- Biblical Magi
- "Three Kings", or "Three Wise Men", redirects here. For other uses, see Three Kings (disambiguation) and Wise men.
The Magi ( //; Greek: μάγοι, magoi), also referred to as the (Three) Wise Men, (Three) Kings, (Three) Astrologers, or Kings from the East, were a group of distinguished foreigners who were said to have visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They are regular figures in traditional accounts of the nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of the Christian tradition.
The Gospel of Matthew, the only one of the four Canonical gospels to mention the Magi, states that they came "from the east" to worship the Christ, "born King of the Jews." Although the account does not tell how many they were, the three gifts led to a widespread assumption that they were three as well. In the East, the magi traditionally number twelve. Their identification as kings in later Christian writings is probably linked to Psalms 72:11, “May all kings fall down before him”.
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another path.
They are mentioned twice shortly thereafter, in reference to their avoidance of Herod after seeing Jesus, and what Herod had learned from their earlier meeting.
The Magi are popularly referred to as wise men and kings. The word magi is the plural of Latin magus, borrowed from Greek μάγος magos, as used in the original Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew. Greek magos itself is derived from Old Persian maguŝ from the Avestan magâunô, i.e. the religious caste into which Zoroaster was born, (see Yasna 33.7:' ýâ sruyê parê magâunô ' = ' so I can be heard beyond Magi '). The term refers to the priestly caste of Zoroastrianism. As part of their religion, these priests paid particular attention to the stars, and gained an international reputation for astrology, which was at that time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use of astrology caused derivatives of the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general and led to the English term magic. Translated in the King James Version as wise men, the same translation is applied to the wise men led by Daniel of earlier Hebrew Scriptures (Daniel 2:48). The same word is given as sorcerer and sorcery when describing "Elymas the sorcerer" in Acts 13:6–11, and Simon Magus, considered a heretic by the early Church, in Acts 8:9–13.
Traditions identify a variety of different names for the Magi. In the Western Christian church they have been commonly known as:
- Melchior (Melichior, Melchyor)
- Caspar or Gaspar (and several other Greek or Latin variants such as Gathaspa, Jasper, Jaspas, etc.).
- Balthasar (Bithisarea, Balthassar).
These names apparently derive from a Greek manuscript probably composed in Alexandria around 500 A.D., and which has been translated into Latin with the title Excerpta Latina Barbari. Another Greek document from the 8th century, of presumed Irish origin and translated into Latin with the title Collectanea et Flores, continues the tradition of three kings and their names and gives additional details.
Caspar is also sometimes given as Gaspar or Jaspar. One candidate for the origin of the name Caspar appears in the Acts of Thomas as Gondophares (AD 21 – c.AD 47), i.e., Gudapharasa (from which 'Caspar' might derive as corruption of 'Gaspar'). This Gondophares declared independence from the Arsacids to become the first Indo-Parthian king and who was allegedly visited by Thomas the Apostle. His name is perpetuated in the name of the Afghan city Kandahar, which he founded under the name Gundopharron. Christian legend may have chosen Gondofarr simply because he was an eastern king living in the right time period.
In contrast, the Syrian Christians name the Magi Larvandad, Gushnasaph, and Hormisdas. These names have a far greater likelihood of being originally Persian, though that does not, of course, guarantee their authenticity.
In the Eastern churches, Ethiopian Christianity, for instance, has Hor, Karsudan, and Basanater, while the Armenians have Kagpha, Badadakharida and Badadilma. Many Chinese Christians believe that one of the magi came from China. This final idea is used by Christopher Moore in his novel Lamb.
Origin and journey
The phrase from the east, more literally from the rising [of the sun], is the only information Matthew provides about the region from which they came. Traditionally the view developed that they were Babylonians, Persians, or Jews from Yemen as the Makrebs or kings of Yemen then were Jews, a view held for example by John Chrysostom. The majority[who?] belief was they were from Babylon, which was the centre of Zurvanism, and hence astrology, at the time; and may have retained knowledge from the time of their Jewish leadership by Daniel.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, the Magi found Jesus by 'following' a star, which thus traditionally became known as the Star of Bethlehem. Various theories have been presented as to what this phenomenon refers to, since stars do not visibly move and therefore cannot be followed.
