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Journey of The Magi: Travels in Search of the Birth of Jesus

Journey of The Magi: Travels in Search of the Birth of Jesus
Paul William Roberts

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Who were the Magi and why did they travel hundreds of miles to worship a newborn child? These are mysteries that have endured and remained unsolved for centuries, in part because nativity accounts and descriptions of the Magi vary dramatically - from the Bible itself to the Arabic Nativity Gospel. Intrigued by Marco Polo's claim to have visited the tomb of the Magi in a 'castle of fire-worshippers', Paul William Roberts here travels to Iran and traces the Magi's legendary journey overland to Bethlehem, through Iran, Iraq, Syria and Jordan. In the course of his extraordinary adventure, Roberts encounters a diverse cast of characters, from fearless smugglers to serene Zoroastrian priests, and chases clues from Marco Polo's Travels and the Dead Sea Scrolls to the legends of King Solomon and the Crusader Knights. "Journey of the Magi" is an exciting and illuminating voyage of discovery into the truth behind the Magi and the birth of Jesus.

Author Info

Paul William Roberts, winner of the inaugural PEN Canada/Paul Kidd Courage Award 2005, was born in Wales and now lives in Toronto. He is a writer, producer and filmmaker and a scholar of Jewish and Arabic history and religions. His books include The Demonic Comedy, Empire of the Soul, River in the Desert (also Tauris Parke Paperbacks) and A War Against Truth. Paul William Roberts writes for Harpers, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Times Literary Supplement, Washington Post, New York Times and The Jordan Times. The Montreal Mirror once called him 'a genuine hero of journalism, and one of the few truly wise men on the beat.'


"An instructive and entertaining travel book, a high comedy of cultural dissonance and a profound exploration of the evolution of the three great modern religions. Mr Roberts writes with verve." New York Times "I cannot recommend this book too highly: it is not only an outrageously funny travel narrative
the funniest I've read in years
but also a work of radical scholarship that challenges and enlarges our readings of the gospels. And, in the midst of giving us the zestiest and most humane account of contemporary Iran I know, it rises at moments to eloquent exultation. Rare is the book that works so well on so many different levels all at once." Pico Iyer, Time "Thought-provoking, laugh-provoking..." Martin Amis "Journey of the Magi is a book of such stunning complexity and marvelous wit that to call it a travel book is to slight its profundity; to call it an exhaustively researched theological history is to deny the rollicking good read that it is." (editor's recommended book reviews) "An adventure story woven with strands of scholarship and wild-eyed speculation...will miff the experts, delight general readers and even, perhaps, shed new light on the magi's aims...This is a laugh-out-loud travel book." Maclean's "Vivid...hilarious." Kirkus Reviews"

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781845112424
Publication Date: 29 Jun 2006
Number of Pages: 416

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