PORTALS: Christianity Bible Book:Life of
The BIBLICAL MAGI (/ˈmædʒaɪ/ or /ˈmeɪdʒaɪ/ ; singular:
magus; Greek : μάγοι, _magoi_), also referred to as the (THREE)
WISE MEN or (THREE) KINGS, were, in the
Gospel of Matthew and
Christian tradition, a group of distinguished foreigners who visited
Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold , frankincense and myrrh
. They are regular figures in traditional accounts of the nativity
Christmas and are an important part of Christian
According to Matthew, the only one of the four
Canonical gospels to
Magi , they came "from the east" to worship the "king of
the Jews". Although the account does not mention the number of Magi,
the three gifts has led to the widespread assumption that there were
three men. In
Eastern Christianity , especially the Syriac churches ,
Magi often number twelve. Their identification as kings in later
Christian writings is probably linked to Psalms 72:11, "May all kings
fall down before him".
* 1 Biblical account
* 2 Description
* 3 Names
* 4 Country of origin and journey
* 5 Gestures of respect
* 6 Traditional identities and symbolism
* 7 Gifts
* 8 Martyrdom traditions
* 8.1 Chronicon of Dexter
* 8.2 Relics at Cologne
* 9 Tombs
* 10 Religious significance
* 11 Traditions
* 11.1 Spanish customs
* 11.1.1 Campaign for a real black Balthazar in Spain
* 11.2 Central Europe
Roscón de Reyes
* 12 In art
* 13 See also
* 14 References
* 15 External links
Traditional nativity scenes depict three "kings" visiting the infant
Jesus on the night of his birth, in a manger accompanied by the
shepherds and angels, but this should be understood as an artistic
convention allowing the two separate scenes of the Adoration of the
Shepherds on the birth night and the later
Adoration of the Magi
Adoration of the Magi to be
combined for convenience. The single biblical account in Matthew
simply presents an event at an unspecified point after Christ's birth
in which an unnumbered party of unnamed "wise men" ("μάγοι")
visits him in a house ("οἰκίαν"), not a stable, with only "his
mother" mentioned as present. The
New Revised Standard Version of
Matthew 2:1 –12 describes the visit of the
Magi in this manner:
In the time of King Herod , after
Jesus was born in
Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the
child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at
its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard
this, he was frightened and all Jerusalem with him; and calling
together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired
of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem
of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 'And you,
Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the
rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my
people Israel.'" Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and
learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he
sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the
child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also
go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out;
and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its
rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they
saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On
entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they
knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests,
they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having
been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own
country by another path.
The text specifies no interval between the birth and the visit, and
artistic depictions and the closeness of the traditional dates of
December 25 and January 6 encourage the popular assumption that the
visit took place the same winter as the birth, but later traditions
varied, with the visit taken as occurring up to two winters later.
This maximum interval explained Herod's command at Matthew 2:16–18
Massacre of the Innocents included boys up to two years old.
More recent commentators, not tied to the traditional feast days, may
suggest a variety of intervals.
The wise men are mentioned twice shortly thereafter in verse 16, in
reference to their avoidance of Herod after seeing Jesus, and what
Herod had learned from their earlier meeting. The star which they
followed has traditionally become known as the
Star of Bethlehem .
Magi are popularly referred to as _wise men_ and _kings_. The
word _magi_ is the plural of Latin _magus_, borrowed from Greek
μάγος _magos_, as used in the original Greek text of the Gospel
of Matthew ("μάγοι"). Greek _magos_ itself is derived from Old
Persian _maguŝ_ from the
Avestan _magâunô_, i.e., the religious
caste into which
Zoroaster was born (see
Yasna 33.7: "ýâ sruyê
parê magâunô" = "so I can be heard beyond Magi"). The term refers
to the Persian priestly caste of
Zoroastrianism . As part of their
religion, these priests paid particular attention to the stars and
gained an international reputation for astrology , which was at that
time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use
of astrology caused derivatives of the term _Magi_ to be applied to
the occult in general and led to the English term _magic _, although
Zoroastrianism was in fact strongly opposed to sorcery . The King
James Version translates the term as _wise men_; the same translation
is applied to the wise men led by Daniel of earlier Hebrew Scriptures
(Daniel 2:48). The same word is given as _sorcerer_ and _sorcery_ when
Elymas the sorcerer" in Acts 13:6–11, and
Simon Magus ,
considered a heretic by the early Church, in Acts 8:9–13. Several
translations refer to the men outright as astrologers at Matthew
Chapter 2, including _
New English Bible _ (1961); _Phillips New
Testament in Modern English _ (J.B.Phillips, 1972); _Twentieth Century
New Testament _ (1904 revised edition); _
Amplified Bible _ (1958-New
An American Translation _ (1935, Goodspeed); and _The
Living Bible _ (K. Taylor, 1962-New Testament).
Magi are commonly referred to as "kings," there is
nothing in the account from the
Gospel of Matthew that implies that
they were rulers of any kind. The identification of the
Magi as kings
is linked to Old Testament prophecies that describe the Messiah being
worshipped by kings in Isaiah 60:3, Psalm 68:29, and Psalm 72:10,
which reads, "Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations
serve him." Early readers reinterpreted Matthew in light of these
prophecies and elevated the
Magi to kings. By AD 500 all commentators
adopted the prevalent tradition that the three were kings. Later
Christian interpretation stressed the Adorations of the
shepherds as the first recognition by the people of the earth of
Christ as the Redeemer, but the reformer
John Calvin was vehemently
opposed to referring to the
Magi as kings. He once wrote: "But the
most ridiculous contrivance of the Papists on this subject is, that
those men were kings... Beyond all doubt, they have been stupefied by
a righteous judgment of God, that all might laugh at gross
New Testament does not give the names of the Magi. However,
traditions and legends identify a variety of different names for them.
In the Western Christian church, they have been all regarded as
saints and are commonly known as: _ Herrad of Landsberg: The three
Magi (named as Patisar, Caspar and Melchior), illustration from the
Hortus deliciarum _ (12th century)
* Melchior (/ˈmɛlkiˌɔːr/ ; also Melichior ), a Persian
* Caspar (/ˈkæspər/ or /ˈkæspɑːr/ ; also Gaspar, Jaspar,
Jaspas, Gathaspa, and other variations), an Indian scholar;
* Balthazar (/ˈbælθəˌzɑːr/ or /bælˈθæzər/ ; also
Balthasar, Balthassar, and Bithisarea ), a Babylonian scholar.