On finding him, they gave him three symbolic gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Warned in a dream that Judean king Herod intended to kill the child, they decided to return home by a different route. This prompted Herod to resort to killing all the young children in Bethlehem, an act called the Massacre of the Innocents, in an attempt to eliminate a rival heir to his throne. Jesus and his family had, however, escaped to Egypt beforehand. After these events they passed into obscurity. The story of the nativity in Matthew glorifies Jesus, likens him to Moses, and shows his life as fulfilling prophecy.
After the visit the Magi leave the narrative by returning another way so as to avoid Herod, and do not reappear. Gregory the Great waxed lyrical on this theme, commenting that having come to know Jesus we are forbidden to return by the way we came. There are many traditional stories about what happened to the Magi after this, with one having them baptised by St. Thomas on his way to India. Another has their remains found by Saint Helena and brought to Constantinople, and eventually making their way to Germany and the Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral.
A model for the homage of the Magi might have been provided, it has been suggested, by the journey to Rome of King Tiridates I of Armenia, with his magi, to pay homage to the Emperor Nero, which took place in 66 AD, a few years before the date assigned to the composition of the Gospel of Matthew.
In recent tradition the Magi have been portrayed as three kings, or noble men, of different origin. One from Western Europe (usually Celtic-like from the British Isles or France), another of African Origin (usually Abyssinian, Ethiopian), the last from Asia either from the Arabian Peninsula (e.g. Yemen or Oman) or the Far East (usually China). The European is often portrayed with the Gold as the other two gifts were native to Africa and Asia so the Myrrh and Frankincense vary between "King".
There was a tradition that the Central Asian Naimans and their Christian Kerait relatives were descended from the Biblical Magi. This heritage passed to the Mongol dynasty of Genghis Khan when Sorghaghtani, niece of the Kerait ruler Toghrul, married Tolui the youngest son of Genghis and became the mother of Mongke Khan and his younger brother and successor, Kublai Khan. Toghrul became identified with the legendary Central Asian Christian king, Prester John, whose Mongol descendants were sought as allies against the Muslims by contemporary European monarchs and popes.
The Magi are described as "falling down", "kneeling" or "bowing" in the worship of Jesus. This gesture, together with the use of kneeling in Luke's birth narrative, had an important effect on Christian religious practices. They were indicative of great respect, and typically used when venerating a king. Inspired by these verses, kneeling and prostration were adopted in the early Church. While prostration is now rarely practiced in the West, it is still relatively common in the Eastern Churches, especially during Lent. Kneeling has remained an important element of Christian worship to this day.
Three gifts are explicitly identified in Matthew: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Many different theories of the meaning and symbolism of the gifts have been brought forward. While gold is fairly obviously explained, frankincense, and particularly myrrh, are much more obscure.
The theories generally break down into two groups:
- All three gifts are ordinary offerings and gifts given to a king. Myrrh being commonly used as an anointing oil, frankincense as a perfume, and gold as a valuable.
- The three gifts had a spiritual meaning : gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of priestship, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death.
Myrrh was used as an embalming ointment and as a penitential incense in funerals and cremations until the 15th century. The "holy oil" traditionally used by the Eastern Orthodox Church for performing the sacraments of chrismation and unction is traditionally scented with myrrh, and receiving either of these sacraments is commonly referred to as "receiving the Myrrh".
The Syrian King Seleucus II Callinicus is recorded to have offered gold, frankincense and myrrh to Apollo in his temple at Miletus in 243 BC, and this may have been the precedent for the mention of these three gifts in Gospel of Matthew (2:11). It was these three gifts, it is thought, which were the chief cause for the number of the Magi becoming fixed eventually at three.
This episode can be linked to Isaiah 60 and to Psalm 72 which report gifts being given by kings, and this has played a central role in the perception of the Magi as kings, rather than as astronomer-priests. In a hymn of the late 4th-century hispanic poet Prudentius, the three gifts have already gained their medieval interpretation as prophetic emblems of Jesus' identity, familiar in the carol "We Three Kings" by John Henry Hopkins, Jr., 1857.
John Chrysostom suggested that the gifts were fit to be given not just to a king but to God, and contrasted them with the Jews' traditional offerings of sheep and calves, and accordingly Chrysostom asserts that the Magi worshiped Jesus as God.
What subsequently happened to these gifts is never mentioned in the scripture, but several traditions have developed. One story has the gold being stolen by the two thieves who were later crucified alongside Jesus. Another tale has it being entrusted to and then misappropriated by Judas.
