I've seen from Adair's own videos and blogs claiming to have debunked Zeitgeist and Acharya's work, which is specifically what I'm talking about above when I say "sloppy and full of egregious errors." He made errors that nobody who's had a single day in an astronomy class could possibly make and that's what leads me to believe on that subject Aaron Adair starts with pre-conceived conclusions and goes from there and he's suppose to be "an astronomer and physicist?" :roll:

I'll come to back to this issue when I have more time, but I could certainly use your help addressing the errors so, feel free to get started:

Code:
The Star of Bethlehem: A Skeptical View by Aaron Adair
https://www.amazon.com/Star-Bethlehem-Skeptical-View/dp/0956694861/truthbeknown

The Star of Bethlehem & Zeitgeist - Is It True?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUr0IFF6_48

Richard Carrier Review
https://gilgamesh42.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/richard-carrier-reviews-my-star-of-bethlehem-book-talks-about-the-problems-with-astrotheology/

The Star of Bethlehem: The Definitive Takedown
https://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4746

Star of Bethlehem Conference in the Netherlands: October 23-24, 2014
http://www.rug.nl/research/kapteyn/bethlehem2014

Code:
"... when I think of astrotheology, what comes to mind is the work of Acharya S/D.M. Murdock and its use in part 1 of Zeitgeist. There are two major things that I will consider here from that work: the astrotheological version of the Star of Bethlehem, and the importance of the precession of the equinoxes. Now, I did consider looking at this idea about the Star in the book, and perhaps I should have."

- Aaron Adair, from the Carrier Review blog
http://gilgamesh42.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/richard-carrier-reviews-my-star-of-bethlehem-book-talks-about-the-problems-with-astrotheology/

Aaron Adair, thanks for admitting that you did not study or research any astrotheological evidence and neither did any of the scholars you cited in your book and leave it to Carrier to fail to notice. So, I'd expect the Star of Bethlehem Conference in the Netherlands to be another circle jerk and complete waste of time same as your book. Why have a conference on a subject that none of the scholars have any evidence because they fail to even investigate any astrotheological evidence? What on earth are they going to talk about?

Dick Carrier's blurb from the back cover:

Quote:
"Well researched, scientifically reasoned, elegantly concise, this book will long be required reading on the 'Star of Bethlehem'. Full of fascinating historical facts, and better informed and more careful than any other book on the subject, this should be on the shelf of everyone interested in that legendary celestial event."

- Richard Carrier

A blurb from Rook, who was probably the guy who peer reviewed the book as these guys are buddies :lol: :

Quote:
"While the argument that the ‘Star of Bethlehem’ story is a myth isn’t a new one, Aaron Adair—an astronomer and physicist at The Ohio State University—offers a look into the past through the eyes of a scientist, while not once ignoring the value of New Testament scholarship. This is a must-read, and perhaps the definitive, book on this subject".

- Thomas Verenna / Rook Hawkins

Here are a couple comments from Carrier's review admitting he hasn't researched this subject to any meaningful degree. So, it's probably fair to assume he never covered the subject in his soon to be published book on Jesus:

Quote:
dean3333: "I recall that DM Murdock researched that celestial announcements were not uncommon in the savior-god motifs. It’s likely that the “star” pronouncement myth has its roots in astrotheology."

Dick Carrier's response: "That’s tricky because sources are a mess. I haven’t seen good evidence that it was so widely used (like, actual evidence, rather than scholarly conjectures, and evidence pre-dating Christianity. ...I also haven’t specifically researched it that much, so there might be good sources that just haven’t yet been pointed out to me), but Adair mentions the ones I know are well documented (not for savior gods, but kings and emperors and generals)."

dean3333: "I know that Christopher Hitchens once stated that the legend around the birth of “dear leader” in North Korea was a star announcing his birth."

- The Star of Bethlehem: The Definitive Takedown

Towards the end of Carrier's blog he states:

Quote:
"...every Jesus mythicist who attempts to make an astrotheological argument for the origins of Christianity and (especially) the construction of the Gospels is just engaging in a Rorschach inkblot test ... That doesn’t mean astrotheological theories are necessarily false. But it does mean none can be proved even probable on present evidence, so the whole attempt should be abandoned."

- Richard Carrier

Sorry, but this is one of the DUMBEST things I've ever read. Only a COMPLETE IGNORAMUS would make such a comment. We have tons of facts and credible evidence from antiquity that prove astrotheology, both pre-Christian and into the Christian era, specifically about Jesus and Christian doctrine.

