In my previous post [also here] on a recent attempt at defending an astronomical Star of Bethlehem, I highlighted a number of issues with the writing of Dave Armstrong. In the time between writing that blog and now, Dave has made several more posts, along with comment exchanges. As I highlighted in my old post, Dave failed to understand the underlying text and quote mined one authority of the subject, undermining his credibility to do the sort of research to challenge the conesus position about what the Star was (and wasn’t). Now, with several new posts up, Dave is trying to fix things. Only one of those pages is relevant for today in which he against tries to defend an naturalistic interpretation of the Star of Bethlehem.
However, in the process, Dave proves that he is not an honest researcher, but the worst form of apologist, including hiding relevant information and even straight-up knowingly lying. I don’t like to make this latter accusation, but it is provably so, as I will demonstrate.
What Mr. Armstrong has done in his efforts is to marshall as many scholars as he can to support his position, in particular proving that there is reasonable debate among scholars about how to view the Star as either natural or supernatural. However, it is worth noting a few features of his list of scholars before delving into the issues with them. First off, it has no commentators prior to the 19th century–no Augustine, no Aquinas, no Luther, none of the Church Fathers or other famous interpreters. No Kepler either. Heck, no non-English sources! So he is missing out on a huge swath of commentators. Also note that most of his sources come from the 19th century. It’s almost as if there is little in the way of modern support, let alone traditional confirmation. I could have supplied many dozens of authorities in favor of my position, just like I did with St. Augustine (Against Faustus 2.5), but I’d rather avoid the tedium and look instead at Dave’s citations.Continue reading