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11-Nov-2017 13:06

The Magi adored ( prosekynesan ) the Child as God, and offered Him gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The giving of gifts was in keeping with Oriental custom. The Fathers have found manifold and multiform symbolic meanings in the three gifts; it is not clear that any of these meanings are inspired (cf. We are certain that the Magi were told in sleep not to return to Herod and that "they went back another way into their country" (v. This other way may have been a way to the Jordan such as to avoid Jerusalem and Jericho ; or a roundabout way south through Beersheba, then east to the great highway (now the Mecca route) in the land of Moab and beyond the Dead Sea.

The position of a fixed star in the heavens varies at most one degree each day.

No fixed star could have so moved before the Magi as to lead them to Bethlehem; neither fixed star nor comet could have disappeared, and reappeared, and stood still.

The Magi now followed the star some six miles southward to Bethlehem, "and entering into the house [ eis ten oikian ], they found the child" (v. There is no reason to suppose, with some of the Fathers (St. cc, "In Epiphan.", I, 2), that the Child was still in the stable.All this evidence rationalists pronounce irrelevant; they class the story of the Magi with the so-called "legends of the childhood of Jesus ", later apocryphal additions to the Gospels. They provided priests for Persia, and, regardless of dynastic vicissitudes, ever kept up their dominating religious influence.Admitting only internal evidence, they say, this evidence does not stand the test of criticism. To the head of this caste, Nergal Sharezar, Jeremias gives the title Rab-Mag , "Chief Magus" ( Jeremiah 39:3 , , in Hebrew original — Septuagint and Vulgate translations are erroneous here).(See THEOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE AVESTA .) The Gospel narrative omits to mention the number of the Magi, and there is no certain tradition in this matter.Some Fathers speak of three Magi; they are very likely influenced by the number of gifts. Early Christian art is no consistent witness : The names of the Magi are as uncertain as is their number. Balthasar, on the eleventh of January (Acta SS., I, 8, 323, 664). Passing over the purely legendary notion that they represented the three families which are decended from Noah, it appears they all came from "the east" ( Matthew 2:1, 2, 9 ). From Persia, whence the Magi are supposed to have come, to Jerusalem was a journey of between 10 miles.

The Magi now followed the star some six miles southward to Bethlehem, "and entering into the house [ eis ten oikian ], they found the child" (v. There is no reason to suppose, with some of the Fathers (St. cc, "In Epiphan.", I, 2), that the Child was still in the stable.All this evidence rationalists pronounce irrelevant; they class the story of the Magi with the so-called "legends of the childhood of Jesus ", later apocryphal additions to the Gospels. They provided priests for Persia, and, regardless of dynastic vicissitudes, ever kept up their dominating religious influence.Admitting only internal evidence, they say, this evidence does not stand the test of criticism. To the head of this caste, Nergal Sharezar, Jeremias gives the title Rab-Mag , "Chief Magus" ( Jeremiah 39:3 , , in Hebrew original — Septuagint and Vulgate translations are erroneous here).(See THEOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE AVESTA .) The Gospel narrative omits to mention the number of the Magi, and there is no certain tradition in this matter.Some Fathers speak of three Magi; they are very likely influenced by the number of gifts. Early Christian art is no consistent witness : The names of the Magi are as uncertain as is their number. Balthasar, on the eleventh of January (Acta SS., I, 8, 323, 664). Passing over the purely legendary notion that they represented the three families which are decended from Noah, it appears they all came from "the east" ( Matthew 2:1, 2, 9 ). From Persia, whence the Magi are supposed to have come, to Jerusalem was a journey of between 10 miles.The story is traceable to an Arian writer of not earlier than the sixth century, whose work is printed, as "Opus imperfectum in Matthæum" among the writings of St. The cathedral of Cologne contains what are claimed to be the remains of the Magi; these, it is said, were discovered in Persia, brought to Constantinople by St.