The visit of the Magi


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Im on a planned schedule to read the entire new testament, so do ya'll want to read with me?! :cool:

Matthew 2!

1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east[b] and have come to worship him."

3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ[c] was to be born. 5"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'[d]"
7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him." 9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east[e] went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
13When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.

What was the purpose of the Magi/wise men/astrologers and their meeting with Jesus?

How did they know that it was His star? What is the importance of the position of the star in the east?
Greetings Thabrownbaptist,

>What was the purpose of the Magi/wise men/astrologers and their meeting >with Jesus?

The Magi were followers of the Persian fire religion of Zarathustra.

Perhaps they knew of a prophecy recorded in their scriptures.

In Christian legend the names of the three kings are Melchior, Balthasar and Kaspar.
The derivation of the first one is easy: Melchior a Hebrew word meaning King of Light, a name applied to Venus.

Balthasar is a little more difficult. Ba'al is a Semitic word meaning Lord.
I believe you can find the "asar" as an Arabic and Persian word meaning "sky blue". It becomes "azure" in English. So "Lord of the Sky", what's that?
Zeus the sky god is also known as Zeus-pater ( Sky Father) which became
Jupiter. The word "pater" must have come originally from the Sanskrit

Kaspar, well I haven't found anything on Kaspar. Our dark king is a conundrum.

I can't tell you anything about the personae *then* ... but my Theosophical and esoteric background has led me to believe that Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar (Kaspar/Caspar) were former incarnations of Masters Morya, Kuthumi and Djwal Khul, respectively.

A good indication of this come from the following quote, where Master M. is speaking from the first person perspective, as well as the collective `we' (as in We Three Kings):
HAT Star was it that guided the Magi? Of course it was the Command of the Brotherhood: To hail Jesus, to safeguard, and to bring some means to the poor family.​
We walked over the face of the earth not knowing the exact spot. The Commands of the Teraphim directed us or led us from day to day. When we heard, “It is near!”, we had just lost all signs of habitation. Could one expect a miracle of so unprecedented an Annunciation in the midst of camel dung and the braying of donkeys? Human thought attempted to locate the future prophet perhaps near a temple or at least majestic walls.​
We received the Command to halt at a humble inn. In the low-ceilinged house with clay walls we stopped for the night. A fire and a small oil lamp filled the room with a red glow. After our meal we noticed that a servant poured out the remains of the milk into a separate amphora. We said to her, “It is not right to save it.”​
“But,” she said, “it is not for Thee, O Lord, but for a poor woman. Here behind the wall lives a carpenter. Recently a son was born to him.”​
Extinguishing the fire, we laid on our hands and asked, “Whither shall we go further?”​
Came the answer, “Nearer than the nearest. Lower than the lowest. Higher than the highest.” Not understanding the meaning we besought a Command, but we were told, “Let the ears hearken.”​
And we sat in the darkness in silence. And we heard how somewhere beyond the wall a child had begun to cry. We began to mark the direction of the cry and we heard the Mother’s song so often heard in the homes of husbandmen:​
“Let people count thee a plower, but I know, my son, thou art a king. Who, save thee, shall raise the best seed, the most fruitful. The Lord shall call my little one and say, ‘Thy seed alone hast glorified My feast. Sit with Me, king of the worthiest seeds.’ ”​
As we heard this song three knocks resounded in the ceiling. We said, “In the morning we shall go there.”​
Before dawn we donned our finest garments and besought the servant to lead us in the direction of the cry.​
She said, “The Lord wishes to visit the family of the carpenter. I had better lead you around for here one must pass through the cattle fold.”​
Recalling the Command, we chose the shortest way.​
Here behind the manger was a tiny dwelling leaning against rock. Here by the hearth was a woman and in her arms—He. What signs accompanied? He stretched out His little hand and on the palm was a red sign. Upon this sign we placed the most precious pearl of those we brought.​
Bestowing the treasures and the sacred objects, we warned the mother of the need of wanderings and at once we turned back crossing the same manger.​
Behind us the mother said, “See, my little one, thou art the king. Set this diamond upon the forehead of thy steed.”​
We departed bearing in mind the sign of the red star upon the palm. Then, also, had been said, “Remember the day of the red star upon the forehead of the warrior.”​
(from `The Life of Christ,' in On Eastern Crossroads)
How many of these astrologers "from eastern parts" brought "gold and frankincense and myrrh" to the child Jesus is not disclosed; there is no factual basis for the traditional notion that there were three. (Mt 2:1, 11) As astrologers, they were servants of false gods and were, wittingly or unwittingly, led by what appeared to them as a moving "star." They alerted Herod to the fact that the "king of the Jews" had been born, and Herod, in turn, sought to have Jesus killed. The plot, however, failed. Jehovah intervened and proved superior to the demon gods of the astrologers, so instead of returning to Herod, the astrologers headed home another way after being given "divine warning in a dream."—Mt 2:2, 12.
When you say "they" served false gods, I suppose you are talking about the Magi?

