From the U.K. newspaper The Independent today:

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Three Wise Men might have been women, church rules
By Andrew Clennell
10 February 2004

The three Wise Men might not have been men at all and there might not have been three of them, the Church of England has ruled.

In a new short prayer book, the Church of England has decided to refer to them as "magi", because it says the Bible is "silent" on whether they were men or women.

Last night a spokesman for the Church confirmed the decision of the General Synod in preparing the prayer book, Common Worship. He said the Synod knew there were the three gifts for Jesus of gold, frankincense and myrrh but original scripture did not say whether these were from three or fewer visitors, or from men or women.

"There is a prayer called Epiphany where magi is left in in preference to wise men," the spokesman said.

"We had grown up with three wise men because in scripture translation, it had been an easy jump to take the three gifts to three bearers who must be men," the spokesman said.

A church report found: "The possibility that one or more of the magi were female cannot be excluded completely ... the visitors were not necessarily wise and not necessarily men."


Too many Agatha moments for me today already, and it's only 8:45. Time to go to the grocery store and do laundry, to keep from banging my head too hard against the wall.


The Curt Jester published a priceless parody this morning. I'd have shrugged this story off as more of the usual nonsense from the usual suspects, but perhaps more active mockery is called for.

>>"... the visitors were not necessarily wise and not necessarily men."

I once heard two Christians arguing whether Jesus had a beard...

and perhaps Jesus only fainted on the cross which would explain how He "came to" later and moseyed on outta the tomb.

Actually, because the Bible is silent on the matter, it's OK to believe that Pontius Pilate's real day job was running a women's fitness club. ;-}

And where did we get this idea that, whenever the Bible is supposedly silent on a matter, we can substitute whatever we happen to want to believe?

Did anyone ever consider the possibility that the Bible was silent on the matter because it was totally obvious at the time?

Actually, it seems some Zoroastrian priests were female, but not Magi.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on February 10, 2004 8:42 AM.

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