Colin R. Nicholl is one of the most careful New Testament exegetes I know today.
In the April 2000 volume of The Journal of Theological Studies, Colin R. Nicholl published the seminal article, “Michael, The Restrainer Removed (2 Thess. 2:6-7),” making the strong case that Michael is the Restrainer. His article would be published in an appendix in his monograph From Hope to Despair in Thessalonica: Situating 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Cambridge University Press, 2004.
I have distilled his scholarly arguments for the Archangel Michael being the Restrainer in two episodes of The Biblical Prophecy Program, here and here.
Now he has researched and published on a different biblical enigma: the “star” of Bethlehem. The Great Christ Comet: Revealing the True Star of Bethlehem.
The publisher’s site says:
The Star of Bethlehem is one of the greatest mysteries in astronomy and in the Bible. What was it? How did it prompt the Magi to set out on a long journey to Judea? How did it lead them to Jesus?
In this groundbreaking book, Colin R. Nicholl makes the compelling case that the Star of Bethlehem could only have been a great comet. Taking a fresh look at the biblical text and drawing on the latest astronomical research, this beautifully illustrated volume will introduce readers to the Bethlehem Star in all of its glory.
“The Great Christ Comet is a stunning book. Colin R. Nicholl develops a convincing case for what exactly the Star of Bethlehem was. The book reads like a detective novel, and while it is full of evidence, information, and argumentation, it is accessible and enjoyable to read. This work is now the definitive treatment of the subject. I highly recommend it.”
—J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University; author, The Soul: How We Know It’s Real and Why It Matters
“I am simply in awe of this book. It is a blockbuster. It is an historic discovery and nothing less. The Great Christ Comet is an absolutely astonishing triumph of interdisciplinary scholarship so rarely seen and so tremendously illuminating as to merit bright comparison with the very celestial phenomenon it describes. Both lead us to the manger and to the Great Poet within, whose syllables are the moon and sun and stars.”
—Eric Metaxas, New York Times best-selling author, Miracles and Bonhoeffer
“In every respect this volume is a remarkable achievement. I regard it as the most important book ever published on the Star of Bethlehem and enthusiastically commend it.”
—Gary Kronk, author, Cometography; Consultant, American Meteor Society
“The most comprehensive interdisciplinary synthesis of biblical and astronomical data yet produced. It is a remarkable feat that a biblical scholar has been able to master the scientific data at such a level of erudition. No discussion of the historicity of the Star of Bethlehem can afford to ignore this book.”
—Simon Gathercole, Senior Lecturer in New Testament, University of Cambridge; author, Where Is Boasting? and The Preexistent Son
Read more endorsements here.
Table of Contents
“Star of Wonder”: Introducing the Bethlehem Star
“We Beheld (It Is No Fable)”: The Testimony of Matthew’s Gospel
“They Looked Up and Saw a Star”: The Story of the Star
“What Star Is This?”: Evaluating the Major Hypotheses
“What Sudden Radiance from Afar?”: Introducing Comets
“A Stranger midst the Orbs of Light”: The Star as a Comet
“Yon Virgin Mother and Child”: The Celestial Wonder
“With Royal Beauty Bright”: Messiah’s Star
“Lo, the Star Appeareth”: Profiling the Comet
“Following Yonder Star”: Tracking the Comet
“Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning”: The Greatest Comet in History
“The Light Everlasting That Fades Not Away”: The Ongoing Story
Appendix 1: The Chinese Comet Records
Appendix 2: The Meteor Storm of 6 BC
Colin R. Nicholl (PhD, University of Cambridge) taught at the University of Cambridge and was a professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary before devoting himself to biblical research. His book From Hope to Despair in Thessalonica was published by Cambridge University Press, and his articles have appeared in publications such as The Journal of Theological Studies and The Times (London).