True and false wisdom

A Popular but Inaccurate Story

Contrary to popular belief, the Magi first arrived, not in Bethlehem, but in Jerusalem, after Jesus was born.

They were not present at the time of Jesus’ birth. Later, when they went to Bethlehem, the Bible says that "when they went into the house they saw the young child." (Matthew 2:1, 11)

So, it is clear that by the time the Magi visited Jesus, his family had moved into a normal dwelling. They did not find him lying in a manger.

In the light of the Scriptures, the popular story of three kings honoring Jesus at the time of his birth is not accurate.

the Bible teaches that the Magi who visited Jesus were not kings but astrologers who practiced the occult.

The Scriptural record does not say how many there were.

Also, they did not visit Jesus at the time of his birth, when he was placed in a manger, but, rather, sometime later, when his family was living in a house.

The popular narrative of the three kings and other traditional Christmas stories, although Scripturally inaccurate, are generally viewed as harmless holiday tales.

true Christians, however, highly esteem a form of worship that is free of falsehood.

This is how Jesus himself felt. In prayer to his Father, he once said: "Your word is truth." (John 17:17)

He said that "true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him."—John 4:23.

Clear as mud.

First, they had to have seen Jesus before the family escaped to Egypt, but while the family was in Bethlehem (during the census). Joseph had no house in Bethlehem, and they had not gone back to Nazereth.

An infant is a child. Herod had not declared all boys under the age of two to be put to death yet.

So we do not exactly know when they saw Jesus, but we do know it was while he was in Bethlehem.

For all we know the family did have to stay in a cave while in Bethlehem, for awhile, in obeying the decree of Rome.

Astrologers back then were also Astronomers and alchemists (proto-scientists), as well as priests, and nobility. The term "king" is used to fit a poem which became part of the story. There is also a story of the fourth Magi, who was late and missed seeing Jesus his whole life, but in his search for the savior helped people, and upon his death did see Jesus, who told him how many times they had met during the Magi's lifetime...

"Ring around the rosy" is a rhyme and a tale for children to sing at play. It is a harmless ditty, yet the message is very clear for those who listen. It is a warning and instructions for how to recognize the plague, and what to do to destroy it, so no one else may be harmed.

Likewise the message to the traditional "Christmas story" is very clear and true. Children understand it quite well...out of the mouths of babes...
Dhammapada: The Fool

Long is the night to the wakeful; long is the league to the weary; long is the samsara to the foolish who know not the Sublime Truth.
If, as the disciple fares along, he meets no companion who is better or equal, let him firmly pursue his solitary career. There is no fellowship with the foolish.
``Sons have I; wealth have I'': Thus is the fool worried; Verily, he himself is not his own. Whence sons? Whence wealth?
The fool who knows that he is a fool is for that very reason a wise man; the fool who thinks that he is wise is called a fool indeed.
Though a fool, through all his life, associates with a wise man, he no more understands the Dhamma than a spoon (tastes) the flavour of soup.
Though an intelligent person, associates with a wise man for only a moment, he quickly understands the Dhamma as the tongue (tastes) the flavour of soup.
Fools of little wit move about with the very self as their own foe, doing evil deeds the fruit of which is bitter.
That deed is not well done when, after having done it, one repents, and when weeping, with tearful face, one reaps the fruit thereof.
That deed is well done when, after having done it, one repents not, and when, with joy and pleasure, one reaps the fruit thereof.
As sweet as honey is an evil deed, so thinks the fool so long as it ripens not; but when it ripens, then he comes to grief.
Month after month, a fool may eat only as much food as can be picked up on the tip of a kusa grass blade; but he is not worth a sixteenth part of them who have comprehended the Truth.
Verily, an evil deed committed does not immediately bear fruit, just as milk curdles not at once; smouldering, it follows the fool like fire covered with ashes.
To his ruin, indeed, the fool gains knowledge and fame; they destroy his bright lot and cleave his head.
The fool will desire undue reputation, precedence among monks, authority in the monasteries, honour among other families.
Let both laymen and monks think, ``by myself was this done; in everywork, great or small, let them refer to me''. Such is the ambition of the fool; his desires and pride increase.
Surely, the path that leads to wordly gain in one, and the path that leads to Nibbana is another; understanding this, the Bhikkhu, the disciple of the Buddha, should not rejoice in worldly favours, but cultivate detachment.
the doc has me on hydrocodone after jaw surgery, I must be rambling.

it was a periodontist and a very little knife that did the deed. Bone grafts and implants and all that. should be right as rain in a few months.

*Ouch* That hurts clear across the country just thinking about it.

You have my sympathies, and my prayers for speedy and uneventful healing.
Dear Wise Friends,

A unique decsription of two types of wisdom is to be found in James (NT).

He speaks of a wisdom that is "from above," and a wisdom that is not.

Please read the text (James 3:13-17):

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish.

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity.

It seems to me that when he refers to "wisdom from above," he intends the idea of "above" to mean, "from heaven," that is, "from the Spirit."

He writes elsewhere that "every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father..." (1:17), and "if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him" (1:5).

So, we clearly see that the wisdom from above is heavenly, spiritual.

What is more, it is a spiritual endowment, or gift of grace, something one becomes a partaker of.

Looking at James' description of the wisdom not from above --- "earthly, unspiritual, devilish"----one may describe it as a natural wisdom, as opposed to spiritual wisdom.

When I went looking for this text in order to respond here, I fully expected to find these two --- as I thought I remembered them --- described as true and false wisdom. But note that it is not.

Then I thought about it and realized that we see the opposite of truth to be lies, deceit, and pretense; something is false only if not true, devoid of truth.

But we do not hold falsity to be the opposite of wisdom. Rather, we describe that which is contrary to wisdom as foolishness.

The opposite of true wisdom would be proper foolishess.

Yet, since the sum of all truth is wisdom, and all wisdom has as its Source the Divine Wisdom (Truth), so-called "false wisdom" is really "being false to the truth" (3:14); a denial, and an absence of truth. It has no substance in itself, but certainly gives rise to behaviour that falls short of wisdom; behaviour that is not cool, and has one acting like a fool.

Also, since good and the truth of Wisdom is so linked that all good can only be true, and all truth can only be good, James sees wisdom and understanding expressed in a "good life," that is, a godly life, in turn expressed as a life of love, or charity, which is love in action.

The wise and understanding one, says he, should "by his good his works in the meekness of wisdom."

Man should walk humbly before God and do good.

This is is wisdom true. Anything that distracts from that is unspiritual, or "false."