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AstroPress Blog – Deborah Smith Parker, Author Of Humanus Astrologicus

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January 8, 20133 Comments

“Astrology for the Astrologically Challenged,” by Deborah Smith Parker

So how did you do on the quiz (posted Dec. 22)? Well, don’t feel too badly. Most of us grew up with the “Gospel according to Hallmark.”  Answers are below.

Q. Which books in the Bible reference the star?
A. Only one—Matthew 2:1-16

Q. Which books in the Bible talk about the wise men?
A.  Again, only one—Matthew.

 Q. How many people reported seeing the star and who were they?
A. You have to read Matthew very carefully here. Only the wise men report seeing the star.

  • That’s because they were astrologers and to see the stars they didn’t look up in the sky like everyone else—unless they were navigating across the desert or it was a really gorgeous night. Instead they tracked the stars’ movements recorded on charts that only they have been trained to read.
  • We know they were astrologers because the word used to describe them is magi or magos which Strong’s Concordance says was the name given by the Babylonians Persians, and others to wise men, teachers, priests, physicians, astrologers etc. Magi is not a term applied to anyone else in the New Testament.
  • If non-astrologers refer to a “rising” star they’re more than likely down at the beach with a glass of wine, or whatever, watching some bright star in the sky everyone can see. But this couldn’t have been the case since there are no indications anyone had seen a blazing star in the sky
  • When astrologers refer to either “rising” stars or stars “in the east” they mean culminating aspects in an astrological chart of something about to occur. Since no one but the wise men appeared to have any knowledge of the star it is logical to take this is an astrological reference—which is in sync with the times when astrology had an elevated position in the ancient world and was used by kings.

Q. What was the first stop the wise men made once they got in the “neighborhood?”
A. King Herod’s palace. The fact that they went there and were received indicated, according to customs of the times, that they were either kings themselves or emissaries of kings.

Q. What was Herod’s response to the star?
A. When the wise men asked Herod “where is he that is born King of the Jews,” because they “had seen his star in the east,” Herod didn’t seem to know anything about it. Plus, he was bummed out at the news. Matthew says he was “troubled” but that translator was euphemistic. Actually, the word “troubled” was translated from a Greek word that means “frightened.” Herod was frightened with good reason. There is only room for one king in a kingdom, so the wise men had not brought glad tidings for him.

Q. Who first determined that Jesus was born in Bethlehem?
A. After meeting the wise men Herod immediately summoned all his chief priests and scribes and asked them where the King of the Jews was to be born. They told him Bethlehem, based on prophecy.

Q. How old was Jesus by the time the wise men found him?
A. We know it was after he was born, more than likely long after—like close to two years. Here’s why.

  • First, read the verb tenses very carefully. The references to Jesus’ birth indicate past tense.
  • Second Herod had asked the wise men—“enquired of them diligently” actually—what time the star had appeared. Knowing his visitors were astrologers gave him a way of fixing a time for the birth. As is referenced in verse 2:16, this time helped him establish an age range of two years and under, which is the age range of boys Herod ordered killed.

So, what do you think?

(Deborah Smith Parker is the author of “Humanus Astrologicus” available in soft cover on this site and now on Kindle. To sign up to receive her blog or follow her on Twitter @astro_logicus and Facebook click to the right of this post.)

About author:

Deborah Smith Parker is re-writing the often impenetrable language of astrology into a much friendlier form. She has spent her 30 plus years as an astrological consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer freeing the rich astrological images and their descriptions increasingly buried under modern clinical and technological descriptions. Her additional work in public policy has provided many outlets for demonstrating her ability to break down highly complex systems into information that’s easily understood.

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  1. Deborah – Now I’m really curious. What chart do you use for Jesus’s birth? I know the jury is out on that one, so would love to know your opinion.

  2. Jill Estensen says:

    Wasn’t Herod’s palace up on a plateau? I would imagine that it had a great view of the sky. I will get out my Asimov’s bible & read Matthew! This is great information. Thank you Deborah!

  3. How did I miss the quiz? Why I missed it was maybe to save myself a blush. Most interesting seeds. Thanks.

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