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The Story of the Other Wise Man (eBook)

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Book Jungle provides classic literature in a modern format. Thousands of historical titles are now readily available to the public. Because of the original condition of many of these historical manuscripts, imperfections are possible. The value of these manuscripts lies in their historical significance and vivid accounts of the world from thousands of authors and storytell Book Jungle provides classic literature in a modern format. Thousands of historical titles are now readily available to the public. Because of the original condition of many of these historical manuscripts, imperfections are possible. The value of these manuscripts lies in their historical significance and vivid accounts of the world from thousands of authors and storytellers. Book Jungle is proud to bring these rare volumes back into public use and to make them availableto everyone.


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Book Jungle provides classic literature in a modern format. Thousands of historical titles are now readily available to the public. Because of the original condition of many of these historical manuscripts, imperfections are possible. The value of these manuscripts lies in their historical significance and vivid accounts of the world from thousands of authors and storytell Book Jungle provides classic literature in a modern format. Thousands of historical titles are now readily available to the public. Because of the original condition of many of these historical manuscripts, imperfections are possible. The value of these manuscripts lies in their historical significance and vivid accounts of the world from thousands of authors and storytellers. Book Jungle is proud to bring these rare volumes back into public use and to make them availableto everyone.

30 review for The Story of the Other Wise Man (eBook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Candi

    4.5 stars I have been fortunate this year in that I have found some wonderfully satisfying short stories that in their brevity still deliver such powerful messages. This is true for The Story of the Other Wise Man, written more than a century ago by Henry Van Dyke. Van Dyke tells the reader that he had always loved the tales of the Three Wise Men; one day the story of this fourth Wise Man came to him "out of the air, perhaps… It was a gift." And it is a gift that I am thankful he shared with us. 4.5 stars I have been fortunate this year in that I have found some wonderfully satisfying short stories that in their brevity still deliver such powerful messages. This is true for The Story of the Other Wise Man, written more than a century ago by Henry Van Dyke. Van Dyke tells the reader that he had always loved the tales of the Three Wise Men; one day the story of this fourth Wise Man came to him "out of the air, perhaps… It was a gift." And it is a gift that I am thankful he shared with us. Artaban belonged to the ancient priesthood of the Magi. He is to join the other three Wise Men at an appointed time following the appearance of a certain shining star in the night sky. They will journey together to honor the birth of their King. His journey is one of sacrifice and service to mankind. Will he in the end reach his destination? You have to read this beautiful, moving story to find out. This tale is one that would touch anyone that struggles with the question of whether or not they are on the right path. A perfect little book for the holiday season. "He knew that all was well, because he had done the best that he could, from day to day. He had been true to the light that had been given to him."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Story of the Other Wise Man, Henry Van Dyke The Other Wise Man is a short novel or long short story by Henry van Dyke. It was initially published in 1895 and has been reprinted many times since then. The story is an addition and expansion of the account of the Biblical Magi, recounted in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. It tells about a "fourth" wise man (accepting the tradition that the Magi numbered three), a priest of the Magi named Artaban, one of the Medes from Persia. Like t The Story of the Other Wise Man, Henry Van Dyke The Other Wise Man is a short novel or long short story by Henry van Dyke. It was initially published in 1895 and has been reprinted many times since then. The story is an addition and expansion of the account of the Biblical Magi, recounted in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. It tells about a "fourth" wise man (accepting the tradition that the Magi numbered three), a priest of the Magi named Artaban, one of the Medes from Persia. Like the other Magi, he sees signs in the heavens proclaiming that a King had been born among the Jews. Like them, he sets out to see the newborn ruler, carrying treasures to give as gifts to the child - a sapphire, a ruby, and a "pearl of great price". However, he stops along the way to help a dying man, which makes him late to meet with the caravan of the other three wise men. Because he missed the caravan, and he can't cross the desert with only a horse, he is forced to sell one of his treasures in order to buy the camels and supplies necessary for the trip. He then commences his journey but arrives in Bethlehem too late to see the child, whose parents have fled to Egypt. He saves the life of a child at the price of another of his treasures. He then travels to Egypt and to many other countries, searching for Jesus for many years and performing acts of charity along the way. After 33 years, Artaban is still a pilgrim, and a seeker after light. Artaban arrives in Jerusalem just in time for the crucifixion of Jesus. He spends his last treasure, the pearl, to ransom a young woman from being sold into slavery. He is then struck in the head by a falling roof tile and is about to die, having failed in his quest to find Jesus, but having done much good through charitable works. A voice tells him "Verily I say unto thee, Inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me." تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهارم ماه آگوست سال 2008 میلادی عنوان: آن خردمند دیگر: داستان خردمندی ایرانی که سی و سه سال در جستجوی مسیح(ع) بود؛ اثر: هنری ون‌دایک؛ بامقدمه‌ای از: لئوبوسکالیا؛ مترجم، مقدمه و توضیحات: حسین‌ محی‌الدین الهی‌ قمشه‌ ای؛ تهران، روزنه، 1386؛ در 154 ص؛ شابک: 9643342751؛ چاپ دیگر 1394؛ شابک: 9789643342753؛ موضوع: داستانهای تاریخی از نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 19 م عنوان: سرگذشت خردمند چهارم؛ اثر: هنری ون‌دایک؛ مترجمها: جلیل‌اله فاروقی‌هندوالان، صادق آسوده؛ تهران، مکعب، در 28 ص؛ شابک: 9645816424؛ داستان سه خردمند ایرانی (نامهای این سه مغ ایرانی در متون مسیحی: کاسپار، ملکیور و بالتازار آمده است)، که از راه ستاره شناسی، و خوانش متون کهن، و پیشگوییهای انبیای پیشین، دریافتند که در زمانی معین و مقدر، شهریاری بزرگوار، از میان «بنی اسرائیل: ظهور خواهد کرد، که ملکوتش جهان را خواهد گرفت، و به دیدار آن نوزاد، که از آغاز تولد پادشاه بود، شتافتند، و برایش هدیه هایی از: «طلا»، «مورد» و «کندر» بردند. این داستان در فرهنگ مسیحیت بسیار آشناست...؛ ا. شربیانی

