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The "Star of Bethlehem" coin series and the anticipated return of Jesus Christ

The "Star of Bethlehem" or the Roman Antioch Ram coin series was the inspiration of starting this website. Michael Molnar discovered the initial coin series minted at 6 AD, 11-12 AD, and 13-14 AD likely represented the Star of Bethlehem astronomic event in 6 BC as seen in the Levant. This star is represented on the reverse of the above coin. The Romans used astronomical events past, present and future to "justify" Roman economic expansion and military domination. Jupiter, the primary Roman deity is on the coin obverse. The minting dates of this series correspond to political unrest in Judea in which the Romans were concerned about the possibility of rebellion against Roman government. The initial coin series started with the take over of Judea as a Roman province in 6 AD and with the transition of power from Caesar Augustus to Tiberius in 14 AD. Molnar identified the Ram as the astrological symbol of Judea. Note the first coin series uses an astrological event from 12 years ago to justify a current event. The messianic return of the Jewish King was corrupted by Rome later to justify their agenda with the peoples of the Levant. This series reappeared in 55 AD from Roman Antioch with a star within the crescent replacing the "Star of Bethlehem." In 55 AD Antioch which had been the administrative capital of the Roman province of Judea, was communicating a very ominous tone with the inhabitants of ancient Israel. According to Josephus the Jewish rebellions started in the mid 50's and culminated in 66 AD. This is important because if Rome considered early Christians a violent threat to Roman order they would have hunted down the followers of Jesus Christ prior to 55 AD. The Roman persecution of Christians started with Nero and the First Jewish Rebellion.

Above Photo Shick Coins

Above Photo JP Fontanille

Herod Antipas made some additions to his coin series from 33 AD. He places a "star" above the place name of the city of Tiberius on the obverse. I now believe this to be a representation of the Star of Bethlehem. We are not aware of any astronomic events other than the crucifixion darkness in 33 AD. Herod Antipas clearly remembered the Star of Bethlehem. He was born before 20 BC in Judea. Whether in Judea or being educated in Rome he would have remembered his father Herod the Great and the "slaughter of the innocents" by his brother Archelaus.

Following the reported resurrection of Jesus, Herod Antipas may have had a "slight" conversion to realizing Jesus Christ may have been the Messiah. We now have a coin showing what is most likely the star of Bethlehem on a coin of Herod Philip from 33 AD. The star is below the Greek lambda in the center on the reverse.

Above Photo Zurqieh Coins

What is important is the "shofar" or trumpet on the coin of Herod Antipas. We only see this star and trumpet on a few coins of the series of Herod Antipas from 33-34 AD. They were likely added mid production as the Resurrection of Jesus was an important event. But why did the trumpet and star symbols stop after this series if Herod Antipas was considering Jesus Christ as the Messiah? Rome executed Jesus and left his followers alone. Rome did not consider early Christians a threat, contrary to the recent movie "Risen." Matter of fact a report in the literature of the saints is that Emperor Tiberius considered adding Jesus to the Roman pantheon of gods but declined because Jesus Christ was too proud and did not want the worship of other gods.

I believe it is because early Jews and Christians were expecting the imminent return of Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom of God. I think they were expecting Jesus to return on the Feast of Trumpets in 33 or 34 AD. When Jesus did not return as Herod Antipas expected he lost his interest very quickly in the messianic claims of Jesus Christ. He may have been upset over the death of his brother Herod Philip who died in 34 AD and was buried in Bethsaida.

We now know that the return of Jesus Christ may be in the very near future. The ancients expected the Feast of Trumpets to be the likely day this would happen. So far it hasn't happened yet and may not for a while. It should be noted that this feast was spread over 2 days and was at the new moon. At the time it was said no man knew the day or the hour when the Feast of Trumpets would begin. The Romans began to accept the fact that Jesus was the Son of God much faster than the Jews did after the Resurrection. Jesus Christ had to transform the Roman Empire with a small band of disciples. It took time to do this. He defeated Rome. If Christ defeated Rome I know he has not forgotten those that love Him and will be there to save us in the end.

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