Some facts about the magi found in the Bible will make you want to find out details about Christmas’s story within the Bible. The Bible is full of amazing stories about God and the people. Explore Facts About Magi below!
Christmas Day may be Dec. 25, But it’s still never the final chapter of the Christmas story. In numerous Western Christian traditions, the twelve days of Christmas culminate on Jan. 6, known for the celebration of Epiphany. This is when people believe that the “Magi” or “wise men” or “three kings” arrive to meet the baby Jesus.
Did these men get their inspiration from any historical people? While it’s difficult to tie their depictions to any specific people, the very brief descriptions of them in the Gospel of Matthew do track with an understanding of the world when the Gospel was written, thought to be sometime between 70 CE and 85 CE.
Who Were the Magi?
The Greek word that is used to describe “Magi” is magos and is linked to “wise men, teachers, priests…astrologers, sorcerers, etc.” (Strong’s) (Strong’s) Babylon or perhaps possibly even Orient. Later in the New Testament, the word is translated to mean “sorcerer,” but it’s more akin to Astrologers. Guzik explains, “Church customs tell us their names, supposedly Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar. There are alleged skulls in the cathedral in Cologne, Germany.”
Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. discusses the following: “Matthew informs his readers that even at Jesus’ birth, the (Jewish) religious teachers who knew the most (2:5) failed to act on the truth, while (Gentile) pagans whom one would never expect to come to the Jewish Messiah did just that.”
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Facts About Magi
Truth #1: There were likely probably more than three Wise Men
We believe in the existence of the Three Wise Men because there were three gifts. However, the Bible never mentions that there were three.
They were required to travel for around 900 miles through the desert and an entire foreign empire before arriving at the place where Jesus was in his home. It is possible that there were more than three who were there.
They would also have an entourage and wouldn’t travel on their own. The people who traveled with them aren’t included by name in the Bible.
Fact #2: Jesus did not have a child.
Contrary to popular stories from the Nativity, The Wise Men were not there on the day Jesus became a baby. They set out on a quest to find him shortly after the birth of Jesus.
Most people believe Jesus was two to the age of three at their arrival.
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Fact #3 The fact is that they were Kings
The Bible does not call them kings but wise men or Magi. They could be royalty, or at the very least, they were wealthy and were educated by the stars.
The most well-known Christmas Carol is still fun to sing. However, remember, they weren’t kings and weren’t native to the Orient.
Fact #4: They Probably Were Influenced by Daniel
In the first part of Daniel’s book, Daniel describes his life and the events Daniel went through. We know that Daniel was taken captive by Babylon as an infant, possibly as a teenager, and then removed from his homeland and transported to Babylon.
It is also known that the king gained favor with Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, and he served him and the Kings following his death until Babylon defeated Persia.
We also are aware that Daniel was able to rise again into Prominence and was highly respected and loved by King Darius.
The second part of the Book of Daniel speaks of numerous prophecies. One of them speaks of Alexander the Great and Jesus returning to earth.
There exist a variety of theories on the location where they came from. The Three Wise Men came from, I think, were most likely to believe that they originated from Persia, and they were well-versed with the writings of Daniel since Daniel was also thought to be a wise person.
The Jews were aware of The Messiah and the prophecies that were a part of his. The Jews lived within Persia for several years before Nehemiah was permitted to build the walls. It is very likely to believe that Jewish people might have spoken about Daniel’s prophecy and other prophecies that were given to the Persians.
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Fact #5 Tradition, Not The Bible, Gives Them Names
The Bible doesn’t mention one of the Magi who came to visit Jesus. But later, Christian traditions give them names. While examining the names is fascinating, it is essential to recognize that these weren’t their names.
- Caspar (Gaspar) The name is derived from the Greek word “Gaspar.” It is reported that he wore blonde hair with a beard of brown. He was dressed in an emerald cloak and a gold crown with green jewels. According to legend, he was King of Sheba and brought Frankincense to Jesus.
- Melchoir – According to tradition, the Man is a man with long white hair and a beard. He also wears the gold Cloak. The legend says he was an emperor of Arabia and was the wise Man to offer Gold to Jesus.
- Balthazar – According to the legends, he is The King of Egypt and was black-skinned with a beard of black. He was the Wiseman who gave Jesus Myrrh.
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As I mentioned earlier. The Bible does not say that these people were kings and certainly doesn’t suggest different nations. This is a custom that was added later.