Discover the ancient meaning of the star of wonder.
The Star of Bethlehem is one of the most recognizable elements of the Christmas story and yet its true nature and meaning are shrouded in mystery. This celestial sign captured the attention of the Magi and frightened a king and yet its ancient significance is often lost on modern readers. Furthermore, the astronomical identity of the Star of Bethlehem has captivated and confounded for millennia.
In Star of Bethlehem, Michael Pettem combines a modern scientific understanding of stellar phenomena with a fascinating account of ancient astronomy and history to illuminate this key biblical event. He identifies what the Star of Bethlehem may have been and how various ancient cultures would have interpreted its appearance. Then, drawing on the Gospel of Matthew as his guide, he explores the Star’s theological significance, helping us understand how early Christians would have understood this important symbol.
Michael Pettem (PhD, McGill University) is Clerk of the Presbytery of Montreal, Presbyterian Church in Canada. He has had a long-standing interest in astronomy and science. Before receiving his doctorate in Religious Studies, he studied physics at the Univeristy of Toronto.