I looked up information about the Star of Bethlehem on Jehovah's Witnesses website and it looks like their point on it was that it was actually created by Satan in an attempt to kill Jesus.

Now of course as is known, this star and the story of the wise men has been a staple of Christmas celebrations for centuries.

So the question I would like to ask is: are there other Christian denominations that hold that the star was sent by Satan?

Here are the Jehovah's Witnesses arguments on it, from this article:

First, who were those men? In the original Greek, the Bible calls them neither kings nor wise men. They were magi, or astrologers. They were evidently practicers of the pagan art of divination based on the stars. The Bible record reveals neither the names nor the number of those visitors.

Second, when did those men visit? Not when Jesus was a baby in a manger. How do we know that? The Gospel writer Matthew says: “When they went into the house they saw the young child with Mary its mother.” (Matthew 2:11) Note that Jesus was no longer a newborn baby, but a “young child.” Mary and Joseph were no longer spending nights in a stable; rather, they were by then living in a house.

Third, who sent that “star” to lead the astrologers? Religious leaders commonly teach that God sent the “star.” Did he really? Remember, the “star” did not first lead those astrologers to Bethlehem. Rather, it led them to King Herod in Jerusalem. They revealed Jesus’ existence to that jealous and powerful murderer and even gave him strong reason for hating the child who was to become “king of the Jews.” (Matthew 2:2) Craftily, Herod told them to report back to him on the precise location of this child, claiming that he wanted to honor it as well. The “star” then led the astrologers to Joseph and Mary. So the astrologers were on a course that would have doomed the young child had God not intervened. Happily, he did intervene. So enraged was Herod when the astrologers did not report back to him that he ordered all the male children two years of age and younger in and around Bethlehem to be killed.—Matthew 2:16.

Jehovah later referred to Jesus as “my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” (Matthew 3:17) Consider: Would that loving, righteous Father select pagan astrologers—practicers of an occult art forbidden in his Law—as his messengers? (Deuteronomy 18:10) Would he use a star to lead them to the most dangerous and powerful murderer in the land, bearing a message sure to inflame Herod’s jealous hatred? Would God then use the same star and astrologers to reveal the spot where his helpless son lay?

To illustrate: A good military commander sends his best soldier on a dangerous mission into enemy territory. Would he reveal to the enemy where to find that soldier? Of course not! Likewise, Jehovah sent his Son to this dangerous world. Would He reveal to wicked King Herod where His Son lay as a defenseless child? Never!

Who, then, sent the “star,” or starlike object? Well, who had the greatest interest in seeing the child Jesus put to death, preventing him from growing up and fulfilling his mission on earth? Who seeks to mislead people and promotes lies, violence, and slaughter? Jesus himself identified the “liar and the father of the lie,” the one who “was a manslayer when he began”—Satan the Devil.—John 8:44. (emphasis added)

  • Interesting. I wonder what that means for Satan's role in JW doctrine. Does he have power over celestial objects? – BlackThorn Dec 14 '17 at 19:54
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    @TBear JWs believe Satan has the power to mislead and deceive humans. The star which the astrologers saw wasn't seen by anyone else (as evident by King Herod's questions to them) so JWs don't believe it was a real star. (Source) – 4castle Dec 14 '17 at 21:41
  • Unless someone is already acquainted with a denomination that professes this, the only way to safely answer this is to go through the list of "all" Christian denominations and check one by one. And even so the answer would still be uncertain, as it is very likely that many minor denominations have not pronounced on the issue. – luchonacho Apr 9 '18 at 14:03

The article quoted is from the April 2012 Watchtower magazine, ‘Who Sent the Star?’ You ask, are there other denominations that hold that the star was sent by Satan? After an exhaustive and exhausting on-line search, this is all I could find:

Mormons believe that the Star of Bethlehem was an actual astronomical event visible the world over. In the Book of Mormon, Samuel the Lamanite prophesies that a new star will appear as a sign that Jesus has been born, and Nephi later writes about the fulfillment of this prophecy.

In The Desire of Ages (page 60), Ellen White (Seventh Day Adventists) says: "That star was a distant company of shining angels, but of this the wise men were ignorant.”

Jehovah's Witnesses say the Star of Bethlehem was a product of Satan, rather than a sign from God, since the star led the astrologers to Jerusalem where they met King Herod's plan to kill Jesus.

No other Christian denomination makes this claim. However, it seems that Satanists link the Pentagram to the Star of the Magi and to the Star of Bethlehem:

“The Pentagram, which in Gnostic schools is called the Blazing Star, is the sign of intellectual omnipotence and autocracy. It is the Star of the Magi; it is the sign of the Word made flesh... It is initiation or profanation; it is Lucifer or Vesper, the star of morning or evening. It is Mary or Lilith, victory or death, day or night. The Pentagram with two points in the ascendant represents Satan as the goat of the Sabbath; when one point is in the ascendant, it is the sign of the Saviour. The Pentagram is the figure of the human body, having the four limbs and a single point representing the head. A human figure head downwards naturally represents a demon that is, intellectual subversion, disorder or madness... The most famous member of the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley, explained that he believed the inverted pentagram represented spirit manifesting into the material. In this he echoes the medieval ideas that the symbol represented the Star of Bethlehem, and represented the incarnation of God on earth, through Christ.” Source: http://www.munroe-falls-paranormal-society.com/blog/?p=269

