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While the faithful accept the New Testament Gospels as fact, religious scholars and scientists often seek a scientific basis for many of the events they describe.One that resurfaces every year at Christmas is the Star of Bethlehem.
A vision by Pope Pius XII (1939-58), for example, caused him to remark, "Mankind must prepare itself for sufferings such as it has never before experienced…If it is shown that prayer really does have an effect, what is the mechanism involved?Is it truly a miracle, or is there some kind of psychic or quantum effect which we do not yet understand? The classic skeptical challenge is: Pray that an amputee's leg grows back and see how well that works.Sometimes they are described as beings of light, other times as remarkably beautiful humans, and even as ordinary looking people. Sometimes the need is profound -- a person at the point of suicide -- and on other occasions the need is relatively mundane: a young woman out alone at night gets a flat tire and is assisted by a kind stranger who seems to come out of nowhere, then vanishes without a trace.The Old Testament book of Exodus describes in detail the box, overlayed with gold, that the Israelites built from God's instructions to contain the broken tablets on which were written the original Ten Commandments.