  3. 4 out of 5

    Werner

    I've characterized this tale as a short story, because that's really what it is (this copy nominally has 77 "pages," but they're quite small pages with rather large type, and blank pages between sections). But I did read it in the format of a free-standing book (it's been printed as one many times; I read it in what was apparently the 1923 printing, with Van Dyke's own Preface, not the recent one with the Buscaglia introduction), so it counts as a book as well. By the author's own statement, the I've characterized this tale as a short story, because that's really what it is (this copy nominally has 77 "pages," but they're quite small pages with rather large type, and blank pages between sections). But I did read it in the format of a free-standing book (it's been printed as one many times; I read it in what was apparently the 1923 printing, with Van Dyke's own Preface, not the recent one with the Buscaglia introduction), so it counts as a book as well. By the author's own statement, the basic idea for this story came to him in a sleepless night during a long illness. It's a very simple, linear story, thoroughly message-driven, all of its characterizations and incidents structured to make one point. As befits a story in which the birth of Jesus and its saving significance is the motivating force behind the entire plot, it's solidly steeped in Christian ethical teaching. The story of the visit of the Magi to the Christ child in the second chapter of Matthew's gospel serves as the springboard, but the unique plot here is the author's own, and difficult to discuss in any detail without a spoiler. IMO, his narration gets off to a slow start, an impression accentuated by the late-19th-century diction and the use of elaborate description in the early parts. (One of my Goodreads friends felt there was a bit too much explanation or elaboration in places towards the end, but it didn't strike me that way; I thought the over-writing tended to be in the beginning sections.) My wife (to whom I read this aloud) found the beginning boring, although she came to like the story overall, and to appreciate its message. That message is what gives the story its whole meaning, and its emotional and spiritual power. It's a message thoroughly grounded in Christian truth and revelation, simple enough to be comprehended by the youngest and most uneducated among us, but deeply profound. (I found it similar, in style and quality, to some of Tolstoy's short stories.) Like some other writers before (including Lew Wallace) and after (such as Norah Lofts) him, Van Dyke borrows the names and number of the first three Wise Men from medieval Christian tradition, and follows the popular misconception that they came to Bethlehem shortly after Jesus' birth. (In actual fact, Matthew indicates that they came at least a couple of years later.) He also interprets "Magi" as a term referring to ancient Zoroastrian priests, which, strictly speaking, is the derivation of the word; but by the first century A.D. it had come to be more generally used as a synonym for any practitioner of magic, astrology or other forms of esoteric knowledge (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magi ). But although the author indicates that he did a good deal of historical research into the background of the story, details of historical accuracy aren't really its point, and such accuracy isn't essential to its effect or the reader's appreciation. (Though as a historical note, the Fall 2016 issue of Bible and Spade has an extremely illuminating article, "The Star of Bethlehem" by Dr. Gerald Culley, which provides the most probable historical explanation for the provenance of the star, and can be read here: http://www.galaxie.com/article/bspade... .) Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933) was a Presbyterian minister, as well as a longtime professor of English literature at Princeton Univ., his alma mater, and for a time a diplomat. He wrote quite a bit over his long career, in various genres, but this is the work he is best remembered for. Now that I've read it, I can see why; it's genuinely stood the test of time, because it conveys an important and meaningful message, and conveys it winsomely and well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I had forgotten how moving and perfect this short story was. It encapsulates Christmas and all of its original meaning, and it reminds us without doubt that we are meant to worship through service to others. (view spoiler)[Artaban answers the call of the prophecy that a king is to be born. Before his departure, his father says to him, ”But it is better to follow even the shadow of the best than to remain content with the worst. And those who would see wonderful things must often be ready to trav I had forgotten how moving and perfect this short story was. It encapsulates Christmas and all of its original meaning, and it reminds us without doubt that we are meant to worship through service to