In early July 2021, Dwight Hutchison published the fourth edition of his book The Lion Led the Way which has much of his original research concerning the Star of Bethlehem. The book contains about 400 pages of text, a multitude of illustrations, appendices, bibliography, and a helpful website page.
In September 2019, Dwight Hutchison had an article published in the American Science Journal, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. The article entitled “Matthew’s Magi Never Visually Followed a Star Anywhere, But …” gives new insights about key elements of Mr. Hutchison’s theory concerning the Star of Bethlehem. The article can be viewed on the PSCF website or on Mr. Hutchison’s Academia page. https://independent.academia.edu/DwightHutchison
Dear Star Enthusiasts,
This text was already published several years ago. It is so true.
It is often said that the wise men followed the star of Bethlehem as a visual guide across deserts and by “moor and mountain”. However, this is not the case. This is one of the great mistakes which has been made in interpreting the biblical text.
The star did get to the skies above Bethlehem in advance of the wise men, but it did not visually guide them. It was not even visually in front of them during their prolonged journey. The star was not leading or guiding the wise men. That was not its role. The star announced the coming of the Messiah while the wise men were in the east. Later, above Bethlehem as a sign, the star confirmed the Messiah’s presence in the town. The star carried a message. It did not serve as a directional indicator. The way from Mesopotamia and Iran to the land of Israel was well-known and well-traveled. One would not have needed a brilliant visual guide to show the way.
Here is Matthew’s text:
After hearing the king, they went their way; and behold the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was.
How Should One Understand the Words: “The star ‘ preceded/went on before’ the wise men”?
Many modern Christians and skeptics who read the text of Matthew chapter two have thought that the star led the Magi from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. However, the Greek Fathers did not think this way. They had the idea that the star guided the men all the way from the east to Judaea. One finds this repeatedly in many accounts and sermons in the early centuries of Church history. The ancients tied the experience in the east to the star’s “going ahead of / preceding” the Magi. The Greek Church Fathers thought that the star “preceded/went ahead of” the wise men from the east, not just from Jerusalem to Bethlehem (five miles / eight kilometers).
Remarkably the Greek Church Fathers speculated that the star was actually a brilliant angel, which went ahead of the wise men during the daylight hours. They realized that people would usually never travel at night (See John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew, Sermon IV). One also sees this in some old paintings. The star is often portrayed as being visible in the daytime.
But what if the star never guided anyone anywhere? Is it possible that we have simply misreading Matthew for many centuries? How could this be?
The key phrase in Matthew’s text is “The star went before them”, “went ahead of them” or “the star preceded them”. This same phrase using the same key Greek word, proago, meaning “to precede / to go ahead of”, is found in other places in the book of Matthew.
In Matthew 14:22: Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea.
Jesus sent the disciples on ahead of him, however, he did not follow their boat as if he were following a beacon or guide. The boat and the disciples had simply arrived at a certain point when Jesus also arrived there.
At the last supper, Jesus makes the following statement: “But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” (Mt 26:32) The word for “going ahead” is the same word which is used in Matthew 2:9.
After Jesus was raised from the dead an angel appeared to some of his followers and said to them: “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him…” (Mt. 28:7)
Here again, it is obvious that the disciples did not follow Jesus to Galilee in the same sense that one usually thinks about the wise men following a star. Jesus simply indicated that he was going to arrive in Galilee ahead of the disciples. They were not following him in the sense that they were watching his every move and taking directional guidance from him. The disciples simply arrived in Galilee after Jesus had arrived there. He then saw them again in Galilee.
This is exactly how that we should think of the star. The star arrived in the heavens above Bethlehem before the wise men arrived in the town. That is all. The star never guided the wise men to Bethlehem, nor did it ever guide them anywhere. The star was not actually visually ahead of the wise men when they traveled to Bethlehem. In the end, the star was above them. Essentially the star never visually guided the wise men anywhere. The star informed the wise men. It did not guide them.
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Experience this in the new MUL.BABBAR novel. Relive the experience of the wise men. Get the book here.
The scene in the illustration below never happened.
The MUL.BABBAR The White Star Over Bethlehem novel has been published. It is available on most of the normal Amazon sites Amazon.fr, Amazon.uk, Amazon.ca, etc.
