Why do we share gifts
with the sexy Parker Barrett
sharing gifts at Christmas origin
Many people believe that the tradition of gift giving started in the year of our Lord within the first year of Christ's birth as the 3 wise men/kings brought offerings to honor him.
Perhaps the sharing of gifts is symbolic of the connection to words of Jesus at the Last Supper when he said "WHATEVER YOU DID UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST, YOU DID UNTO ME".
Some people may not realize that during the first 300 hundred years after Jesus Christ died, Christianity was illegal. Rome ruled, Caesar was believed to be a God and if the Romans found out you were a Christian, you could be put to death. So preaching the gospel was very risky stuff.
2,000 years ago, the educational systems we take for granted today did not exist. Who were the people that had the ability to write back then? Well, they were among the most educated people in society. The ability to read and write was the domain of the scholars in society at the time. When they wrote about the Gospels, they did so knowing it could mean certain death by the Romans who believed Caesar was God. In spite of that, they wrote the gospels about the many events in the life of Jesus Christ to give testimony to what they saw. Many people wrote. Many events were witnessed by many different people.
where the magi came from
Where did the Magi come from? The usual answer is from Persia. They are identified with a caste of Zoroastrian astrologers and philosophers known to be active in Persia from the sixth century BC. The term “magi” is derived from the Greek magos which in turn was derived from the Persian term for the philosopher-astrologer-priests. They were active during the empire of the Medes. But did the wise men really come from Persia? I’m increasingly interested in the idea that they came from the Arabian peninsula, from the Kingdom of Sheba.
Just because Matthew uses the term “magi” does not mean that he is necessarily referring to the Persian caste of astrologers. Although the term for this sort of wise man was derived from the ancient Persian sect, it was a term which was used of any sort of sorcerer, astrologer or occult practitioner. Thus in the Acts of the Apostles we meet Simon Magus who is a sorcerer. Also, the sixth century BC was the time they flourished? By the time of the Roman Empire the Medes were long gone.
The religion of Persia (modern day Iran) during the time of the Roman Empire was a mish mash of belief systems. The Parthian Empire was there at the time, and they had been horsemen from the East who swept in and took over. They adopted Zorastrianism, but also practiced ancient tribal religions, worshipped the Greek and Roman gods and operated in a kind of religious free market like most of the ancient world at that time. Whether there was an active Zorastrian caste of astrologer-priests at the time of Christ’s birth is debatable. That they had an interest in whether a new born king of the Jews would appear is also debatable.