Revelation of the Magi - the lost tale of the Wise Mens Journey to Bethlehem
translated by Landau, Brent
pub. by Harper Collins Publishers, NY, 2010 - Introduction p. 1-34 - - The English Translation of the Revelation of the Magi p.35-98 - - Acknowledgements p. 99 - 101 - - Appendix - the Magi Legend from the Opus Imperfectum in Matthaeum - - p. 103-105 - - Art Credits - - Notes p. 109-149 - - Selected Bibliography p 152-157 isbn 978-0-06-194703-2 bw photos of artwork - copies of the original in Syriac on endpapers - 157 pages
This story as presented is a translation of an ancient text found in the Vatican Library, written in Syriac. This language is practically Aramaic, the language Jesus probably spoke on a daily basis. Syriac was used as a liturgical language in several Eastern churches.
The first part of the book is a lengthy discussion about the text and a gloss of the story. If you read this, do read this first. It sets you up to understand the story. It explains that nobody knows how many Wise Men were in the group and other details. Also that this story is probably the root story from which many medieval Three Kings stories were developed. One thing this text mentions which is different from other thoughts on Christianity is that Jesus, as a bright spirit had previous contact with humans before he was born of Mary.
The translation itself is fairly straightforward, and is well noted explaining various passages. Some notes short, others quite lengthy and well worth reading.
The Apppendix leads one to a telling of the story in what is the greatest multi-volume compilation of Christian writings, the Patrologia Graecaa volume 56 often called Migne after the surname name of the compiler. Brent Landau, the translator did this work as part of his doctoral thesis at Harvard School of Divinity. He now teaches in the Religious Studies Program at the Univ. of Oklahoma.
The dissertion is available at http://ou.academia.edu/BrentLandau/Papers
The Migne part is in the second chapter of the dissertation.- note this can bring up his full 281 page document as a PDF file.
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