Parthia – The Forgotten Ancient Superpower
– And Its Role In Biblical History.
– by Steven M. Collins.
Cautionary Note for Jews – Contains Ephraimite Messianic content.
The rather impressive long title above well represents the subject matter in this book. Historians and the public have certainly forgotten the Parthian Empire, with only one or two major books written on this subject, both of them in the nineteenth century. This is surprising, because Parthia played an important part in the ancient history of the east, including the land of Palestine, which they ruled for many years just prior to the time of Christ.
Not only did the Parthians figure in the history of the Mideast, but also they played an important role in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. A simply fascinating chapter in this book is entitled, “The Untold Story Of Jesus Christ’s Life.” The author gives us the historical background of Palestine and the Mideast in the years prior to, and leading up to the birth of Jesus. The epic Parthian battles with the Romans are retold, and the surprising defeat of military leaders such as Mark Antony. Even more surprising is the fact that the “Magi” who came to visit the Christ child were actually Parthian “Megistanes,” from which developed the words, “Magian,” “Magi,” and “Magician.” The term referred to a “Persian astronomer or priest,” so that the Biblical designation of them as “Wise Men” from the East is certainly appropriate. There was a distinct reason, however, why these Wise Men followed the star to Bethlehem, and it is a fascinating and little-known story that we will let you enjoy discovering for yourself in this wonderful book!
Few Christians realize that the Biblical account indicates that the Wise Men arrived, not on the night of Christ’s birth, but up to two years later. Nor do people realize that there were not just three Wise Men, but an entire caravan of large numbers of servants, animal handlers, cooks, and others, that in total surely involved hundreds of Parthians! The Bible alludes to this, by the way, in one of many little-noticed passages that contradict the popular notion of three lone travelers arriving from the east on the night of Christ’s birth.
The events surrounding Herod’s ruthless order to slaughter the young male babies of Bethlehem are recounted, as well as the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt. The royal lineage of Jesus Christ as given in Scripture is also tied-in with this story. Even more fascinating is the author’s evidence that the Parthian Magi were in fact descended from the Biblical Levites, a contention that helps to explain other Biblical puzzles. Author Steven Collins has made the Biblical account more understandable by his excellent ability to weave Scripture and history together to make a coherent complete picture of those times.
The so-called “missing years of Christ” are also explored with evidence supporting a possible answer to this long-time puzzle. This relates to the fact that there is no mention of Jesus’ existence or whereabouts between the ages of twelve and thirty. Some interesting conclusions are developed concerning Jesus’ family, their occupation, and their wealth, which will no doubt surprise many readers. His close relative, Joseph of Arimathea, is proven to have had a background as a prominent man in the Roman world.
The second chapter of this book concerns Parthia’s status as a “superpower” in the ancient world. A particularly fascinating section describes how the Parthians were the first inventors of electricity, and the “Parthian battery” on the cover of this book is based upon actual archaeological evidence. This information appeared in scientific magazines in recent years but was not picked up by the mainstream media. This early form of battery is believed to have been used in electroplating by the Parthians. The story behind this is quite interesting and informative.
The opening chapter introduces the reader to the people of Parthia and discusses evidences of their probable connection with the ancient Israelites. “The Bible Handbook” edited by Joseph Angus (Religious Tract Society Publication) states that Jews were numerous in Parthia. This information, photographically reprinted in the frontispiece, is supported by a wealth of information provided by author Steven Collins. For example, we find that “the Parthian cities of Asaak, Dara, Gaza, and Samariane all bore Hebrew names” (page 32). In addition to that, the author informs us, “the Parthians had many Hebrew-Semitic words in their language, and later placed Semitic inscriptions on their coins…and many individual kings had names that included the term ‘Phares,’ fulfilling God’s promise to David that his descendants would perpetually serve as rulers over the ten tribes of Israel.” (ibid.) Phares (King James Version: Pharez) was a son of the Patriarch Judah, and ancestor of King David, and this book has much more to say about him in the context of Parthian history.
Did Israelite “lost tribes” settle in Parthia? The Parthian connection with the lost tribes of the House of Israel was substantiated by a respected ancient writer, Sulpitius Severus. He wrote, “The ten [tribes] which had previously been carried away being scattered among the Parthians, Medes, Indians, and Ethiopians never returned to their native country, and are to this day held under the sway of barbarous nations.” –Sulpitius Severus (circa. 360-420 A.D.), Severus, Sacred History, bk ii, ch. Ii, in Schaff, et al., transl. Sulpitius Severus
Author Steven Collins gives us much more evidence that this indeed happened, and that these lost tribes then were exiled out of Parthia after its fall. You will enjoy reading this exceptionally well-researched book. Gain an increased understanding of Scripture through learning the story of Parthia and its role in Biblical history.
Very well documented, this book of 256 pages includes over 100 maps, charts, and illustrations, and 15 pages of extensive indices. Published by Bible Blessings, soft cover, second edition. We believe that you will really enjoy this book!
You can buy it here.