Saturday, December 4, 2010

Were the Wise Men from China?

So asks this article by Michelle Healey in USA Today. Thanks, Michelle!!

And do be sure to take a look at the readers' comments. :)


  1. I found something interesting. The article in USA today helped back up some of my research.

    Well, just like my other pieces I accidentally stumbled onto this. I was fine with what our legends told. Then I started with a simple navigation check.

    Because of the Star of Bethlehem was pretty much a fixed point, only those on the same Latitude would see the exact same sky.

    Bethelehem sits at 31/42’11d N x 35/11’44d E so I started looking east from that point for capital cities that Wise Men would come from, from the East.

    There were a lot of cities, but no Capitals until I came across Xi’an, the ancient Capital of China which sits at 34/16’N x 108/54’E. At the time of Christ’s birth this was the Capital City of China known as Chang’an.

    Only China and Korea make mention of seeing an unusual star in the sky. This happened in approximately 5 BC.

    Chinese travelled regularly West on the Silk Road and reached even Rome, where Silk was a big seller. Ironically some of the Roman men complained calling the Chinese silk decadent. The City of Damascus was a big intersection to the Silk Road. From Damascus it also went south to Egypt.

    At the time of Christ’s birth there were three high ranking officials under the Emperor Ai of Han (27-1 BC)

    1. Huan Tan, Official and philosopher (43 BC-28 AD)

    2. Liu Xin, later Liu Xiu, Astronomer, historian, and editor (46 BC-23 AD)

    3. Yang Xiong, an author (53 BC-18 AD)

    These three may have taken the trip, but it’s doubtful. They probably sent representatives. So to call them “Wise Men” would be proper, “Kings” not so much even though they were direct representatives of the Emperor. They would have been accompanied by traders and soldiers for protection. I found at the time that not only was China a major trader but they were developing a major think tank and studying other civilizations.

    Then I found something interesting concerning the 3 Wise Men of ancient Feng Shui known as Fuk Luk Sau These would have been brought to the Emperor.

    1. Fuk (Fook): Brings wealth or good fortune and harmony to the family

    2. Luk: Brings power, a high government official and holds the Ru Yi (scepter)

    3. Sau: Carries nector or a peach and a walking stick, stands for longevity

    (Note: They make statuettes of these characters to buy and bring harmony to the home, but they must be placed correctly)

    Here’s something else to think about. To escape Herod’s murderous squads Joseph, Mary, and Jesus may have journeyed to Eqypt with

    these travelers and so were protected from the killers, murderers, and thieves.

    Here is what Wikipedia has on the Magi:

  2. Were the Wise Men from China? What a great question. The sea and land routes (Silk Road) had been in place for some time and the sea route
    to the east side of Egypt, over to the Nile and
    then down to Alexandria would have been the easiest route in my opinion. This path would also have taken them right pass Oman, Somolia etc
    on the "Spice Road" where frankincense and myrrh
    originated and then was transferred and sold to the rest of the known world.
    Not knowing about the massive information obtained and written by Dr. Brent Laudau on this topic until today, on Dec. 16th 2011 I had written an article on the topic titled "Were The Wisemen of Bethlehem Han Dynasty Nobles From Weiyang Palace?" for my blog. Although my research doesn't belong on the same page with the years of research done by Dr. Landau I believe I do raise a couple of interesting points. One of those points is "Is it possible and does it not fit into the Biblical "contrast" context that the child born in this extremely humble place may have been honored in Bethlehem by royals of great wealth living in The Largest Palace In Human History (Weiyang).

  3. I don't think that the 3 Wise men were from China or any other country except Babylon.

    Read the story on the link below. I believe this would be the closest or if not the True place from which the wise men came from.

    1. Really, it took them over a year to reach Judea from Babylon? Yes they use a word commonly used of Babylonians, but they had no other words for strangers from such a strange land did they? I feel the age of Jesus about 1 to 2 years old at the time of their arrival is sufficient evidence that Babylon is not the origin of these wise men.