In the Monastery of St. Paul of Mount Athos there is a 15th century golden case containing purportedly the Gift of the Magi. It was donated to the monastery in the 15th century by Mara Branković, daughter of the King of Serbia Đurađ Branković, wife to the Ottoman Sultan Murat II and godmother to Mehmet II the Conqueror (of Constantinople). Apparently they were part of the relics of the Holy Palace of Constantinople and it is claimed they were displayed there since the 4th century AD. After the Athens earthquake of September 9, 1999 they were temporarily displayed in Athens in order to strengthen faith and raise money for earthquake victims.
There are several traditions on where the remains of the Magi are located, although none of the traditions is considered as an established fact or even as particularly likely by secular history.
In Persia is the city of Saba, from which the Three Magi set out and in this city they are buried, in three very large and beautiful monuments, side by side. And above them there is a square building, beautifully kept. The bodies are still entire, with hair and beard remaining.
A Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral, according to tradition, contains the bones of the Three Wise Men. Reputedly they were first discovered by Saint Helena on her famous pilgrimage to Palestine and the Holy Lands. She took the remains to the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople; they were later moved to Milan (some sources say by the city's bishop, Eustorgius I), before being sent to their current resting place by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I in AD 1164. The Milanese celebrate their part in the tradition by holding a medieval costume parade every 6 January.
A version of the detailed elaboration familiar to us is laid out by the 14th century cleric John of Hildesheim's Historia Trium Regum ("History of the Three Kings"). In accounting for the presence in Cologne of their mummified relics, he begins with the journey of Helena, mother of Constantine I to Jerusalem, where she recovered the True Cross and other relics:
Queen Helen… began to think greatly of the bodies of these three kings, and she arrayed herself, and accompanied by many attendants, went into the Land of Ind… after she had found the bodies of Melchior, Balthazar, and Gaspar, Queen Helen put them into one chest and ornamented it with great riches, and she brought them into Constantinople... and laid them in a church that is called Saint Sophia.
The visit of the Magi is commemorated in most Western Christian churches by the observance of Epiphany, 6 January. The Eastern Orthodox celebrate the visit of the Magi on 25 December.
The identification of the Magi as kings is linked to Old Testament prophesies that have the Messiah being worshipped by kings in Isaiah 60:3, Psalm 72:10, and Psalm 68:29. Early readers reinterpreted Matthew in light of these prophecies and elevated the Magi to kings. By AD 500 all commentators adopted the prevalent tradition that the three were kings, and this continued until the Protestant Reformation.
Though the Qur'an omits Matthew's episode of the Magi, it was well known in Arabia. The Muslim encyclopaedist al-Tabari, writing in the 9th century, gives the familiar symbolism of the gifts of the Magi. Al-Tabari gave his source for the information to be the later 7th century writer Wahb ibn Munabbih.
Some religious traditions take a critical view of the Magi. Jehovah's Witnesses do not see the arrival of the Magi as something to be celebrated, but instead stress the Biblical condemnation of sorcery and astrology in such texts as Deuteronomy 18:10–11, Leviticus 19:26, and Isaiah 47:13–14. They also point to the fact that the star seen by the Magi led them first to a hostile enemy of Jesus, and only then to the child's location — the argument being that if this was an event from God, it makes no sense for them to be led to a ruler with intentions to kill the child before taking them to Jesus. Likewise, as Matthew 2:12 informs, the Magi were warned by God not to return to the familicide King Herod. Thus, they believe, it seems reasonable to consider that the star, which evidently only the Magi could see (Matthew 2:7, 8), was the product of God's archenemy designed to perform an unholy act upon an innocent young child, Jesus.
- Holidays celebrating the arrival of the Magi traditionally recognise a distinction between the date of their arrival and the date of Jesus' birth. The account given in the Gospel of Matthew does not state that they were present on the night of the birth; in the Gospel of Luke, Joseph and Mary remain in Bethlehem until it is time for Jesus' dedication, in Jerusalem, and then return to their home in Nazareth.
- Western Christianity celebrates the Magi on the day of Epiphany, January 6, the day immediately following the twelve days of Christmas, particularly in the Spanish-speaking parts of the world. In these Spanish-speaking areas, the three kings (Sp. "los Reyes Magos de Oriente", also "Los Tres Reyes Magos" and "Los Reyes Magos") receive wish letters from children and magically bring them gifts on the night before Epiphany. In Spain, each one of the Magi is supposed to represent one different continent, Europe (Melchior), Asia (Caspar) and Africa (Balthasar). According to the tradition, the Magi come from the Orient on their camels to visit the houses of all the children; much like Santa Claus with his reindeer, they visit everyone in one night. In some areas, children prepare a drink for each of the Magi. It is also traditional to prepare food and drink for the camels, because this is the only night of the year when they eat.
