The 3 Magi of the bible and the Zoroastrian Wizards of ancient Aryans
The Gospel of Matthew, mentions the Magi as the “Wise Men” who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It states that they came from the east. Although the account does not mention their number but their three gifts has led to the widespread assumption that there were three men. Their identification as kings in later Christian writings is probably linked to the important role and the great influence they enjoyed as wizards/priests (Wise Men) of the Zoroastrians at the Imperial Achaemenid court.
Classical authors such as Herodotus, Strabo, Pompeius Trogus, Apuleius, and Ammianus Marcellinus have provided significant information on the religion of the Magi. According to their statements, the Magi were the faithful disciples of the ancient Aryan Prophet Zarathushtra.
The word Magi, (Greek Mágos μάγος, Latin Magus,) appears for the first time in the poetic gathas of the Prophet/Seer Zarathushtra. Compare the term Magi with Latin Magnus, Greek Megas, Sanskrit Maha, Mahat.
The word denotes “mastery, greatness of spirit/mind, command, Loftiness of thought or purpose.” In the Vedas Indra is repeatedly called a magavan, “possessing extraordinary (magical) powers, having great mastery/command, magnanimous.”
According to Herodotus, Magi occupied an influential position at the court as dream interpreters, soothsayers and wizards/magus or Wise Men. Herodotus states that Xerxes did not undertake any important decisions without preliminary advice of the Magi. They interpreted his dreams and gave him prophecies. They accompanied the Persian army on campaigns with the sacred fire and upon orders of Xerxes they performed offerings to the sea in the Hellespont. It is also known from Curtius Rufus that Persian soldiers carried the sacred flame on silver altars in front of the troops, and the Magi proceeded behind them singing sacred ancient hymns (Historiae 3.3.9).
Herodotus also narrates that the Magi did not bury their dead until his body had been torn by a bird of prey or a dog, and they killed all snakes, reptiles and insects/flies.
Xenophon adds that the Persian kings followed their instructions in religious matters and their counsel in the matters of the STARS, and that Magi were also tutors, teachers and scholars.
It is also known from Arrian that the Magi were designated to guard the tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae (Anabasis of Alexander 6.29.4-11).
In documents from Persepolis, Magi are mentioned in connection with their wine making skills and preparation of medicinal haômá drink. Magi made offerings of wine, fruits, grains, holy water and flowers to rivers and mountains. They were also engaged in administrative and scholarly activities and were known for their sharp minds and their “outstanding memorizing skills.”
Going back to the Magi of the Gospels, the Syrian Christians name the 3 Jesus Magi; as Larvandad, Gushnasaph, and Hormisdas.
There are several traditions on where the remains of the Gospel Magis are located. Marco Polo claimed that he was shown the three tombs of the Magi at Saveh south of Tehran in the 1270s. A Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral, according to another tradition, contains the bones of the Three Magi or Wise Men.
In conclusion, I shall add that the so called scholarly view of people like Ernst Herzfeld, Duchesne-Guillemin Johanes Hertel , Georg Hüsing, Ilya Gershevitch and Robert C. Zaehner; who claim that the Magi were not Zoroaster’s disciples and that the teaching of Zoroaster was altered by the Magi; goes CONTRARY to all the ancient accounts of classical writers, is wholly unsubstantiated, and is purely speculative without a shred of evidence from ancient historical records.
this article has a lot of very interesting historical facts in it-thanks for sending it
Zarathustra is alive, he lives in our hearts:))
Does this mean Jesus is part of Zoroastrianism? Or that he is the arrival of Prophet Zardoshts heir? Or when the bible states that 3 magi recognised the baby Jesus to be a king is this Christianity saying that the previous religious power is over and kowtowing to a new one, their one, taking over?
No, of course not. It just means that early Christians interpreted the Zoroastrian concept of the future Saöshyants as the coming of Jesus as the messiah and incorporated it in their lore.
I agree, but some Chridtians friends retort by saying that if the Magi payed homage to Jesus being a saviour than Zoroastrians should convert to Christianity. How would you reply?
The story is a christian one with NO Zoroastrian parallel. If there was the slightest trace of it in the Zoroastrian lore, it might have given it some validity. But there is NONE. The story shows only the Zoroastrian influence upon Christian beliefs as to coming of the future saviors.