others. (view spoiler)[Artaban answers the call of the prophecy that a king is to be born. Before his departure, his father says to him, ”But it is better to follow even the shadow of the best than to remain content with the worst. And those who would see wonderful things must often be ready to travel alone.” And Artaban does find himself traveling alone and facing the dilemma of how best to serve his God. He encounters three trials that force him to choose between seeing the King he seeks and helping a person in mortal danger. All three times, he choses to help the human being. ”Only God the merciful knows whether I shall not lose the sight of the King because I tarried to show mercy.” “I have spent for man that which was meant for God. “And is not love the light of the soul?” Artaban feels he has missed seeing the King, but he has seen Him far more clearly than the three of his brethren who complete the journey at Bethlehem. He arrives a moment too late in Jerusalem, but with Christ we cannot be too late, for He is with us and our journey is His. That Artaban receives his reward as he does in the end brought me to absolute tears. Artaban endures three trials, and students of the Bible know that three is a very significant number. Not just because of the trinity, but also at many other junctures. Daniel prayed three times a day, Satan tempted Christ three times and was rejected, Christ prayed three times at Gethsemane, He rose from the grave after three days. There are many more examples, but Van Dyke did not choose the three gems or the three trials meaninglessly, they are meant to reflect Christ’s story as much as Artaban’s. (hide spoiler)] What a wonderful story and how special to read it at Christmas and remember why this season has so much importance for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    I love this little story. I read it every year on Christmas Eve, but since I have not had my fragile old copy of the book with me for the past few years, I jumped the calendar a bit since discovering it on Project Gutenberg. The Three Wise Men gave gifts to a newborn King in his humble birthplace. And then they disappeared. The Other Wise Man was supposed to be with them, but circumstances delayed him. However, he spent his life in service to others while continuing to hope for an eventual royal I love this little story. I read it every year on Christmas Eve, but since I have not had my fragile old copy of the book with me for the past few years, I jumped the calendar a bit since discovering it on Project Gutenberg. The Three Wise Men gave gifts to a newborn King in his humble birthplace. And then they disappeared. The Other Wise Man was supposed to be with them, but circumstances delayed him. However, he spent his life in service to others while continuing to hope for an eventual royal encounter. The ending scene is the perfect conclusion to the story and will leave you misty. From those of us without a formal King to those who follow whichever King is in the heart, I hope we can all feel someday what The Other Wise Man felt in his declining years: He knew that all was well, because he had done the best that he could, from day to day. He had been true to the light that had been given to him.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John

    The Other Wise Man is a wonderful story. It is written in a beautiful and simple style. I only had to run to the dictionary once (am I the only one out there who has never come across the word “jerboa” before?) It is sweet, it is beautiful. It’s the kind of book you want to own, not just borrow from the library. Concerning the story's inspiration, the author, Henry Van Dyke, said that he felt the story was given to him as a "gift" and it came to him all at once.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Five stars of love. What a great little story. This was written over 100 years ago, but I had never heard about it until I went looking for some classic Christmas stories to read to my daughter and found this one available as a free e-book download. The book seemed like it was going to be a little slow in the first chapter, but then in the middle and end I fell totally in love with the story, the journey, and the message. This one is going to be a keeper for me. I might even have to see if I can Five stars of love. What a great little story. This was written over 100 years ago, but I had never heard about it until I went looking for some classic Christmas stories to read to my daughter and found this one available as a free e-book download. The book seemed like it was going to be a little slow in the first chapter, but then in the middle and end I fell totally in love with the story, the journey, and the message. This one is going to be a keeper for me. I might even have to see if I can find an old hardcover copy of this to buy and add to my real book shelves. I would like to revisit this on future Christmases.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laysee

