For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds


Matthew 2:1-12; The Visit of the Magi (Historical Background)

posted by Mike Nappa

No one knows for sure who the Magi were that brought gifts to the baby Jesus, or exactly what their country of origin was. Matthew simply says they came “from the east,” first going to Jerusalem and then on to Bethlehem. Still, scholars generally believe these “wise men” likely came from one of three places in the ancient world: Persia, Babylon, or the desert areas east of Palestine.

Interestingly, Magi at that time were not followers of the Hebrew God. They were “disciples of Zoroaster…an important Persian religious leader who believed in one God.” Magi were known as studied in the “science” of astrology, and as experts in magic. Given Old Testament prohibitions against sorcery, it’s surprising that Matthew included these wise men as part of the history of Christ because they could be viewed negatively in the eyes of his Jewish readers. The only real reason for Matthew to include them in his account is simply because they were actually there—regardless of what people would think of that fact.

Matthew 2:1-12

Works Cited:

[JHT, 27, 29]

 

ΩΩΩ

About: For Bible Study Nerds™

About: Mike Nappa

Copyright © 2014 to present by Nappaland Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Previous Posts

Matthew 5:43-48; Love for Enemies (Theological Commentary)
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good,” Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 5:44-55, “and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Theologians point to this statement as evidence of a doctrine called “Common Grace,” or the idea that “God’s love extends even t

posted 12:00:51pm Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:43-48; Love for Enemies (Cross-Reference Comparisons)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy…’” This quote from Matthew 5:43 reveals—again—how religious leaders in Jesus time had unwittingly distorted the Mosaic Law they claimed to hold supreme. The distortion was not intentional or arbitrary—scribe

posted 12:00:50pm Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:38-42; An Eye for an Eye (Factual Info)
“If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic,” Jesus preached in his Sermon on the Mount, “let him have your cloak also.” With all this archaic talk of tunics and cloaks, it’s easy to overlook the devastatingly difficult demand of this little statement. Consider: • In Jesus

posted 12:00:31pm Sep. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:38-42; An Eye for an Eye (Cultural Commentary)
Why was Jesus so adamant about mentioning “the right cheek” when he gave his command for followers to “turn the other cheek”? The answer lies in the social norms of that time in ancient Israel. In Western society today, one person spitting on another is a contemptuous, especially offensiv

posted 12:00:30pm Sep. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:38-42; An Eye for an Eye (Historical Backgrounds)
The legal for basis for lex talionis (“law of retaliation”) that Jesus referred to in Matthew 5:38 was well established in Jewish history and in the Law of Moses. The “eye for an eye” concept first appeared in Genesis 9:6, just after the Great Flood when God told Noah, “Whoever sheds hu

posted 12:00:29pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.