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Ancient document reveals new light on the

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:36 PM

www.dailymail.co.uk said:

They are one of the most recognised symbols of the festive season, emulated in nativity plays all over the world and whose imagery adorns the front of millions of Christmas cards.

However the three wise men who presented the newborn baby Jesus with gold, frankincense and myrrh could have been larger in numbers if a new interpretation of an ancient document is correct.

An eighth-century script has been translated into English for the first time and throws an incredible new light on the Christmas story.

The translation of the mysterious 'Revelation of the Magi' describes how the three wise men actually numbered over a dozen and came from a faraway land, possibly China.

The Magi was the term, used from at least the fourth century BC, for ancient stargazers who were able to read and manipulate the fate foretold in the skies.

The script also reveals how it was Jesus himself who was the famous star followed by the Magi.

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#2    Robbie333


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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:55 PM

Thank you SW. Wonderful. I don't really know you but I can tell you have a good and kind spirit. Have a nice Christmas.

Robbie James

#3    Still Waters

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:35 AM

You're welcome Robbie and thank you, that was really nice what you said. You have a good Christmas too  :)

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#4    Paranoid Android

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 07:11 AM

This would not surprise me.  I've known for a long time that there could easily have been more than three magi, and on the balance of things there probably were more than three.  The Bible only mentions three gifts, the actual number of magi who come to give those three gifts is never addressed (probably because it wasn't important how many there were).

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#5    Cassea


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Posted 22 December 2011 - 07:36 AM

What a wonderful Christmas present to us all.  Thank you so much for sharing it.

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#6    Paracelse


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Posted 22 December 2011 - 08:05 AM

This is indeed a beautiful story but there is one part that beg something else:


The story tells how the Magi were descended from Adamís third and righteous son, Seth.

It seems to me the story is a hoax to propagate divine intervention.

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#7    angi chiesa

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:02 PM

I was brought up as a Christian. The idea that people travelled from China following a star. The Earth rotates so one would have to have some knowledge of star navigation.It was a new star presumably. How long does it take to travel from China.I cant work out how this lovely story couldbe more that just a tale

#8    WolvenHeart7


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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:39 PM

Very interesting. It really gives me something to think about.  :yes:

#9    Leonardo



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Posted 22 December 2011 - 03:47 PM

Far be it from me to assume the role of 'party-pooper'  :P , but the likelihood of the document being authentic (in the sense it's narrative relates actual events) is slim.

First, while it is true the Magi were "ancient stargazers" (not to imply they were stargazers who were ancient, thank you Daily Mail) it is also known that, at the time around the alleged birth of Jesus, the Magi were a Parthian (a kingdom/empire descended from ancient Persia and inimical to Rome) sect/tribe and did not hail from 'mythical Shir'.

While 'Magi', as a catch-all term to indicate astronomers/astrologers/wise-men, was certainly in use around the time the nativity was added to the bible (in the gospels of Matthew and Luke), the role of 'Magi' as king-makers - which these magi were, declaring to Herod the arrival of a 'King of the Jews' - is only known from that era of the Persian/Parthian priestly caste.

Furthermore, those 'ancient magi' of Parthia were preists of the Zoroastrian religion, and would not have been baptised. I suspect this text, like other texts 'discovered' by the Vatican (notably the Donation of Constantine), is a forgery (although perhaps forged in the 8th or 9th century) designed to enhance the power/influence of the Church.

Edited by Leonardo, 22 December 2011 - 03:48 PM.

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#10    encouraged


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Posted 22 December 2011 - 08:27 PM

My comments to the Daily Mail are below:

encouraged said:

I am delighted to know yet another manuscript has been prepared for English readers.

When I was young Evangelicals were concerned when science and scholarship began getting involved in the interpretation of historical and traditional matters of  Christianity. Perhaps there were fears of being distracted by having to defend our faith.

Now that I am much older, I am delighted with the balance of the outcome of that involvement thus far. The many finds, verifications across disciplines, unbiased conclusions of peer reviews, substantiation of the accuracy of oral traditions, etc. have served to validate--even where biased individuals have sought to do harm--and necessarily properly correct Christian thought.

I have witnessed no harm to the Christian faith, only matters that strengthen it, even from the hands of its "opponents."

As to those who require laboratory evidence, please set up an example for the public to report the evidence of your existence 100 years after death.

As to my friends here, IMHO:

I don't know of any literary criticism that may have been done with this document, however there are obvious truths that are a part of it. One merely has to remove the local traditions and syncratic elements.

Having some fun of that kind with the paraphrase as presented in the article, we can exemplify things that can be analyzed. Since this is not my profession that which I do is only a mock-up and not the least accurate, but gives a feel for what I mean:

'The star guides them to Bethlehem and into a cave where it transforms into a human infant who tells them to go back and be preachers of the Gospel.

Likely the doctrine they passed down that God would come in the form of a man, and an additional, possible, original record like that of the angels appearing to the shepherds, merged as the oral tradition evolved to form the quote above.

The angels in the shepard narrative light the whole countryside and sky--i.e., a narrative forms that they followed a star consisting of a host of angels...

The angels preached a message to the shepards--i.e., a narrative forms that the God-man baby preaches to them.


It also can be easily said that the Mathew narrative and the Revelation of the Magi narrative do not have the same source, as:

'It transformed into a small luminous human being who was Christ himself in a pre-existent, celestial form. (Gnostic origins)

Mathew is generally free of Gnostic content.

Also, the various gifts given could have been sold to pay for the expenses of a trip to Egypt to avoid the slaughter of all the male babies later. Imagine being the only guy your age in that part of the kingdom.

Anyway, IMO, lots still needs to be done to glean from the narrative that which is myth and that which is historical or that which is not either.

Edited by encouraged, 22 December 2011 - 08:44 PM.

#11    Persia


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Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:09 PM

Persian wise men :) .

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#12    aadison


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Posted 23 December 2011 - 11:55 AM

This would not surprise me. I've known for a long time that there could easily have been more than three magi, and on the balance of things there probably were more than three. The Bible only mentions three gifts, the actual number of magi who come to give those three gifts is never addressed.

#13    GreenmansGod


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Posted 23 December 2011 - 12:50 PM

8th century means 800 years after he was gone. I think it is more like propaganda from the 8th century. Remember they were building a religion, kind of like L. Ron Hubbard.  Relax and enjoy the season, don't over think it.  Merry Christmas to all my Christian friends.

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#14    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:50 PM


JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#15    Munkh


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Posted 23 December 2011 - 05:32 PM

Here is my take on the Story fwiw

The wise men may have been descendants of the captive Jews of Babylon who chose not to return when Cyris declared that Jerusalem should be rebuilt. basically descendants of Daniel Shadrak Mishak and Ebednigo or their peers. So they would have the Jewish Torah and the prophecies about the redeemer coming. they were also schooled in Persian ect. Astrology and Astronomy.

They brought 3 gifts nowhere do the text say there were only 3 of them. After they met with Herrod the Great and failed to return with information about the Child he ordered all boys under 2 years of age to be killed. So by the time the wise men actually showed up in Isreal he may have been as old as 2 years.

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