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War is Over--No, wait, make that Christmas

12 days of bliss are almost gone. We watched It's A Wonderful Life Friday. And that ended our holiday movies. We won't start that cycle again until just before Halloween. The last of the presents were opened today. We had a parade with the Magi through the house. Now, we soak up the season of Epiphany and return to our regularly scheduled programming. My only hope is that at least a small part of that signal is jammed for and from my family. To end on a cliched note: "God bless us, everyone!"


Edgewise said…
Some things I've wondered about, but don't know where to look:

What's the monetary value of the gifts the Magi gave? Based on what can be extrapolated from what little we know about them (e.g., "possibly"[?] from some priestly class ["caste"?] in Persia, etc.), what would be the value of the gifts they gave the Holy Family? What would gift-giving customs, in that area of the world, dictate? Given that they're supposed to b "honoring" the "new born King of the Jews," might they have given the Holy Family a whole "lot" of gold, frankincense, and myrrh? And if so, what measurement constitutes "a whole lot"? According to some custom/rule/practice/etc., might it be that different amounts of each gift were given? (E.g., a big boxload of gold and, a "small" jar of myrrh?)

Given the best "guesstimate" of what was given, a)what would be the monetary value of these gifts today? b)what was the monetary value of the gifts when and where they were given? c)how long would the money have lasted? Some have suggested that Jesus's Parents "probably" might have sold the gifts for money. If they did, how long might this money have lasted?
Modern investing, at least as we know it, didn't really exist back then. But the Parable of the Talents seems to suggest that *something* akin to banking existed in Jesus's time, the usury prohibition notwithstanding.

Anyway, I was just wondering. Just a curiousity of mine.
I know it probably has no bearing on the Deep Question of Human Existence, or theological controversies, or anything like that.
Scot said…
Good questions, edgewise. Unfortunately, I have no answers for you. I imagine the items were probably token amounts. Beyond that. . . who knows. I believe the Magi were representing themselves and not the Persian satrap or king or whomever the ruler was at that time, so the volume/worth of the gift, while probably quite a bit for Joseph and Mary, were probably trifles to someone like Herod. This, of course, is pure conjecture on my account.

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