  4. I think it makes sense that the wise men were from China. The Han Dynasty (even more solidly established than the Roman Empire at this time), made many astronomic discoveries and observations. They were fascinated with the heavens and dedicated much time and study to them. They would have noticed the appearance of a new star. Also consider that the Bible did indeed say "from the East" and the fact that frankincense and myrrh would both come in from a Silk Road trade route (apparently one possible route is by sea, arriving in Somalia before going to Egypt, as Hendon stated above). Additionally, the Chinese utilized both of those resins in medicine and often used them together. I'd say the Han Chinese are indeed the best guess as to the identity of the wise kings.

    I find it amusing that the visitor to this site before me is in Pensacola, Florida. I'm assuming he/she's a PCC student. I'm from Liberty U, so this article seems to attract college students.

  5. Jesus was not born in Bethlehem, Judah by accident. There were/are specific reasons why anyone claiming to be the Messiah had to be born there. The fact that he was born in a barn in Bethlehem wasn't an accident either. Although not foretold as the exact city location had been, the barn as the location for His presentation to the world was specifically chosen as a symbol for all men for all time to understand that He was not given favored treatment. The entire story of Christ's birth in Bethlehem is a story of contrasts. Heavenly choirs broke the news from an exploding sky to a small group of (not so important) shepherds. A new"star" was somehow positioned to guide "the wise men" to the location where he was.
    These "wise men" had the technical skills and the knowledge to travel to that point which was a long way from their homeland. In keeping with the
    contrasts that abound around this event it's my opinion that it's quite likely
    that in addition to the shepherds who were one half of the recorded "welcoming visitors" for this birth that the other half were among the most
    learned, powerful, and richest men alive on earth at that time who resided in the largest palace in recorded human history, Weiyang Palace Chang' an China. Would it seriously surprise you if this had been arranged as just one more (never to be proven by mortals) contrast to emphasis the significance of this Transition by The Great I Am.

  6. No other civilization on Earth was more focused on the sky, constellations and stars than the Han Dynasty at the time of the "Star of Bethlehem".
    Google: "Seeing Stars in the Han Sky" by David W. Pankenier for a 19 page scholarly online article on the topic of the advanced Han Dynasty knowledge of astronomy. (None of the men mentioned in this my posting have a religious bias or any interest at all in religion as far as I know other than me. Their work is specifically current scientific knowledge on this topic) "...the complete scheme of stars and constellations mapped by (the ancient Chinese) authors is securely dated to the first century B.C. (that is, from about 70 B.C. to A.D. 74) page 198 "By the mid-first century the process of populating the heavens with constellations was completed.
    Tellingly, the entire sky is given over to the Chinese world, leaving the non-Chinese periphery virtually un-represented in the sky and astrologically significant only as a reflex of Chinese concerns, principally in military affairs." Page 199.
    Other scholarly works on this specific topic have also been recently written. This group includes "The Chinese Sky during the Han" by two PhDs. However, ancient Chinese advanced knowledge of scientific principles during the Han Dynasty was not limited to astronomy. Google:
    "Forward Intersection by Zilan Wang" for another scholarly article on the
    Han Dynasty use of advanced mathematics in mapping and surveying.

    The point I want to make here is that when the "Star of Bethlehem" appeared it was not a magic trick seen by just a few. It was a scientific
    event (with religious implications) seen by all those who were monitoring stellar events. No culture in the world is acknowledged to have been in a better position to have seen the Star appear and then to have reacted to it navigationally as a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite). For those of you who find this premise far fetched I ask you when was the last time you used your GPS to guide you to a destination. GPS can bring you to within a few feet of your target destination. Read these online articles and I believe that perhaps then you will become more convinced that it was astronomers from China using the Oceanic Silk Road, already 200 years in use, to pick up two of their three gifts for the Child at the entrance into the Red Sea on their way to Bethlehem. We have reason to believe that it took them significant time to arrive in Jerusalem from China because of the ages of the little boys in Bethlehem that King Herod ordered killed soon after his conversation with the Magi and the escape of Mary, Joseph and Jesus to Egypt using another route perhaps along with the Magi for protection. If my theory is correct this would not have been out of the way for the Wise Men because Alexandria, Eqypt is where they would have boarded their ship to return home.
    I would be especially thrilled if this story could be proven true. My father and grandfather with whom I share the same name spent the best years of their lives sharing their Christian faith with the Chinese people in China. This was their lives work. Today the Christian faith is reported to be thriving in Kaifeng, China and in the mountains of Taiwan the areas of my fathers' respective ministries. Google: "Hendon Harris China Christian Missionary Parents" for images of these remarkable men.

