"A book just came out in which the author proposes a new theory about the Star of Bethlehem and the birth chart of Jesus.The book is aptly titled The Star of Bethlehem. It was written by a Swiss astrologer named Dieter Koch, who is primarily known for his work with the company Astrodienst, as a co-author of the widely used Swiss Ephemeris....He rightly emphasizes the importance that was ascribed to planets making a helical rising in ancient astrology, and then later adds another dimension to the argument when he takes the statement that the star “stopped” over the place of Jesus’ birth as an indication that the relevant star stationed around the time the Magi arrived in Bethlehem. (pg. 57)In our opinion, that theory of Koch is without substance. As Nigel Henbest writes in What was the Star of Bethlehem?
Eventually he unveils the crux of his argument, which is essentially that:“Jesus was born at a heliacal rising of Venus!” (pg. 59)"
"Was Venus the Star of Bethlehem? Almost certainly not - Venus makes such regular appearances as the "Morning Star" and the "Evening Star" that people observing the heavens even thousands of years ago would have been familiar with it. The Christmas Star must have been a celestial event that was truly out-of-the-ordinary....Chinese astronomers were logging their own observations of the sky at the time, and reported no brilliant supernovae. They did, however, record two bright comets. The first was Halley's Comet, which swings close by the Sun roughly every 76 years.... But the ancient Chinese saw Halley swinging by in 12 BC - too early for the birth of Jesus.The Chinese reported another celestial visitor early in 5 BC - a"broom star" on the borders of the constellations Aquarius and Capricornus. Though some astronomers think this was a nova - an explosion on a dwarf star - Colin Humphreys, a scientist at Cambridge University, argues that it was a comet. And Humphreys is convinced that this tailed wonder was the Star of Bethlehem. The Chinese records show that the celestial visitor was visible for 70 days - long enough to guide the Magi to Bethlehem. In this case, Jesus was born in the spring of 5 BC. "Postings by others on the topic of the Star of Bethlehem discuss yet other theories:
The Star of Bethlehem, again at Bad Astronomy discusses a theory that the Star of Bethlehem was the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus - we do not buy that at all.
Colin Humphreys, The Star of Bethlehem, Science and Christian Belief , Vol 5, (October 1995): 83-101, suggests that the Star of Bethlehem was a comet - and that is the theory which we regard to be correct - but which comet and when?
All previous efforts to identify a comet around the era currently assigned to Christ are for naught, because there is a ca. 28-year error in current chronology - see the links below - so that what we regard as the "birth" of Christ was actually his death:
The Era of Jesus: Questions in Modern Calendration
Law, Evidence and Archaeology: Errors in Biblical Chronology
Law, Evidence and Archaeology: Errors in Biblical Chronology II
The result is then that we are looking for a comet around ca. 30 B.C. rather than 0 B.C. and there is indeed such a comet which fits the Biblical account perfectly, having appeared in February in 32 BC and appearing in the heaven's at Ying Shih, which extends into Capricorn, the traditional area of Christ's birth.
See John Williams, Observations of comets, from B. C. 611 to A. D. 1640 (1871), where he writes about the Chinese observation of a comet that appears 50th in his list and was observed in February 32 B.C.:
50 B.C. 32. February.In the reign of Ching Te, the 1st year of the epoch Keen Che, the 1st moon, there was a comet in Ying Shih : its colour was a bluish white. It was from 60 to 70 cubits in length, and about i cubit in width. [emphasis added]As written in a review of Williams work, Ying Shih is described as follows:
"Ying Shih, or as it is more usually denominated Shih, is one of the 28 stellar divisions determined by [alpha], [beta] and other stars in Pegasus, extending north and south from Cygnus to Piscis Australis, and east and west 17 degrees, and comprising parts of our signs Capricornus and Aquarius."David Seargent in The greatest comets in history: broom stars and celestial scimitars, Volume 725, writes:
"There seems ... to have been a comet with an exceptionally long tail in the year 32 BC., but it is mentioned - and then only briefly - in just one Chinese record. Moreover, despite noting a tail of at least 70 degrees in length, the object is described as a sparkling star, a designation more normally reserved for comets with no conspicuous tail. Maybe the tail was faint....[emphasis added]In our view, that "sparkling star" was the Star of Bethlehem.
Aristeo Canlas Fernando writes in his REVELATION AND PROOFS - based on the Bible, accounts of the respected Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, eclipse table prepared by Fred Espanek, Jewish calendars, Jewish festivals and fasts, calendar converter of Timothy James Forsythe, moon phases by Stellafane, Pasiong Mahal (Holy Passion), and the Aristean Cycle - that JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN ON MAY 23, 33 B.C.
We agree that the birth of Jesus occurred in this era ca. 33-32 B.C. and that the Star of Bethlehem was the Comet of 32 B.C.
It may or may not be coincidence, by the way, but the oldest surviving date for the Maya Long Count also falls "in 32 BC at Chiapa de Corzo, between the Olmec and Maya zones," Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube, Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens, p.13.