Free Map of australia for Historical Plausibility But was Matthew right to judge that the story was historically accurate? There are a number of elements in the story that are striking for their historical plausibility. For one thing, we know from Josephus that Herod the Great in his inal years was extraordinarily cruel and capable of the most terrible atrocities. Therefore the Massacre of the Innocents recorded by Matthew in this passage its perfectly into the framework of the historical period. Second, what the Magi did in undertaking a long journey westward to greet a king is not implausible, but, as we shall see, is very similar to what other magi did about seven decades later, in the time of Nero.
Third, most devout Jews and Christians despised astrologers and would not normally have been inclined to trust their testimony.
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Therefore you would not have expected someone fabricating a nativity narrative to choose astrologers as among the irst to welcome the newborn Messiah into the world. A fabricator would most likely have stayed away from any elements that seemed theologically suspect and risked offending the intended readership.
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