The Bethlehem Star

“The Underground Newspaper of the Faithful Chosen of the Lord

in The Eastern Frontier of the Empire of Rome!”

“The Bethlehem Star”
“TheVoice of Bethlehem”
What Is “The Bethlehem Star?”

            The Bethlehem Star is a 12-page fictional “underground” newspaper, supposedly published by the Jewish community during the early days of the New Testament, this particular issue having been published during the month of what we know today as December, in the year 749 a.u.c.--“ab urbe condita” (“from the founding of the city” [of Rome]), or what we today record as 6 BC, the probable year of the birth of Jesus.  The newspaper has to be published “underground,” of course, or some of the opinions of the writers and editorial staff may just result in them losing their heads, thereby putting a decided damper on any future publications.   It’s probably safe to say that, if the Press had not yet been invented, then “Freedom of the Press” would have been a pretty long shot as well.
What Is “The Bethlehem Star” for?

            It is hoped that the newspaper might be used as an 
extra means of personal reflection, particularly on the 
often-hard-to-reach human side of the birth of our Lord, the
Son of God.  These were world-changing events, and yet 
they were taking place in the little town of Bethlehem nestled 
in the Judean high country, in the shadow of the great and 
powerful holy city of Jerusalem, and likely with little 
awareness on the part of anyone living then of just how 
significant these days would someday be.

            The stories are written as well, however, with an 
ear to how they might sound to an audience. We hope you 
might find them very suitable for livening up a classroom 
storytelling session, or maybe a public reading reflection 
on the story of the first Christmas, particularly an audience 
of young religious education students who might be helped 
by them to more easily create a mental picture for themselves 
of just how it might have been back in those days.

What Are the Sources of Its Content?

            The basic historical content for the various stories is taken from the Infancy Narratives in both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, of course.  The fictional embellishments are added in the interest of helping to bring alive as much as possible what it may have been  like back then for those who were witness to these events, or maybe who actually participated in them in some way.

            As a professional writer and editor, and Editor of the American Senior Gazette Newspaper in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area, I have assembled the various stories and ads and such along the same lines and with basically the same format as that newspaper, with the added help of some other professional associates in the newspaper field.

            As my biography states on this website, I hold a Master’s Degree in Theology from the Maryknoll School of Theology in New York, which has caused me to be very careful, in my embellishments, not to contradict what little is known of these events and of this time.  In many cases, in fact, I have stretched historical fact a little extra by reaching out to include some of the long-cherished traditions of a Christian Christmas where it seemed helpful and appropriate, especially to the hearts of young Christian readers and listeners, despite the fact that, obviously, many of these traditions were developed centuries later.

So What Stories Are in “The Bethlehem Star?”

A very bright new star has taken over the heavens, and snows have fallen on the land in greater measure than anyone can remember.  Everyone sees these things as signs of great changes to come, but no one seems to be sure as to just what kinds of changes are being foretold.  King Herod is in power over the land as king of the eastern frontier of the Empire of Rome under Augustus Caesar.  Now in his later years, Herod the Great is rather sickly (in fact, will expire in about 3 years), and therefore is growing a little more nervous about his power and his legacy.  Any news or suspicions of a coming Messiah are only fodder for his already-frazzled nerves.

The lead stories look at these various phenomena from different angles:

Bright Star Over Bethlehem Said to be Sign of Birth of Long-Awaited Messiah!, 
by Abraham ben Zokut, the Miller’s Son
King Herod said to be “Excited” by III Visitors Looking for Newborn King!, 
by “Underground” Royal Court Reporter Hezron of Ram
Carpenter of Nazareth Claims to be Witness to Miracle of Peace on Journey!, 
by Nehemiah, the Scribe
Shepherds Startled by Nighttime Apparition, 
by Rehoboam ben Midrash
Editorial:  Point/Counterpoint—Is Star Sign of New Era of Peace or of War?
So How Do I Obtain “The Bethlehem Star?”

Prices for various quantities are on this website at Items for Purchase.

You can also contact us by e-mail here at Contact Us, or just call us on the cell at 248-219-1348.  We can generally ship these out to you so that you’ll receive them in just a few days.  If you’re close enough, we might even be able to deliver them ourselves, as we’d love for you to have them for this Christmas season.

Hope that helps.  And thanks so much for asking!

John Dzwonkowski
Founder-Scripture on Stage.

Other stories attempt to round out the picture of the times, and the wonder of its people as they go about their daily lives in this critical turning point in our history.

Here are some of them:

  1. BulletUnusual Births Cited by Local Midwife

  2. BulletSports –

  3. BulletBrutus Magnus vs. Tyrannicus of Carthage in Fight to Finish!

  4. BulletLooking Ahead to the Gladiatorial Spectacles of Spring

  5. BulletMerchants Look to Boom in Hanukkah Sales

  6. BulletRealm of the Royals—Something Gets Under Herod’s Skin!

  7. BulletThe Lighter Side of Wisdom

  8. BulletWeather

  9. BulletTravel

  10. BulletClassifieds

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