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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question that may be simple to answer, or it might not ;)

Tonight we celebrated twelfth night. Traditionally the day on which we remember the three wise men bringing their gifts to baby Jesus.

OK - now we all know that they didn't really appear on twelfth night, in the same way that we know that Christmas isn't really Jesus' birthday, but it's a day to remember.

So tonight at bedtime DD and I read together the last part of the christmas story.

I have always thought that the wise men came some months later. But reading the story it struck me - Herod ordered all boys under TWO to be killed.

Does that mean that in reality the three wise men might have been anywhere up to two years in coming to Bethlehem?

Does anyone know?

hoggie
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thank you Rose - that is pretty much the way I was reading it. Although I ha drealised that they came "later" I had never quite realised how MUCH later :)

Thanks again

hoggie
 

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yes, the wise men (not three necessarily) came at least two years after His birth. Keep in mind that the original text does not speak to the number of wise men, only to the number of gifts.

R
 

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Another interesting misconception is the number of wise men. It never says there were three wise men...only mentions the three gifts. We don't know how many wise men there were.
 

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It was explained to me that Herrod wanted to make CERTAIN he got Jesus: that was why he killed all of the small boys.

OK, Herrod was told that Jesus was a baby. Would soldiers in the middle of a loud screaming fuss be able to tell a 3 month old from a 9 month old? Or however old Jesus was? No problem for Herrod: execute all of the little boys, leaving a large margin for error.

I think that if Jesus was 2 years old, all of the 3 year olds would have been killed also. So, I would guess that Jesus was well under 2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all.

One of the things that has been puzzling me is this. If Jesus was no longer a baby, they had obviously been in Bethlehem for some time, so why had Mary and Joseph not gone home? They obviously wanted to return to Nazareth as, as soon as they got the all clear in Egypt, they went back to Nazareth. So why hadn't they gone to Bethlehem sooner?

hoggie
 

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That is an interesting question. The Bible doesn't say why, but I wonder if it might have been that Joseph thought the King should live in "the city of David" and be raised there. Joseph, himself, was the rightful heir to the kingdom you know.
 

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The way I read Luke and Matthew, I come up with the scenario that Jesus is born in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph return to Nazareth as soon as Mary is able to travel. We know that followed the custom and took Jesus to the temple to be circumscised at eight days and we know they took him to the temple after Mary's purification...there we have the story of Simeon and Anna. Joseph and Mary then went back to Nazareth it says in Luke. I believe that geographically Jersualme, Bethlehem, Galilee, Nazareth are all close in proximity. It says the wise men visited the child at their home, not a stable. I always assume they came to see Jesus when He was anywhere from six months to two years old because they were following the star and had travelled quite some time. I don't believe the star appeared until Jesus was born but could be mistaken. After the wise men's visit in their home, Joseph was told to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt until the threat of Herod was passed. We know that Jesus was raised in Nazareth so I always assume they lived in Nazareth except for that time when they were in Egypt.
 

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I had not thought about it that way before. The Bible only says the star led them to where the Babe was, but doesn't specifically give the location. Most of us just assume it was Bethlehem.

I've thought for years that the "star" was actually an angel, not a fiery ball of light in the sky.
 

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I had not thought about it that way before. The Bible only says the star led them to where the Babe was, but doesn't specifically give the location. Most of us just assume it was Bethlehem.

I've thought for years that the "star" was actually an angel, not a fiery ball of light in the sky.
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You state that you've thought for years that the star was actually an angel.....hopefully, you've done some further thinking since then .......otherwise I would have to ask you the following question:

Why would you believe that when the bible mentions a star, that it is actually an angel??? It's not that far away from the mentioning of "the star", where there are several passages that mention "the angel of the Lord".......
Why would scripture mention one as a star and another as the angel of the Lord if they weren't one and the same in the first place? Your interpretation could be flawed by such logic and does not hold up when you examine the original greek as to what each individual word means. I believe that when the bible states that it was a star.......it was a star......and was prepared especially for the birth of our Lord, to announce to the world that the savior had arrived. An angel of the Lord came along in a dream, to break the news to Joseph and then later arrived IN PERSON to tell the shepherds........
the star came along by itself......as a flashing billboard to the world.
 

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I don't know how you can say someone's logic is flawed when you don't know how they arrived at a conclusion.

I based my *assumption*, which is all it is, on the passage in Revelation where a star was seen falling from Heaven and *he* was given the key to the abyss. So sometimes the word *star* is used to mean an angel (angel is just a word that means messenger).
 