- In Spain, Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay there is a long tradition for having the children receive their Christmas presents by the three "Reyes Magos" (the figure of Santa Claus only appeared in recent years) during the night of January 5 (Biblical Magi Eve). Almost every Spanish city or town organize cabalgatas in the evening, in which the kings and their servants parade and throw sweets to the children (and parents) in attendance. The cavalcade of the three kings in Alcoy claims to be the oldest in the world, having started in 1886. There is also a "Roscón" (Spain) or "Rosca de Reyes" (Mexico) as explained below. In Spain in the Biblical Magi Eve is also represented the Mystery Play of the Three Magic Kings.
- A tradition in most of Central Europe involves writing the initials of the three kings' names, with the year number split around them, above the main door of the home in chalk, to confer blessings on the occupants for the New Year. For example, 20 * C + M + B * 08 would be written for 2008. The writing is done at some point between Christmas and Epiphany. The initials may also represent "Christus mansionem benedicat" (Christ bless this house). In Catholic parts of Germany and in Austria, this is done by so called Sternsinger (star singers), groups of three elementary school age children (nowadays of both sexes), dressed up as the Magi, carrying the star and singing Christmas carols, accompanied by an adult or an older teenager who will stay in the background. In exchange for writing the initials, they collect money for a specific charity project in the third world designated by the Catholic Church, which is the same throughout the country in any given year. It is part of the Sternsinger tradition that one of the three children will blacken his or her face with soot, in memory of the legend that one of the Magi was of African origin. This is not considered a racist blackface performance, since it does not involve portraying any stereotypes about African people apart from the skin color as such.
- In Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, children cut grass or greenery on January 5 and put it in a box under their bed. The grass is for the camels. Children receive gifts on January 6, which is called Día de Reyes, and is traditionally the day in which the Magi arrived bearing gifts for the Christ child. Christmas starts in December and ends in January after Epiphany, although in Puerto Rico there are eight more days of celebration (las octavitas).
Roscón de Reyes
- In France and Belgium, the holiday is celebrated with a special tradition: within a family, a cake is shared, which contains a small figure of baby Jesus, known as the broad bean. Whoever gets the "bean" is "crowned" king for the remainder of the holiday and wears a cardboard crown purchased with the cake. The practice is known as tirer les Rois: drawing the Kings. A queen is sometimes also chosen.
- This tradition also exists in Spain (and in Portugal, where it is called Bolo-rei), but with one small variant; the cake, in this case actually a ring-shaped pastry or Roscón de Reyes, is most commonly bought, not baked, and it contains a small figurine of a baby Jesus (or another present depending on the region) and a dry broad bean. The one who gets the figurine is crowned, but whoever gets the bean has to pay the value of the cake to the person who originally bought it. This is eaten on January 6.
- In Mexico they have the same ring-shaped cake Rosca de Reyes (Kings Bagel or Thread), it contains figurines of the baby Jesus. The figurine of the baby Jesus is typically hidden inside the cake. Whoever gets a figurine is supposed to take the figurine to the local church and buy tamales for the Candelaria feast on February the second, which is the feast of the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.
- In New Orleans, Louisiana, parts of south Texas, and surrounding regions, a similar ring-shaped cake known as a "King Cake" traditionally becomes available in bakeries from the Epiphany through Mardi Gras. The baby Jesus is represented by a small, plastic doll inserted into the cake from underneath, and the person who gets the slice with the figurine is expected to buy or bake the next King Cake. There is wide variation among the types of pastry that can be called a King Cake, but most feature baked cinnamon-flavored twisted dough, thin frosting, with additional sugar on top in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of gold, green, and purple. To prevent accidental injury or choking, the plastic doll is frequently not hidden in the cake at the bakery, but instead included in the packaging for optional use. Mardi Gras-style beads and doubloons may be included as well.
Adoration of the Magi in art
The Magi most frequently appear in European art in the Adoration of the Magi; less often The Journey of the Magi has been a popular topos, and other scenes such as the Magi before Herod and the Dream of the Magi also appear in the Middle Ages. In Byzantine art they are depicted as Persians, wearing trousers and phrygian caps. Crown appear from the 10th century. Medieval artists also allegorised the theme to represent the three ages of man. Beginning in the 12th century, and very often by the 15th, the Kings also represent the three parts of the known (pre-Columbian) world in Western art, especially in Northern Europe. Balthasar is thus represented as a young African or Moor and Caspar may be depicted with distinctive Oriental features.
