…The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men

Synopsis (From inside the book cover):

Modern biblical scholars tend to dismiss the Christmas story of the “wise men from the East” as pious legend. Matthew’s gospel offers few details, but imaginative Christians filled out the story early on, giving us the three kings guided by a magical star who join the adoring shepherds in every Christmas crèche.

For many scholars, then, there is no reason to take the gospel story seriously.
But are they right? Are the wise men no more than a poetic fancy?

In an astonishing feat of detective work, Dwight Longenecker makes a powerful case that the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem really happened. Piecing together the evidence from biblical studies, history, archeology, and astronomy, he goes further, uncovering where they came from, why they came, and what might have happened to them after eluding the murderous King Herod.

In the process, he provides a new and fascinating view of the time and place in which Jesus Christ chose to enter the world.

The evidence is clear and compelling. The mysterious Magi from the East were in all likelihood astrologers and counselors from the court of the Nabatean king at Petra, where the Hebrew messianic prophecies were well known. The “star” that inspired their journey was a particular planetary alignment―confirmed by computer models―that in the astrological lore of the time portended the birth of a Jewish king.

The visitors whose arrival troubled Herod “and all Jerusalem with him” may not have been the turbaned oriental kings of the Christmas carol, but they were real, and by demonstrating that the wise men were no fairy tale, Mystery of the Magi demands a new level of respect for the historical claims of the gospel.


In his well researched book Dwight Longenecker presents us with a new theory of the origins of the wise men that visited Jesus shortly after his birth. He strips away the legends and myths that over time have added to and embellished the accounts as they are told in the Biblical Scriptures. He explores Matthew’s account of the birth and sets the birth in its historical context which provides clues as to where the wise men might have travelled from. In his book he presents his evidence in a way that is accessible to all. A recommended read for anyone who is interested in the subject.

In addition to the book index there is an extensive bibliography allowing for readers to explore the themes further.

6 Comments CherryPie on Mar 12th 2018

6 Responses to “Mystery of the Magi… by Dwight Longenecker”

  1. What would the Three Wise Men give to baby Jesus if he was born in the 21st century?

  2. lisl says:

    Looks interesting, Cherie. Do you have a copy?

  3. shabana says:

    sounds really appealing to learn about “wise man from east” through mystery of the magi!

    either controversial theories about our religious ancestors occur disturbingly among different religious groups but what satisfy to the followers that all leaders of groups are agreed on main historical happenings

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