POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.off-topic : First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years : Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years Server Time
25 Feb 2024 08:32:27 EST (-0500)
  Re: First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years  
From: Cousin Ricky
Date: 19 Dec 2020 14:58:16
Message: <5fde5b58@news.povray.org>
On 2020-12-19 6:05 AM (-4), Ton wrote:
> One of the most interesting youtube-videos I ever saw (besides POV-ray movies)
> is this one. I am not a historian or theologian, but it all makes sense to me.
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50

Wow.  I am neither historian nor theologian, but my bullshit meter is 
off the charts on this video.

My first hint that something was amiss (and I've been seeing claims like 
these for 15 years) was the Sun = Son equivalence.  This is an artifact 
of the English language, which did not exist at the dawn of Christianity!

It is easily verified that the Sun is *never* in the vicinity of the 
Southern Cross (Crux), and certainly never appears south of it, as in 
the illustration.  My first thought was that the Sun is aligned 
north-to-south with Crux, and the illustrator just made a boneheaded 
mistake.  (I've seen similar mistakes on the likes of The Science 
Channel.)  But even this interpretation has its problems.  Precession 
means that this alignment takes place at different times through the 
ages.  When has the alignment been on the solstice?  When the Horus myth 
was developed?  At 4 BCE?  At 2010 CE?  I consulted my planisphere, and 
the Sun is nowhere near alignment with Crux in December 2020.  Even 
worse, going back into the past has the alignment moving in the wrong 
direction!  The last time the alignment occurred was before recorded 
history.  This claim appears to have been fabricated out of whole cloth, 
along with that illustration.

And then there is the near alignment of Sirius with Orion's belt.  Maybe 
the belt stars have been called "the three kings" by some people at some 
time, but I have never heard of it until seeing this video just now, and 
as an amateur astronomer, I have been exposed to a lot of astrological 
mythology.  Maybe they were so claimed in the movie _Zeitgeist_, but I 
haven't bothered myself to waste time on that movie.  Wikipedia confirms 
this moniker, but aside from having no [citation], says that the name 
was derived from the Bible, not the other way around.  The Bible doesn't 
say how many magi there were, or that they were kings, so this is 
clearly later tradition.  If the videographer wishes to tie Orion's belt 
to Matthew's birth story, he needs to find a mythology that pre-dated 
the Middle Ages.

The near alignment is true all year round, not just on December 24.  And 
it *cannot* point toward sunrise at any time, ever, because it points 
away from the ecliptic.  Both of these facts were known to the ancients. 
  So far, we have two claims of the Sun wandering far outside the zodiac 
constellations, an anomaly which should be instantly spotted by any 
astrologer, let alone someone who is knowledgeable about astronomy.

But maybe the illustrator just made the same boneheaded mistake as they 
did with Crux, and painted the Sun in the wrong direction?  Nope, that 
would have the Sun in Taurus, when it would have been in Capricornus[1] 
during December of the year Jesus was born, and in Aquarius when Moses 
was alleged to have lived.

There is nothing about these astronomical claims that comports with 
reality, and even during the time when astronomy and astrology were the 
same discipline, the ancients could not have observed any such patterns.

I haven't gone though all the claims of parallels between Jesus and the 
other gods.  I just know that some of them are true, and some are just 
extrapolations on the part of religious skeptics who fancy themselves 
immune to wishful thinking.

Of course, it is well known that Jesus was not born on December 25.  No 
one knows when Jesus was born, so early Christians just picked a day 
when all the other gods were celebrating their birthdays.  This is no 
revelation, and about the only Christians who have a problem with this 
are the Jehovah's Witnesses, who are bigger killjoys than I will ever be.

Less known is that the video has a point about the virginity.  No one 
knew Jesus was born of a virgin until nearly a half century after he 
died.  The first written mention of the Virgin birth was in Matthew, 
written ca. 80 CE, and the author based his claim on a "prophecy" that 
was based on a mistranslation of Isaiah!  The author of Luke knew of the 
virgin birth story, but it is clear from his genealogy in chapter 3 than 
the mythology was as yet incomplete and was still being worked out. 
(The author of Matthew never noticed that his genealogy totally 
subverted the virgin birth idea.)

It's complicated.

The human brain is a pattern matcher.  It is so efficient it finds 
patterns that aren't there.  There are many facts in this video, and 
certainly Judaism and Christianity borrowed extensively from the 
religions surrounding them; but many of the conclusions in the video are 
spurious.  It seems that the author was first bent on disproving Jesus 
and Christianity, then collected every claim he could without verifying 
them.  The video should not be dismissed out of hand, but each claim 
needs to be evaluated individually.

[1] "Capricorn" is the astrological name.  "Capricornus" is the 
astronomical name.  Since I am describing stars, not signs, in this 
context, I used the latter.

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