Larson’s interest in the Star of Bethlehem began when he needed to make a Christmas Star to accompany his Magi lawn ornaments he had made to be Christmas decorations, but did not know what the Star of Bethlehem was and needed to learn more.

As a lawyer, Larson examined the text of Matthew, finding nine pieces of evidence in the nativity passage. The Star’s nine data points are that it signified birth, it signified kingship, it was related to the Jewish nation, and it “rose in the East”; it was not known to King Herod; it appeared at a specific time; it endured over time; it was before the Magi as they traveled south to Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and then, according to the Bible, it stopped over the city of Bethlehem.


Using astronomy software to return to the skies over Judea by using Johannes Kepler’s math to calculate positions of celestial objects, Larson thinks he found all nine elements found in the book of Matthew. He also believes that the Star of Bethlehem, is Jupiter, a wandering star, and it stopped over Bethlehem during its retrograde motion on December 25, 2 BC. Larson believes King Herod the Great died in 1 BC, although others, including astronomer David Hughes, and astronomer Mike Molnar, believe Herod died in 4 BC.


The Star of Bethlehem suggests the Star stood over Bethlehem in its retrograde motion. As earth overtakes other planets as it orbits, they appear to loop backwards. The planet Mars here shows this looping motion.


Once Larson found what he thinks is the time of Jesus Christ’s birth, he looked for signs appearing in the heavens at possible times that fit the Passover, and believes the date of the Christ’s (Messiah’s) crucifixion was April 3, 33 AD. on the Gregorian calendar. He also thinks he found astronomical phenomena related to a vision in the book of Revelation.