Why a lot of our knowledge in regards to the 3 Smart Males of the Christmas story is definitely incorrect

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They’re among the many most beloved characters of Christmas; showing yearly at college pageants, celebrated on the feast of the Epiphany, and in carols sung all through the season.  However how a lot do we actually find out about these mysterious clever males who sought the Christ Little one?  It seems little or no—and far of what we expect we all know is wrong.   

Regardless of the well-known music, “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” there have been very probably greater than three of them (the Gospel mentions three presents, not three males), they weren’t kings, and they didn’t hail from the Far East. 

Historic, biblical and archeological proof paints a really totally different image of the Gospel’s “Smart Males from the East.” Utilizing these uncared for early sources I created an image e-book journey titled, “The Smart Males Who Discovered Christmas.” However in the midst of a story, I may solely trace at what I found.   

First off, who had been the “Smart Males”?  Magi had been mystical characters, educated to see the unseen.  They had been star-gazers, mathematicians, theologians, interpreters of desires, and fairly probably a part of a priestly caste with Zoroastrian and even Jewish roots.  And like different clever males on the time, they might have served a king.  However which one?  


We all know that the Magi didn’t come from the Far East and even Persia.  Saints and scribes within the first and second century—together with Tertullian, Eusebius, and Clement of Rome all attest that the Magi got here from “East of Judea.”  Justin Martyr writing lower than 100 years after Jesus’ resurrection is much more express: “The Magi got here from Arabia and worshipped Him…”   

There are a few good causes to suspect that they got here from what was then the capital of Arabia, the Kingdom of Nabatea—modern-day Petra.  Raymond Brown, the biblical scholar tells us “the Jewish Group in Northern Arabia was one of many largest historical Jewish communities within the historical past of the Jewish folks.”  So the Jewish prophecies of a coming Messiah would have been well-known to the inhabitants of Nabatea.   

Father Dwight Longenecker, who has researched the historic Smart Males for years means that the presents the Magi carried additionally level to the Kingdom of Nabatea as their residence.  Frankincense and myrrh had been produced there from the tree sap extracted solely from Arabian timber.  And Nabatea managed the Mines of Midean, also referred to as the legendary King Solomon’s mines.   


What was the character of the Smart Males’s journey?  Matthew’s Gospel in a mere twelve traces describes what was very probably a royal diplomatic mission to the harmful Herod, mingled with a private religious quest. 

FILE – DECEMBER 10, 2020: Volunteers portray the manger scene outside the Church of Jesus Christ in Fountain Valley, California, as part of the church's living creche.

FILE – DECEMBER 10, 2020: Volunteers painting the manger scene exterior the Church of Jesus Christ in Fountain Valley, California, as a part of the church’s dwelling creche.
(Getty Photos)

Previous Testomony scholar and Cambridge-educated linguist, Margaret Barker provides a very tantalizing risk.  Barker believes that the Smart Males could have been descendants of the First Temple royal Jewish priesthood—the Order of Melkhizedek- expelled from the Temple 700 years earlier than Christ.  


Removed from the Magi “present drop” that has grow to be a cultural fixture, the gadgets they carried recommend a much more severe non secular mission.  Barker factors to Philo of Alexandria, who stories that gold was used within the vestments of the Royal monks of the primary temple.  

Frankincense was burned within the first temple and myrrh oil was saved within the holy of holies. Why? It was used to anoint kings and members of the royal excessive priesthood. 

Shattering the later day accounts of the emperors bearing presents to a messiah, it makes much more sense {that a} group of exiled Jewish excessive monks got here, not solely to worship this Messiah, however to anoint him into their priesthood and restore the primary temple.      


There may be a lot we don’t find out about these well-known Magi that’s it vital to nail down what we do.  The historicity of the Smart Males factors to the historicity of the sunshine they sought—the Christ Little one within the cradle of Bethlehem who continues to be honored all these centuries later.  

The Smart Males additionally furnish us with an vital lesson: regardless of all of the dangers, all the risks of their path, they saved their eyes and minds mounted on the issues above, not the issues of earth.  Their daring journey wouldn’t solely present them with immorality, however with a perpetual mild that has continued to burn brighter than even their star.  

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