  7. The three wise men from China are given the title by Confucius known as the 'Three Mans of Virtue' later given god titles as Fu Lu Shou, they are all brothers and are also nephews of Confucius. Also they were around almost 1000 years before Jesus and Mohammad was born. The so called three wise men who visited Jesus are from Middle East, Not China..

  8. Whether or not the so called "Wise Men" or "Kings from the East" were from China (Weiyang Palace-Chang'an China-The Largest Palace Ever Erected in the History of Mankind) will most likely never be proven or known with an indisputable degree of certainty. However, it is an interesting concept to ponder. But then these "Wise Men" wherever they originated were simply part of the supporting cast of The Event.
    One thing is certain. The Virgin Mary played a principal role. She gave birth to a baby boy named Jesus. You love your mother. So does Jesus. He loved her then and
    He loves her now. During this holiday season and through the year I encourage you to listen to a song of appreciation
    to His mother Mary for her life and her part in the Christmas experience. Google: "Ave Maria" and listen to any one of these online tributes to her life and her participation in what happened in Bethlehem. In doing this I believe you will be encouraged and blessed.

  9. Were the Wise Men from the East actually Chinese royals from the Largest Palace in the history of mankind? That's the question? A growing number of us believe that is a strong possibility. It would not have taken the Wise Men from the East following the Star that appeared at Christ's birth two years to have traveled to Bethlehem from the Middle East. It is also interesting that two of the three gifts given by them originated at the mouth of the Red Sea in Somalia or Yemen where these spices originated. Is it possible that the third gift gold was used to support the family when they had to flee to Eqypt to protect Jesus from King Herod who wanted to kill him. Alexandria,
    Egypt would have been a likely place for the Wise Men to travel with baby Jesus and his family for two reasons. 1)
    If the Wise men had sailed to Alexandria, Egypt on their way to the port of Joppa in Israel on their way to Jerusalem and then on to Bethlehem just outside Jerusalem,
    then Alexandria would also have been the place they would have boarded their ship on their way back to China. That Silk Road sea route had been in place for at least two hundred years before Christ's birth. 2) Alexandria would have also been a most logical place for Jesus and His family as it is widely known that 1/3 of the residents of Alexandria at that time were Greek, 1/3 Arab and the final 1/3 were Jewish. (Check this our for yourself on the Internet for accuracy.)
    An interesting article has recently been written on precisely how poor the family was that Jesus was born into. His royal titles include Rose of Sharon, Lily of the Valley, Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords and finally King of Kings. That's impressive. Here's the contrast!
    We know that Jesus's earthly family was poor but how poor
    were that? The reason I mention this is to point out the contrast between Jesus' earthly and heavenly family and how that contrast could have been spotlighted once again by the arrival at his humble home in Bethlehem by the richest royals alive on earth at that time. Now that would be a Contrast along with all the others at His birth.
    An article has been written recently by a Jesuit priest named James Martin. You can get Internet access to his article by typing "A Tough Life In Nazareth" on your favorite Internet search engine. That was printed in the major Los Angeles newspaper on 12/21/2017. A follow up to
    his article was then written on 12/24/2018 under "A God Who was Born Poor by Korie Brown.

    Have a blessed Christmas Season remembering the Gift we have been given.