Thursday 6 January 2011

M is for magi

For us, Christmas is well and truly over for another year, decorations are safely stowed and work probably seems like it has continued without pause, but in some traditions, today is celebrated as the day Jesus was born.

In the Western church, January 6th is Epiphany, the day which marks the coming of the magi to the birthplace of Jesus, so I thought I'd set a little magi quiz to see how much you know about these characters who we probably see each Christmas.

Which of these do you think are true and which are false?

1. There were three magi (wise men).
2. They were astronomers who studied the stars
3. The magi travelled East because of a star which they had spotted in the night sky.
4. They rode on camels.
5. They were expecting to find a baby king.
6. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
7. They went to King Herod, who hadn't got a clue what they were talking about.
8. Herod asked them to tell him the location of this new baby king, so that he could go and worship him too.
9. Herod secretly meant to kill Jesus.
10. The magi arrived at the stable to visit Jesus.
11. They went back to Herod.
12. In order to get rid of Jesus, Herod had every boy in Bethlehem, under the age of 2 years, killed.
13. Jesus and his parents escaped to Nazereth.

How do you think you did? The answers are below.

The ones which are not true are:

1. The Bible does not specify the number of magi, just the number of gifts.
3. I'm sure you spotted the sneaky one here! They came from the East, which means they travelled West!
4. No mention of camels either, but they look good on Christmas cards.
10. The magi did not visit Jesus in the stable. They must have come some time after the birth because the Bible says they visited him in the 'house' where he was staying. - Oops, all of those stable nativity scenes with magi :)
11, The didn't go back to Herod. They were warned in a dream and went home by a different route.
13. Jesus and his parents escaped to Egypt and didn't return to Nazareth until Herod had died.

How did you do? And, more importantly, did you find it fun?

For much more fun elsewhere, mosey over to Jenny Matlock's and Alphabe-Thursday It's good stuff :)


  1. Fun quiz!

    I have a friend who celebrates the sixth and calls "little Christmas." Isn't that cool? Her kids get one present that is meaningful.

    I like the idea.


  2. I love the story of the Wise Men. Following a star, just because. . .amazing!

  3. I actually got them all, and I'm not even Christian. Well, but I did minor in religion. Excellent post, fun little quiz.

  4. Great minds think alike - how funny that we should both encourage people to mosey over to Miss Jenny's!
    I got the quiz all right....but that's probably because we celebrate Epiphany and on Sunday evening we talked about just about every one of the topics in your questions!

  5. Actually, I did quite well--but only because I heard some of this stuff discussed on NPR several weeks ago! Thanks for the test.

  6. I didn't get many, thanks for the informative post!

  7. Ooooo...I love a good quiz! Those were very good.

  8. What fun! You got me on the direction question.

  9. My husbands grandma was born on January 6th and I never realized until recently that it was "Epiphany" and didn't quite know what that meant. So this is perfect! Thank you!

  10. Ummm.... well.... ummm...

    I got them all right.

    Of course I did.

    Every single one.

    Right, right, and right.




    I'm lying.

    I failed

    And flunked.

    But I really liked reading your link to Alphabe-Thursday this week so I'm giving myself a passing grade anyway.

    Thanks for linking. This was fun.