McConaughy, Daniel L. and Thekeparampil, Jacob. “The Universal and Cosmic Dimensions of the Vocation of the Magi in Jacob of Serug’s Mimro: On the Star that Appeared to the Magi.” Orientalia Christiana Periodica 87 (2021): 311-26.
On the Star that Appeared to the Magi, by Jacob of Serug (d. 521), is the most extensive work on the Star and the Magi in Syriac patristic literature. The Star was the universal, cosmological ‘bait’ that lured the Magi through their knowledge of the stars, the zodiac, and calculations of horoscopes. Thus, they became convinced of the Star’s validity regarding the King in Judah. As they were drawn to Judah, the gentile Magi became the first preachers and international missionaries for Christ. Jacob depicts how the Magi from Persia preached at every milepost and parasang on the way to and the way from Judah. Jacob also shows that the Magi’s offerings to Christ represented gifts from every country since Persia had grown from their gifts to magianism. This article examines the Star, the Magi’s religion and astrology and discusses important terms and themes and provides parallel support from Ephrem and Narsai. It analyzes Jacob’s dramatic presentation of the Magi as Christ’s first heralds to the gentiles and the Jews and how they are examples for all believers since their time.
Pontifical Oriental Institute (website: http://www.orientaliachristiana.it/orientalia-christiana-periodica.htm)