(Book review) Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men

Reviewed by: Cheri Stutzman- a Professional Writing major at Taylor University



Title: Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men

Author: Dwight Longenecker

Publisher: Regnery History

Publication Date: November 6, 2017

Format: Print book

Length: 180 pg.


We have all heard the age-old Christmas story of three wise men who traveled on camels to Bethlehem, bearing gold, frankincense, and myrrh to give to the new born King. But how many of us have questioned the reality of this story? How many of us have looked on the magical arrival of the Magi as some sort of myth? Longenecker challenges his readers to change their view of this story by returning to Mathew’s simple account. Using historical evidence, he presents an argument to prove the truth of this part of the Christmas story and disprove the fantasy so often accompanying it.

Delving into the history of Mesopotamia, he investigates the origin of the magi, what they believed, and why they desired to come visit a Jewish king. He looks at the trade routes of the Roman world and the relationships between different kingdoms. He even discusses the appearance of the star, what it looked like, and why it held such importance in the story. With all of the evidence he presents, he backs up his argument and proves that Mathew’s tale of the magi is not fantasy.


Rating (1 to 5)


Suggested Audience

Adults 18 and older

Christian Impact

The book brings concrete evidence to back up the truth of the Magi’s visit, but it oftentimes does it in a way that totally ignores God’s hand in the story. It seems to undermine the power of God to create supernatural events, such as the appearance of the star. However, it still presents meaningful backing for the story and does correspond with the account of Mathew.

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About Evangelical Church Library Association

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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