Did THREE wise men really visit Jesus at the time of his birth?

Or is this story just a myth?

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  • 10 years ago
    Best answer

    It is based on fiction.

    You may have seen many paintings and nativity scenes that depict the infant Jesus lying in a manger,surrounded by three wise men bearing gifts. This image,however,is fiction,and not what the Bible actually says.

    Is is true that a delegation from the east paid homage to young Jesus.These visitors,though,were really astrologers,a practice condemned in the Mosaic law. (Matthew 2:1, New English Bible; The Bible - An American Translation. Deuteronomy 18:10,11) And they did not find Jesus nestling in a manger! They visited him in a house. Evidently,they arrived some six months after Jesus' birth. - See Matthew 2:9-11.

    As to the number of visitors,were there 2? 3? 30? The Bible does not say. Perhaps the traditional number of 'three' arose from their types of gifts. (Matthew 2:11) One Gospel commentary notes that this myth is the product of "an eighth-century historian with a vivid imagination."

    Source(s): Watchtower April 1st, 2010. See www.watchtower.org for more.
  • 10 years ago

    There is some confusion about this. There were not 3 wise men who visited Jesus right after he was born. There were some shepards who went to find him after hearing the angels tell them where Jesus was. In the account at Luke 2:1-20, no where does it say that there were 3 shepards or that the shepards brought gifts. Later, there were astrologers who did bring gifts. But this was after they saw the star where they lived and they had to travel hundreds of miles to reach him. He was not a new born any more and we know this because when Herod spoke to the astrologers before they found Jesus, they told him that they were searching all that time for the child. Then Herod made the decree that boys from 2 years and younger should be put to death. Where did he get that age from? The astrologers.

    Source(s): Bible
  • 10 years ago

    First, I Would Like To Tell You That It Was Not Three Wise Men, But Wise Men Bearing 3 Gifts.

  • 10 years ago

    There has been speculation regarding this for centuries. There are non-canonical accounts of the men that give details (like their names, etc.). It appears they did come, but it could have been weeks or months after the actual birth, not that night. And, they have been called wise men, kings, and astrologers. No-one knows for sure, as the details are scant in the Bible, but that the visit occurred seems true.

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  • 10 years ago

    It's a myth. There is no way a star or other celestial object could lead them directly to a specific geographical location on the Earth, considering the curvature of the Earth and the distance to stellar objects. This was written when it was believed that stars were about 5 miles high in the sky.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Not according to the bible. There were three gifts but the number of wise men is not indicated anyplace.

    Matthew 2:1-12: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? .... Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, ..."

    The first pictorial representation of the Magi appeared in the third century Roman catacomb fresco at St. Domitilla and showed four magi. Later in the fourth century the wise men show up in the catacombs of St. Peter and St. Marcellinus, but this time there were only two. Some medieval lists in the eastern church give as many as twelve.

    There were some early attempts at naming the wise men. One text refers to them as Hormizdah (King of Persia), Yazdegerd (King of Saba) and Perozadh (King of Sheba.) Another states their names as Hor, Basanter and Karsudan. However, the reigning western tradition shows up in a sixth century Greek text entitled Excerpta Latina Barbari, which calls them Gaspar (or Casper), Melchior and Balthasar. Tradition also depicts at least one of the kings as black, but that element didn't show up until quite late in literature and even later in art.

    In the end. The tale of the three wise men, like the story of Noah, Moses, David, and the rest, is just another myth that the Christians took from Antiquity, converted into a Christian story, and included it in their bible for one purpose and one purpose only; to convert the Pagans to one religion with one God and save Constantine's empire.

  • 10 years ago

    I don't really believe anything from the Bible, but the Bible doesn't actually specify how many wise men visited Jesus. That misunderstanding probably came about because of the song, "We Three Kings".

  • 10 years ago

    It was probably more than three, and they probably arrived when Jesus was a toddler, having first seen the star at the time of his birth--it's a long trip. I think we talk about three wise men because we remember three gifts.

  • Greg
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    The story never states an exact number, but it's implied that there were more than one. The idea of three comes from the three gifts that were mentioned.

  • 10 years ago

    The story had to contain many of the prophecy's, so that Jesus would fit the requirements.

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