The History of the traditional names of the MAGI

Most Christians of the 21st Century are under the impression that the traditional names of Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar are set in stone; that somehow we were given those very names close to the Biblical record.  Unfortunately, history doesn’t not concur.

The three traditional names didn’t appear in text until around 500 ce in a written history of kings and kingdoms produced in Alexandria, Egypt during the reigns of either Zeno or Anastasius I.

It was translated into Latin in or around 750.

There are several other traditions from Syria, Ethiopia and Armenia which differ greatly from tradition, but may get closer to the actual names of the Magi who visited Christ!nativity-side-view-wisemen-copy


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