Unraveling the Christmas Star Mystery
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BOOK REVIEWS :
Library Director "SJE" ★★★★★ To unravel the mystery of the Christmas Star for the reader, author Irene Baron lays out a logical and systematic presentation of well-researched facts and observations. To help the reader better understand the phenomena of the Christmas Star, the writer juxtaposes symbolic interpretations from ancient civilizations with scientific data gleaned from NASA computer programs. Unraveling the CHRISTMAS STAR Mystery would be of interest to the general audience from early teens through adults as well as to biblical scholars. “Christmas Star” is interesting and an easy read. Recommended reading for anyone interested in astronomy, history, bible study, and more.
Kathleen Ormond ★★★★★ November 2014. Goodreads. This is a fascinating record of astronomy and historical facts to help us understand the timeline of the Christmas Star at the birth of Christ. An inspiring read!
Rivers Rhapsody ★★★★★ December 2014. (Kindle Edition) I think this is a well-written book with a viable and interesting theory as to not only the truth of what the Star of Bethlehem was, but also detailing a listing of several celestial events leading up to the birth of Christ. These additional events served to alert the Wisemen who traveled to meet the Messiah.
This book is written for a very wide audience, which I think makes it a wonderful book that could be appreciated by an adult audience, but also easily used with an audience as young as middle school. This opens up a lot of possibilities to use this in Sunday school or with youth groups, which were a big part of my childhood. I can see where having a more detailed description as to the methodology Ms. Baron used could be helpful (as one reviewer points out) however, that might make it less accessible to the wider audience, and a bit too clinical for my taste. I appreciate that Ms. Baron kept the book at its current length, which made it a light, fun and interesting read. I would recommend this book to almost anyone with a 6th grade or higher reading level. I could also see this book being read by Christians undertaking a homeschooling path.
To sum up, this is an easy reading, yet well researched book. It seems to be backed by thorough research, without becoming too heavy of a leisure-time read. It was a pleasurable book for me to read, and a wonderful break from the more dry and clinical PhD research I've been dealing with over the last few years. This book helped bolster my faith, made me believe in the Christmas star and had me thinking more thoroughly about what it must have been like in the year preceding Christ's birth. All around a great read, especially during this time of year.
Tobi Miller ★★★★★ September 2013. I just finished your wonderful book about the Christmas star, all the time wondering how you could write such an in-depth, technical book. Until I read, near the end, that you were an astronomy professor for 30-years. Then it became clear and I’m very impressed, to say the least. T. Miller
Patricia Longstreth ★★★★★ March 2014. Excellent work. Good research and easy to follow the logic. I have been interested in astronomy for many years and curious about the historical aspects of the Bible. Ms. Baron has put the research together with the Biblical stories. Highly recommended for all levels of interest.
H.Lewis, M.D. ★★★★★ Unraveling the Christmas Star Mystery is a thorough, accurate and spellbinding account of the Christmas Star phenomenon based on numerous NASA computer programs, Biblical passages, historical records, illustrations on ancient monuments, coins and legal seals dating back three thousand or more years. The scientific data with ancient observations and beliefs form a precise explanation of the birth of Jesus and the associated phenomenon of the Christmas Star. This text is a good source of information for the scholar, teacher, and population in general. Recommended highly for Biblical Scholars." H.Lewis, M.D.
Amazon.com ★★★★ This book helped bolster my faith, made me believe in the Christmas star and had me thinking more thoroughly about what it must have been like in the year preceding Christ's birth. All around a great read, especially during this time of year. Amazon.com
Betty Weichert - ★★★★★ December 2013.I'm amazed at all the research you've done to write the mystery of the Christmas star ... and put all that information in an understandable book for the non-scientist to understand. It's really fascinating to see how the planets move around and create the patterns they do. You made it so clear! I really like the drawings - it helps so much to follow the reading material.
Pastor Dennis J. Baker, PhD. ★★★★★ December 2013. What a blessing to receive and what a great message!
Betty Weichert, CNN Hero. ★★★★★ September 2014. I can't believe all the research you did. You put all that information in an understandable book for non-scientists to understand. I really like the drawings - helps so much to follow the reading material. You are really an amazing young woman.
Amazon.com. ★★★★ I think this is a well-written book with a viable and interesting theory as to not only the truth of what the Star of Bethlehem was, but also detailing a listing of several celestial events leading up to the birth of Christ. These additional events served to alert the Wisemen who traveled to meet the Messiah.”
Amazon.com. ★★★★ This book is written for a very wide audience, which I think makes it a wonderful book that could not only be appreciated by an adult audience but also easily used with an audience as young as middle school. This opens up a lot of possibilities to use this in Sunday school or with youth groups, which were a big part of my childhood.
Jim Workman ★★★★★ You did a very nice job explaining the basics of astronomy and presenting the way the ancients studied and interpreted the "stars." Your discovery that the ancient "astronomers" typically took their sightings at dawn is a real contribution. That should help in all types of historical and archeological studies. I've always heard people wondering about conjunctions, speculating about supernovas etc. Your careful explanations of how the expectation and conformational sightings of the ten solar system events would have been interpreted by and would have motivated the ancients seems to be a genuine contribution and eliminates the absurdity of starlight focusing through a barn window or thereabouts.
KIRKUS REVIEW: Debut writer and former science teacher Baron tackles the ancient mystery of the Christmas star—the astronomical phenomenon recorded in the Bible as having heralded the birth of Jesus Christ.
Baron used star-chart software from NASA to study the placement of the sun, moon, and planets in the skies over a period of years around the probable birth of Christ. Instead of studying the placements of these objects in the nighttime sky, as many have traditionally done, she looked instead at the sky at or before dawn. She took this approach because the Bible quotes an angel as saying “this day” a savior is born, as opposed to “this night.”
Baron concludes that a series of 10 events in the year 4 B.C.E. would have signaled the coming of a divine king to astronomers of the era. Among these signs would have been an eclipse of Saturn by the sun and two solar eclipses. The final sign would have been Saturn rising while Venus and Mars stayed below the horizon. Therefore, “the final beaconing ‘star’...was actually the planet Saturn.” In addition to this astronomical information and hand-drawn charts to show the placements of these astronomical bodies, Baron also provides a primer on astronomy itself, a synopsis of celestial symbolism for various peoples of the era, and a discussion concerning the possible identity of the wise men, or Magi, who came in search of the Christ child.
Baron’s work is lucid and provides excellent food for thought. She is to be especially commended for thinking outside the box on what is a long-standing point of argument among experts on astronomy, astrology, and biblical history. What Baron lacks is the professional credibility to drive her conclusions from the realm of lay theory to that of scientific theory. Her research unfortunately lacks the imprimatur of a scientific institution, which leaves the reader susceptible to doubt. Intriguing study of the “Christmas star” but in need of further scientific backing.
Amazon.com. ★★★★ I appreciate that Ms. Baron kept the book at its current length, which made it a light, fun and interesting read. I would recommend this book to almost anyone with a 6th grade or higher reading level. I could also see this book being read by Christians undertaking a homeschooling path.
"A great read!"
"Hats off to the author."
"Highly recommended for all levels of interest."
"A great message."
"A real contribution."
"An inspiring read."
"A genuine contribution."
"A blessing to receive."
"I'm amazed at all the research."
"...made it so clear."
"Light, fun & interesting read."
"A fascinating record of astronomy & historical facts."
"Helped bolster my faith."
"All around a great read, especially during this time of year"
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