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Cyngbaeld's conclusion is not out of logic at all. You must remember that you are reading a text that has been intrepreted and reinterpreted many many times. From 1 language, to another to another.

In the King James Version, Matthew relates that the Wise men saw the star "in the east". (they are from the east, hence, they saw it while they were in the East). Herod wants to know WHEN the star appeared. Matthew also implies that ONLY the wise men see the star. Then Herod sends them out to find the child...and Matthew says:

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

now...to me...that sounds more like some form of being, or a manifestation that God created. Could be a light, one of his angels, or something like that which led Moses out of Egypt.

just sayin'.
 

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Had another thought....on "why would they still be in Bethlehem".

It would not be unreasonable for Mary to be pregnant within 2 years. It's entirely possible they had to go back again. Also....totally NOTHING in the bible says this, but it's logical...if you are told by God that your son is King of the Jews...would you want to be in the same city with Herod? I mean really....that would be extremely dangerous for a babe.

and....Did Joseph's family know who the child was? Would they have counted months and condemned Mary if they'd known exactly when the child was born? It was NOT a very forgiving society. If I'd been Joseph, I'd have done anything necessary to protect her. Stay away from the family for a couple of years.
 

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Wisconsin Ann,
I don't mean to be argumentative, but I have to disagree with your statement about the Bible being interpreted and reinterpreted over the years.
Perhaps you mean that when people read it they put their own interpretation on what they read? But as for the text itself, there is no other document in existence which has been as carefully scrutinized for accuracy of translation through the centuries as the Bible has.

That was one of the reason why finding the Isaiah scrolls at Qumran was so thrilling.

Here were scolls which were verifiably thousands of years old, and yet the text was word for word with text of a later date, confirming that the more recent texts were literal translations of the earlier texts.
No ancient document has as many supporting sources as the Bible has. First by Jewish scholars and rabbis and also by the Catholic church. Luther and many other Christians spent their whole lives studying the Bible. There is more textual evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ than there is for Julius Ceasar.
No other document has had the history of painstaking effort to assure accurate letter by letter translation/transposition as has the Bible.
The astounding thing this is how modern and ancient texts are not just similar, but the same.
With some exception of humanistic translations of recent years, scholars and scribes, monks and clerics had tremendous respect for the Word of God.
You may have read of their practice of destroying any document that was found to have mistakes.
This is just a tiny example of the care, dedication and reverance people had for the Bible, with accurate translation being of paramount concern, first out of reverance to God, and secondly that the translations would state what HE wanted us to know.

Stef
 

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:) I love to explore the possibilities...The following is NOT to be read as condemnation or argument. Simply exploring debate on possibilities

If you read a King James Version, and then the oh, say, New International, you get different interpretations.

Random Example:
Matthew 8:6

KingJames:
And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

New International:
"Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly."

Now....which is right? Palsy is not necessarily the same as paralyzed. it also means uncontrollable tremor. What does the actual hebrew or latin text say? I don't have access to the original texts.

The Torah and Hebrew texts are copied letter for letter. There is no interpretation on them. They have found single misstrokes of the pen, but have gone back to change them. BUT it's still in it's ancient form. Once it's translated into English, French, German..whatever...it can change because there are no words in that new language that mean the same as the original

Every single translator will tell you that translation is an art. It can't be done by a computer. Just look at Babelfish and the translation you get for a simple French page into English. They look at the context of the words, the arrangement.

That's what I mean by interpretations. Was there, somewhere along the early timeline, someone who translated what was told to him as "star"? Because he had no word for a "glowing object moving across the sky sent from God"? (or some such wording)

Also, the Catholic church, who wrote what became the current version of the bible, decide to include some texts and exclude others. They've admitted it. Found some texts to be heretical, some to be redundant, some to be fraudulent. A man (or possibly men) made that decision. Hopefully guided by God, but....

History and the words written are fascinating. The color red, for example. Are we talking flame red? Dark red like dried blood? Red hair? Such a simple word...but with a world of difference. or Green. Grass? eyes? untrained?

Every language has words that have multiple meanings. Again...we're back to the context and how the interpreter reads the words.
 

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I find Cyngbaeld's thought of 'angel' to be interesting. For one thing, she's a Godly woman, and uses the Bible for inspiration. Is it not possible that her "angel" or "messenger" is a God-given interpretation? and...well...

Does it really matter? Whatever the sign was, it was from God, directing those who saw it to the Child, so that they might worship him and spread word of His coming.

just my 2nd 2 cents worth :)
 
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