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  • Author or Editor: Michael Pettem x
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Abstract

Most English translations of the story of the Star of Bethlehem either say explicitly or seem to imply that Herod learns from the magi the point in time at which the star appeared. This translation reflects an unusual understanding of two words in the Greek text, as well as raising the question why he killed children aged over a range of two years if he knew the exact age of the baby. These problems have been raised in the critical literature, yet many modern versions continue to offer a grammatically and logically strange interpretation. This article will argue that this interpretation is based on the assumption of a Hellenistic genethliac astrological background for the text, and that the perceived need for this common translation disappears if a Babylonian astrological background is assumed.

In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology