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There is much more to the story in Fr. Longenecker’s book. If you can, please add Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men to your Christmas and New Year’s reading list. It also makes a fantastic gift, even for … perhaps particularly for … non-believers.
This article originally appeared on The Stream, December 21, 2020. With Epiphany approaching Friday we decided to repost this fascinating interview.
It’s one of those biblical stories guaranteed to generate a smirk from the anti-Christian scrooges. Indeed, it does seem fantastical: Magi from a distant land cross the desert bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh for little baby Jesus. Toss in a magical star that guides them, and who wouldn’t be suspicious?
Yet, Stream contributor Fr. Dwight Longenecker has done something rather wonderful. He actually studied the scriptures, dug deep into the historical background, and solved the mystery of the Magi. Yes, they were real and he tells us who they are in a phenomenal book called Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men.
We were able to grab Fr. Longenecker during this busy holiday season to ask him about the Magi. The interview has been slightly edited for clarity. …