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Thomas and wrought much for the spread of the Faith in Christ. This author admits that he is drawing upon the apocryphal Book of Seth, and writes much about the Magi that is clearly legendary.

The purpose of the gold is clear; the Child was poor. It is said that after their return home, the Magi were baptized by St.

Strabo (XI, ix, 3) says that the Magian priests formed one of the two councils of the Parthian Empire. Biblical Evidence The word magoi often has the meaning of "magician", in both Old and New Testaments (see Acts 8:9 ; 13:6, 8 ; also the Septuagint of Daniel ; 2:2 , , ; 4:4 ; 5:7 , , ). Justin (Tryph., lxxviii), Origen (Cels., I, lx), St. The Church, indeed, in her liturgy, applies to the Magi the words: "The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents; the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring him gifts: and all the kings of the earth shall adore him" ( Psalm ).

But this use of the text in reference to them no more proves that they were kings than it traces their journey from Tharsis, Arabia, and Saba.

The religion of the Magi was fundamentally that of Zoroaster and forbade sorcery ; their astrology and skill in interpreting dreams were occasions of their finding Christ.

(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.

Among the Latins, from the seventh century, we find slight variants of the names, Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar; the Martyrology mentions St. The Syrians have Larvandad, Hormisdas, Gushnasaph, etc.; the Armenians, Kagba, Badadilma, etc. East of Palestine, only ancient Media, Persia, Assyria, and Babylonia had a Magian priesthood at the time of the birth of Christ. The visit of the Magi took place after the Presentation of the Child in the Temple ( Luke ). 750), the probable date of Herod's death at Jericho. Lastly, it was probably a year, or a little more than a year, after the birth of Christ. Such a distance may have taken any time between three and twelve months by camel.That the Magi thought a star led them on, is clear from the words ( eidomen gar autou ton astera ) which Matthew uses in 2:2. Rationalists and rationalistic Protestants, in their efforts to escape the supernatural, have elaborated a number of hypotheses: These theories all fail to explain how "the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was" ( Matthew 2:9 ).The position of a fixed star in the heavens varies at most one degree each day.This Portal is all about Bypassing Internet Censorship.This platform enables those in the UK and Worldwide with CENSORED Internet connections to BYPASS these filters by using our uncensored proxies.Cyrus completely conquered the sacred caste; his son Cambyses severely repressed it. This downfall of the Magi was celebrated by a national Persian holiday called magophonia (Her., III, lxiii, lxxiii, lxxix).