    ‘What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give Him... give my heart.’ - Christina Rossetti The Story of The Other Wise Man brought to mind the last stanza of a Christmas carol (‘In the Bleak Midwinter’) written by the English poet, Christina Rossetti. In this story, Henry van Dyke imaginatively conjured up the fourth Wise Man (Artaban of Persia) who fervently followed the Star in the East in hopes of ‘What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give Him... give my heart.’ - Christina Rossetti The Story of The Other Wise Man brought to mind the last stanza of a Christmas carol (‘In the Bleak Midwinter’) written by the English poet, Christina Rossetti. In this story, Henry van Dyke imaginatively conjured up the fourth Wise Man (Artaban of Persia) who fervently followed the Star in the East in hopes of finding ‘the promised one who shall be born King of Israel’ as foretold by the prophets through the ages. Unlike the three Wise men who had the joy of presenting their gifts to the Baby in the manger, the fourth Wise Man never made it in time to Bethlehem. Oh, how he would have loved to present his gifts - a sapphire, a ruby and a pearl - to the King! This is a moving story of a Wise Man whose dream to follow the Star did not come true. And yet, no Wise Man honoured the King more than he did. He offered gifts that cost him his lifelong quest of meeting the King of kings; the gifts far surpassed jewels in value and bespoke the breadth and depth of his reverence toward the divine. Between ‘the expectation of faith and the impulse of love’, he chose rightly. Set in the mystical Far East during the reign of Augustus Caesar, this story provided a rich background of Persian culture, the priesthood of the Magi and the practices of the fire worshippers, followers of Zoroaster. It was a time when “..the highest of all learning is the knowledge of the stars”. The Magi who studied the skies recognised the significance of that one exceptionally bright star. Fascinating. At less than 40 pages, The Story of The Other Wise Man is a stunning read and offers some precious thoughts for the festive season. I’m thankful to Candi whose review lit the way to this gem.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dhanaraj Rajan

    This is a well known story. I have heard it narrated in many sermons or spiritual retreats. But I had never read the original work. So when I saw the book in the library by a pure accident, I chose to have a first hand experience of it. The story is simple and lovely. The language is beautiful. I loved reading it. And this being the season of Advent, the book served also the other purpose of aiding my spiritual preparation for the Christmas. It is a good Christmas read. On the flyleaf of the book, This is a well known story. I have heard it narrated in many sermons or spiritual retreats. But I had never read the original work. So when I saw the book in the library by a pure accident, I chose to have a first hand experience of it. The story is simple and lovely. The language is beautiful. I loved reading it. And this being the season of Advent, the book served also the other purpose of aiding my spiritual preparation for the Christmas. It is a good Christmas read. On the flyleaf of the book, you are already given in nutshell the theme of the book. Let me reproduce it: "Who seeks for heaven alone to save his soul, May keep the path, but will not reach the goal; While he who walks in love may wander far, Yet God will bring him where the blessed are." About the story: (view spoiler)[It is about the fourth Magi who missed the caravan. And yet who undertook the journey alone with three precious stones - the gifts to be offered for the Infant Jesus. Because of various reasons he wanders about thirty three years before finding Christ (Christ on the Cross). But by then he had spent the precious stones for the least of the breathers that he had met on the way. God tells him that he had done the right thing and that he had already met Christ many times. SO it was time that he came for his eternal reward. (hide spoiler)]

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Fountain

    The title is the synopsis. VanDyke says about the story …I have never felt as if it were my own. It was a gift. It was sent to me; and it seemed as if I knew the Giver, though His name was not spoken. Of the hero of the tale, Artaban, VanDyke writes …there are some kinds of failure that are better than success. And In all this populous and intricate world of anguish, though he found none to worship, he found many to help. A friend that I shared this story with called it a luminous gem. That’s about The title is the synopsis. VanDyke says about the story …I have never felt as if it were my own. It was a gift. It was sent to me; and it seemed as if I knew the Giver, though His name was not spoken. Of the hero of the tale, Artaban, VanDyke writes …there are some kinds of failure that are better than success. And In all this populous and intricate world of anguish, though he found none to worship, he found many to help. A friend that I shared this story with called it a luminous gem. That’s about right. A quotation by Henry Van Dyke, but not part of the story: Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love…time is eternity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wayne Walker