Encyclopædia Britannica _ states: "according to Western church
tradition, Balthasar is often represented as a king of Arabia,
Melchior as a king of Persia, and Gaspar as a king of India." These
names apparently derive from a Greek manuscript probably composed in
Alexandria around 500, and which has been translated into Latin with
the title _Excerpta Latina Barbari_. Another Greek document from the
8th century, of presumed Irish origin and translated into Latin with
the title _Collectanea et Flores_, continues the tradition of three
kings and their names and gives additional details.
One candidate for the origin of the name Caspar appears in the Acts
of Thomas as _
Gondophares _ (21 – c. AD 47), i.e., Gudapharasa (from
which "Caspar" might derive as corruption of "Gaspar"). This
Gondophares declared independence from the Arsacids to become the
Indo-Parthian king, and he was allegedly visited by Thomas the
Apostle . According to Ernst Herzfeld, his name is perpetuated in the
name of the Afghan city
Kandahar , which he is said to have founded
under the name Gundopharron.
In contrast, many Syrian Christians name the
Magi _Larvandad _,
_Gushnasaph _, and _Hormisdas _. These names have a far greater
likelihood of being originally Persian, though that does not, of
course, guarantee their authenticity.
In the Eastern churches, Ethiopian Christianity , for instance, has
_Hor_, _Karsudan_, and _Basanater_, while the Armenian Catholics have
_Kagpha_, _Badadakharida_ and _Badadilma_. Many Chinese Christians
believe that one of the magi came from China.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN AND JOURNEY
The phrase _from the east_ (ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν), more
literally _from the rising _, is the only information Matthew provides
about the region from which they came. The
Parthian Empire , centered
in Persia, occupied virtually all of the land east of Judea and Syria
(except for the deserts of
Arabia to the southeast). Though tolerant
of other religions, the dominant religion of the empire was
Zoroastrianism, with its priestly magos class.
Traditionally the view developed that they were Babylonians ,
Persians , or Jews from
Yemen as the kings of
Yemen then were Jews, a
view held for example by
John Chrysostom .
Although Matthew's account does not explicitly cite the motivation
for their journey (other than seeing the star in the east, which they
somehow took to be the star of the King of the Jews), the Syriac
Gospel provides some clarity by stating explicitly in the
third chapter that they were pursuing a prophecy from their prophet,
There is an Armenian tradition identifying the "
Magi of Bethlehem" as
Balthasar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India.
Evangelical Bible teacher
Chuck Missler has also written about this
John of Hildesheim relates a tradition in the
ancient silk road city of
Islamabad in Pakistan) that one
Magi passed through the city on the way to Bethlehem. _
James Tissot : The
Magi Journeying_ (c. 1890),
Brooklyn Museum , New
After the visit, the
Magi leave the narrative by _returning another
way_ so as to avoid Herod, and do not reappear. There are many
traditional stories about what happened to the
Magi after this, with
one having them baptised by St. Thomas on his way to India. Another
has their remains found by Saint Helena and brought to Constantinople,
and eventually making their way to Germany and the Shrine of the Three
Cologne Cathedral .
Sebastian Brock, a historian of Christianity, has said: "It was no
doubt among converts from
Zoroastrianism that… certain legends were
developed around the
Magi of the Gospels". And Anders Hultgård
concluded that the
Gospel story of the
Magi was influenced by an
Iranian legend concerning magi and a star, which was connected with
Persian beliefs in the rise of a star predicting the birth of a ruler
and with myths describing the manifestation of a divine figure in fire
A model for the homage of the
Magi might have been provided, it has
been suggested, by the journey to Rome of King Tiridates I of Armenia,
with his magi, to pay homage to the
Emperor Nero , which took place in
66 AD, a few years before the date assigned to the composition of the
Gospel of Matthew.
There was a tradition that the Central Asian
Naimans and their
Christian relatives, the
Keraites , were descended from the Biblical
Magi. This heritage passed to the Mongol dynasty of
Genghis Khan when
Sorghaghtani , niece of the Keraite ruler Toghrul , married
youngest son of Genghis and became the mother of
Möngke Khan and his
younger brother and successor,
Kublai Khan. Toghrul became identified
with the legendary Central Asian Christian king,
Prester John , whose
Mongol descendants were sought as allies against the Muslims by
contemporary European monarchs and popes.
Sempad the Constable ,
elder brother of King
Hetoum I of
Cilician Armenia , visited the
Mongol court in Karakorum in 1247–1250 and in 1254. He wrote a
letter to Henry I King of Cyprus and Queen Stephanie (Sempad’s
Samarkand in 1243, in which he said: “Tanchat , which
is the land from whence came the Three Kings to
Bethlehem to worship
Jesus which was born. And know that the power of
been, and is, so great, that the people of that land are Christians;
and the whole land of Chata believes those Three Kings. I have myself
been in their churches and have seen pictures of
Christ and the
Three Kings, one offering gold, the second frankincense, and the third
myrrh. And it is through those Three Kings that they believe in
Christ, and that the Chan and his people have now become
Christians”. The legendary Christian ruler of Central Asia, Prester
John was reportedly a descendant of one of the Magi.
"Long before the time of Christ, India had trade relations with
Palestine; much of the commerce between the
Orient and the
Mediterranean civilizations (including Egypt, Greece, and Rome) passed
through Jerusalem", so it is very likely that Wise Men could have been
"great sages of India", as Paramahansa Yogananda wrote in his “The
Second Coming of
Christ – The Resurrection of the
You” (2004, pp. 56–59).
GESTURES OF RESPECT
_ Adorazione dei Magi_ by
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo , c. 1655
Toledo Museum of Art ,
Magi are described as "falling down", "kneeling" or "bowing" in
the worship of Jesus. This gesture, together with Luke's birth
narrative, had an important effect on Christian religious practices.
They were indicative of great respect, and typically used when
venerating a king. Inspired by these verses, kneeling and prostration
were adopted in the early Church. While prostration is now rarely
practised in the West it is still relatively common in the Eastern
Churches, especially during
Lent . Kneeling has remained an important
element of Christian worship to this day.
