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Still Waters

Ancient document reveals new light on the

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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.

arrow3.gifRead more...

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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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

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My comments to the Daily Mail are below:

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.

ETC.

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

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Persian wise men :) .

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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.

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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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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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I think most everyone will enjoy this lecture on the Star of Bethlemham by the University of Minisota's Professor of Physic and Astronomy, Dr. Kaufmanis. This is the short lecture. The long lecture includes the explanation and examples of a helical rising that he associates with it as well.

I recall this lecture from him as one of my favorite memories while he was a guest in my hometown of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

arrow3.gifView: Star of Bethleham

Maybe this should be a new topic? I don't know... If someone wants to figure out what category... hummm.

Edited by encouraged

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Be it discussions on the shroud, the star of Bethleham, NDE, or the light during meditation, I feel you would enjoy the 101 Light Verses page at my other website.

I always thought the mention of light was a symbolic gesture in the Christian faith. After all that I learned writing the book, I now feel most of the time it is meant to be literal.

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Be it discussions on the shroud, the star of Bethleham, NDE, or the light during meditation, I feel you would enjoy the 101 Light Verses page at my other website.

I always thought the mention of light was a symbolic gesture in the Christian faith. After all that I learned writing the book, I now feel most of the time it is meant to be literal.

I think it is both. The light is an inner beacon and energy force and a source to light ones inner path, but it is also an external and physical part of god and angels. Beings of light have been known long before christianity, and in many cultures not connected to christianity

The light, from my personal experience, can be so powerful as to light up the night sky, as if it were day. On the other hand it fits the saying "seeing the light" when we are given internal revelation or knowledge which shows us the way.

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The Bible never said there was only 3 wise men. it just mentioned the 3 different gifts that were given as offerings.

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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.

LET's not foget that John the Baptist would have also be murdered in the imaginary "Slaughter of the Innocents".

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One item here that was interesting, they mentiuoned that the magi met the infant Jesus, but that isn't what the bible tells us... Jesus was at least 1 year old at the time of the Magis arrival. The bible says that he was a child, not an infant.

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Persian wise men :) .

Influenced by Persian/Parsi belief yes. That the Maji were Persian themselves is debatable but very probable. Many believers have a hard time accepting that the author/s would pay tribute to followers of Zoroaster (and the Persians by incorporating them into the Bible and with such a respectable role). A possibility is that with the developments of trade routes and influence of beliefs, it is possible that the wise men were possibly not of Persian descent but of Persian influence.

An interesting note-

1. Zoroaster himself prophecied a star in the sky would point the way.

2. It was customary for Maji to travel in groups. THis can mean hundreds and it can mean 3 maji. But 3 is commonly accepted as the number of maji showing up based on the gifts presented. No where does scripture specif as others have poitned out.

Regarding 3 wise men.

...and as early as the 6th century names were given to them, with physical attributes coming sometime later. Thus the bearer of gold was said to be Melchior, an elderly Persian with a long beard; a young beardless Indian named Caspar offered fargrant frankincense; a black Arabian named Balthassar brought myrrh, the bitter gum resin valued for its medicinal properties."

It may further interest some of you as speculative as it is:

"En route home from China at the end of the 13th century, Marco Polo reported that he visited the wise men's graves near Tehran-though a century earlier the Holy Roman emperor claimed to have moved their bodies to Germany for preservation in a Cathedral."

The quotations are compliments of Who's Who in the Bible?

SINcerely,

:devil:

Edited by Dying Seraph

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One item here that was interesting, they mentiuoned that the magi met the infant Jesus, but that isn't what the bible tells us... Jesus was at least 1 year old at the time of the Magis arrival. The bible says that he was a child, not an infant.

How long did they chill out in the manger until the wise men arrived?? Did Joseph get a local job or something until they could return to their homes?? Does anyone realize that ham is a traditional food served around Christmas?? Is that a direct stab at the jewish population??

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How long did they chill out in the manger until the wise men arrived?? Did Joseph get a local job or something until they could return to their homes?? Does anyone realize that ham is a traditional food served around Christmas?? Is that a direct stab at the jewish population??

Hi seishin,

Mary and Joseph stayed for over a year in Bethlehem, but not more than two years. When the Magi arrived, Joseph and Mary were no longer in a stable with Jesus. They were now residing in a house.

Matthew 2:11

11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Jesus had been circumcised and dedicated at the temple some forty days after his birth.

Luke 2:21-24

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”

He was then being called a paidion (toddler) and no longer a brephos (infant). When the Magi arrived, Jesus was already walking and was able to speak a few words as most normal children would be able to do when several months old. Soon after the Magi left, Herod killed the male children in and around Bethlehem who were two years of age or younger.

Matthew 2:16

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.

This does not mean Jesus was exactly two years old at the time, in fact at most he was 1 year and 1 or 2 months old. The fact that all children two years and under were slain shows that Herod was taking every possible interpretation of the Magi into account for the time of Jesus’ birth.

Since Jesus was born in September, 3 B.C.E, He would have to have left Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph at most in December of 2 B.C.E. Herod died shortly after the slaughter of the innocents, in January 1 B.C.E.

Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled to Egypt for a few months and then returned, settling in Nazareth.

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Perhaps this should be a new topic. If so please move it into one.

I have been finding myself considering for a good while now the possibility, as suggested by some Ethiopians, that Jesus (and his family?) visited Ethiopia during the time he was in Egypt. I know that if I were responsible for such a precious person, I would have gotten as far away as possible.

I would enjoy a bit of brain-storming on the topic. What would you like to contribute to the discussion?

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