The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Who were the Magi?

The wise men who came to Bethlehem are both an ancient and modern mystery

The Feast of Epiphany, Jan. 6, is a puzzle to most Christians. It often seems like a footnote to Christmas, particularly since the appearance of the wise men, or Magi, is central to the story. Historically, Epiphany Sunday is also called The Adoration of the Magi. The word "epiphany" best translates as "manifestation" — specifically the revelation of the Jewish Messiah to the Gentile world.

As staff for a Lutheran mission to Kurdish people in the Middle East, we use Epiphany as a time to consider that many scholars believe the Kurds are descendants of the Magi, giving them a unique place in salvation history.

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