Well yeah, this study should certainly be abandoned by the likes of Carrier who admits he's never studied the subject of astrotheology. And this is the same guy going around giving lectures telling people not to read Acharya's work and advocating extreme censorship about Zeitgeist part 1 saying: "Zeitgeist and all copies of it should be burned", even though, in his last several videos over the last couple years Carrier has repeatedly brought up the "celestial Jesus." Does Carrier not realize that is just another way of saying "astrotheological Jesus?" I like Carrier's last few videos and even post them in my Jesus Challenge thread but, Carrier apparently has no idea that his work on Jesus is very compatible with Acharya's work in astrotheology and mythicism - probably because Carrier has yet to read a single book of Acharya's but smears her regardless, perhaps out of bad habit. It's still unprofessional, it's still intellectually dishonest and an epic disservice. Carrier claims Zeitgeist part 1 and Acharya's books just make more work for him - well he has certainly made more work for us having to esssssplain his sloppy and egregious errors on a subject he admits he's never studied.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:24 pm 
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Stumping for Utter Ignorance

Quote:
"...every Jesus mythicist who attempts to make an astrotheological argument for the origins of Christianity and (especially) the construction of the Gospels is just engaging in a Rorschach inkblot test ... That doesn’t mean astrotheological theories are necessarily false. But it does mean none can be proved even probable on present evidence, so the whole attempt should be abandoned."

- Richard Carrier

Sorry, but this is one of the DUMBEST things I've ever read. Only a COMPLETE IGNORAMUS would make such a comment. We have TONS of FACTS from antiquity that prove astrotheology, both pre-Christian and into the Christian era, specifically about Jesus and Christian doctrine.

What about the testimony of Philo and the astrotheological origins of the 12 tribes? Throw it all away? Josephus and the same about the 12 tribes? Toss it into the garbage can! Justin Martyr with his comparisons of Jesus to various astrotheological deities - useless to the study of Christian origins? Clement of Alexandria and the Gnostics, who equated the 12 signs of the zodiac with the 12 disciples - let's ignore them too? In other words, let's be ignorant of the very subject matter we're studying!

And what about all the ancient Semitic, Egyptian and Greek texts with the blatantly obvious astrotheological roots of religious ideas found in the Bible - throw all this KNOWLEDGE and DATA away? Shall we deny petulantly the insightful words of Dr. Robert M. Price, as here?

Quote:
"...many, many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets, and constellations…

"Who was Moses the lawgiver, originally?... He was, I venture, another sun god…. The basic Moses mytheme is that of the sun (god) which emerges from the tent of concealment, the night, and bestows commandments upon a king. Like many other mythical sun-characters (still reflected in Elijah, Esau, Samson and Enoch), and other gods, too (Gad, Miriam, Jubal, Joshua), Moses must have begun as a god pure and simple, but as Hebrew religion evolved toward monotheism, the stories could only be retained by making the gods into human heroes."

--Dr. Robert M. Price, "Of Myth and Men"

Oooh, don't look - shield your eyes!

Let's tell theologian Dr. J. Glen Taylor that his book about Yahweh as the sun should be abandoned!

We should ignore also all the data I've compiled in my ebook Jesus as the Sun throughout History? Pretend like thousands of Christians haven't called Jesus the "Sun of Righteousness," per Malachi 4:2?

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Shhh! Don't talk about Christmas as the winter solstice! Don't look at Thomas Paine's words here:

Quote:
"The Christian religion and Masonry have one and the same common origin: Both are derived from the worship of the Sun. The difference between their origin is, that the Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun, in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun, and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun." --Thomas Paine, Age of Reason

Quick - abandon Paine and follow Carrier!

Carrier's just shot himself in the foot again, as he makes himself irrelevant to the study of Christian origins by essentially saying that we should be ignorant and not even study them seriously.

It is obvious that he doesn't want to take the time to study the subject, which can be found in numerous ancient texts from around the Mediterranean in various different languages. It's hard work to dig through these ancient texts in multiple languages, so that might explain this lazy hand-waving dismissal of a huge body of literature dating back thousands of years. Much easier to say, "Everybody follow me! I'm the one true path!"

What an arrogant and egotistical thing to say. Unbelievable.

I suggest that we abandon those who would wish to keep us ignorant.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:29 pm 
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Carrier wrote:
That doesn’t mean astrotheological theories are necessarily false. But it does mean none can be proved even probable on present evidence, so the whole attempt should be abandoned.


Well, as Carrier has recently conceded, so too is the mythicism of Jesus unprovable, but with things like Bayes' Theorem one can assess whether it's probable or not, based on the currently available body of evidence.


On another note, since when does Rook qualify as a peer for academic review?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:35 am 
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Richard Carrier wrote:
every Jesus mythicist who attempts to make an astrotheological argument for the origins of Christianity and (especially) the construction of the Gospels is just engaging in a Rorschach inkblot test ... That doesn’t mean astrotheological theories are necessarily false. But it does mean none can be proved even probable on present evidence, so the whole attempt should be abandoned."


This error is widespread, and easily refuted, for those with ears to hear. The sun is the light of the world, and Jesus is allegory for the sun. This is simple and obvious unless you are blinded by irrational prejudice.

Christian apologists ignorantly say that the claim that the ancients had any concept of zodiac ages is the equivalent of pareidolia, imagining figures in clouds. This line of argument is just wrong. The basic difference between the patterns of stars and the patterns of clouds is that the stars are still the same in their relative positions as they were in ancient times, so the imagined figures, such as the fishes of Pisces and the water bearer of Aquarius, are still the same except for tiny stellar motion and the fact that they now rise one month later than in Biblical times. This stability of the stars is why Plato in the Timaeus used the stars as his symbol for eternal constancy.

The slow movement of precession was known to astronomers before the common era as the third motion of the sun after the day and the year. It is a completely reasonable theory that this basic marker of time was used as part of the general theory that events on earth reflect the course of the visible stars, that the will of God is done on earth as it is in heaven, as Jesus allegedly put it. The myths associated with the stars such as Perseus and Andromeda, or the animals of the zodiac, are simply using the stars as mnemonics for popular stories. To say these stories are like inkblot tests ignores that stars are stable and their stories are shared and stable while inkblots are random and their stories are merely personal and variable. I think what Carrier and Christian apologists cannot imagine is the scale of total depravity that was required to suppress the ancient system of natural theology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_test explains the origin and use of the inkblot as a way of diagnosing mental illness. Carrier appears to be insinuating, in his typical insulting arrogance, that you have to be mentally ill to investigate the hypothesis that the ancients encoded stellar imagery in their myths, even though this hypothesis is abundantly scientific. He seems to have such an emotional aversion to this whole area of study that he seems to be afraid of getting infected if he takes any interest in ancient cosmology, so he dismisses the whole topic with irrational fear.

In fact, the astrotheology of zodiac ages is nearly as simple as the claim that when the hour hand on a clock reaches one it is sixty minutes after the hour hand reaches twelve. For the ages, the equivalent of the hour hand is the position of the equinox against the background stars. The stellar symbols of the movement of the equinox are encoded in numerous Biblical images, such as the alpha and omega, the Christian fish, the covenants of law and grace, the twelve jewels, the loaves and fishes, the dragon and the bear-lion-leopard, the idea of a thousand years as a day, and the woman with the moon at her feet. These images make simple sense against simple stellar observation available to the ancients, and are otherwise incomprehensible. The meaning is consistent and contains a high level of scientific explanatory power, entirely unlike the random psychological dreams that Carrier uses to demean astrotheology.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:17 pm 
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The Star of Bethlehem/in the East, Three Wise Men/Kings, Sirius and Orion

Robert Tulip wrote:
Richard Carrier wrote:
"...every Jesus mythicist who attempts to make an astrotheological argument for the origins of Christianity and (especially) the construction of the Gospels is just engaging in a Rorschach inkblot test ... That doesn't mean astrotheological theories are necessarily false. But it does mean none can be proved even probable on present evidence, so the whole attempt should be abandoned."

This error is widespread, and easily refuted, for those with ears to hear. The sun is the light of the world, and Jesus is allegory for the sun. This is simple and obvious unless you are blinded by irrational prejudice....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_test explains the origin and use of the inkblot as a way of diagnosing mental illness. Carrier appears to be insinuating, in his typical insulting arrogance, that you have to be mentally ill to investigate the hypothesis that the ancients encoded stellar imagery in their myths, even though this hypothesis is abundantly scientific. He seems to have such an emotional aversion to this whole area of study that he seems to be afraid of getting infected if he takes any interest in ancient cosmology, so he dismisses the whole topic with irrational fear...

As our dear Robert - who, as opposed to the irrational, fearful and lazy critics, actually is erudite about this subject - has analyzed so well, this dismissal is absolutely ludicrous and born out of bigotry, cultishness and other mental problems, apparently.

I've been reading the wonderful book by a REAL, professional astronomer, Dr. Edwin C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, called Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths & Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars & Planets. I include several quotes here to demonstrate that, not only are these critics completely wrong about the subject of ancient religion in general - having not studied it at all, apparently, before dishonestly pretending to be "experts - but they are also way off base when it comes to this particular subject of the "star in the east," Sirius and Orion. Of course, we already knew that fact, because they obviously are too lazy to read my 12-page chapter in Christ in Egypt about the same subject, which provides texts from antiquity, such as the Egyptian. As we can see from the Krupp quotes below, the disingenuous critics are far out of their league and should be ignored and their erroneous opinions themselves abandoned.

