Who were the magi?


The magi were priests of the Zoroastrian religion. Perhaps Matthew wanted to show that even the priests of this great religion wanted to worship Jesus. Later, the Zoroastrian connection became less important and many translations now call them "wise men". Other modern interpretations are that they were kings. John Shelby Spong (A Bishop Rethinks the Birth of Jesus) says that among people he knows in New Testament circles, the universal assumption is that the magi were not actual people.