3 thoughts on “Can we believe in Epiphany? | Psephizo

  1. Paul Braterman

    There is a moral aspect, which I am surprised not to see more generally discussed. The star appears and miraculously guides the Magi. Two events result; the Magi get to adore Christ, and Herod gets to slaughter the innocents.

    What kind of God would choose to set in progress a sequence of events with so little benefit, and so much horror?


    1. michaelroberts4004 Post author

      You always ask the awkward question and have considerable skill at that !!!! Reading the passage with care it does not say God led the Magi, but simply they came to Jerusalem as they had observed the star. Can we say that according to Matthew God set in progress these event? It does not even come out with a paradoxical comment about Judas as in Matt 26 vs 24, which raises a greater moral question


      1. Paul Braterman

        Such things are outside my range of expertise, but it would seem to me that Judas’ betrayal is not the result of anything that God (or Jesus as a person) does, given that Judas has free will, and also that it is a necessary step towards the Resurrection. Whereas the visit of the Magi *is* the direct result of the star, and of their special knowledge of its significance, and the Massacre of the Innocents serves no function that I can see other than, of course, dragging in, out of context, a verse from Jeremiah. So if I were to become a Christian (a rather unlikely event) I would be much more comfortable if I continued to regard the entire Epiphany story as a midrashic confabulation. (Of course this too carries consequences for believers, as the article points out at length. The philosopher Massimo Pugliacci, whose work I follow, states that the job of a philosopher is not so much deciding between positions, as pointing out just what baggage each position is carrying.)


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