While many books pretending to be "exhaustive" and "definitive" ignore the core Sirius-Orion mythology, Dr. Krupp discussed both stellar subjects extensively, demonstrating the theme of the three stars pointing to the bright star, indicating the "birth of the savior" at the horizon, both a solar motif and the annual flooding of the Nile.

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The image above is a photograph from Krupp's book (206), showing the three stars in Orion's belt, pointing to the rising of Sirius on the horizon. The caption by Krupp reads:

Quote:
After the big Dipper, Orion the Hunter is probably the most recognized pattern of stars. The three stars of its belt point upward from the center of the photograph. Close to the dawn glow on the eastern horizon, Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, has just risen.

As we can see, the stars are lined up fairly straight and strikingly indicate the brightest star, highly noticeable, especially to the ancient stargazers. As I discuss in Christ in Egypt—quoting professional Egyptologist Dr. James P. Allen, for one—in Egyptian mythology, Sirius or Sothis was viewed as the herald of the coming messiah, Osiris, the Nile's water flooding its banks and bringing with it the renewal of the harvest along it. Without this annual flood, which took place in late June, around the solstice, the Egyptians could expect crop failure and famine. Hence, one can fathom why this event was so important and why it was considered a time of salvation. The "star in the east" was noticed also to herald the rising sun at the horizon, another extremely important messianic figure who was likewise represented by Osiris, as his son Horus, born again in the dawn—again, the documentation for these contentions can be found in CIE.

Rising Heliacally in the East

The association of Orion with the dawn is also important and can be found in ancient mythology as well, leading to the notion of the three stars pointing to the place where the solar savior would be "born" in the morning. In this regard, Krupp (27-28) states:

Quote:
Stars like Sirius, the sky's brightest star, also died when they disappeared in the daytime sky, but they were reborn when they reappeared again in the twilight before sunrise....

For the Egyptians, cosmic order was also visible in the return of the goddess Isis as the star Sirius to the predawn sky. At about the same time of year, the Nile, no longer bound to its banks, flooded and refertilized the land. Every year Sirius put in an appearance in the right place at the right time, and the Nile made life possible in Egypt for another year.

Krupp's words could not be clearer, and they confirm completely what I asserted in CIE.

Speaking of a myth in an ancient Greek text called the Katasterismoi (also discussed and quoted in CIE) about Orion becoming blind and then having his sight restored through "communion" with the sun god Helios, Krupp (214) comments:

Quote:
The references to Orion, the sun and the direction east alert us to the possibility of astronomical coding in the myth. Orion faces east when it is setting in the west, and it is only by going west that Orion can get to the east. The constellation's last evening appearance in the west marks the beginning of its period of conjunction with the sun. After this "communion" with the sun, Orion rises in the dawn, and that heliacal rising in the east was, perhaps, what was meant by Orion "regaining his sight."

Orion's heliacal rising may also be symbolized in the Odyssey, where Homer alludes to the fact that the goddess Eos ("the Dawn") marries Orion….

Death and Rebirth/Resurrection

Krupp (214) recounts that the Hunter is carried off to the island of Delos, home of the god Apollo, who, contra Krupp, is a sun god as well:

Quote:
From Delos, Apollo's home turf, the sun was said to rise each day. It was after his arrival in Delos, according to Apollodorus, that Orion died.

Orion, then, is with the dawn in the place where the sun rises, but his death on Delos doesn't really make sense unless there is something else going on. Orion's transformation into stars and placement in the sky was one kind of death, but another may be intended here. The dawn does enjoy Orion's company from the time of his heliacal rising in summer until the first time he sets at dawn in winter. After that Orion sets before the dawn can join him. Those trips below the horizon that take place during the time Orion is never seen with Eos may signify his death, for as he descends, the Scorpion rises. Orion, then, remains "dead" until he can rejoin the dawn in the east. The Greeks didn't tell us if this is what they had in mind, but Orion, more than anything else, is a constellation in the sky. References to Delos, Helios, Eos, Scorpius and the Pleiades in his myths strongly suggest they carried astronomical messages.

Tammuz

Krupp then describes Orion in detail, noting that the three stars in his belt are called Mintaka, Alnilam and Alnitak, after the Arabic designations. He next states (214):

Quote:
The Sumerian name for the constellation of Orion was Siba-Zi-An-Na, the "True Shepherd of the Sky," and he seems, in Mesopotamia, to have been the immortal spirit of the deceased Tammuz.