    Nearly everyone is familiar with the story of the Wise Men who brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus. Tradition numbers them at three and names them Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthazar. But did you know the story of “The Other Wise Man”? Artaban, a leader of the Persian Magi, learns from heavenly signs that the time is at hand for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy about the birth among the Hebrews of a holy Prince and Deliverer of Man. Hastening to join three fellow M Nearly everyone is familiar with the story of the Wise Men who brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus. Tradition numbers them at three and names them Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthazar. But did you know the story of “The Other Wise Man”? Artaban, a leader of the Persian Magi, learns from heavenly signs that the time is at hand for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy about the birth among the Hebrews of a holy Prince and Deliverer of Man. Hastening to join three fellow Magi for the long journey into Judaea, he pauses to help a dying man in Babylon and is left behind. And so Artaban begins his pilgrimage alone. Artaban then makes it to Bethlehem but finds that he has just missed both his friends and the young child. But before he can hope to catch up with Joseph, Mary, and their child on their way to Egypt, he stops to assist a mother whose child is in danger of being killed by Herod’s troops. After searching for His quest in Egypt and not finding it, he then travels from place to place, visiting the oppressed, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, tending the sick, and comforting the captive. After 33 years, he ends up, an aged, white-haired man, in Jerusalem on the day of the Passover. Just as he thinks that he might find the object of his search who is being led away to be crucified, he is beseeched by a young girl from his native Parthia who is being sold into slavery to pay her father’s debts. Will he ever see the King for whom He has looked these many years? Henry Jackson van Dyke (1852–1933) was a Presbyterian minister, professor at Princeton University, President Woodrow Wilson’s ambassador to the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and a noted author who wrote the hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” set to the “Ode to Joy” theme from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Van Dyke said, "I do not know where this little story came from--out of the air, perhaps. One thing is certain, it is not written in any other book, nor is it to be found among the ancient lore of the East. And yet I have never felt as if it were my own. It was a gift, and it seemed to me as if I knew the Giver." He first read The Story of The Other Wise Man aloud to his New York congregation after writing it and then had it published in written form. It is, in essence, a parable that shows what seeking for Jesus in life is really all about. We did it as a family read aloud, and everyone was moved by the story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    A timeless story and my Christmas book for the day.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charly

    This is a wonderful story. It is the story of Artiban who was supposed to be the fourth Magi. He misses the caravan because he was delayed by doing what was right for an injured traveller, and so it goes. In the end he is in the right place at the right time. Easy read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jithin James

    Rating: 4.6* "For when saw I thee a hungered and fed thee? Or thirsty and gave thee drink? When saw I thee a stranger and took thee in? When saw I thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee? Three-and-thirty years have I looked for thee; but I have never seen thy face, nor ministered to thee, my King" "...inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me." Take out: The entire story is hinged on these words - a plea to consider the needs of our br Rating: 4.6* "For when saw I thee a hungered and fed thee? Or thirsty and gave thee drink? When saw I thee a stranger and took thee in? When saw I thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee? Three-and-thirty years have I looked for thee; but I have never seen thy face, nor ministered to thee, my King" "...inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me." Take out: The entire story is hinged on these words - a plea to consider the needs of our brethren, ensure their wellbeing before service to God. This short story is framed on the backdrop of the famous Biblical incident of the three wise men from Magi on a quest to find the new born Messiah (the much awaited King) and to pay him their tributes. Here, the author conjures a fictional Magian named Artaban (The other wise men) who observes the celestial phenomenon of the rising of an Eastern Star which the Scriptures had predicted would be the sign of the birth of the King of Israel. In spite being discouraged by his fellow scholars (Them, referring his quest as ’The cruel jest of a riddle that has no answer, a search that never can succeed’), he sets out carrying with him three precious gifts for the King – a sapphire, a ruby and a pearl – to meet the other three wise men. How he gets delayed in the due course of his journey and how he ends up losing all his precious gifts in the service of mankind forms the rest of the story. The story (his search for the King) spans thirty-three years, from the birth of Jesus to his crucifixion wherein he comes to a realization that service to our fellow-beings is far more precious to God than any other gifts money can buy A feel good Christmas story….Well written and a good read for all ages!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Daphne Self

