Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
(Matthew 2:1-2 ESV)
Misconception – They visited Jesus while he was in the manger.
The wise men did not arrive at the time of Jesus’ birth in a manger, but up to two years later, when Jesus was living in a house
Misconception – There were 3 of them.
Although there was more than one, the Gospels don’t tell us how many came. They brought 3 different gifts – gold and frankincense and myrrh. The number of gifts contributed to the tradition that there were three men, but the actual number is unknown.
Misconception – They were kings.
The term wise men at this time referred to a wide range of people whose practices included astrology, dream interpretation, study of sacred writings, the pursuit of wisdom, and magic.