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Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.
So who came up with the number 3?
Three is the number of gifts Mary registered for at Manger, Bath, and Beyond.
Mary slept with all of them and they and Joseph were going to meet Mary on the Maury Povich show and have genetic tests performed to see who the little bastard’s father really was. Turns out it was Joseph’s kid all along. The other 3 got all up in her face and called her a little slut and what not. Got pretty crazy with chairs flying and the audience hooting and hollering until the bouncers escorted the 3 “wise” men off stage so Joseph could admit to being her baby’s daddy.
I have always wanted to know, if they “saw his star in the east,” why did they travel to the west? Matt 2:1-2
Aha! Bahahahaha! Good call.
They started out in the evening, following the star East. by Morning, they had reversed their course and wound up in the same spot they started from. As the World Turns.
Christians somehow never ask about the background of these shadowy figures who appear suddenly in the Jesus story and disappear just as quickly. Christian tradition assigns them the title of kings, but the Matthew writer never hints at them being of royalty. Also the bible never says there were three wise men, only that there were three gifts. And if Jesus actually been recognized as the Messiah in infancy, as the adoration of the Magi implies, it seems strange that no one took notes about his life (except for one brief mention of his experience in the Temple as a youth) until he reached adulthood.
I understand that they showed up at the stable, each one wearing a fire-fighting outfit. After all, they were coming from afar.
My favorite story about the 3 kings is that the notion that one of them was black is based upon a Roman cameo with 3 heads on it which was believed to represent the 3 magi. One of the profiles is carved in a black portion of the stone. Read this in a lapidary magazine years ago, and I think the cameo is part of the 2 kings shrine in Koln. Maybe the black king story was influenced by stories of the Theban legion, too.
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