I owe a debt of gratitude to a number of scholars and scientists who, through their efforts, have furnished the puzzle pieces out of which this presentation has been constructed. They are comprised of: archeologists, astronomers, physicists, historians, archeo-astronomers, biblical scholars, and pastors. None of them got it all right, I suppose. And it would be arrogant to think I have also. There are a few original ideas and constructs I have not seen elsewhere - but only a few. We were not there... none of us. We are all better at making accurate measurements and observations than wise deductions and applications. Thus is it important to speak in the language of possibility, and not certainty. "You may be right, let's look at it together" is my best answer to the onslaught of scrutiny an endeavor like this triggers.
In constructing this presentation over ten years I have come to understand that the biblical language is like a trail of bread crumbs left for us to follow, if we will. Every time I have come upon an assumption, assertion or deduction that did not seem to square with exactitude of the hints in the language of the account in Matthew's account, I have looked further and deeper, thought harder, prayed more specifically. Why does it mention His mother? Why was Herod specifically troubled? What caused the magi to fall on their faces right then? What did they see that specifically reminded them of the first sign in the "rising"? Why mention "another way" home? How did the Jews account for the age of a person? How can the Revelation 12 account of a birth be both past and future - what links the two?
Often I have been awakened in the night with a sudden thought, which when researched placed an ill-fitting piece rightly - always to my awe and amazement. Such sudden midnight insights helped align the whole story, explained the crown of 12 stars, showed why Herod would want to kill all children in their second year, and more.
I am almost satisfied with the result. The telling will never be as good as the real story, never as majestic, never as immense, never as detailed, never as defeating of every chess move by "whoever" to prevent the story in the first place or to try to obscure the story for future generations to marvel at... for us to marvel at.
I have another more dangerous purpose in the telling. I believe that no one should be intimidated by science when they look deeply into the heavens and feel a sense of awe and a quickening of the eternal within them. No one should feel fear when they look at the apparent patterns in the sky named and arranged by God just because some misguided and deceived individual or group worships or "reads" them for occult or idolatrous reasons. Yes, many of the names and patterns have been obscured across 5,000 years and six major cultures. But God still owns the heavens, still uses them for signs and seasons, and tells us to "look up" and stand in awe of Him.
Lets "take back the sky" together!