In the February issue of The Christadelphian you shall be able to find an article by John M. Hellawell on additional evidence we have of the lack of synchrony with the birth of Jesus Christ because of the different words used to describe the child that the shepherds worshipped and the infant to whom the Magi presented their gifts. Another significant difference is that the Magi did not enter a stable or anything similar, but a house.
If the ‘star’ led them north and eventually arrived in Nazareth then not only do we have an explanation as to why and how the star was necessary, it also helps to explain how Herod lost track of the Magi.
“Unto us a child is born …”
The visit of the Magi: “We … are come to worship him”
THE assumption that the Magi visited the family of Jesus in Bethlehem is based on the Authorised Version rendering of the opening of Matthew’s account:
The use of “when” implies synchrony but other versions render this as “Now after Jesus was born …” (ESV); “After his birth …” (NEB, REB); “Not long after his birth …” (J. B. Phillips). The timing is indicated by comparing the information in verses 2, 7 and 16. The Magi came from “the east” and said they had seen his star “in the east” which, presumably indicates the location where they had observed it, not its compass direction. It is not clear whether this was a new star that astronomers had not previously recognised or some other phenomenon. The latter appears more likely as will be seen below. Herod “inquired of them [the Magi] diligently what time the star appeared” and hence the time of birth of the child. This would provide him with some indication of the age of any potential rival and, given his attempt to destroy the possible candidates (verse 16), it is probable that less than two years had elapsed since the star appeared, for Herod would probably add some extra time, just to be certain.
Continue reading > Christadelphian February 2012
The February 2012 issue of The Christadelphian is available now.
In the magazine this month:
- Letters to the Editor
- Sunday morning
“Cleansing our conscience”
- Nottingham BLC
BLC Management Team
- Samson – a man of faith
Trevor A. Pritchard
- The message to the seven churches
2 – To Ephesus
- Questions Jesus asks
“Seest thou this woman?”
- The heart and holiness of God
2 – The parable of Hosea and Gomer
Andrew E. Walker
- “Unto us a child is born …”
4 – The visit of the Magi: “We … are come to worship him”
John M. Hellawell
- “Sing forth the honour of His Name”
Ten years of worship from the 2002 hymn book
- Signs of the times
Syria and her allies
- Israel and their land
“Instability and uncertainty”
- The brotherhood near and far
If you currently subscribe to The Christadelphian, your copy should arrive shortly.
If you don’t subscribe but would like to start, or would like a copy of this month’s issue, you can buy these online.