Melchior, Balthasar, & Gaspar

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by drfuss, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    In reading the SBC Adult Commentary for the Christmas lesson (Dec. 19, Page 35), It says the three wise men were later identified as Melchoir, Balthasar, and Gaspar. Although I searched a number of concordances, I can't find anywhere in the Bible where these names are listed.

    Anyone know where these names came from?
     
  2. preacher4truth

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    There were 3 wise men? Where in Scriptures does it say there were 3? After a cursory search of their names, and coming back with only that this became a legend or tradition, I'd say it is as fallacious as saying there number was exactly 3.

    If any can prove otherwise, say on.
     
    #2 preacher4truth, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2010
  3. preachinjesus

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    Seems the author(s) is/are being a bit generous with their source material.

    From Wiki: (yes, I use Wiki...its a good starting point)
    These names apparently derive from a Greek manuscript probably composed in Alexandria around 500 A.D., and which has been translated into Latin with the title Excerpta Latina Barbari. Another Greek document from the 8th century, of presumed Irish origin and translated into Latin with the title Collectanea et Flores, continues the tradition of three kings and their names and gives additional details.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    The idea that there were three came from the three kinds of gifts they brought--gold, frankincense and myrhh.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    And it is CASPAR, not Gaspar. (At least in Wyoming)

    Although he was bloated a bit after dinner . . .

    It was a custom in the Dark Ages to "expand" on stories or vignettes from the Bible into full-blown morality plays. Of course, even minor characters needed names.

    So the zoroastrian priests were given Melchoir, Balthasar and Caspar.

    The rich man in hades (Lazarus the begger story) was called "Epulone" (Latin = host at a feast) or sometimes "Dives" (rich)
     
  6. drfuss

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    Thank you all for the information. I suspected as much, but thought I might have missed something.

    "And it is CASPAR, not Gaspar. (At least in Wyoming)"

    Gaspar or Caspar??? The SBC Adult Commentary for the Christmas lesson (Dec. 19, Page 35) says Gaspar, not Caspar. Oh well, since the names are not real, it doesn't mean anything anyway.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Timsings

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    The names are also used for the kings in the opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, by Gian Carlo Menotti.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  8. David Lamb

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    And in the carol We Three Kings of Orient are by the 19th century American episcopal clergyman John Henry Hopkins. The three names are not part of the lyrics, but the ideas is that three different men sing verses 2, 3 and 4 as solos, so those verses are each labelled with one of the names:

    [All:]
    1. We three kings of orient are,
    Bearing gifts we traverse afar
    Field and fountain,
    Moor and mountain,
    Following yonder star.

    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    [Melchior:]
    2. Born a King on Bethlehem's plain,
    Gold I bring to crown Him again
    King for ever, ceasing never
    Over us all to reign.

    [All:]
    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    [Casper:]
    3. Frankincense to offer have I,
    Incense owns a Deity nigh
    Prayer and praising, all men raising,
    Worship Him, God most high.

    [All:]
    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    [Balthazar:]
    4. Myrrh is mine,
    Its bitter perfume breathes
    A life of gathering gloom.
    Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
    Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

    [All:]
    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    5. Glorious now behold Him arise,
    King and God and Sacrifice!
    Al-le-lu-ia, al-le-lu-ia,
    Heaven to earth replies.

    O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright.
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.


    Hopkins and Mennotti use the names, but they are not biblical.
     
  9. Zenas

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    And the thief who repented on the cross is known as Dismas. The other thief was named Gestas.
     
  10. glfredrick

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    And he first name of Barabbas is "Jesus" (and that IS in the Greek text).

    From the Scriptures we know neither the actual number of the wise men, nor their names. We also don't know a lot of other "facts" that we press forward in the Christmas season. Most of them come from early literature or songs of the season, not Scripture.
     
  11. preacher4truth

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    Yep. That is the truth of the matter. The rest of this is extrabiblical legend.
     

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