From the second century onwards the Christian tradition has almost without exception accepted that the magi in Matthew's infancy narrative were Gentiles, and this view also completely dominates modern Matthean studies. Yet this identification of the magi as Gentiles is built upon a number of unconvincing arguments, which fail to stand up to closer scrutiny. A re-assessment of the evidence reveals that the evangelist did not stipulate the racial origins of the magi. They may have been Gentiles, but it is equally plausible that they were Jews.
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