TRADITIONAL IDENTITIES AND SYMBOLISM
Apart from their names, the three
Magi developed distinct
characteristics in Christian tradition, so that between them they
represented the three ages of (adult) man, three geographical and
cultural areas, and sometimes other things. In the normal Western
account, reflected in art by the 14th century (for example in the
Arena Chapel by
Giotto in 1305) Caspar is old, normally with a white
beard, and gives the gold; he is "King of Tarsus , land of merchants"
on the Mediterranean coast of modern Turkey, and is first in line to
kneel to Christ. Melchior is middle-aged, giving frankincense from his
Arabia , and Balthazar is a young man, very often and
increasingly black-skinned, with myrrh from Saba (modern south Yemen
). Their ages were often given as 60, 40 and 20 respectively, and
their geographical origins were rather variable, with Balthazar
increasingly coming from
Ethiopia or other parts of Africa, and being
represented accordingly. Balthazar's blackness has been the subject
of considerable recent scholarly attention; in art it is found mostly
in northern Europe, beginning from the 12th century, and becoming very
common in the north by the 15th. The three gifts of
the magi, left to right: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Three gifts are explicitly identified in Matthew: gold , frankincense
, and myrrh , in
Koine Greek : _chrysós_ (χρυσός), _líbanos_
(λίβανος) and _smýrna_ (σμύρνα). Many different theories
of the meaning and symbolism of the gifts have been brought forward.
While gold is fairly obviously explained, frankincense, and
particularly myrrh, are much more obscure. See the previous section
for who gave which. One of the earliest known depictions from a
third-century sarcophagus (
Vatican Museums )
The theories generally break down into two groups:
* All three gifts are ordinary offerings and gifts given to a king.
Myrrh being commonly used as an anointing oil, frankincense as a
perfume, and gold as a valuable.
* The three gifts had a spiritual meaning: gold as a symbol of
kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense ) as a symbol of deity,
and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death.
* This dates back to
Origen in _
Contra Celsum _: "gold, as to a
king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to a God."
* These interpretations are alluded to in the verses of the popular
We Three Kings " in which the magi describe their gifts. The
last verse includes a summary of the interpretation: "Glorious now
behold Him arise/King and God and sacrifice."
* Sometimes this is described more generally as gold symbolizing
virtue, frankincense symbolizing prayer , and myrrh symbolizing
Myrrh was used as an embalming ointment and as a penitential incense
in funerals and cremations until the 15th century. The "holy oil"
traditionally used by the
Eastern Orthodox Church for performing the
sacraments of chrismation and unction is traditionally scented with
myrrh, and receiving either of these sacraments is commonly referred
to as "receiving the myrrh". The picture of the
Magi on the 7th
Franks Casket shows the third visitor – he who brings myrrh
– with a valknut over his back, a pagan symbol referring to Death.
It has been suggested by scholars that the "gifts" were medicinal
rather than precious material for tribute .
The Syrian King
Seleucus II Callinicus is recorded to have offered
gold, frankincense and myrrh (among other items) to
Apollo in his
Miletus in 243 BC, and this may have been the precedent for
the mention of these three gifts in
Gospel of Matthew (2:11 ). It was
these three gifts, it is thought, which were the chief cause for the
number of the
Magi becoming fixed eventually at three.
This episode can be linked to Isaiah 60 and to Psalm 72 which report
gifts being given by kings, and this has played a central role in the
perception of the
Magi as kings, rather than as astronomer-priests. In
a hymn of the late 4th-century hispanic poet
Prudentius , the three
gifts have already gained their medieval interpretation as prophetic
emblems of Jesus' identity, familiar in the carol "
We Three Kings " by
John Henry Hopkins, Jr. , 1857.
John Chrysostom suggested that the gifts were fit to be given not
just to a king but to God, and contrasted them with the Jews'
traditional offerings of sheep and calves, and accordingly Chrysostom
asserts that the
Jesus as God. _ Adoración de los
Reyes Magos_ by
El Greco , 1568 (
Museo Soumaya ,
Mexico City )
What subsequently happened to these gifts is never mentioned in the
scripture, but several traditions have developed. One story has the
gold being stolen by the two thieves who were later crucified
alongside Jesus. Another tale has it being entrusted to and then
misappropriated by Judas . One tradition suggests that Joseph and Mary
used the gold to finance their travels when they fled
an angel had warned, in a dream, about King Herod\'s plan to kill
Jesus. And another story proposes the theory that the myrrh given to
them at Jesus' birth was used to anoint Jesus' body after his
There was a 15th-century golden case purportedly containing the Gift
Magi housed in the Monastery of St. Paul of
Mount Athos . It
was donated to the monastery in the 15th century by
Mara Branković ,
daughter of the
King of Serbia
Đurađ Branković , wife to the
Murat II and godmother to
Mehmet II the Conqueror (of
Constantinople ). They were apparently part of the relics of the Holy
Constantinople and it is claimed they were displayed there
since the 4th century. After the
Athens earthquake of September 9,
1999 they were temporarily displayed in
Athens in order to strengthen
faith and raise money for earthquake victims. The relics were
displayed in Ukraine and Belarus in
Christmas of 2014, and thus left
Greece for the first time since the 15th century.
_ The Three Wise Kings,
Catalan Atlas ,_ 1375, fol. V: "This
province is called Tarshish, from which came the Three Wise Kings, and
they came to
Bethlehem in Judaea with their gifts and worshipped Jesus
Christ, and they are entombed in the city of Cologne two days journey
Christian Scriptures record nothing about the Biblical
reporting their going back to their own countries. Two separate
traditions have surfaced claiming that they were so moved by their
Jesus that they either became Christians on their own
or were quick to convert fully upon later encountering an Apostle of
Jesus. The traditions claim that they were so strong in their beliefs
that they willingly embraced martyrdom.
CHRONICON OF DEXTER
One tradition gained popularity in Spain during the 17th century; it
was found in a work called the Chronicon of Dexter. The work was
Flavius Lucius Dexter the bishop of Barcelona, under
Theodosius the Great . The tradition appears in the form of a simple
martyrology reading, "In
Arabia Felix, in the city of Sessania of the
Adrumeti, the martyrdom of the holy kings, the three Magi, Gaspar,
Balthassar, and Melchior who adored Christ." First appearing in 1610,
the Chronicon of Dexter was immensely popular along with the
traditions it contained throughout the 17th century. Later, this was
all brought into question when historians and the Catholic hierarchy
in Rome declared the work a pious forgery.
RELICS AT COLOGNE
A competing tradition asserts that the Biblical
Magi "were martyred
for the faith, and that their bodies were first venerated at
Constantinople ; thence they were transferred to
Milan in 344. It is
certain that when
Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor (Barbarossa) imposed
his authority on
Milan , the relics there were transferred to Cologne
Cathedral , housed in the
Shrine of the Three Kings , and are
venerated there today." The Milanese treated the fragments of masonry
from their now-empty tomb as secondary relics and these were widely
distributed around the region, including southern France, accounting
for the frequency with which the
Magi appear on chasse reliquaries in
Limoges enamel .
There are several traditions on where the remains of the
located, although none of the traditions is considered as an
established fact or even as particularly likely by secular history.
Marco Polo claimed that he was shown the three tombs of the
Saveh south of
Tehran in the 1270s:
In Persia is the city of Saba, from which the Three
Magi set out and
in this city they are buried, in three very large and beautiful
monuments, side by side. And above them there is a square building,
beautifully kept. The bodies are still entire, with hair and beard
remaining. — Marco Polo, Polo, Marco, _The
Book of the Million_,
Paul William Roberts provides some modern-day corroboration of this
possibility in his book _Journey of the Magi_. The Shrine of the
Three Kings in
Cologne Cathedral , Germany, c. 1200.
Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral , according to
tradition, contains the bones of the Three Wise Men. Reputedly they
were first discovered by Saint Helena on her famous pilgrimage to
Palestine and the Holy Lands. She took the remains to the church of
Hagia Sophia in
Constantinople ; they were later moved to
sources say by the city's bishop,
Eustorgius I ), before being sent
to their current resting place by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I
in 1164. The Milanese celebrate their part in the tradition by holding
a medieval costume parade every 6 January.
A version of the detailed elaboration familiar to us is laid out by
the 14th century cleric
John of Hildesheim 's _Historia Trium Regum_
("History of the Three Kings"). In accounting for the presence in
Cologne of their mummified relics, he begins with the journey of
Helena , mother of
Constantine I to Jerusalem, where she recovered the
True Cross and other relics: _ Journey of the Magi_ (top) and
_Adoration of the Magi_ (side) on a
Limoges champlevé chasse , c.
Musée de Cluny , Paris)
Queen Helen… began to think greatly of the bodies of these three
kings, and she arrayed herself, and accompanied by many attendants,
went into the Land of Ind… after she had found the bodies of
Melchior, Balthazar, and Gaspar, Queen Helen put them into one chest
and ornamented it with great riches, and she brought them into
Constantinople... and laid them in a church that is called Saint
The visit of the
Magi is commemorated in most Western Christian
churches by the observance of Epiphany , 6 January, which also serves
as the feast of the three as saints. The
Eastern Orthodox celebrate
the visit of the
Magi on 25 December.
Though the Qur\'an omits Matthew's episode of the Magi, it was well
known in Arabia. The Muslim encyclopaedist al-Tabari , writing in the
9th century, gives the familiar symbolism of the gifts of the Magi.
Al-Tabari gave his source for the information to be the later 7th
century writer Wahb ibn Munabbih.
Mystery Play of the Three Magic Kings
Holidays celebrating the arrival of the
Magi traditionally recognise
a distinction between the date of their arrival and the date of Jesus'
birth. The account given in the
Gospel of Matthew does not state that
they were present on the night of the birth; in the
Gospel of Luke,
Joseph and Mary remain in
Bethlehem until it is time for Jesus'
dedication, in Jerusalem, and then return to their home in Nazareth.
The Three Wise Men receiving children at a shopping centre in
Spain. Letters with gift requests are left in the letterbox on the
Western Christianity celebrates the
Magi on the day of Epiphany ,
January 6, the day immediately following the _twelve days of Christmas
_, particularly in the Spanish-speaking parts of the world . In these
areas, the Three Kings ("_los Reyes Magos de Oriente_", and "_Los Tres
Reyes Magos_" or simply "_Los Reyes Magos_") receive letters from
children and so bring them gifts on the night before Epiphany. In
Spain, each one of the
Magi is supposed to represent one different
continent, Europe (Melchior), Asia (Caspar) and Africa (Balthasar).
According to the tradition, the
Magi come from the
Orient on their
camels to visit the houses of all the children, much like _Sinterklaas
Santa Claus with his reindeer elsewhere, they visit everyone in
one night. In some areas, children prepare a drink for each of the
Magi. It is also traditional to prepare food and drink for the camels,
because this is the only night of the year when they eat.
In Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay, there is a long
tradition for having the children receive presents by the three
"_Reyes Magos_" on the night of January 5 (Epiphany Eve) or morning of
January 6. Almost every Spanish city or town organises _cabalgatas _
in the evening, in which the _kings_ and their _servants_ parade and
throw sweets to the children (and parents) in attendance. The
_cavalcade of the three kings_ in Alcoy claims to be the oldest in the
world, having started in 1886. The Mystery Play of the Three Magic
Kings is also presented on Epiphany Eve. There is also a "Roscón"
(Spain) or "Rosca de Reyes" (Mexico) as explained below.
In the Philippines, beliefs concerning the Three Kings (Filipino :
_Tatlóng Haring Mago_, lit. "Three
Magi Kings"; shortened to
_Tatlóng Harì_ or Spanish _Tres Reyes_) follows
with the Feast of the Epiphany considered by many Filipinos as the
traditional end of their
Christmas season . The tradition of the Three
Kings' _cabalgada _ is today done only in some areas, such as the old
Manila , and the island of
Marinduque . Another
dying custom is children leaving shoes out on Epiphany Eve, so that
they may receive sweets and money from the Three Kings. With the
arrival of American culture in the early 20th century, the Three Kings
as gift-givers have been largely replaced in urban areas by Santa
Claus , and they only survive in the greeting "Happy Three Kings!" and
the surname _Tatlóngharì_. The Three Kings are especially revered in
Gapan, Nueva Ecija , where they are enshrined as patron saints in the
National Shrine of Virgen La Divina Pastora .
In Paraguay, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, children cut
grass or greenery on January 5 and put it in a box under their bed for
the Kings' camels. Children receive gifts on January 6, which is
called _Día de Reyes_, and is traditionally the day in which the Magi
arrived bearing gifts for the
Christmas starts in
December and ends in January after Epiphany, although in Puerto Rico
there are eight more days of celebration (_las octavitas_).
Campaign For A Real Black Balthazar In Spain
In 2009 a campaign started in Spain over the fact that Balthazar is
commonly played by a white person in blackface .
_ Sternsinger_ in
Vienna , Austria. _ Sternsinger_ –
Christmas carolers in
Sanok , Poland.
A tradition in Poland and German-speaking Catholic areas is the
writing of the three kings' initials (_C+M+B_ or _C M B_, or _K+M+B_
in those areas where Caspar is spelled Kaspar) above the main door of
Catholic homes in chalk. This is a new year's blessing for the
occupants and the initials also are believed to also stand for
"_Christus mansionem benedicat_" ("May/Let
Christ Bless This House").
Depending on the city or town, this will be happen sometime between
Christmas and the Epiphany, with most municipalities celebrating
closer to the Epiphany . Also in Catholic parts of the German-speaking
world, these markings are made by the "_Sternsinger_" (literally,
"star singers") – a group of three elementary school children
dressed up as the magi. The _Sternsinger_ carry a star representing
the one followed by the biblical magi and sing
Christmas carols as
they go door to door. An adult chaperones the group but stays in the
background of the performance. After singing, the children write the
three kings' initials on the door frame in exchange for charitable
donations. Each year, German and Austrian dioceses pick one charity
towards which all _Sternsinger_ donations nationwide will be
contributed. Traditionally, one child in the _Sternsinger_ group is
said to represent Baltasar from Africa and so, that child typically
wears blackface makeup. Many Germans do not consider this to be
racist because it is not intended to be a negative portrayal of a
black person, but rather, a "realistic" or "traditional" portrayal of
one. The dialogue surrounding the politics of traditions involving
blackface is not as developed as in Spain or the Netherlands. In the
past, photographs of German politicians together with children in
blackface have caused a stir in English-language press. Moreover,
Afro-Germans have written that this use of blackface is a missed
opportunity to be truly inclusive of Afro-Germans in German-speaking
communities and contribute to the equation of "blackness" with
"foreignness" and "otherness" in German culture.
In 2010 the day of Epiphany, January 6, was made a holiday in Poland
and thus a pre-war tradition was revived. Since 2011, celebrations
with biblical costuming have taken place throughout the country. For
example, in Warsaw there are processions from Plac Zamkowy down
Krakowskie Przedmieście to Plac Piłsudskiego.
ROSCóN DE REYES
Roscón de Reyes
In Spain and in Portugal (where it is called
Bolo-rei ), the cake,
which is ring-shaped, is most commonly bought, not baked, and it
contains both a small figurine of one of the
Magi (or another surprise
depending on the region) and an actual dry broad bean . The one who
gets the figurine is "crowned" (with a crown made of cardboard or
paper), but whoever gets the bean has to pay the value of the cake to
the person who originally bought it. In Mexico they also have the same
ring-shaped cake _Rosca de Reyes_ (Kings Bagel or Thread) with
figurines inside it. Whoever gets a figurine is supposed to organize
and be the host of the family celebration for the _Candelaria _ feast
on February 2.
In France and Belgium, a cake containing a small figure of the baby
Jesus, known as the "broad bean", is shared within the family. Whoever
gets the bean is crowned king for the remainder of the holiday and
wears a cardboard crown purchased with the cake. A similar practice is
common in many areas of Switzerland, but the figurine is a miniature
king. The practice is known as _tirer les Rois_ (Drawing the Kings). A
queen is sometimes also chosen.
New Orleans ,
Louisiana , parts of southern
Texas , and
surrounding regions, a similar ring-shaped cake known as a "King Cake
" traditionally becomes available in bakeries from Epiphany to Mardi
Gras . The baby
Jesus figurine is inserted into the cake from
underneath, and the person who gets the slice with the figurine is
expected to buy or bake the next King Cake. There is wide variation
among the types of pastry that may be called a King Cake, but most are
a baked cinnamon-flavoured twisted dough with thin frosting and
additional sugar on top in the traditional Mardi Gras colours of gold,
green and purple. To prevent accidental injury or choking, the baby
Jesus figurine is frequently not inserted into the cake at the bakery,
but included in the packaging for optional use by the buyer to insert
it themselves. Mardi Gras-style beads and doubloons may be included as
Adoration of the Magi
Adoration of the Magi _ Adoration of the Magi_ ,
Fra Angelico and
Filippo Lippi , c. 1450 (NGA , Washington )
Magi most frequently appear in European art in the _Adoration of
the Magi_; less often in the _Journey of the Magi_ has been a popular
subject in art, and _topos _, and other scenes such as the _Magi
before Herod_ and the _Dream of the Magi_ also appear in the Middle
Byzantine art they are depicted as Persians, wearing trousers
and phrygian caps . Crowns appear from the 10th century. Despite being
saints, they are very often shown without halos , perhaps to avoid
distracting attention from either their crowns or the halos of the
Holy Family . Sometimes only the lead king, kneeling to Christ, has a
halo the two others lack, probably indicating that the two behind had
not yet performed the act of worship that would ensure their status as
saints. Medieval artists also allegorised the theme to represent the
three ages of man . Beginning in the 12th century, and very often by
the 15th, the Kings also represent the three parts of the known
(pre-Columbian) world in Western art, especially in Northern Europe.
Balthasar is thus represented as a young African or Moor and Caspar
may be depicted with distinctly
An early Anglo-Saxon depiction survives on the
Franks Casket (early
7th century, whalebone carving), the only Christian scene, which is
combined with pagan and classical imagery. In its composition it
follows the oriental style, which renders a courtly scene, with the
Christ facing the spectator, while the
approach from the (left) side. Even amongst non-Christians who had
heard of the Christian story of the Magi, the motif was quite popular,
Magi had endured a long journey and were generous. Instead
of an angel, the picture places a swan-like bird, perhaps
interpretable as the hero's fylgja (a protecting spirit, and
Gottfried Helnwein depicted a more controversial
tableau in his painting, _Epiphany I:
Adoration of the Magi
Adoration of the Magi _ (1996).
Intended to represent the "many connections between the Third Reich
and the Christian churches in Austria and Germany", Nazi officers in
uniform stand around an
Aryan woman, a Madonna. The
Christ toddler who
stands on Mary's lap resembles
Adolf Hitler .
More generally they appear in popular Nativity scenes and other
Christmas decorations that have their origins in the Neapolitan
variety of the Italian _presepio_ or Nativity crèche.
* Christianity portal
Christian views on astrology
List of names for the biblical nameless
* ^ _Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary_. Nashville, Tennessee:
Holman Bible Publishers . 2003. p. 1066. ISBN 0-8054-2836-4 .
* ^ Matthew 2:1-2
Geza Vermes , _The Nativity: History and Legend_, London,
Penguin, 2006, p. 22
* ^ Metzger, 24
* ^ "Magi". _Encyclopædia Britannica_.
* ^ _s.v._ magi. _Oxford English Dictionary_ (Third ed.). April
* ^ Schiller, 114
* ^ "Matthew 2". _Bible Gateway_.
* ^ Schiller, I, 96; _The New Testament_ by Bart D. Ehrman 1999
ISBN 0-19-512639-4 p. 109
Oxford English Dictionary , Third edition, April 2010, _s.v._
Mary Boyce , _A History of Zoroastrianism: The Early Period_
(Brill, 1989, 2nd ed.), vol. 1, pp. 10–11 online; Mary Boyce,
_Zoroastrians: their religious beliefs and practices_ (Routledge,
2001, 2nd ed.), p. 48 online; Linda Murray, _The Oxford companion to
Christian art and architecture_ (Oxford University Press, 1996), p.
293; Stephen Mitchell, _A history of the later Roman Empire, AD
284–641: the transformation of the ancient world_
(Wiley–Blackwell, 2007), p. 387 online.
* ^ Psalm 72:11 (King James Version)
* ^ "Magi". Encyclopædia Britannica.
* ^ s.v. magi.
Oxford English Dictionary (Third ed.). April 1910.
* ^ Drum, Walter. "Magi." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New
York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 24 Dec. 2016 .
* ^ Ashby, Chad. "Magi, Wise Men, or Kings? It's Complicated."
Christianity Today, December 16, 2016.
* ^ Calvin, John . _Calvin\'s Commentaries, Vol. 31: Matthew, Mark
and Luke, Part I, tr. by John King_. Retrieved 2010-05-15. Quote from
Commentary on Matthew 2:1–6
* ^ See Metzger, 23–29 for a lengthy account
* ^ "Melchior". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 25 September
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _Excerpta Latina Barbari,_ page 51B: "At that
time in the reign of Augustus, on 1st January the
Magi brought him
gifts and worshipped him. The names of the
Magi were Bithisarea,
Melichior and Gathaspa.".
* ^ "Caspar or Gaspar". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 25
* ^ Hugo Kehrer (1908), Vol. I, p. 70 Online version Kehrer's
commentary: "Die Form Jaspar stammt aus Frankreich. Sie findet sich im
niederrheinisch-kölnischen Dialekt und im Englischen. Note: O. Baist
page 455; J.P.Migne; Dictionnaire des apocryphes, Paris 1856, vol I,
p. 1023. ... So in La Vie de St. Gilles; Li Roumans de Berte: Melcior,
Jaspar, Baltazar; Rymbybel des Jakob von Märlant: Balthasar,
Melchyor, Jaspas; ein altenglisches Gedicht des dreizehnten oder
vierzehnten Jahrhunderts (13th century!!) Note: C.Horstmann,
Altenglische Legenden, Paderborn 1875, p. 95; ... La Vie des trois
Roys Jaspar Melchior et Balthasar, Paris 1498"-->]
* ^ "Balthazar". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 25 September
* ^ "
Magi (biblical figures) – Encyclopædia Britannica".
Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
* ^ Hugo Kehrer (1908), _Die Heiligen Drei Könige in Literatur und
Kunst_ (reprinted in 1976). Vol. I, p. 66. Online version. Quote from
the Latin chronicle: _primus fuisse dicitur Melchior, senex et canus,
barba prolixa et capillis, tunica hyacinthina, sagoque mileno, et
calceamentis hyacinthino et albo mixto opere, pro mitrario variae
compositionis indutus: aurum obtulit regi Domino._ ("the first , named
Melchior, was an old white-haired man, with a full beard and hair, :
the king gave gold to our Lord.") _Secundum, nomine Caspar, juvenis
imberbis, rubicundus, mylenica tunica, sago rubeo, calceamentis
hyacinthinis vestitus: thure quasi Deo oblatione digna, Deum
honorabat._ ("The second, with name Caspar, a beardless boy, .")
_Tertius, fuscus, integre barbatus, Balthasar nomine, habens tunicam
rubeam, albo vario, calceamentis inimicis amicus: per myrrham filium
hominis moriturum professus est._ ("The third one, dark-haired, with a
full beard, named Balthasar, .") _Omnia autem vestimenta eorum Syriaca
sunt._ ("The clothes of all were Syrian-style.")
* ^ _Collectanea et Flores_ in
Patrologia Latina . XCIV, page
541(D) Online version
* ^ Ernst Herzfeld, _Archaeological History of Iran_, London,
Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1935, p. 63.
* ^ Witold Witakowski, "The
Magi in Syriac Tradition", in George A.
Kiraz (ed.), _Malphono w-Rabo d-Malphone : Studies in Honor of
Sebastian P. Brock_, Piscataway (NJ), Gorgias Press, 2008, pp.
* ^ _Acta Sanctorum_, May, I, 1780.
* ^ Concerning The
Magi And Their Names.
* ^ Hattaway, Paul; Brother Yun; Yongze, Peter Xu; and Wang, Enoch.
_Back to Jerusalem._ (Authentic Publishing, 2003). retrieved May 2007
* ^ _A History of Iran_, Michael Axworthy, (2008) Basic Books, pgs
* ^ Hone, William (1890 (4th edit); 1820 (1st edition)). "The
Apocryphal Books of the New Testament". Archive.org. Gebbie & Co.,
Publishers, Philadelphia. See:
Retrieved 26 January 2017.
* ^ Nersessian, Vrej (2001). _The Bible in the Armenian Tradition_.
Getty. ISBN 978-0-89236-640-8 .
* ^ Missler, Chuck (November 2007). "Who Were the Magi? We Three
Kings?". Koinonia House. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
* ^ _Historia Trium Regum_ (_History of the Three Kings_) by John
of Hildesheim (1364–1375)
* ^ Brock, Sebastian (1982). "Christians in the Sasanian Empire: A
Case of Divided Loyalties". In Mews, Stuart. _Religion and National
Identity_. Studies in Church History, 18. Oxford: Blackwell. pp.
1–19. ISBN 978-0-631-18060-9 .
* ^ Ugo Monneret de Villard, _Le Leggende orientali sui Magi
evangelici_, Citta del Vaticano, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 1952.
* ^ Hultgård, Anders (1998). "The
Magi and the Star—the Persian
Background in Texts and Iconography". In Schalk, Peter; Stausberg,
Michael. _'Being Religious and Living through the Eyes': Studies in
Religious Iconography and Iconology: A Celebratory Publication in
Honour of Professor Jan Bergman_. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis:
Historia Religionum, 14. Uppsala, Almqvist & Wiksell International.
pp. 215–25. ISBN 978-91-554-4199-9 .
* ^ A. Dietrich, "Die Weisen aus dem Morgenlande", _Zeitschrift
für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft_, Bd. III, 1902, p. 1 _14;
cited in J. Duchesne-Guillemin, "Die Drei Weisen aus dem Morgenlande
und die Anbetung der Zeit",_ Antaios_, Vol. VII, 1965_, pp. 234–252,
245; cited in
Mary Boyce and Frantz Genet, _A History of
Zoroastrianism_, Leiden, Brill, 1991, p. 453, n. 449.
* ^ Herzfeld, Ernst (1935). _Archaeological History of Iran_.
Schweich Lectures of the British Academy. London: Oxford University
Press. pp. 65–6.
OCLC 651983281 .
* ^ _In regno Tarsae sunt tres provinciae, quarum dominatores se
reges faciunt appellari. Homines illius patriae nominant Iogour.
Semper idola coluerunt, et adhuc colunt omnes, praeter decem
cognationes illorum regum, qui per demonstrationum stellae venerunt
adorare nativitatem in
Bethlehem Judae. Et adhuc multi magni et
nobiles inveniunt inter Tartaros de cognatione illa, qui tenent
firmiter fidem Christi._ (In the kingdom of Tarsis there are three
provinces, whose rulers have called themselves kings. the men of that
country are called Uighours. They always worshipped idols, and they
all still worship them except for the ten families of those Kings who
from the appearance of the Star came to adore the Nativity in
Bethlehem of Judah. And there are still many of the great and noble of
those families found among the Tartars who hold firmly to the faith of
Christ): Wesley Roberton Long (ed.), _La flor de las ystorias de
Orient by Hethum prince of Khorghos_, Chicago, The University of
Chicago Press, 1934, pp. 53, 111, 115; cited in Ugo Monneret de
Villard, _Le Leggende orientali sui
Magi evangelici_, Citta del
Vaticano, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 1952, p. 161. Hayton,
_Haithoni Armeni ordinis Praemonstratenis de Tartaris liber,_ Simon
Grynaeus Johannes Huttichius, _Novus orbis regionum ac insularum
veteribus incognitarum,_ Basel, 1532, caput ii, _De Regno Tarsae_, p.
420 “The people of these countrees be named Iobgontans , and at all
tymes they haue been idolaters, and so they contynue to this present
day, save the nacion or kynred of those thre kynges which came to
worshyp Our Lorde Ihesu Chryst at his natiuyte by demonstracyon of the
sterre. And the linage of the same thre kynges be yet vnto this day
great lordes about the lande of Tartary, which ferme and stedfastly
beleue in the fayth of Christ”: Hetoum, _A Lytell Cronycle: Richard
Pynson's Translation (c. 1520) of La Fleur des Histoires de la Terre
d'Orient,_ edited by Glenn Burger, Toronto, University of Toronto
Press, 1988, _Of the realme of Tharsey,_ p. 8, lines 29–38.
* ^ Friedrich Zarncke, "Der Priester Johannes", _Abhandlungen der
philologisch-historischen Classe der Koeniglichen Sachsischen
Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften_, Leipzig, Band VII, Heft 8, 1879,
S.826–1028; Band I, Heft 8, 1883, S. 1–186), re-published in one
volume by G. Olms, Hildesheim, 1980.
* ^ _Letter of
Sempad the Constable to the King and Queen of
Cyprus, 1243,_ in Henry Yule, _Cathay and the Way Thither,_ Oxford,
Hakluyt society, 1866, Vol.I, pp.cxxvii, 262-3.
* ^ Fertur enim iste de antiqua progenie illorum, quorum in
Evangelio mentio fit, esse Magorum, eisdemque, quibus et isti,
gentibus imperans, tanta gloria et habundancia frui, ut non nisi
sceptro smaragdino uti dicatur (It is reported that he is the
descendant of those
Magi of old who are mentioned in the Gospel, and
to rule over the same nations as they did, enjoying such glory and
prosperity that he uses no sceptre but one of emerald). Otto von
Freising, _Historia de Duabus Civitatibus,_ 1146, in Friedrich
Zarncke, _Der Priester Johannes,_ Leipzig, Hirzel, 1879 (repr. Georg
Olms Verlag, Hildesheim and New York, 1980, p. 848; Adolf Hofmeister,
_Ottonis Episcopi Frisingensis Chronica; sive, Historia de Duabus
Civitatibus,_ Hannover. 1912, p. 366.
* ^ "Matthew 2; – Passage Lookup – New International Version
– UK". BibleGateway.com. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
* ^ Penny, 401
* ^ Schiller, I, 113
Origen , _
Contra Celsum _ I.60.
* ^ "
Franks Casket - F - panel (Front) - Pictures: The Magi".
* ^ Page, Sophie,"_Magic In Medieval Manuscripts_". University of
Toronto Press, 2004. 64 pages. ISBN 0-8020-3797-6 , p. 18.
* ^ Gustav-Adolf Schoener and Shane Denson , "_Astrology: Between
Religion and the Empirical_".
* ^ "_Frankincense: festive pharmacognosy Archived 2007-06-15 at
Wayback Machine ._". Pharmaceutical journal. Vol 271, 2003.
* ^ August Friedrich von Pauly et al., _Realencyclopädie der
Classischen Altertumswissenschaft_, Vol. XVI, 1, Stuttgart, 1933,
col.1145; Leonardo Olschki, "The Wise Men of the East in Oriental
Traditions", _Semitic and
Oriental Studies_, University of California
Publications in Semitic Philology, Vol.11, 1951, pp. 375 _395_, p.
380, n. 46; cited in
Mary Boyce and Frantz Genet, _A History of
Zoroastrianism_, Leiden, Brill, 1991, p. 450, n. 438.
* ^ Lambert, John Chisholm, in
James Hastings (ed.) _A Dictionary
Christ and the Gospels_. Page 100.
* ^ "Gifts of the
Magi delivered to Minsk for worship".
17 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Andrew Edward Breen (February 1, 1908). _A Harmonized
Exposition of the Four Gospels, Volume 1_. Rochester, New York.
* ^ R. R. Madden, M.D (1864). "On certain Literary Frauds and
Forgeries in Spain And Italy". _Proceedings of the Royal Irish
Academy, Vol 8_. Dublin.
* ^ Gauthier M-M. and François G., _Émaux méridionaux: Catalogue
international de l'oeuvre de
Limoges – Tome I: Epoque romane_, p.
11, Paris 1987
* ^ _Journey of the Magi_, Paul William Roberts, (2006) Tauris
Parke Paperbacks, pgs 27-38
* ^ "Sant\' Eustorgio I di Milano". Santiebeati.it. 2001-09-09.
* ^ "We, three kings of
Orient were". Saudiaramcoworld.com.
* ^ News about blackface Balthazars (in Spanish)
* ^ Vídeo demanding true black Baltazars (in Spanish)
* ^ "Christus Mansionem Benedicat « Catholic Sensibility".
Catholicsensibility.wordpress.com. 2006-01-05. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
* ^ "Duden Sternsingen Rechtschreibung, Bedeutung, Definition"
(in German). Duden.de. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
* ^ Name bedeutet: Gott schütze sein Leben (babylon.-hebr.)
(2007-03-25). "Balthasar – Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon".
Heiligenlexikon.de. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
* ^ "Catholic Encyclopedia: Baltasar". Newadvent.org. Retrieved
* ^ "Blackface! Around the World". Black-face.com. Retrieved
* ^ User-Kommentar von Dieter Schmeer. "Und die Sternsinger? –
Leser-Kommentar – FOCUS Online" (in German). Focus.de. Retrieved
* ^ "German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses with children in
blackface for Three King’s Day celebration". NY Daily News.
* ^ 04 Jan 2013 (2013-01-04). "Angela Merkel pictured with
blacked-up children". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
* ^ Ogdan Ücgür (2012-01-06). "Sternsinger: Schwarzes Gesicht und
weisse Hände". M-Media. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
* ^ Trzech Króli już świętem państwowym (_Three Kings already
a public holiday_
* ^ "Orszak Trzech Króli Warszawa". Orszak.org. 2013-01-01.
* ^ À mesa com o tradicional
Bolo-rei – Uma instituição
nacional Archived 2010-06-01 at the
Wayback Machine . Matosinhos Hoje,
6 January 2010.
* ^ Baker, Kenneth (9 August 2004). "Dark and detached, the art of
Gottfried Helnwein demands a response.". _San Francisco Chronicle_.
Denver Art Museum , _Radar, Selections from the Collection of
Vicki and Kent Logan_, Gwen F. Chanzit, 2006
* Giffords, Gloria Fraser, _Sanctuaries of Earth, Stone, and Light:
The Churches of Northern New Spain, 1530–1821_, 2007, University of
Arizona Press, ISBN 0816525897 , 9780816525898, google books
* Metzger, Bruce , _
New Testament Studies: Philological, Versional,
and Patristic, Volume 10_, 1980, BRILL, ISBN 9004061630 ,
9789004061637, google books
* Penny, Nicholas , National Gallery Catalogues (new series): _The
Sixteenth Century Italian Paintings, Volume II, Venice 1540–1600_,
2008, National Gallery Publications Ltd, ISBN 1857099133
* Schiller, Gertud, _Iconography of Christian Art, Vol. I_, 1971
(English trans from German), Lund Humphries, London, ISBN 0853312702
* Albright, W. F. , and C. S. Mann. "Matthew." _The Anchor Bible
Series ._ New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971.
* Becker, Alfred: _Franks Casket. Zu den Bildern und Inschriften des
Runenkästchens von Auzon_ (Regensburg, 1973) pp. 125–142,
Ikonographie der Magierbilder, Inschriften.
* Benecke, P. V. M. (1900). "Magi". In
James Hastings . _A
Dictionary of the Bible _. III. pp. 203–206.
* Brown, Raymond E. _The Birth of the Messiah: A Commentary on the
Infancy Narratives in Matthew and Luke_. London: G. Chapman, 1977.
* Clarke, Howard W. _The
Gospel of Matthew and its Readers: A
Historical Introduction to the First Gospel._ Bloomington.
* Chrysostom, John . "Homilies on Matthew: Homily VI". c. 4th
* France, R. T. _The
Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction
and Commentary._ Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985.
* Gundry, Robert H. _Matthew a Commentary on his Literary and
Theological Art._ Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing
* Hill, David. _The
Gospel of Matthew_. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
* Lambert, John Chisholm, _A Dictionary of
Christ and the Gospels_.
* Levine, Amy-Jill. "Matthew." _Women's Bible Commentary._ Carol A.
Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe, eds. Louisville: Westminster John Knox
* Molnar, Michael R., _The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the
Magi_. Rutgers University Press, 1999. 187 pages. ISBN 0-8135-2701-5
* Powell, Mark Allan. "The
Magi as Wise Men: Re-examining a Basic
New Testament Studies._ Vol. 46, 2000.
* Schweizer, Eduard . _The Good News According to Matthew._ Atlanta:
John Knox Press, 1975.
* Trexler, Richard C. _Journey of the Magi: Meanings in History of a
Christian Story_. Princeton University Press, 1997.
* Watson, Richard, _A Biblical and Theological Dictionary_, Page
* Hegedus, Tim (2003). "The
Magi and the Star in the
Matthew and Early Christian Tradition". _Laval théologique et
philosophique_. 59 (1): 81–95. doi :10.7202/000790ar .
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: THREE WISE MEN _ (category)
* Mark Rose, "The Three Kings " rowspan="1">Preceded by
Star of Bethlehem