Apologetics Class 12/17/2017

This is the video we watched in the class today:

Here is the note-taking form I handed out:

Jason Lisle (PhD Astrophysicist) – HIS Star (Matthew 2)

  1. The name B_______________ means House of Bread, which is fitting because Jesus is the bread of life.
  2. His birth in Bethlehem was prophesied in M_________ 5:2.
  3. Herod the Great was a very wicked, despicable, powerful man.
  4. The Magi arrived, the word Magi is where we get the word magic. They could be called magicians.
  5. They were s__________ and p___________ of the ancient world, from the east, probably Persia. Magi is the Persian word meaning priest.
  6. The Bible doesn’t tell us how many Magi visited Christ. Most people think 3 because of Christmas songs/cards. Rather, there were probably a large number of them (50). They even had their own personal army. Most likely they did not ride camels, because Persians were accomplished horsemen.
  7. It wasn’t the Jews who were looking for the K________ of the J_______, it was Gentiles from a very pagan area of the world.
  8. The Gospel of Matthew is full of judgement against Israel for rejecting their own M__________.
  9. God doesn’t grow 2 trees, he grows the one tree. If Jews are going to be saved it’s going to be through the c________________.
  10. These Magi apparently had knowledge of the Bible.
  11. D____________ was appointed chief of the Magi while Judah was exiled in Babylon.
  12. The Magi would have been looking for Christ to come based on Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks.
  13. Magi may have been looking for a star based on B____________’s prophecy in Numbers 24:17.
  14. It’s significant that he is born King of the Jews. People aren’t born kings. You might be born heir to the throne, but it’s not until you reach a certain age that you’re installed as king. Christ is different, Christ is born King of the Jews.
  15. Christ as a descendant of D___________, has a right to the throne. On the contrary, H____________ had no right to the throne.
  16. The Star must not have been really bright, otherwise Herod in the rest of the Jews would have k_____________ about it.
  17. “We have we have seen his star in the east.” That phrase is ambiguous. Does it mean we saw his star while we were in the east? Or does it mean we saw the star in the Eastern sky?
  18. The phrase “in the east” in the original language, means “at its r___________”. At this time in history, there was no word for East. It literally meant at its rising. Likewise with the word west, it meant at its setting.
  19. All natural objects rise in the east and set in the west.
  20. The Jews, who should’ve been ecstatic about the long awaited Messiah, were t_____________ by the Magi coming to ask about Him.
  21. The distance from Persia to Jerusalem is about 650 miles, which would’ve taken many months
  22. The Magi probably arrived about ___ year after Christ’s birth.
  23. We can assume Mary and Joseph were still p_________ at the time of the mandated sacrifice for their 1st born child, since they gave 2 turtle doves instead of a lamb.  This indicates the Magi had not yet come and given the gifts, which included g__________.
  24. It is interesting that they offered the same gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh) that “subservient” states would present gifts to their “overlord” state.  That’s a way of saying, “We have our own king for our nation, but you are King of kings”.
  25. What is the star?  It doesn’t have to be a “star” in the modern astronomical sense.  The Greek word for star would include anything that is a b_________, luminous object in the night sky.  It would include planets, conjunction of planets, comets, supernovas or even a small moon.
  26. One of the more popular explanations is that the “star” was a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Regulus.  There was one of these events in 3 B.C.
  27. Most scholars believe that Christ was born around ___ B.C.
  28. On June 17th 3 B.C. there was a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus.  This would’ve only happened for 1 night, but the Magi claimed to see the star 2 separate times.
  29. In order for the star to “appear stationary”, it has to move, because Bethlehem is on a rotating planet.
  30. There is no natural phenomenon that can remain suspended over a particular location on Earth.
  31. Hypothesis: the Christmas star was a s________________ manifestation of God’s power (a miracle).  This hypothesis solves these difficulties:
    1. It explains why the Magi went w__________ if the star was in the e____________
    2. It explains why they recognized it as HIS star (all natural objects rise in the east and set in the west, but this one object was rising in the west)
    3. It explains why only the Magi noticed it (because they were knowledgeable about the constellations of the night-time sky)
    4. It explains Balaam’s prophecy in Numbers 24:17
  32. A lot of people think that God created the universe and it runs like a clock and periodically intervenes with miracles.  But that’s not a biblical view.  The universe is not something that can operate i____________ from God.  The Bible says that God is constantly upholding the universe.
  33. Laws of nature are not a r_________ for God’s power – they are an e_________ of God’s power.
  34. Laws of nature are d____________ of the normal, consistent way that God upholds His creation.
  35. A supernatural action is when God does something in an unusual way.
  36. The atheist demands a miracle from God.  However, it is not a violation of the laws of nature that demonstrate God’s existence, it’s the laws of nature that demonstrate God’s existence.
  37. Genesis 8:22 – the basic c_________ of nature will be in the future as they have been in the past.
  38. Summary:
    1. Supernatural Light Source.
    2. Not very bright.
    3. Rises over Christ.
    4. Magi take many months to arrive.
    5. Rose in the west.
    6. Star reappears over Bethlehem.

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