On Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will be as close as they’ve been in eight centuries. The timing has led many stargazers to dub the planetary conjunction the “Christmas star.” Some have even speculated about whether the celestial event is similar to the biblical Star of Bethlehem that led the wise men to Joseph, Mary and the newly born Jesus.

Religion scholar Eric M. Vanden Eykel, who is writing a book on the three wise men, explains the story behind the Star of Bethlehem and why the Bible is making a theological argument – not a historical one.

Also today:

Kalpana Jain

Senior Religion + Ethics Editor

A Nativity presentation showing the three wise men being led by the Star of Bethlehem. Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

As heavenly bodies converge, many ask: Is the Star of Bethlehem making a comeback?

Eric M. Vanden Eykel, Ferrum College

A conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is giving rise to speculations that it is the same astronomical event as the biblical Star of Bethlehem. An expert explains why it is not.

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