There are many today who sincerely doubt the authenticity of the Bible, especially those stories about Jesus. It is with that in mind that I want to share this information.
In 1856 an American minister, W D Mahan, was given access to the Vatican Library. He chose eleven documents and had them translated from the original Greek or Aramaic. In 1887 he published his findings in a book titled “The Archko Volume.” Today this book is known as “The Acts of Pilate.”
One of the stories told involves the Star of Bethlehem. The story tells about an inquiry made by the Sanhedrin High Council. They sent their own investigator, Jonathan, son of Heziel. The following is what Jonathan reported back to the High Council.
I met with two men, who said they were shepherds, and were watching their flocks near
. They told me that while attending to their sheep, the night being cold and chilly, some of them had made fires to warm themselves, and some of them had laid down and were asleep; that they were awakened by those who were keeping watch with the question, “What does all this mean? Behold, how light it is!”; that when they were aroused it was light as day. But they knew it was not daylight, for it was only the third watch. All at once the air seemed to be filled with human voices, saying, “Glory! Glory! Glory to the most High God!” And “Happy art thou, Bethlehem , for God hath fulfilled his promise to the fathers; for in thy chambers is born the King that shall rule in righteousness. Bethlehem
I asked him how they felt, if they were not afraid; they said at first they were; but after awhile it seemed to calm their spirits, and so fill their hearts with love and tranquility that they felt more like giving thanks than anything else. They said it was around the whole city, and some of the people were almost scared to death. Some said the world was on fire; some said the gods were coming down to destroy them; others said a star had fallen; until Melker the priest [from Bethlehem] came out shouting and clapping his hands, seeming to be frantic with joy.
Unfortunately, the Vatican Library is now closed and we cannot access the tremendous wealth of information that it contains. I am certain, however, that when we are allowed to read these volumes, we will find that many writers told the same stories that are found in the Bible.