“From the Greek word “pente”, meaning five and “gramma”, meaning letter, the pentagram is a triple triangle that forms an interior pentagon. This simple, five-pointed star has a rich and varied history. Used by ancient Chinese and Japanese religions to symbolize the five elements of life - fire, earth, metal, water and wood- the pentagram was believed to contain magical properties. Early Christians used the pentagram to represent the Star of Bethlehem. As time went on, this mystical representation of harmony, peace and health evolved into a symbol of Satan worship.” Source: https://www.originalbotanica.com/blog/pentagram-pentacle-meaning-origin/

The idea that Satan was responsible for leading the wise men or Magi to the place where they found the infant Jesus is flawed. If the Magi were pawns of Satan and influenced by him, then they would not have obeyed God’s warning in a dream. The fact that they obeyed God seems to indicate that they were acting in accord with his will. They brought very expensive gifts to the young child Jesus. These gifts were worth enough to finance the stay in Egypt of God’s Son. These men brought a financial provision for Jesus in direct line with God’s will. It was not until after the Magi left that Jesus’ parents were instructed to flee to Egypt. Rather than claiming Satan was somehow empowered to cause a miraculous sign in the sky, Christians believe it was the work of God. One Christian article I read made this suggestion:

“What exactly was the star of Bethlehem? The Greek word translated “star” in the text is the word aster, which is the normal word for a star or celestial body. The word is used 24 times in the New Testament, and most of the time it refers to a celestial body. It can be used to denote angels, as in Revelation 12:4, where aster seems to refer to the fallen angels who followed Satan’s rebellion. Basic rules of biblical interpretation state that we should take the normal sense of a word unless there is compelling evidence to suggest otherwise. In that case, the star of Bethlehem should be considered an actual heavenly body. Many Bible scholars suggest a natural explanation for the star of Bethlehem, their theories ranging from a supernova to a comet to an alignment of planets. Something in the heavens provided a brighter-than-normal light in the sky.

However, there is evidence to suggest that the star of Bethlehem was not a natural stellar phenomenon, but something unexplained by science. First, the fact that the star of Bethlehem seemed to appear only to the magi indicates that this was no ordinary star. Also, celestial bodies normally move from east to west due to the earth’s rotation, yet the star of Bethlehem led the magi from Jerusalem south to Bethlehem. Not only that, but it led them directly to the place where Joseph and Mary were staying, stopping overhead. There is no natural stellar phenomenon that can do that.

So, if the normal usage of the word star doesn’t fit the context, what does? The star of Bethlehem in Matthew 2:1–12 was likely a manifestation of the Shekinah Glory. The Shekinah, which literally means “dwelling of God,” was the visible presence of the Lord. Prior to this, the most notable appearance of the Shekinah was the pillar of cloud that led the Israelites by day and the pillar of fire that led them by night (Exodus 13:21). The Shekinah fits the evidence. The Shekinah can obviously lead people to specific locations, and it was seen later in connection with Christ’s ministry (e.g., Matthew 17:5; Acts 1:9). It shouldn’t surprise us that God would use a miraculous sign to signal the advent of His Son into the world. Those with eyes to see joyfully beheld His glory.” Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/star-of-Bethlehem.html

The answer to your edited question (are there any other Christian denominations apart from Jehovah's Witnesses who think the star was sent by Satan) is NO.

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    "If the Magi were pawns of Satan and influenced by him, then they would not have obeyed God's warning in a dream." This isn't a sound argument, because even the demons acknowledged Jesus as God's Son and obeyed Jesus when he commanded them to leave their victims. The Magi were astrologers. They practiced something specifically condemned by God. Rather than debate Truth, it would be best to stick to the question asked. – 4castle Apr 23 '18 at 17:44
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    @4castle The question was allowed to promote the JW teaching on this subject by having a big chunck from a Watchtower magazine reproduced. That quote was not needed for the Q to stand. A simple reference to it would have been enough yet the arguments for the JW belief were included, thus they are open to be countered. If Lesley's quote is not allowed, neither is the quote in the question! – Anne Apr 24 '18 at 8:29
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    @Anne The whole point of the question is to try to find similarities between the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses and other denominations, thus it's necessary to explain the belief first. There are plenty of other questions where people ask for the opposing viewpoint, and that's where it would be appropriate to explain other viewpoints. – 4castle Apr 24 '18 at 12:10
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    @4castle, try reading the question with that huge quote from the Watchtower removed, and you still have a perfectly clear, logical question. The Q is not asking to compare details of similar views, just names of any groups who think that star was satanic. Lesley answered with 'Satanists' and gave reasons, then mentioned the Shekinah glory that would counter the idea of Satan's devilish glory. No wonder Satanists would rage against the Star of Bethlehem, in that case! It all makes sense and fits together. A very interesting answer (even if you disagree with it.) – Anne Apr 24 '18 at 14:50
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    @Anne I don't disagree with the answer (other than the objection in my first comment). It's just that it focusses almost entirely on non-Christians or Christians which disagree with Jehovah's Witnesses, thus the answer is off-topic. I have never heard of this view that it was the Shekinah, and I wouldn't know if Satanists have heard of it either. This question currently has no mention of the Shekinah in its answers. (Perhaps Lesley would like to write an answer there) – 4castle Apr 24 '18 at 14:58

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