At 11:37 PM 11/13/2002, Marc wrote:

Speaking of the star of Bethlehem, I'm sure you have heard most of the theories as
to what it might have been. What would be your reaction if you learned that it
might actually be an astrological phenomenon, and that it didn't happen in 1 A.D.?

Marc A. Schindler
Actually Pratt discussed this possibility in an article which appears on the Griffith Observatory website (as well as other places, including Pratt's own website):

The most likely date he gives is during Passover, 1 BC. I should mention that to the Jews (at least those not in apostasy) astrology as a method of predicting the future was blasphemous. However, they did believe that stars (and other celestial events) were signs of God's works. Genesis 1:14, for starters, states that these celestial objects and events are signs--to make known his will and purposes.

A good overview of the different celestial (astrological) events regarding what might have been the Star of Bethlehem is available here:

Steven Montgomery

Recall the new star that announced the birth at Bethlehem? It was in its precise orbit long before it so shone. We are likewise placed in human orbits to illuminate. Divine correlation functions not only in the cosmos but on this planet, too. After all, the Book of Mormon plates were not buried in Belgium, only to have Joseph Smith born centuries later in distant Bombay. (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Conference Report, Saturday Morning, Oct 2002)

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