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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
When I was 12 years old, my Sunday school teacher gave me a book for Christmas. The book, written in 1896 by Henry van Dyke, was The Story of the Other Wise Man. It tells the story of a fourth Magi, Artaban. This "other wise man" saw the same heavenly signs that told his friends, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, of the arrival of the Christ Child. Artaban has his own gifts (a sapphire, a ruby and a pearl) to present to Jesus, but, while hastening to join his friends, Artaban stops to aid a dying man and is left behind. He spends the rest of his life in a search for Christ, but each time he comes close to his goal, he is sidetracked by the need to help another human being. Not much longer than a long short story, The Story of the Other Wise Man is the perfect book for reading aloud with the family this holiday season.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
--I first read this book when I was fifty years old and instantly became forty years younger. The book not only tells the story of Christmas, it tells the story of a kind and learned man.

--The story begins long ago, when Four Wise Men agree they must find the newborn Prince of Heaven and Earth. They all know this is the most important journey they will ever take, but one of them, named Artaban, spends too much time comforting a dying old man and cannot meet his three companions as they set out, so he misses his chance to visit Bethlehem with his three friends. Artaban must begin his search all over again, but he does not regret his decision. His youth passes and he becomes a dignified and just old man. Two more opportunities to meet the Christ come his way, and both are thwarted because he again takes time to perform acts of kindness. One of these happens at the end of his life, when ....

--Artaban is lovingly touched by the Christ in a way far, far better than if he had been with his companions on that night in Bethlehem.

--This is a story for kids from one to ninety-two. If you are thinking about reading this story for you or for a child in your life, do it.... and if you've ever regretted delaying your own Spiritual Journey because you must raise children or work helping others or care for a sick relative, then this book is definitely yours.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
It is the dream of every believer-to meet Jesus. To bow at his feet, to offer all you are to him, and hear him say "Well done my good and faithful servant." So it was for the other wise man. He, however, gives it up to help a dying man. He then, in turn, forfits his place with the other Magi at the birth of Jesus. This is the story of a man who spends his life hunting the dream of every christian on Earth. It is the single most touching story I have ever read. God was truly at work in Mr. Van Dyke.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is not the story that Henry Van Dyke wrote. It is a retelling of his story by another person. The description does not state this fact.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
My Grandmother passed this book on to me in her will. It seemed like a strange thing to leave me but it has touched my life. Whenever things are going wrong or when I need a spiritual reawakening, I pick up this book. I have read it at least 50 times and it has never gotten dull or boring. I recomend it to everyone!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
My English teacher read this to my class in Grade 12, and I remember crying in class. Very touching story which reminds us of the meaning of Christmas. I have purchased this for the children and adults in my life so many times that I have run out of copies. I guess that Amazon doesn't mind that...
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the story of Artaban, a seeker of Truth. He is the other wiseman who sought the 'great king'foretold in ancient script and heralded by the 'star'. On his way to meet the three wisemen, he is delayed. This sets him on a quest ins search of the King. It will lead him to many places and experiences. This book with its beautiful word pictures reminds us once again the importance of seeking Truth wherever we find it. It adds new meaning to the story of Christmas.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 7, 2002
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The Three Kings, Wise Men and Magi are all names given to the first men to see and recognize Jesus. Little is known of their lives except for what we've read in the Bible. Over the years, many stories have been written concerning the Magi, but I feel that this is the most beautiful of them all.
This poignant fable concerns Artaban who was a member of the ancient priesthood of the Magi. He had been watching the heavens and had seen the signs that it was the time for an old prophecy to be fulfilled. "There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall arise out of Israel."
Artaban sold his house and all that he owned and purchased three beautiful jewels to be given to the new King of Israel. The gifts were a beautiful blue sapphire which was like a piece of the night sky; a ruby that was even more red than a sunrise; and a pearl as pure as the peak of a snow mountain. Artaban was to meet and travel with three other members of the ancient priesthood, Balthazar, Caspar and Melchoir, so they could follow the new star of Israel together.
On his way to meet with his friends, he stops to help a dying man and is never able to catch up with the other Magi. Artaban spends his life helping others, but always seeking Jesus. The beautiful ending is worth waiting for. A very inspirational story!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
I found this book many years ago in a used book store. The witing is pure poetry, and the story is, if possible, more beautiful than the writing. I reread it every year, and it never fails to make me cry at the end. I'm never sure whether they are tears of joy or sorrow.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Well, except for the original, of course. I treasure the 1901 copy I have of this, as it brings to life the real meanings of Christmas to me more than any other fictional portrayal I have come across. van Dyke writes with clarity and succinctness, communicating the wisdom he claims to receive from the Spirit in the manner of timeless myth. It is well known that there were not three wisemen, but an indeterminate number. This story plays with that theme, and brings up something much better, much deeper, than the imagery in the creches we so often see. The story of Christmas doesn't truly end until Easter, if there. For it's not about a sweet feeling, or feeling comfortable- it's about undying love, about service, about feeling positively uncomfortable. The point is not to give the gifts of precious stones as if Jesus were a king, but to give the gift of life as if Jesus were the King.
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