What About The Fourth Wise Man?

As you know, the Feast of the Epiphany commemorates the magi or wise men visiting Jesus in Bethlehem and bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-12). Holy scripture does not tell us their names or how many there were. No one knows for sure. Eastern Orthodoxy says there were twelve but our tradition says there were three, probably because there were three gifts, and names them Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. But what about the fourth wise man?

Photo by Bernice Tong on Unsplash

His name is Artaban and he comes to us through “The Story of the Other Wise Man,” a book written by Henry Van Dyke and published in 1895. It is a beautiful story grounded in the teachings of Jesus. I don’t know if this story really happened, but I believe it is true. 

The book is available on Amazon or free online. There is also a 1985 movie of this story starring Martin Sheen available on Amazon Prime and Youtube.

Epiphany blessings to you. May we all be the fourth wise man or wise woman.

 

4 comments

  1. Lovely, but I stumbled at the start for my tired brain recalled a Gary Larson cartoon wherein the 4th wiseman was forgotten because he brought fruitcake!

    Liked by 1 person

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