An early Anglo-Saxon picture survives on the Franks Casket, probably a non-Christian king’s hoard-box (early 7th century, whalebone carving); or rather the hoard-box survived Christian attacks on non-Christian art and sculpture because of that picture. In its composition it follows the oriental style, which renders a courtly scene, with the Virgin and Christ facing the spectator, while the Magi devoutly approach from the (left) side. Even amongst non-Christians who had heard of the Christian story of the Magi, the motif was quite popular, since the Magi had endured a long journey and were generous. Instead of an angel, the picture places a swan, interpretable as the hero's fylgja (a protecting spirit, and shapeshifter).
Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein depicted a more controversial tableau in his painting, Epiphany I: Adoration of the Magi (1996). Intended to represent the "many connections between the Third Reich and the Christian churches in Austria and Germany", Nazi officers in uniform stand around an Aryan woman, a Madonna. The Christ toddler who stands on Mary's lap resembles Adolf Hitler.
Representation in other art forms
- Italian composer Ottorino Respighi wrote a composition called Trittico Botticielliano , based on three paintings by Botticelli, and one of the movements is called Adoration of the Magi.
- "The Gift of the Magi" is a short story written by O. Henry (a pen name for William Sydney Porter), about a young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money.
- The Magi are featured in Menotti's opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, and in several Christmas carols, of which the best-known English one is "We Three Kings".
- In the film Donovan's Reef, a Christmas play is held in French Polynesia. However, instead of the traditional correspondence of Magi to continents, the version for Polynesian Catholics features the king of Polynesia, the king of America, and the king of China.
- Further sentimental narrative detail was added in the novel and movie Ben-Hur, where Balthasar ( Finlay Currie ) appears as an old man, who goes back to Palestine to see the former child Jesus become an adult.
- T. S. Eliot's poem The Journey of the Magi (1927) re-tells the story with a foreshadowing of the crucifixion, as does the poem Visit of the Wise Men by Timothy Dudley-Smith.
- In Michael Ende's children books Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver and Jim Button and the Wild 13, one of the Three Kings plays a major role in one of the main character's background.
- Salley Vickers's Miss Garnet's Angel links the Epiphany story, and arrival of the Magi, with the ancient Zoroastrian elements in the Book Of Tobit, a Biblical book in the Deuterocanon.
- The Biblical Magi were the subject of the 1980 novel Gaspard, Melchior and Balthasar by the French author Michel Tournier.
- The Magi are shown in a painting of prophecy in the game God of War II
- The names of the Biblical Magi are used in characters related to ancient and almost-lost knowledge in the videogames Chrono Trigger and Xenogears.
- The Magi are the subject of Norah Lofts' novel "How Far To Bethlehem?" (1965)
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion (anime and manga), 3 massive supercomputers are collectively known as the Magi.
- The Spanish 2003 animation film Los Reyes Magos (Antonio Navarro)
- In David Morrell's 2008 novella "The Spy Who Came for Christmas", the Magi were intelligence agents sent to destabilize Herod's government.
- James Taylor's 1988 song "Home By Another Way" discusses the Magi's visit to Jesus and, specifically, their decision to avoid seeing Herod on their way home.
- In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, the Three Wise Men appear to the crew of the Red Sprite, ordering them to follow the will of God and allow themselves to be enslaved by an angel's song. Should the protagonist follow the Law path, they will continue to appear to provide advice.
- Adoration of the Magi
- Christianity and astrology
- Epiphany (holiday)
- History of astrology
- List of names for the Biblical nameless
- Mystery play
- Mystery Play of the Three Magic Kings (Auto de los Reyes Magos, Renaissance drama)
- Saint Nicholas
- Simon Magus
- ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, Tennessee: Holman Bible Publishers. 2003. p. 1066. ISBN 0-8054-2836-4.
- ^ "Matthew 2; - Passage Lookup - New International Version - UK". BibleGateway.com. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%202;&version=64;. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- ^ Geza Vermes, The Nativity: History and Legend, London, Penguin, 2006, p22
- ^ a b c "Magi." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. .
- ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Third edition, April 2010, s.v. magus
- ^ Mary Boyce, A History of Zoroastrianism: The Early Period (Brill, 1989, 2nd ed.), vol. 1, pp. 10–11 online; Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians: their religious beliefs and practices (Routledge, 2001, 2nd ed.), p. 48 online; Linda Murray, The Oxford companion to Christian art and architecture (Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 293; Stephen Mitchell, A history of the later Roman Empire, AD 284–641: the transformation of the ancient world (Wiley–Blackwell, 2007), p. 387 online.
- ^ a b c d Excerpta Latina Barbari, page 51B: "At that time in the reign of Augustus, on 1st January the Magi brought him gifts and worshipped him. The names of the Magi were Bithisarea, Melichior and Gathaspa.".
- ^ Hugo Kehrer (1908), Die Heiligen Drei Könige in Literatur und Kunst (reprinted in 1976). Volume I, page 66. Online version. Quote from the Latin chronicle: primus fuisse dicitur Melchior, senex et canus, barba prolixa et capillis, tunica hyacinthina, sagoque mileno, et calceamentis hyacinthino et albo mixto opere, pro mitrario variae compositionis indutus: aurum obtulit regi Domino. ("the first [magus], named Melchior, was an old white-haired man, with a full beard and hair, [...]: the king gave gold to our Lord.") Secundum, nomine Caspar, juvenis imberbis, rubicundus, mylenica tunica, sago rubeo, calceamentis hyacinthinis vestitus: thure quasi Deo oblatione digna, Deum honorabat. ("The second, with name Caspar, a beardless boy, [... gave incense].") Tertius, fuscus, integre barbatus, Balthasar nomine, habens tunicam rubeam, albo vario, calceamentis inimicis amicus: per myrrham filium hominis moriturum professus est. ("The third one, dark-haired, with a full beard, named Balthasar, [... gave myrhh].") Omnia autem vestimenta eorum Syriaca sunt. ("The clothes of all [three] were Syrian-style.")
- ^ Collectanea et Flores in Patrologia Latina. XCIV, page 541(D) Online version
- ^ Hugo Kehrer (1908), Volume I, page 70 Online version Kehrer's commentary: "Die Form Jaspar stammt aus Frankreich. Sie findet sich im niederrheinisch-kölnischen Dialekt und im Englischen. Note: O. Baist page 455; J.P.Migne; Dictionnaire des apocryphes, Paris 1856, vol I, p. 1023. ... So in La Vie de St. Gilles; Li Roumans de Berte: Melcior, Jaspar, Baltazar; Rymbybel des Jakob von Märlant: Balthasar, Melchyor, Jaspas; ein altenglisches Gedicht des dreizehnten oder vierzehnten Jahrhunderts (13th century!!) Note: C.Horstmann, Altenglische Legenden, Paderborn 1875, p.95; ... La Vie des trois Roys Jaspar Melchior et Balthasar, Paris 1498"-->]
- ^ Ernst Herzfeld, Archaeological History of Iran, London, Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1935, p.63.
- ^ Acta Sanctorum, May, I, 1780.
- ^ Concerning The Magi And Their Names.
- ^ Hattaway, Paul; Brother Yun; Yongze, Peter Xu; and Wang, Enoch. Back to Jerusalem. (Authentic Publishing, 2003). retrieved May 2007
- ^ Matthew 2:2
- ^ Eliza Marian Butler, The Myth of the Magus. Cambridge University, 1993, p. 20. ISBN 0-521-43777-6
- ^ J. Duncan M. Derrett, "Further light on the narratives of the Nativity". Novum Testamentum 17.2 (April 1975), pp. 81-108: "Jean Danielou's conclusion that the Magi were an invention of Matthew"
- ^ A. Dietrich, „“Die Weisen aus dem Morgenlande“, Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, Bd. III, 1902, S.1-14; cited in J. Duchesne-Guillemin, “Die Drei Weisen aus dem Morgenlande und die Anbetung der Zeit”, Antaios, Vol. VII, 1965, p. 234-252, p.245; cited in Mary Boyce and Frantz Genet, A History of Zoroastrianism, Leiden, Brill, 1991, p. 453, n.449.
- ^ Archaeological History of Iran, London, Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1935, pp.65-66.
- ^ Wesley Roberton Long (ed.), La flor de las ystorias de Orient by Hethum prince of Khorghos, Chicago, Ill, The University of Chicago Press, 1934, pp.53, 111, 115; cited in Ugo Monneret de Villard, Le Leggende orientali sui Magi evangelici, Citta del Vaticano, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 1952, p.161.