Here we are reminded that the dying-and-rising, Sumero-Babylonian solar-fertility god Dumuzi/Tammuz was mourned by the Jews at Ezekiel 8:14 and that a Hebrew summer month is named after him. Tammuz also was the Semitic wine god of the spring and the autumnal harvest festival. Tammuz's death in the fall and resurrection in the spring are elements of his astrotheological nature, as well as the fact that the concept of death and resurrection of the deity was known long before the supposed advent of Jesus Christ. Here Tammuz represents the placing underground of wine to age, while his resurrection is the opening of the underground wine "tomb," as was the case with the Dionysian spring festivals.

The Three Kings

Krupp (216) continues his analysis of Orion by discussing the many names of the three stars in his belt, called by the ancient Germans, for example, the "Three Reapers," while some Siberians perceived them as three stags. The pre-Christian Maya called the belt "Three-in-Line," while, after the Spaniards arrived, they referred to the stars as the "Three Kings" (Tres Reyes) and "Three Marys" (Tres Marias). This fact demonstrates that it was Christians themselves who labeled Orion's belt the "Three Kings," evidently reflecting knowledge of the motif of the three stars pointing to the brightest star, Sirius, which in turn led to the "birth" of the solar messiah. It appears some Christian(s) in antiquity was privy to this knowledge of the astronomical allegory in the gospel tale; hence, identifying it quite bluntly by calling Orion's belt the "Three Kings" and associating it plainly with the magi bearing the three gifts. Therefore, it is not moderns who are making this association but ancients within their own context. Krupp's description here of Orion, Sirius and the sun on the horizon confirms completely this logical and scientific association. According to the irrational, censorial and ignorant critics, we are supposed to "abandon" this information, thus making us equally ignorant.

Directional Arrow Heralding the Bright Star

Krupp also discusses the Hindu mythology depicting Orion's belt as an arrow shot at the supreme god Brahma Prajapati, who was trying to mate with his daughter, the Dawn. While the god changed himself into a buck, she became a deer, Rohit. The other deities found this incest intolerable and so shot Prajapati, stopping him. Rohit, Krupp clarifies, is the star Rohini or Aldebaran, in the constellation of Taurus the Bull. It should be recalled that Rohini accompanies Krishna's birth, as his "star in the east."

Krupp next remarks (216):

Quote:
This makes good celestial sense, for in one direction the Belt of Orion points toward Aldebaran, and in the other it points toward Sirius.

Here we see that Orion's "arrow" is used clearly as a marker, like the magi following the star in the gospel story, symbolizing those who lead to the place of the savior's birth.

Speaking of the sky's brightest star, which points to the sun's place of "birth," Krupp (217-218) remarks:

Quote:
In ancient Egypt, Sirius played the lead role in establishing the hours, mobilizing the calendar and charting the sky. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, and the Egyptians gave it credit for bringing the Nile to flood. They saw Sirius rising in the dawn at about the time of the Nile's inundation. The Nile's annual flood was important enough to prompt them to start the year with it. That is why they calibrated with Sirius and tied its first appearance in the dawn to the New Year. Egypt, it was said, is the gift of the Nile, but the Nile, as far as the Egyptians were concerned, was the gift of Sirius.

Thus, the star Sirius heralded the Nile's annual flooding, and Osiris was the embodiment of the Nile's water, overflowing its banks and creating the much-needed fertility for the crops to grow and feed Egypt. It is in this regard that the bright star was said to point to the time and place where the savior was born.

Krupp also discusses depictions of the bright star in Egyptian iconography, such as in the Dendera temple, constructed in the centuries before the common era, thus available for the later creators of the gospel story. Says he (218-219):

Quote:
Sirius, then, was seen by the faithful on the roof at Dendera above the disk of the sun. She runs before the sun and so sits in the front of his boat.

"Her rays unite with the rays of the luminous god on that beautiful day of the birth of the sun disk on the morning of the new year's feast."

As the sun comes up, Sirius melts into the sunlight. Her rays "unite" with his.

Sirius here is the "stellar goddess" Isis, who "coaxes the Nile out of his subterranean womb," the Nile in the relevant imagery depicted by the god Hapi. This imagery dates from the Greco-Roman period, also available to the gospel writers.

The role of Isis as Sirius is explicated by Krupp (219):

Quote:
The fertilizing power that fortified the flooding waters of the Nile belonged to the god Osiris, and Isis was his consort. As the star Sirius, Isis was "the mistress of the year's beginning" who "entices the Nile out of its source hole to provide life to living people." Another text from Dendera says she "causes the Nile to swell at the time when she shines at the beginning of the year." Osiris was the Nile River, and the handiwork of his talented wife stimulated him to rise and fertilize the land.