    This story has more than one single meaning. It has more than three. Layers and layers of symbolism and of allegories really set this small book apart from any other. The foreshadowing shows how much we accomplish when we live for Jesus and how much our lives really impact others. Not many greats are left that compare to Henry van Dyke, and I can truly say this is a book that I will pass down to my children since I own the 1899 edition.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Van Dycke’s story isn’t the most charming. It’s more along the lines of those big biblical epics that Hollywood use to make – Ben Hur and such. It’s not bad, but not really engrossing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rev. Thomas

    "Who seeks for Heaven alone, to save his soul, May keep the path, but will not reach the goal; While he who walks in love may wander far: Yet God will bring him where the blessed are." This brief poem by Henry van Dyke, with which his tale of Artaban, "the other Wise Man," begins, really encapsulates the meaning of this story, which I first read as a young adolescent. The Story of the Other Wise Man is an account of the fourth Magus — imagined here as a Persian Zoroastrian priest-philosopher, astro "Who seeks for Heaven alone, to save his soul, May keep the path, but will not reach the goal; While he who walks in love may wander far: Yet God will bring him where the blessed are." This brief poem by Henry van Dyke, with which his tale of Artaban, "the other Wise Man," begins, really encapsulates the meaning of this story, which I first read as a young adolescent. The Story of the Other Wise Man is an account of the fourth Magus — imagined here as a Persian Zoroastrian priest-philosopher, astronomer, and healer — who did not make it into the Christmas story... and why. A man of great intellect and many gifts, full of passion but torn by self-doubt, Artaban devotes his life to seeking for the King whose advent was foretold by ancient prophecies, and marked with a Star in the heavens. Yet he is constantly - seemingly - diverted from his mission by the needs of ordinary people his conscience insists that he help. How he succeeds in the midst of his failures, and ultimately finds that which he has for so long sought... on this, as they say, hangs a tale! And it is one told with great skill and compassion, as well as attention to historic detail, by van Dyke, an American author, professor, and Presbyterian clergyman who was born in 1852 near Philadelphia, PA, and died in 1933 in Princeton, NJ. A man greatly honored and respected by his contemporaries, he was also a committed Christian man who truly lived the faith he professed. Likewise his protagnonist in this slim but captivating book, Artaban of the Magi, lived out his life according to the morals and ideals in which he believed. Did he, in the end, meet the King for which he searched? And if so, how? On these weighty matters, I shall remain silent, for I would not reduce your enjoyment of the story with any "spoilers"! Of this tale, van Dyke himself stated, "I do not know where this little story came from — out of the air, perhaps. One thing is certain, it is not written in any other book, nor is it to be found among the ancient lore of the East. And yet I have never felt as if it were my own. It was a gift, and it seemed to me as if I knew the Giver."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Scott Jeffries

    Perhaps nothing is more mysterious in scripture than the story of the Magi who come to visit baby Jesus. Who were these people and where did they come from? Why make such a long journey? Couldn't they have just been satisfied with the knowledge that they had received from the stars? In The Story of the Other Wise Man, Henry Van Dyke attempts to answer these questions. With scholarship and style he makes a fascinating fictional case for what the wise men were up to. In Artaban, the "other wise man Perhaps nothing is more mysterious in scripture than the story of the Magi who come to visit baby Jesus. Who were these people and where did they come from? Why make such a long journey? Couldn't they have just been satisfied with the knowledge that they had received from the stars? In The Story of the Other Wise Man, Henry Van Dyke attempts to answer these questions. With scholarship and style he makes a fascinating fictional case for what the wise men were up to. In Artaban, the "other wise man," you have a true pilgrim whose pure heart and devotion to his calling is most admirable. Apparently, Van Dyke's short story is more than 100 years old and is a classic Christian writing. It has also inspired a feature film starring Martin Sheen. I had never heard of it until this past year. My only qualm with this story is that so much is spent at the beginning with the explanation for why the journey would be beneficial that the actual journey and subsequent results seem rushed. Still, Artaban's life and service to others raises powerful questions about one's response to Christ. I like wrestling with these questions because Christmas stories don't have to be summed up by a Christmas card sentimentality.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Knight