- ^ Friedrich Zarncke, "Der Priester Johannes", Abhandlungen der philologisch-historischen Classe der Koeniglichen Sachsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, Leipzig, Band VII, Heft 8, 1879, S.826-1028; Band I, Heft 8, 1883, S. 1-186), re-published in one volume by G. Olms, Hildesheim, 1980.
- ^ Page, Sophie,"Magic In Medieval Manuscripts". University of Toronto Press, 2004. 64 pages. ISBN 0-8020-3797-6Page 18.
- ^ Gustav-Adolf Schoener and Shane Denson [Translator], "Astrology: Between Religion and the Empirical".
- ^ "Frankincense: festive pharmacognosy". Pharmaceutical journal. Vol 271, 2003. pharmj.com.
- ^ August Friedrich von Pauly et al., Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft, Vol. XVI, 1, Stuttgart, 1933, col.1145; Leonardo Olschki, “The Wise Men of the East in Oriental Traditions”, Semitic and Oriental Studies, University of California Publications in Semitic Philology, Vol.11, 1951, pp.375-395, p.380, n.46; cited in Mary Boyce and Frantz Genet, A History of Zoroastrianism, Leiden, Brill, 1991, p.450, n.438.
- ^ Lambert, John Chisholm, in James Hastings (ed.) "A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels". Page 100.
- ^ Polo, Marco, The Book of the Million, book i.
- ^ "Sant' Eustorgio I di Milano". Santiebeati.it. 2001-09-09. http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/70600. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- ^ Calvin, John. Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 31: Matthew, Mark and Luke, Part I, tr. by John King. http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/calvin/cc31/cc31027.htm. Retrieved 2010-05-15. Quote from Commentary on Matthew 2:1-6, "But the most ridiculous contrivance of the Papists on this subject is, that those men were kings..."
- ^ "We, three kings of Orient were". Saudiaramcoworld.com. http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/198006/we.three.kings.of.orient.were.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- ^ "Christmas Customs -- Are They Christian?". Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. 2000-12-15. http://www.watchtower.org/e/20001215/article_01.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
- ^ "Jesus' Birth The Real Story". Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. 1998-12-15. http://www.watchtower.org/library/w/2000/12/15/article_01.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
- ^ À mesa com o tradicional Bolo-rei - Uma instituição nacional Matosinhos Hoje, 6 January 2010.
- ^ Franks Casket.
- ^ Baker, Kenneth (9 August 2004). "Dark and detached, the art of Gottfried Helnwein demands a response.". San Francisco Chronicle (accessed with EBSCOHost).
- ^ Denver Art Museum, Radar, Selections from the Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, Gwen F. Chanzit, 2006 
- ^ Dudley-Smith, Timothy (1984). Lift Every Heart: Collected hymns 1961-1983 and some early poems. Collins. ISBN 0-00-599797-6.
- Albright, W. F. and C. S. Mann. "Matthew." The Anchor Bible Series. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971.
- Becker, Alfred: “Franks Casket. Zu den Bildern und Inschriften des Runenkästchens von Auzon (Regensburg, 1973) pp. 125–142, Ikonographie der Magierbilder, Inschriften.
- Benecke, P. V. M. (1900). "Magi". In James Hastings. A Dictionary of the Bible. III. pp. 203–206. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hastings/dictv3/Page_203.html.
- Brown, Raymond E. The Birth of the Messiah: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in Matthew and Luke. London: G. Chapman, 1977.
- Clarke, Howard W. The Gospel of Matthew and its Readers: A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel. Bloomington.
- Chrysostom, John "Homilies on Matthew: Homily VI". circa fourth century.
- France, R. T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985.
- Gundry, Robert H. Matthew a Commentary on his Literary and Theological Art. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982.
- Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
- Lambert, John Chisholm, A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels. Page 97 - 101.
- Levine, Amy-Jill. "Matthew." Women's Bible Commentary. Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe, eds. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.
- Molnar, Michael R., The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the Magi. Rutgers University Press, 1999. 187 pages. ISBN 0-8135-2701-5
- Powell, Mark Allan. "The Magi as Wise Men: Re-examining a Basic Supposition." New Testament Studies. Vol. 46, 2000.
- Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975.
- Trexler, Richard C. Journey of the Magi: Meanings in History of a Christian Story. Princeton University Press, 1997.
- Watson, Richard, A Biblical and Theological Dictionary, Page 608 - 611.
