So, does anyone else's brain explode when reading about the historical Magi who brought gifts to Jesus?
"The ancient Greek historian Herodotus records that the magi were a priestly caste of the Medes.*
*"The Medes occupied the land east of Palestine and south of the Caspian sea, where Iran is today." pg. 102
"The magi [ed: Medes], esteemed for their amazing intuition, wisdom, knowledge, astrology, and occult ability, rose to places of prominence in the Babylonian, Medo-Pdersian, and Greek empires." pg. 104
"Magi are mentioned in the Old Testament. Jeremiah 39:3 refers to "Nergal-sar-eser the Rab-mag," or chief magi in Nebuchadnezzar's court. Magi are also mentioned several times in Daniel (1:20; 2:2; 4:7; 5:11), where again they are seen serving in Nebuchadneaar's court. That may be an important clue to understanding how the magi of Jesus' day knew to anticipate his birth." pg. 105
_God with Us: the miracle of Christmas_ by John F. MacArthur, Jr.