Osiris was also the moon, and he died in the last harvest's fallen grain, only to be reborn in the next season's growing crop. Osiris was never one thing: one of his titles made him "Lord of Everything." He personified a process, and that process seemed to make the world jump through its hoops. Osiris was born. He grew. He died. And he was reborn. Anything that goes through that cycle—and in the minds of the Egyptians nearly everything did—is Osiris: the land, the river, the moon, the sun, the plants, the animals, the power of the pharaoh, the souls of the dead…and the stars.

In the night sky, the Egyptians saw Osiris in the stars of Orion. They called him Sah in that form… Portraits of Osiris as the constellation Orion sometimes show him as a mummy in a celestial boat… He is looking back at Sirius… In the sky, Orion does take the lead and so can be imagined to turn his head back toward his faithful wife.

Orion and Sirius performed in the sky the way Osiris and Isis performed in the myth….

According to certain people, we should "abandon" all this knowledge and go stumbling blindly along! These pithy paragraphs from a professional astronomer prove our points about astrotheology quite abundantly.

Image

Krupp's caption on the image above is:

Quote:
As the goddess Isis, Sirius sails in her celestial boat upon the ceiling (or "sky") of the burial chamber of the tomb of the pharaoh Sety I. Orion, depicted to the right as Osiris in his own boat, leads Sirius across this sepulchral heaven just as Orion precedes Sirius in the real sky.

Star in the East

In discussing the myth of Osiris being killed and searched for by Isis, his body "found in the marshes by Set and cut up like the waning moon," Krupp (219-220) remarks that "in this part of the story he is like the stars of Orion." He next states of Osiris/Orion:

Quote:
He sails from east to west each night and dies on the western horizon. Sirius trails him and disappears there herself.

We know the Egyptians saw this process as a daily birth and death of the star. It is a consequence of the earth's rotation, and a passage in the Papyrus Carlsberg I, a cosmological text written in the second century A.D., describes the appearance of a star in the east as birth from the goddess Nut, who represents the sky…

Although this document comes very late in Egyptian history, it repeats and paraphrases ideas that are much older, at least as old as the reign of the pharaoh Sety I (ruled 1291-1278 b.c.). The idea of stellar rebirth can, in fact, be traced all the way back to the Old Kingdom's Dynasty V (2498-2345 b.c.), when the Pyramid Texts, carved into the chamber walls inside the pyramid of Unis at Saqqara, declares the soul of the deceased pharaoh to be companion of Orion, who will "ascend from the east" with him, "renewed" and "rejuvenated."

Note again the discussion of the "star in the east," which, we already know, rises heliacally or with the sun, in the east. Notice also the words "rebirth," "renewed" and "rejuvenated," all indicating a form of death and resurrection.

Emphasizing this birth-and-death cycle, Krupp (220) comments:

Quote:
Sirius and Orion also live and die seasonally. Once they become lost for good in the light of the day-time sky—and are not seen at all during the night—they are said to have died. While still "alive," Orion gradually shifts from visibility in the morning sky to visibility in the evening. He sets sooner and sooner each night until he is last seen on the western horizon after sunset. His complete disappearance from the night sky, which follows, is now another kind of death. Sirius is not far behind him, and after a couple of weeks, she, too, dies in the glare of the sun. The pair return to Egypt when they rise heliacally seventy days later. Orion appears first, and Sirius follows a couple of weeks later.

Here we see that Orion makes his appearance on the horizon first, with the three kingly stars leading the way to the bright star in the east, as they rise with the sun. This event, Krupp reminds us, occurs near the summer solstice, accompanying the melted spring runoff of the mountains that feed the Nile, causing it to flood. Again, the flood in turn is met with rejoicing and festivals of salvation for Egypt.

Stellar Indicator of Salvation

To repeat, the three kingly stars lead the bright star in the east to the time and place of the savior's birth, if we consider also the solar role of Osiris/Horus/Ra/Sokar and so on, likewise rising in the east, as the sun does. This syncretistic myth was clearly on the minds of millions of Egyptians over a period of thousands of years. The myth reflects events all important to the Egyptian people's continued survival, as without the Nile's flooding, life became miserable to impossible.

This event and theme permeated Egyptian culture, and they hardly could have been missed by a literate person of the time when the Bible was written, especially since Alexandria, Egypt, was the center for learning in the Mediterranean world. There is also a tremendous amount of evidence that much of the gospel story and the texts themselves were created at Alexandia, using the famed library and university there.

