The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


More historical background

Q: What evidence is there that the Magi were likely Persian or Zoroastrian-Mede priests?

A: Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, described the Magi as Zoroastrian Mede priests from the Medo-Persian Empire, in his Histories, 1:101,132.

The Catholic Church supports the view that the Magi were Persian priests in a commentary note on Matt. 2 in the 1986 edition of The New American Bible (World Catholic Press).

Q: Who were the Zoroastrians?

A: Similar to Judaism, Zoroastrians believed in one supreme God and a semi-divine messiah who would usher in the kingdom of God called pairadaza (paradise). Even more striking, their sacred texts spoke of this future savior (Soshyans) as one who would be born of a virgin, cast out demons, raise the dead and restore righteousness in Paradise.

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February issue


Embracing diversity