- Mark Rose, "The Three Kings & the Star": the Cologne reliquary and the BBC popular documentary
- Alfred Becker, Franks Casket
- Caroline Stone, "We Three Kings of Orient Were"
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Magi
- "Procession of the Three Kings in Valencia"
- Auto de los Reyes Magos (drama in Spanish)
Adoration of the Wise Men
Life of Jesus: The Nativity
Star of Bethlehem
Flight into Egypt
Christmas Core topics In Christianity
- Adoration of the Magi
- Adoration of the Shepherds
- Angel Gabriel
- The Annunciation
- Annunciation to the Shepherds
- Biblical Magi
- Herod the Great
- Massacre of the Innocents
- Nativity of Jesus
- Nativity of Jesus in art
- Nativity of Jesus in later culture
- Nativity scene
- Saint Nicholas
- Star of Bethlehem
- Twelfth Night
In folklore, true stories,
- Ded Moroz
- Father Christmas
- Jack Frost
- Knecht Ruprecht
- La Befana
- Le Père Fouettard
- Mrs. Claus
- North Pole
- Père Noël
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- Santa Claus
- Santa Claus's reindeer
- Santa's workshop
- Yule Lads
- Zwarte Piet
- Old Man Winter
- Advent calendar
- Boar's Head Feast
- Christmas hamper
- Events and celebrations
- Flying Santa
- Holiday parades
- Las Posadas
- Meals and feasts
- NORAD Tracks Santa
- Santa Claus parade
- Secret Santa
- Twelve Days of Christmas
- Yule Goat
- Yule log
By country Music Other media
- Television: (episodes, specials)
- Advent Conspiracy
- Christmas and holiday season
- Christmas club
- Christmas controversy
- Christmas creep
- Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004
- Christmas in July
- Christmas in August
- Christmas in Puritan New England
- Christmas in the American Civil War
- Christmas in the post-War United States
- Christmas-linked holidays
- Christmas Mountains
- NFL Christmas games
- NBA Christmas Games
- Christmas nomenclature and language
- Christmas truce
- Running of the Santas
- Super Saturday
- White Christmas
- Winter festivals
- "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus"
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Magi (disambiguation) — For the surname Mägi, see Mägi. Magi (singular magus) were religious shamanist priests. Magi, mage, or magus may also refer to: Biblical Magi, the wise men portrayed in Matthew s story of Jesus nativity Modified adjusted gross income, in U.S. Tax … Wikipedia
Magi — • The wise men from the East who came to adore Jesus in Bethlehem (Matthew 2) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Magi Magi † … Catholic encyclopedia
Biblical Chronology — Biblical Chronology † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Biblical Chronology Biblical chronology deals with the dates of the various events recorded in the Bible. It has to consider how far the Bible contains a chronology at all; to what extent… … Catholic encyclopedia
Magi — Magian /may jee euhn/, adj. /may juy/, n. pl., sing. Magus / geuhs/ 1. (sometimes l.c.) the wise men, generally assumed to be three in number, who paid homage to the infant Jesus. Matt. 2:1 12. Cf. Balthazar (def. 1), Caspar (def. 1) … Universalium
Magi — MaÂ·gi || meÉªdÊ’aÉª n. three wise men who came from the East to worship the baby Jesus (Biblical) maÂ·gus || meÉªgÉ™s n. one of the Magi, one of the wise men who came from the East to worship the baby Jesus (Biblical) … English contemporary dictionary
List of names for the biblical nameless — Nicolas Poussin s Moses rescued from the Nile (1638) shows Pharaoh s daughter, who is unnamed in the Bible, but called Bithiah in Jewish tradition. This list provides names given in Jewish, Islamic or Christian tradition for characters who are… … Wikipedia
Adoration of the Magi — The Adoration of the Magi is the name traditionally given to the Christian subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts … Wikipedia
The Gift of the Magi — Infobox short story | name = The Gift of the Magi title orig = translator = author = O. Henry country = USA language = English series = genre = short story published in = publication type = publisher = media type = pub date = 1906 english pub… … Wikipedia
List of names for the Biblical nameless — This list of names for the Biblically nameless compiles names given in Jewish or Christian mythology for characters who are unnamed in the Bible itself. Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Wives of the antediluvian patriarchs :Source: the apocryphal book… … Wikipedia
The Gift of the Magi (radio) — “The Gift of the Magi” is a radio program from the American radio anthology series Radio Tales. The anthology series adapted classic works of American and world literature for the radio. The series was a recipient of numerous awards, including… … Wikipedia