The individuals who wrote the gospel story were not illiterate fishermen and peasants, or even a literate taxman, as depicted in the tale. They were cultured Greek speakers who clearly were educated, and they betray knowledge of ancient pre-Christian Jewish and pagan religion and mythology over and over again. If they were not aware of the Sirius-Orion-sun event and mythology, they could not be considered erudite, but we know that they were. It is obvious that they were emulating the Egyptian story of the star in the east, the three "wise men" and the birth of the savior, who has numerous attributes and symbolizes several entities and elements.

Birth of the Savior

Continuing this theme, Krupp (220) remarks:

Quote:
Beginning in its annual flood, the Nile had been aroused by Sirius and was about to conceive her child, Horus. He was the new year, the revitalized land, the next crop of young grain, and the new sun that was born on the first day of the year.

Sirius burned with intense new life when she rose heliacally, but to do so, Sirius had to die. Stars were like souls. When they disappeared into the daytime sky, they were said to have died. Heliacal rising meant stellar resurrection. All of the stars that kept the calendar and told the time in ancient Egypt were selected because they followed the same pattern of Sirius, their leader….

Once again, we see Sirius as the star in the east—as it rose with the sun, which rises in the east—serving as the leader, pointing the way, indicating the birth of "her son," the revitalized land surrounding the Nile, deemed to be Horus. As can be seen in Christ in Egypt, the stories of Horus and Jesus are strikingly similar, and it becomes obvious that numerous motifs from the Horus myth are incorporated in the gospel story, including this motif of the bright star in the east heralding the savior. In the case of Egypt, the savior is Osiris as well as Horus, in their capacity of solar-fertility gods, who were often syncretized to each other and other forms of Horus and Ra.

Decans

Krupp (220) also discusses the 70 "decans"—Krupp's word—and their relationship to Sirius and the 70 days it disappears, as well as to the 36 decans, who also die, are purified and resurrect or are reborn periodically. These stars all appear "seventy days later from the eastern horizon in the dawn to live once more."

Bird of Rebirth

Krupp (221) stresses that Sirius was so important to the ancient Egyptians that it started their new year, symbolized by the benu "bird of creation," which also represented Venus, another dramatic entity in the predawn sky that likewise "heralded the coming of the sun." Hence, Venus too is the "star"—as ancients in many places depicted this planet—in the east that heralds the birth of the solar savior.

Speaking of a Heliopolitan myth, Krupp (221) remarks:

Quote:
When the bird took wing, the newly created sun rose for the first time and brought life and light to the world. This is what Sirius does every year at heliacal rising. When it first takes wing in the morning twilight, it announces the New Year sun. that sunrise is like the first sunrise, and the star of the new year is like the beginning of time.

The salvific role of the sun and Sirius could not be clearer, and its emphasis within Egyptian religion for thousands of years could not have been more evident to the ancients of numerous cultures around the Mediterranean at the time when the gospel story was composed.

Krupp (221-222) next discusses the benu bird and its similarities and differences with the phoenix tale, concluding that they are both astronomical and represent the "death" and "rebirth" of stars in the manner described here repeatedly. Again, a theme obviously everpresent in the minds of the ancients in many cultures, including those that gave rise to Christianity.

The salvation of Egypt depended not on a single "historical" individual but on the flooding of the Nile, directly affecting hundreds of millions of people over the millennia. This salvational flooding was heralded by Sirius, the brightest star, which rises heliacally in the east, at the precise time when the Nile overflowed its banks. Krupp (224) reiterates this savior's role in providing food and sustenance, and thus survival, for the Egyptians:

Quote:
Sirius disappears from the sky after its last appearance in the west in the early evening, at about this time in mid-June. When Sirius goes, the rains come. Sirius reappears in the morning sky in July, during the season of the rain. It rises earlier each night but remains a morning star through much of the rainy season. Millet and sorghum are sown first, by mid-June. Rice follows a month later and is harvested a month before the millet.

Again, the very survival of the Egyptians depended on their observation of this brightest star, which appeared to them to be regulated and inhabited by the gods, a logical conclusion in consideration of its importance and regularity.

Stellar Sacrifice

Krupp (225) also emphasizes the sacrificial aspect of the bright star/savior:

Quote:
The parallel between the grain and the companion of Sirius also means that Sirius in some way participates in sacrifice. When the rains come, Sirius withdraws from the sky in a kind of sacrifice. Through such sacrifices—of the star, of the grain, or of the blood—fertility could be restored.

Here we can see the theme of the deity sacrificing itself for the salvation of humanity. Again, the literate and educated composers of the gospels simply could not have been oblivious to these important, enduring and widespread ideas that affected their daily lives.

