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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)

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  • 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
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    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
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With this old question popping up again due to current interest in a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter about to happen in a few days’ time, I read the answers and comments here, noting that nobody has yet suggested any denomination apart from the Jehovah’s Witnesses claiming the Star of Bethlehem was satanic. Thus it is not surprising if there is no other religious group having a similar view. It is eyebrow-raising, though, that it seems that Satanists link the Pentagram to the Star of the Magi and to the Star of Bethlehem. As you quoted from a JW article giving JW beliefs about the star and the Magi, my answer links in with that, too.

I looked at related Stack questions on this, and found a later one, (Did the Wise Men see the Star of Bethlehem at the east?) to be relevant. It shows various views about the Star of Bethlehem. As I answered it myself, I will just refer to that instead of repeating details about how a triple conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter three years before Herod the Great’s death was said by David Hughes, Professor of Astronomy at Sheffield University to possibly account for the Magi appearing some time after Mary gave birth to Jesus. Another answerer gave this relevant link https://wagingwisdom.com/2018/12/21/re-enchanting-the-star-of-bethlehem/

What I want to add here is information from Wikipedia that shows how astronomy and astrology are bound up in the on-going matter of the Star of Bethlehem and, from a Christian point of view, the astrological ones are worrying. Yet, even if the Magi were ‘into’ astrology, it needs to be remembered that God would know that and use their amazing knowledge of periodic movements of the heavenly bodies to carry out his will. After all, it was God who set them all in motion and he knows every movement and every date, and that the timing of the Word of God becoming flesh as Mary’s child was utterly in his control, determined from before creation started.

From this link, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_conjunction#%E2%88%926

“When studying the great conjunction of 1603, Johannes Kepler thought that the Star of Bethlehem might have been the occurrence of a great conjunction. He calculated that a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occurred in 7 BCE (astronomical year numbering -6). A triple conjunction is a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at or near their opposition to the Sun. In this scenario, Jupiter and Saturn will occupy the same position in right ascension (or ecliptic longitude) on three occasions (due to apparent retrograde motion) over a period of a few months. The most recent triple conjunction occurred in 1981, and the next will occur in 2239…

As well as being a triple conjunction, the great conjunction of 7541 will feature two occultations of Saturn by Jupiter, the first since 6856 BC (although the accuracy of planetary positions this far into the future cannot be calculated, and so sources differ as to the exact nature of these occultations)…

Despite the inaccuracies and some disagreement about the beginning of the cycle the belief in the significance of such events generated a stream of publications which grew steadily up to the end of the 16th century. As the great conjunction of 1583 was the last in the watery trigon it was widely supposed to herald apocalyptic changes; a papal bull against divinations was issued in 1586 and as nothing really significant had happened by 1603 with the advent of a new trigon, the public interest rapidly died. [Diagram shown of Kepler’s trigon, showing great conjunctions from his 1606 book ‘De Stella Nova’]”

Note how speculations about much earlier conjunctions have been going on for centuries, waxing and waning – but now waxing once more. Also, that the conjunction of 21 December this year (2020) is not a triple conjunction. The next will be in 2239, and possibly thereafter in 7541. Note also the papal bull against divinations regarding such events. Christians should rightly be careful to distinguish between astronomy and astrology, and not merge the two. Astronomy explores the work and wonders of God’s creation in the universe and although rarely credits God, Christians do. This is not to relegate the Star of Bethlehem to mere ‘natural phenomena’, but to uphold God as the only one able to time every material object he made to fit in with the supernatural incarnation of Christ. After all, Numbers 24:17 foretold, “A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel”. And God used a wayward prophet who tried (in vain) to curse the people of Israel to make that prophecy about a future Messiah. The risen Christ himself says, “I Jesus… am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.” (Revelation 22:16)

Just because some groups claim Satan caused the Star of Bethlehem to lead the astrological Magi to the house where Jesus, Mary and Joseph were, is no reason for Christians to give that evil one such undue honour. The Magi defeated Satan’s intentions by heeding God’s warning to them in a dream not to return to Herod (Matthew 2:12), though they knew it not. God knew all along.

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    This is not an answer. – Kris Dec 9 '20 at 23:03
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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.

Update: The triple conjunction of planets that led the Magi to the place in Bethlehem were Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus were living, is dated to late September/early October, 7 B.C. Interestingly, there is to be another conjunction of planets on 21 December, 2020. Jupiter and Saturn will be so close they will look like one bright, shining star. It's being called the Christmas star. These events may be rare, but they are documented and, with hindsight, are understood.

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    I still object to almost all if thus answer as being irrelevant to the question. Only your final paragraph answers this question and the attempt to associate our belief with Satan worshippers is offensive. – Kris Dec 26 '19 at 15:20
  • @Kris - I answered the main question as it stood before it was edited. On May 25 2018 the question was changed from "are there other denominations..." to So the question I would like to ask is: are there other Christian denominations that hold that the star was sent by Satan? For that reason I posted the last sentence. I am not responsible for questions being edited. – Lesley Dec 27 '19 at 12:19
  • @Kris - The original question asks: What denominations, besides JWs, hold that the Star of Bethlehem was sent by Satan? No mention of Christian denominations till May 25 2018. My answer included the views of Latter Day Saints and Seventh Day Adventists. What I discovered about the views of Satanists was relevant because they are a religious denomination. The doctrinal difference between orthodox Christian denominations and Jehovah's Witnesses in regard to who sent the star is a valid and objective comment. You may not like my answer but it was the result of unbiased and independent research. – Lesley Dec 27 '19 at 12:24
  • Why not also include the views of the Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran,etc...? They also do NOT believe that Satan sent the star. The Op did not ask for denominations that do NOT believe it. Also the word denomination asked about on this site will always refer to christian groups. These two facts make 95% of your answer off topic. – Kris Dec 27 '19 at 13:46
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    I'd like to add although the Jehovah's Witnesses hold this view, there are those out there, if ministered/preached to, should this topic come up, who have come to that same conclusion, despite being non-denominational (no affiliation with any faith group). This is from experience by the way. – The Mystery Christian Jun 17 '20 at 4:06

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