“Wise men” (Magi) refers to a group of scholars who studied the stars. The Magi were looking for such a person, probably because of passages like – ... FROM THE EAST. Fourth, the Magi “from the East” – the locus of dawn – are emblems of new beginnings. Forbidden figures in the Old and New Testaments, these pagan priests or Magi occupy a place of honor in the Christmas story. Magi, singular Magus, also called Wise Men, in Christian tradition, the noble pilgrims “from the East” who followed a miraculous guiding star to Bethlehem, where they paid homage to the infant Jesus as king of the Jews (Matthew 2:1–12). Along with Mary and Joseph, who were Jewish, God told a number of people the Bible calls “wise men from the East.” We don’t think this just means that they were super smart. We know that the magi were wise men from "the East," most likely Persia, or modern-day Iran. Map of Near East at the time of Jesus’ Birth. Among the tenured professorial skeptics, few Gospel episodes have been sliced, diced, and tossed to the dissecting room floor as “mythology” more often than the story of the Magi: the “wise men from the East [who] came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? Most likely, the magi knew of the writings of the prophet Daniel, who in time past … We think it means that they were magi. The Gospel of Matthew mentions the Magi who came from the East to worship the newborn Christ child (cf. Matthew 2:1-12). There were not three wise men. The Magi, who were willing to traverse 1,000+ miles from their home, entered Jerusalem with a large entourage that included servants, cooks, and so on worthy of those of high rank. Exactly who the magi were though remains somewhat of a mystery. Little is known about these men. The latter is more natural and to be preferred. The more important expression, then, appears in verse 1. For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him’” (Matthew 2:2). By 139 BC they had control of the entire Iranian plateau. Magi were astronomers who studied the stars, but they werebl also associated with a different religion–Zoroastrianism. The magi, while in a place east of Jerusalem, saw the star, and it led them west. The Magi came from the East in search of the King of the Jews. Oftentimes, the English translations of the Bible use the word astrologers for magi. “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is […] From some such part of the Parthian Empire the Magi came. This means the wise men traveled 800 to 900 miles to see the Christ child. They also came with an armed escort of perhaps a few hundred Parthian soldiers, not only to protect their safety, but also to guard the precious gifts they carried. The huge power East of Israel at that time was Parthia. Justin Martyr in 160 said, “Magi from Arabia (modern Saudi Arabia) came to Herod.” Clement of Alexandria (c.150-215) in the Stromata says they came from Persia. The magi were from "the East," a land or lands far away from the Judea of 4 BC. These first-century Magi would have been similar to the ‘magicians’ and ‘wise men’ talked about in the book of Daniel a few hundred years previous (remember, Daniel is a Jew in exile in the eastern city of Babylon) – in fact, Daniel may have held a position in the historic line, or tradition, of these current Magi in the birth story. The Parthians started as the Parni tribe from Turkmenistan. East of Palestine, only ancient Media, Persia, Assyria, and Babylonia had a Magian priesthood at the time of the birth of Christ. The Magi were not kings. Astrologers have an unusual place in the Bible. The wise men from the East are a crucial part of the Christmas story. Men from `` the East ” – the locus of dawn – are emblems new... 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