The Motif of the Star in the Gospel of Matthew (2:1-12) Cover Image

Motyw gwiazdy w Ewangelii według św. Mateusza (2,1-12)
The Motif of the Star in the Gospel of Matthew (2:1-12)

Author(s): Krzysztof Mielcarek
Subject(s): Theology and Religion, Systematic Theology, Pastoral Theology
Published by: Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II - Wydział Teologii
Keywords: Gospel of Matthew; star; light; anatolē

Summary/Abstract: The star image in the Gospel of Matthew has been repeatedly commented upon by many scholars. Some older interpretations, based on various known astronomical phenomena, have proved of limited use in terms of understanding the passage. There are some other explanations that depend upon ancient beliefs about stars appearing at the time an important person comes into the world. All these solutions, however, represent no more than scientific or historical hypothesis. Without entering into historical discussions about stars or the beliefs of ancient generations in the Middle East, the author of the paper proposes to look afresh at one enigmatic phrase in the Matthean story: en tē anatolē. A rich panorama of Old Testament quotations, which serve to connect the verb anatellō (LXX) with its Hebrew equivalent zāraḥ, reveal a wider context and thus some new possibilities for our understanding of the phrase. The author’s explanation is supported by an important narrative function of the star within the story, where the magi seeing its light are led to the newborn King.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 29
  • Page Range: 175-197
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Polish