    It's not a commonly known story but it's a classic nonethelesss. If your family is looking for another good, thought-provoking read-aloud this holiday, here's a good one. It tells about another Wise Man who was to meet up with those that presented Jesus with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but how he was detained and endeavored to continue on his journey to reach Christ. Incredibly unique and plausible - this short, sixty page book is worth the read. Ages: 8+ Cleanliness: The word "breast It's not a commonly known story but it's a classic nonethelesss. If your family is looking for another good, thought-provoking read-aloud this holiday, here's a good one. It tells about another Wise Man who was to meet up with those that presented Jesus with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but how he was detained and endeavored to continue on his journey to reach Christ. Incredibly unique and plausible - this short, sixty page book is worth the read. Ages: 8+ Cleanliness: The word "breast" and "bosom" are used to mean heart/chest seven times. Wine is mentioned. The word "bl**dy" is used to mean lots of blood. A few ancient gods are referenced and using the stars to predict prophesies. #christmas #read-aloud **Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Myers

    Since its first publication in 1895, Henry van Dyke’s novella, The Story of the Other Wise Man, has been an annual Christmas favorite and has been reprinted in a new binding nearly every year. Often considered a story for children, but enjoyed by adults as well, this poignant tale follows the adventures of Artaban, “the fourth wise man," as he searches for the One foretold by the star he has seen, and how in not finding—he finds. The book was well researched and as a result, is rich with the f Since its first publication in 1895, Henry van Dyke’s novella, The Story of the Other Wise Man, has been an annual Christmas favorite and has been reprinted in a new binding nearly every year. Often considered a story for children, but enjoyed by adults as well, this poignant tale follows the adventures of Artaban, “the fourth wise man," as he searches for the One foretold by the star he has seen, and how in not finding—he finds. The book was well researched and as a result, is rich with the flavor of the Orient. Older readers may enjoy the first part of the book the most, where Artaban explains the reasons for his quest, and find the ending a little clichéd though still well handled. Younger readers may find the late nineteenth century writing style difficult to read, but with a little patience, they should be able to understand and appreciate it. Making a great holiday read-aloud, this thought provoking story reminds us that the real story of Christmas does not end with Jesus’ birth. For those who still seek Him, that is only the beginning.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I love the poetic style of the writing. It is hard to get into at first, but beautiful once you get used to the flow of the words. The first chapter is full of fascinating prophecies that the magi has learned. I wonder how much research the author did into the religious teachings of the magi - did he make the chants and prophecies up, or are they based on history? I've heard some of the traditions from other sources, so it makes me wonder about the rest of them. It makes the first chapter pretty I love the poetic style of the writing. It is hard to get into at first, but beautiful once you get used to the flow of the words. The first chapter is full of fascinating prophecies that the magi has learned. I wonder how much research the author did into the religious teachings of the magi - did he make the chants and prophecies up, or are they based on history? I've heard some of the traditions from other sources, so it makes me wonder about the rest of them. It makes the first chapter pretty fascinating. It is a touching book that is short enough to read every year at Christmas time. I even cried a little at the end.

  22. 5 out of 5

    TK421

    This is a beautiful story of a man who sought the greatest King of Kings only to find that the King is more than flesh and blood and resides in all of us. A timely tale that reminds the reader that we can all do glory for His sake. The least of us is represented, truly something to rejoice and be thankful for. To all who read this: May the Lord bless you and keep you, May the Lord shine his face on you and be gracious to you, May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Peace to This is a beautiful story of a man who sought the greatest King of Kings only to find that the King is more than flesh and blood and resides in all of us. A timely tale that reminds the reader that we can all do glory for His sake. The least of us is represented, truly something to rejoice and be thankful for. To all who read this: May the Lord bless you and keep you, May the Lord shine his face on you and be gracious to you, May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Peace to all my Brothers and Sisters in Christ. And peace to all of my Brothers and Sisters who have not proclaimed the Truth.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    15 DEC 2015 - a Christmas story! I will be starting this one soon - very soon! Project Gutenberg - http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10679 18 DEC 2015 - I loved this little story. “Verily I say unto thee, inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me." And the Other Wise Man found his King.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Taija

    I've never heard of this story before, and only bought it because the book was old, and I figured it had something to do with the wiseman of the Christmas Story. So glad I bought it! This book is going to be an annual read, and I'm looking forward to reading it to my children one day. The last few sentences had me in joyful tears!!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nate Hansen

    Short, beautifully-written, and absolutely worth reading. A strong plot with a compelling character, with many echoes of Pilgrim's Progress, but which rung hollow with me on several counts, including naked (and awkward) references to scripture, a saccharine and Victorian ending, and a conclusion that hinges on an iffy (and possibly heretical) reading of Matthew 25:31-40, though it is possible that my reactions to these elements is more a result of my dullness and cynicism than a flaw in the book Short, beautifully-written, and absolutely worth reading. A strong plot with a compelling character, with many echoes of Pilgrim's Progress, but which rung hollow with me on several counts, including naked (and awkward) references to scripture, a saccharine and Victorian ending, and a conclusion that hinges on an iffy (and possibly heretical) reading of Matthew 25:31-40, though it is possible that my reactions to these elements is more a result of my dullness and cynicism than a flaw in the book. Four stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Fun. Jordan's review is good. Well-researched story (or just from the mind of a well-educated man), with many references to history and Scripture. Key passage is Matt. 25:34–40. Version with actors here; cartoon version here.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Great message!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Stahl

