Epiphany: The Magi Arrive and John the Baptist Enoch Seminar Next Week!

Epiphany: The Magi Arrive and John the Baptist Enoch Seminar Next Week! January 6, 2021

January 6th is Epiphany. It so happens that two events in the Gospels are associated with this day in the Christian calendar. One is the arrival of the magi as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew. The other is Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. Both interest me, for different reasons. I wrote a short story, “We Three Spies of Parthia Are,” offering a subversive account of the visit of the magi and the motives behind it, which you can read for free in AcademFic. John the Baptist is a focus of my current research as I bring my work on the Mandaeans into the picture working on a figure in the New Testament. The Mandaean sources, used critically and with appropriate caution, have something to offer that is of potential historical value, as I hope to demonstrate in my Enoch Seminar conference paper next week.

Elsewhere, Jim Davila drew attention to a Zoom lecture about the Dead Sea Scrolls, the blurb for which mentions John the Baptist. He also drew attention to the insightful and provocative article by Tamás Visi, “John the Baptist – A Jewish Preacher Recast as the Herald of Jesus.”

Also on Epiphany/Magi/John the Baptist:

Bob Cornwall on Matthew 2

Baptism of the Beloved

Advent Two: the more powerful one who is coming (Mark 1)

Advent Three: The witness of John (John 1)

What’s in a name?

Which Baptism?

Hannah Wilder on John the Baptist

Commentary on Matthew 9:14-17


Tales from the Magi (the Revelation of the Magi)

We Three Kings

Epiphany podcast – a gospel for unlikely people

Gifts of Homage

Let there be light: the season of Epiphany (Gen 1)

Is Epiphany a myth of Matthew?

Despite what Ian Paul says, there are indeed discrepancies and contradictions between Matthew and Luke, rather than mere differences. Here’s something I wrote previously on that topic:

Contradictory Christmases

Ritual bath found at Gethsemane

“It’s Dangerous Being a Prophet”

There’s More to the Gospel than That

Becoming one body

Epiphany After a Hard Year

And on Christian baptism:

Acts of Baptism

Tradition and Innovation

Finally, here is an incredible Romanian carol about the magi: “Trei Crai,” performed by the Bucharest Madrigal Choir:

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