A-Z: General definitions: Wise men


Eastern wise men and astrologers expert in interpreting dreams. In the New Testament men who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus Matthew 2:1. The New Testament account says nothing of their rank, number or names. It was Tertullian (c.160-c.225) who described them as kings and Origen (b. C.185) who gave their number as three. A 6th-century work names them as Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar.


Greek: 'magoi', sages or wise men
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