From this extensive knowledge of ancient religion and mythology provided by a longtime and renowned professional astronomer, it should be obvious that the astrotheological and pagan roots of the Star in the East have not been refuted, debunked or rebutted in any meaningful way, shape or form.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:13 pm 
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Knower’s Arc

Hi Acharya, thank you for the material on Ed Krupp. I have read his book In Search of Ancient Astronomies, (a play on Proust In Search of Lost Time?) which is brilliant. Maybe Professor Krupp would appreciate you contacting him?

This post is titled Knower’s Arc as a pun on Noah’s Ark, which can be seen as a main part of the stellar myth of Sirius and Orion as viewed from Egypt. On Christmas at around midnight, the large prominent constellation of Argo appears above the Nile River on the southern horizon, reflected in the water - as above so below. Argo is traditionally also known as Noah’s Ark, and its etymology goes back to the Indian God Agastya. The knower’s arc in the night sky pointing to Noah’s Ark begins with the three kings of Orion’s Belt and continues through the brightest star Sirius, the star in the east, to below the star where we see the ark, the constellation of Argo or Noah’s Ark.

The deck of the ark in the constellation of Argo can be imagined as the animal hall where all the creatures rode out the flood, as the manger of Christ surrounded by the animals in Bethlehem, and as the barque for the annual ceremony of the transport of the coffin of Osiris in the Festival of Isis. The inclusion of Argo completes the picture for why Orion and Sirius are the real source of the myth of the magi. This comprehensive southern sky myth of these symbols of natural salvation in the link between humans and animals provides a link between Noah, Osiris and Christ.

The reasons for the loss of this myth can be hypothesised as primarily including the overall suppression of Egyptian culture apparent in the loss of knowledge of hieroglyphics, the incompatibility with the miraculous Christian birth story, the centrality to a natural Gnostic cosmology which was targeted for obliteration by dogmatic stuporstition, and the simple fact that Argo is not visible from Europe because it is too far south in the sky.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Acharya, this is a really great piece of work, extremely interesting and replete with esoteric implications. Thank you. I shall definitely be looking further into Krupp's timely research. Moreover it adds a whole new significance to the meaning of the dark ages, as a literal eclipse of the heavenly gods...if you've never seen it, I recommend Waldemar Januszczak's brilliant BBC documentary series about the early "christian" epoch told through the story of its arts & architecture, especially the first episode, that I believe you can watch here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK1KTqjbAjE ~ truly fascinating, and revealing...

...after posting this I soon learned Krupp's "Beyond the Blue Horizon" was published in 1991, a mere 22 years ago, & see that he has other notable titles to his credit like "Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings : Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power" & the earlier "Echoes of the Ancient Skies : the Astronomy of Lost Civilizations..."


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:34 pm 
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So Dick Carrier has recently admitted in his review at Amazon (Star of Bethlehem) that: "I was a peer reviewer for this book's ancient history content..."

Richard Carrier, a historian, bizarrely sets impossible standards by demanding the ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Phoenician, Indian, Greek, Roman and others, especially Christianity, let everybody in on their secrets by announcing their astrotheological foundations against their own interests. Carrier expects the originators of Christianity to come out and say "ahh geez folks, our religious concepts all stem from astrotheology." It's just not reality and a credible, trustworthy historian already knows that. New methodologies need to be created for dealing with the astrotheological aspects of religious concepts. Richard Carrier is to Astrotheology what Republicans are to Obama Care and his entire administration; full of obstructionism and utter dishonesty without ever actually studying the subject or offering anything better. Carrier has now made a number of absurd, blatantly biased comments that will follow him for the rest of his life that he needs to be held accountable for in my post above. It's clear that Carrier has never made any good faith effort to study astrotheology to even try to begin to understand it. All he has offered thus far has been knee-jerk reactions and biased, bigoted anti-astrotheology hand-waving dismissals and smears tossed at Acharya.

"Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance."

- Albert Einstein


Quote:
"The ancient Egyptian religion is a sun-based religion and the yearly cycle of the stars was very important for them to calculate their calender. It would be surprising if there was no an alignment with certain celestial phenomena. However, archaeoastronomy is not an established science working hand in hand with archaeology in much of Mespotamia and Egypt. There are several reasons for this:

"The problem is that until recently hardly any research was done in that area: Egyptologists are no astronomers, and calculations in that field are extremely complex. This was taken for granted, but not a field of research. So nothing to much 'scientific' can be said, simply because of lack of data. That is something else than saying Egyptologists dismiss celestial alignments: they simply never looked into it. That is the disadvantage of a rich culture like that of the Egyptians: one can't do everything."

- Paul Haanen, Archaeologist in Egypt

The Astrotheological Origins of Christianity

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