Mysterious Book Reveals The First Star Child!
Friday, June 20, 2014 3:20
Many early Christian writings attempted to provide answers to these questions, but one stands out as truly exceptional.
Known as the Revelation of the Magi, it is a complex, rich, and strange narrative that purports to be the Wise Men’s personal testimony about the birth of Jesus.
The Revelation of the Magi was sitting on a shelf in the Vatican Library, waiting for someone to pay closer attention to it. This should serve as a reminder to biblical scholars: important — even revolutionary — texts may be not truly be “lost” at all, but simply languishing in a library or a monastery, hidden in plain sight.
According to this writing, the Wise Men (or better, Magi) are mystical sages living at the eastern edge of the world, guarding an ancient prophecy about a coming star that will signify the birth of God in human form. The appearance of the star, their miraculous journey to Bethlehem, and what became of them afterwards — all of these events are presented in vivid detail in the Revelation of the Magi. There are no other early Christian writings that provide such a complete explanation of these mysterious figures.
As a newly translated apocryphal Christian writing, the Revelation of the Magi will surely receive attention mostly for what it tells us about the Magi (or, to speak more precisely, what early Christians thought about them).
A crucial detail about the Magi’s star. When their star finally appears, it descends from heaven and transforms into a small, luminous human being. It is not quite a star, and not exactly human either, but something else — a star-child, if you will. Although the text never explicitly identifies this being as Christ, his words to the Magi and the overall narrative make this point clear. The Magi, naturally, rejoice that their long-awaited prophecy has finally come to pass. Surprisingly, however, the star-child tells them that his epiphany to them is only one small part of his revelation to the people of the world:
“And I am everywhere, because I am a ray of light whose light has shown in this world from the majesty of the Father, who has sent me to fulfill everything that was spoken about me in the entire world and in every land by unspeakable mysteries, and to accomplish the commandment of my glorious Father, who by the prophets preached about me to the contentious house, in the same way as for you, as befits your faith, it was revealed to you about me.”
Surprising was its identification of the Star of Bethlehem with Christ himself, an interpretation found nowhere else in the diverse array of early Christian speculation about this mysterious celestial portent. But finally, and most importantly, I was surprised that neither I nor any of my colleagues knew of this impressive text’s existence before I stumbled across a mention of it in an article.