The Modern Three Wise Men
The journey of the three wise men must have been quite an adventure. Traversing enormous distances, the men “from the East” went through a lot to see the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. But what if Casper, Melchior, and Balthazar were to take modern modes of transport to help them along their quest? Taking different vehicle, lets take a look at what their journey might look like in the 21st century.
Academics have often characterized Casper as the King of India, meaning he originated from Indraprastha. Located on the outskirts of New Delhi, the king would have to go to the capital city’s airport where he would be able to find an assortment of flights to Tel Aviv, Israel. With some costing thousands of pounds due to last minute bookings, it’s a good thing he’s a king, as it can get quite expensive. Once in Tel Aviv, Casper would have to take a cab for the 60km journey to Bethlehem or fly to Jerusalem as the small city doesn’t have an airport. In any case, he should arrive at his destination in a mere afternoon rather than several weeks.
Much like his fellow Kings, scholars have indicated that Melchior was the King of Persia, which would likely mean he came from the city of Persepolis. Now found on the outskirts of Shiraz, Iraq, the best way to travel is to divide the trip into sections. First the king would have to take a bus from Shiraz to Bagdad, Iraq. A 1,200km journey taking some 15 hours to complete, he would than have to take another bus down highway 10 to Amman, Jordan. Driving down this 800km stretch can be quite daunting so he’d have bring at least an iPad with him for some entertainment. After this he’ll find a bus to take him to Jerusalem across the Allenby Bridge and than straight to Bethlehem.
Scholars have often represented Balthasar as the King of Arabia. Being a rather complex political entity, let us assume that he originated from Petra, which was capital of the Nabataeans. Now found in modern day Jordan, the best way to travel is to take highway 15 north, than take the 60 west until you merge with highway 65. Roughly a 250km journey, from here he’ll have to find the Allenby Bridge which should allow him to entre Israel. Unfortunately, Balthasar would have to book a visa ahead of his trip as the checkpoint doesn’t provide any. From here it’s just a 56km journey to Bethlehem which should take the wandering King a mere 56 minutes to complete.