Here is the link to Amazon.com
A print version of the historical novel concerning the Star of Bethlehem, MUL.BABBAR, The White Star Over Bethlehem will be available on Amazon in the latter part of September 2018. A Kindle Version may follow in the coming months. The storyline of the novel shows the process whereby the Magi come to associate the “star” with the Jewish Messiah. The novel also explores the voyage to Judaea, meeting the young Messiah and the flight of the Magi.
The Star of Bethlehem was associated with several heavenly signs that announced the coming of Israel’s Messiah. The star itself was the planet Jupiter. It was involved in a unique series of symbolically royal celestial events along with other planets, stars, the sun and moon. This series of events had not been seen before in the history of eastern astronomy. The Babylonians called the royal star MUL.BABBAR, which means the “white star.” One of the significant events involved the first visibility of Jupiter in the morning sky just before dawn as it emerged from the solar glare. In the year of the Messiah’s birth the first visibility of Jupiter was an exceptional occurrence that is partly explained on the http://www.star-of-bethlehem.info site. Jupiter’s first visibility after passing near the sun is an annual event. Jupiter’s first visibility in October 2016 is presented in the following four photos (photos taken in southern France). The highest “star” is the planet Mercury. Jupiter / MUL.BABBAR is the lower “star.”
The third book in Dwight Hutchison’s series on the Star of Bethlehem will be published in the summer of 2017. This book called “MUL.BABBAR: A White Star Over Bethlehem.” It is a historical novel based on Mr. Hutchison’s research. MUL.BABBAR was the name used by Babylonian astronomers for the star. The ancient Mesopotamian name means “the white star.” Here is a photo of the book’s possible cover.
The book, The Lion Led the Way – the third edition has been published. It is available in both printed and digital versions (Interactive PDF).
See the Book page in the Menu in order to preview and order the book.
Have a good time reading!
Coming in December 2015: A less detailed reduced version of the material will be released in mid-December 2015. It will contain about 90 pages of material based on The Lion Led the Way.
Coming in 2016: A historical novel based on the research contained in The Lion Led the Way is projected for the late summer of 2016.
The third edition (revised and expanded) of The Lion Led the Way will be released probably in the first ten days of October (the release has been delayed for about three weeks). The book is an approach to the Star of Bethlehem which uses Jewish concepts and dates along with Babylonian astronomy to understand the star.
Was there a meaningful stellar sign over Bethlehem?
What did it look like to someone looking up at the night sky?
Was the star a directional guide or a simple sign?
Did wise men really come from the East seeking Israel’s Messiah sometime after the birth of Jesus?
The biblical account of the wise men and the star that announced the coming of the Messiah of Israel has inspired and puzzled people for two millennia. Important aspects of Babylonian astronomy seem to be involved in understanding the star’s appearing. But in addition, The Lion Led the Way also explores the men and events from a profoundly Jewish perspective. The traditional Jewish names of stars and planets, Jewish symbols, as well as Jewish dates, all seem to be keys to unlocking the mystery of the famous star.
The star of Bethlehem was not the brightest of the heavenly lights, nor was it the most spectacular starry manifestation of all time. However, it was part of the most meaningful set of celestial events in human history. The God of Israel is surprising. His ways are not our ways; his thoughts are not our thoughts. The star gives us a concrete example of God’s intervention in the universe.
Who were the biblical Magi?
Various wise men were important in the history of the vast region to the east of Judaea. Zoroastrian, Babylonian, Greek and even Jewish wise men all played a role there in several successive empires. A possible Jewish connection with the story of the biblical wise men has been long neglected. The Magi who arrived in Bethlehem seem to have been influenced by Judaism. They apparently understood at least part of the meaning of Daniel’s sixth-century BC prophecy concerning the 70 “sevens.” The prophecy has to do with time, and the Babylonian astronomers were uniquely qualified to perceive the connection between time and the heavens. Based on their knowledge and the ancient biblical texts, they saw how the “sevens” were related to the birth of the Messiah. The Magi were seeking God’s kingdom centered on the Messiah, the Righteous One. Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem, is still making himself known. His ways are as mysterious as ever, and his humility is unsurpassed.
The third edition of The Lion Led the Way contains about 45 pages of new material.
Book website: http://www.star-of-bethlehem.info