Matthew said: "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him."

There is much speculation over who the Magi could have been. It is also safe to say that they could of been druids. For they were philosophers, astronomers, and Magi. The druids were King-makers.
SG - sounds at least as likely as the other scenarios, especially since the Magi came "from the east".
Here's something that might be of interest to your quest. The interesting thing about Tiridates is he was a Aryan (Irano-Afghan) who was crowned by the Roman Emperor Nero as sort of compromise for peace. Tiridates was also a Zoroastrian priest and was accompanied by other magi on his journey to Rome in AD 66. Tiridates of Armenia At one point I came across a wikipedia article that stated that Tiridates and the Magi's visit to Nero was where the magi visit to Jesus "the King" story originated.
Since the synoptic gospels were already being written at this time and it would have been highly unlikely that the original authors cared one hoot for what happened in Rome (in fact the first Judeo-Roman War began the same year as the visit), while possible, not very credible.
Since the synoptic gospels were already being written at this time and it would have been highly unlikely that the original authors cared one hoot for what happened in Rome (in fact the first Judeo-Roman War began the same year as the visit), while possible, not very credible.

According to BX the earliest reference we have to anything in the NT dates to 90CE and is from 1 Clemens, which I'm assuming is the same kind of proof that validates the earliest complete codexs of the NT which places them 300-400 CE, paleolinguistic evidence (e.g. writing system, language). So you can't say the synoptic gospels "were already being written at this time" 66 CE which is 30 years before 90 CE our earliest fragments of the NT, unless you got the same kind of proof that the that shows that they were written before these fragments.
Well, if you only want physical (not textual) proof, so be it. Still awfully hard to swallow that people who were being killed by the Romans (the Ebionites were vitually eliminated in the First Jewish War) would have celebrated the proceedings in Rome that same year.
Anyone know of any art that portrays the Magi in their phrygian caps from before 150 B.C.?
Is there any historical evidence that the Magi actually visited baby Jesus in the manger?

i.e. why couldn't this be just another story that was added posthumously to Jesus' life history by his followers to make him seem more messiah-like?
The earliest evidence of Christian literature/history is Second Clement 140 CE, if not First Clement 90 CE. Before then we know nothing about Christianity PERIOD (other than Christian expressions which we can trace to per-Christian cultural and religious heritages). Our earliest evidence of any nativity story relating to Jesus is Justin Martyr's Dialogue 150 CE which includes the magon cf. magian. What I'm wondering is whether it should make any difference, that although there are references to "Jesus" in Martyr's literature, when he speaks of the nativity he doesn't make any reference to "Jesus" but consistently uses the word "Christ."

Initially I was curious to know if there was any material evidence for which we could trace the predominately eastern or "Persian" dress of Magi tied to the nativity story to a time before this literature, but I'd be curious to know whether there is anything material that we can trace the Christian religion too.
Nothing material. Some good analysis by Claremont and the Jesus Seminar. Mack looks at the layers of the NT to trace currents, Ehrman does a pretty good job of analyzing contextual, scribal and translation errors.

And Azimov (yesp, the sf writer) has a pretty good discussion as to why (with refernces) the NT is not in the same league as Tobit... a made up tale.