    For a short story, it's a little plodding at times. But the overarching message - what one does for the least of His brethren, one does unto Him - is so important for the Christian life, and so very beautifully demonstrated here.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    Read this in fourth or fifth grade and remember liking the story even if the style--an ornate late-nineteenth century romanticism--was way over my head. This was where I learned the word azure, though. The premise: Artaban, a Median magi and priest of the Zoroastrian religion, has been watching the skies intently for the sign of a coming king who will end the cyclical balance of good and evil that is central to Zoroastrian belief. When he sees the sign, he sets out for Babylon to meet Caspar, Me Read this in fourth or fifth grade and remember liking the story even if the style--an ornate late-nineteenth century romanticism--was way over my head. This was where I learned the word azure, though. The premise: Artaban, a Median magi and priest of the Zoroastrian religion, has been watching the skies intently for the sign of a coming king who will end the cyclical balance of good and evil that is central to Zoroastrian belief. When he sees the sign, he sets out for Babylon to meet Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, three friends who will journey with him to pay homage to the new king. But Artaban is delayed in the last day of his journey and misses the rendezvous. The story then follows Artaban as he first tries to catch up and then, sacrificing more and more of the gift he intended to present, simply tries to find the king. It takes the rest of his life. Revisited for the first time since then and am pleased with how good it turned out to be. It's short, to the point, and remarkably moving given its brevity and the thinness of some of the characterization. Van Dyke skilfully weaves the story into the spaces within the Gospel narratives, with Artaban always happening along in the wake of one of the events we know well. The whole story is a essentially an elaboration on Matthew 25:34-40, portions of which are quoted explicitly in the final moments of the story. It's got a dash of social gospel flavoring to it (it was published in 1895), but not in a socialist (Charles Sheldon's In His Steps), post-millennial, or even heterodox (pretty much the rest of the Social Gospel movement) way and dramatizes Jesus's commands to care for "the least of these" well. And--pleasingly for a historian--Van Dyke did a good job depicting the diversity and clamor of the ancient Near East, and the adumbration of the Gospel in Artaban's Zoroastrian beliefs are true to the period and illustrate man's grasping after--and yearning for--the good news. Some nice details if you're into the religious and cultural history of the period. An enjoyable short Christmas read. Deserves a comeback. Recommended.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Henry Van Dyke's story of the fourth wise man has been a favorite of mine since I first read it as a young child in my parents' home. Tonight, after our annual trip to see "Bethlehem Revisited" in Waxahachie, Texas, I remembered the story. I was able to find it on my smartphone (they aactually are useful once in awhile) and read the story out loud to my family on the way home. As I ended the reading, and after a moment of reverent silence, my teenage daughter quietly said, "I didn't see that com Henry Van Dyke's story of the fourth wise man has been a favorite of mine since I first read it as a young child in my parents' home. Tonight, after our annual trip to see "Bethlehem Revisited" in Waxahachie, Texas, I remembered the story. I was able to find it on my smartphone (they aactually are useful once in awhile) and read the story out loud to my family on the way home. As I ended the reading, and after a moment of reverent silence, my teenage daughter quietly said, "I didn't see that coming." Neither did I the first time I read it, and many decades later I still thrill to the ending lines about the dying Artaban: "Then the old man's lips began to move, as if in answer, and she heard him say in the Parthian tongue: "Not so, my Lord! For when saw I thee an hungered and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw I thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? When saw I thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee? Three-and-- thirty years have I looked for thee; but I have never seen thy face, nor ministered to thee, my King." "He ceased, and the sweet voice came again. And again the maid heard it, very faint and far away. But now it seemed as though she understood the words: "Verily I say unto thee, Inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me." "A calm radiance of wonder and joy lighted the pale face of Artaban like the first ray of dawn, on a snowy mountain-peak. A long breath of relief exhaled gently from his lips. "His journey was ended. His treasures were accepted. The Other Wise Man had found the King." May the same be true for all seekers of truth!

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