The Mystery of the Magi

The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men

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Dwight Longenecker
  • Washington, DC: 
    Regnery Publishing
    , November
     320 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


The Magi of nativity scenes are romanticized as well-dressed wisemen bringing gifts to Jesus. Traditional Chrstians tell of a miraculous star that guided exotic kings from Persia, India and Africa. Academics dismiss both accounts as no more than a pious legend.

Who is right?

In The Mystery of the Magi, Dwight Longenecker shows that all sides are wrong and the Magi were diplomats from Petra, the capital of the Nabatean kingdom of Arabia. Weaving together the history, politics and religion of first century Palestine, Longenecker makes his case with archeological evidence, modern technology, ancient texts, and a startling new discovery by a Spanish archeo-astronomer. Longenecker’s re-assessment of the Magi tradition overturns established understandings of the New Testament and revolutionizes our reading of the Bible, and the implications demand a fresh examination of the historical roots of Christianity.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Dwight Longenecker is a Catholic priest, author, blogger and broadcaster. He was editor of The Path to Rome and author of Listen My Son and St. Benedict & St. Therese. Originally raised in an Evangelical family in Pennsylvania, he spent most of his life in England but currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina.


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