Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Opinion Letters

Comet theory no explanation for Christmas Star

Published 22/12/2015

Colin Nicholl's claims (Life, December 18) that a 'Great Comet' can explain the Biblical account of the so-called 'Star of Bethlehem' do not stand up to scrutiny.

1. A brilliant 'Great Comet' which he claims was visible for more than a year, would have been seen all over the world. But there are no other records of such a comet, although records of other comets, including Halley's comet, go back many hundreds of years before the time of Christ.

2. Herod himself would have seen it. Yet, when the magi appeared he had not even heard of it, in spite of the fact that it had been visible at least for weeks, if not months, in order for the magi to complete their journey.

3. Even the shepherds who were tending their flocks in the fields at night did not see it.

4. A 'Great Comet', especially one in an orbit such as Nicholl proposes, would look nothing like a star.

5. Comets were well-known to ancient 'Wise Men' and so there would have been nothing significant about another one.

6. If the comet was so spectacular and brilliant, and so significant by "standing over the house where the young child lay", why then do none of the other Gospels mention it?


(Past-president, Irish

Astronomical Association)

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph