The Info List - Biblical Magi

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PORTALS: Christianity Bible Book:Life of Jesus

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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 celebrations of Christmas
and are an important part of Christian tradition.

According to Matthew, the only one of the four Canonical gospels to mention the 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 , the 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 * 11.3 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 Bethlehem
of 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 that the 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 .


The 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 describing " 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
New Testament
_ (1904 revised edition); _ Amplified Bible _ (1958-New Testament); _ An American Translation _ (1935, Goodspeed); and _The Living Bible _ (K. Taylor, 1962-New Testament).

Although the 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 Magi
and shepherds as the first recognition by the people of the earth of Christ
as the Redeemer, but the reformer John Calvin
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 ignorance."


The New Testament
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
Hortus deliciarum
_ (12th century)

* Melchior (/ˈmɛlkiˌɔːr/ ; also Melichior ), a Persian scholar; * 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
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 first 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.


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 Infancy Gospel
provides some clarity by stating explicitly in the third chapter that they were pursuing a prophecy from their prophet, Zoradascht ( Zoroaster ).

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 tradition. Historian John of Hildesheim relates a tradition in the ancient silk road city of Taxila
(near Islamabad
in Pakistan) that one of the Magi
passed through the city on the way to Bethlehem. _ James Tissot
James Tissot
: The Magi
Journeying_ (c. 1890), Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum
, New York City

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 Kings at 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 and light.

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
Genghis Khan
when Sorghaghtani , niece of the Keraite ruler Toghrul , married Tolui the 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
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 sister) from Samarkand
in 1243, in which he said: “Tanchat , which is the land from whence came the Three Kings to Bethlehem
to worship the Lord Jesus
which was born. And know that the power of Christ
has 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 Jesus
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 Christ
Within You” (2004, pp. 56–59).


_ Adorazione dei Magi_ by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo , c. 1655 ( Toledo Museum of Art , Ohio

The 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.


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 native 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 carol " 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 suffering.

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 century 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 temple at 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 Magi
worshiped Jesus
as God. _ Adoración de los Reyes Magos_ by El Greco
El Greco
, 1568 ( Museo Soumaya , Mexico City
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 Bethlehem
after 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 crucifixion.

There was a 15th-century golden case purportedly containing the Gift of the 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 Ottoman Sultan
Murat II and godmother to Mehmet II the Conqueror (of Constantinople
). They were apparently part of the relics of the Holy Palace of 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 from Bruges."

Christian Scriptures record nothing about the Biblical Magi
after reporting their going back to their own countries. Two separate traditions have surfaced claiming that they were so moved by their encounter with 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.


One tradition gained popularity in Spain during the 17th century; it was found in a work called the Chronicon of Dexter. The work was ascribed to 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.


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 Magi
are 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 Magi
at 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_, book i.

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.

A 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
Hagia Sophia
in Constantinople
; they were later moved to Milan
(some 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
Constantine I
to Jerusalem, where she recovered the True Cross
True Cross
and other relics: _ Journey of the Magi_ (top) and _Adoration of the Magi_ (side) on a Limoges champlevé chasse , c. 1200 ( 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 Sophia.


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.


See also: 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 left-hand side.

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 _ and 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 Hispanic
influence, 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 city of Intramuros
in 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 Christ
child. 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.


Main article: 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.

In New Orleans
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 well.


Main article: Adoration of the Magi
Adoration of the Magi
_ Adoration of the Magi_ , tondo by Fra Angelico
Fra Angelico
and Filippo Lippi
Filippo Lippi
, c. 1450 (NGA , Washington )

The 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 Ages. In 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
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 Oriental

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 Virgin and Christ
facing the spectator, while the Magi
devoutly approach from the (left) side. Even amongst non-Christians who had heard of the Christian story of the Magi, the motif was quite popular, since the 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 shapeshifter ).

Austrian artist 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
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 * Christmas

* Astronomy
* Christian views on astrology * List of names for the biblical nameless

* Mystery play * Saint Caspar * Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas



* ^ _Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary_. Nashville, Tennessee: Holman Bible Publishers . 2003. p. 1066. ISBN 0-8054-2836-4 . * ^ Matthew 2:1-2 * ^ Geza Vermes
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 1910. * ^ 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._ magus * ^ 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) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+72%3A11&version=KJV * ^ "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. http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/holidays/christmas/magi-wise-men-or-kings-its-complicated.html. * ^ 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 2014. * ^ _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 September 2014. * ^ 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 2014. * ^ " 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. 809–844. * ^ _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 31–43 * ^ Hone, William (1890 (4th edit); 1820 (1st edition)). "The Apocryphal Books of the New Testament". Archive.org. Gebbie & Co., Publishers, Philadelphia. See: https://archive.org/stream/apocryphalnewtes00honeuoft#page/40/mode/2up 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 the Wayback Machine ._". Pharmaceutical journal. Vol 271, 2003. pharmj.com. * ^ 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 of Christ
and the Gospels_. Page 100. * ^ "Gifts of the Magi
delivered to Minsk for worship". ITAR-TASS . 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. Retrieved 2010-06-28. * ^ "We, three kings of Orient
were". Saudiaramcoworld.com. Retrieved 2010-06-28. * ^ 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 2013-12-16. * ^ "Blackface! Around the World". Black-face.com. Retrieved 2013-12-16. * ^ User-Kommentar von Dieter Schmeer. "Und die Sternsinger? – Leser-Kommentar – FOCUS Online" (in German). Focus.de. Retrieved 2013-12-16. * ^ "German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses with children in blackface for Three King’s Day celebration". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2013-12-16. * ^ 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. Retrieved 2013-07-04. * ^ 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_. accessed with EBSCOHost . * ^ 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
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 century. * 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 Company, 1982. * Hill, David. _The Gospel
of Matthew_. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981 * Lambert, John Chisholm, _A Dictionary of Christ
and the Gospels_. Page 97–101. * Levine, Amy-Jill. "Matthew." _Women's Bible Commentary._ Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe, eds. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998. * 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 Supposition." _ New Testament
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 608–611. * Hegedus, Tim (2003). "The Magi
and the Star in the Gospel
of Matthew and Early Christian Tradition". _Laval théologique et philosophique_. 59 (1): 81–95. doi :10.7202/000790ar .


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* Mark Rose, "The Three Kings " rowspan="1">Preceded by Star of Bethlehem New Testament