Christmas Misconception #5 Three Kings, riding on Camels, Came to See the Baby Jesus

Did three kings riding camels come to Jesus’ birth?  The Bible does not say that any kings or camels visited baby Jesus.  It does report wise men (“magi”) came, but it does not say how many.  According to The ESV Study Bible, “wise men” (Gk. magoi, plural of magos) referred to priests and experts in mysteries in Persia and Babylon (cf. Septuagint of Dan. 1:20; 2:2, 10, 27; etc.), but by this time it applied to a wide range of people whose practices included astrology, dream interpretation, study of sacred writings, the pursuit of wisdom, and magic.  None of the early Church Fathers, suggested the magi were kings.

Since the word “magi” used in the Bible is plural, there were apparently at least two, and there could have been more—even several more. The Bible simply mentions three costly gifts they presented—gold, frankincense and myrrh, but this does not necessarily indicate the number of magi. There is also no proof of what country these men came from, though Matthew does report that they were from “the east” (Matthew 2:1)

Also, the wise men clearly did not visit Jesus when he was still lying in the manger, as is commonly shown on greeting cards, living nativities and in Christmas plays. The magi did not arrive until sometime after Christ’s presentation in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:21-39). At this time, Scripture calls Jesus a “child,” not a “baby.” It is possible that little Jesus was walking and talking by then. Based on the calculations of King Herod and the magi (Matthew 2:16), Jesus could been two years old or under.

Other Christmas Misconceptions:
Christmas Misconception #1 Jesus was born in a Stable
Christmas Misconception #2 The Innkeeper Turned Mary & Joseph Away
Christmas Misconception #3 No Crying He Makes
Christmas Misconception #4 Mary, Urgently Needing to Deliver Her Baby, Rides into Bethlehem on a Donkey
Christmas Misconception #5 Three Kings, Riding on Donkeys, Come to See the Baby Jesus
Christmas Misconception #6 Jesus was Born on December 25th