A very helpful focus,
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This review is from: Star of Bethlehem [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Sometimes, it seems as if we may be tempted to treat the incidental details within the Gospel narratives as just a bit of window-dressing to lend significance to the message. I suspect that the elements in the 'Christmas Story' may be a bit like that. This film is a useful reminder that the incidentals do actually provide us with a great deal of explanatory detail which may be used for verification purposes. In fact, such was the care applied to the treatment of Matthew's text (chapter 2), I was shocked to discover just how much verifiable data was actually there.
The makers of this film open up the subject in a wholly convincing way. My only reservations are the slightly unctuous tone used at times (but that's perfectly understandable, given the real significance of the discoveries) and the rapidity with which Rick Larson fixes on the Planet Jupiter as the solution to the conundrum. That doesn't stop him being right, however, and the presentation puts forth an extremely robust case for the dating of Christ's birth, as well as the identification of the astronomical configuration which applied at the time.
A very good piece of work, and a helpful reminder for Christians that the detail we are given is there for a reason.
Overall, the film is beautifully-produced, and I would recommend it anyone with an enquiring mind, prepared to have their assumptions about the 'Christmas Story' radically shaken.