Secular Sunday XII – Proof of Accuracy in the Bible

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

I just read an article about a Notre Dame professor who determined that the star of Bethlehem mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew may have actually been a supernova.

His discovery is the result of research into whether or not the mysterious star actually existed and why it was so bright. As it turns out, about 2000 years ago, Kesteven 75 went supernova in the constellation Aquila, which viewed from Babylon or Persia after midnight would have appeared, “in the East.”

To say that this is the star of Bethlehem is pure conjecture, though, since no one is quite sure when Jesus was born – best guesses put his birth as early as 8 B.C. – and there were multiple astronomical phenomena around that time.

This article seems to be part of a growing trend to prove that God is real by proving that events in the Bible actually happened. Astronomer Phil Plait commented on the article saying, “why do people who believe in miracles try to back them up with science, negating their entire premise?”

We’ve long known that certain events described in the Bible took place. Time and again, science has proven aspects of the Bible to be true. But just because a story contains an event that actually happened doesn’t mean that the entire story is true. That would be a bit like saying 2 + 2 = 5 is true, because 2 and 2 are both numbers, and so is 5.

The mentality that God can be proven through science is what Intelligent Design is all about, and it shows that atheism is a legitimate threat to Christianity. That Christians now feel the need to prove their faith on atheists’ terms is exactly what’s wrong with modern religion. Christians are being taught that tangible evidence can support faith, which is simply not the case.

What’s wrong with taking it all on faith? If you believe in God, if you believe in miracles, if you believe what the Bible says, what does it matter what other people believe? Isn’t believing in spite of contrary evidence kind of the whole point? Isn’t God supposed to test your faith by sending people like me to tempt you?

I think the best way to sum this all up is to point out a comment in the original article. Someone going by the name “Ted” wrote, “why try to find…justification? Either you believe in a comforting faith or you face reality with your own moral compass.”

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  1. I take it you’ve never read the short story, The Star, by Arthur C. Clarke?

  2. No, I haven’t.

    And holy hell did you ever post a comment fast! I published this one a minute or two ago. Are you cyber-stalking me?

    Which reminds me, when are we going to hang out?

  3. I have the book that it’s featured in. I’ll let you borrow it if you want.

    I press refresh on my LJ friends page like constantly.

    Adventure #1 can not happen until the snow lightens up.

    However, I’m free to hang out whenever.

  4. I believe in miracles, but I don’t believe in god.


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