An ancient document found in the Vatican archives casts new light on the story of the Nativity and the Three Wise Men who came to offer gifts to the infant Jesus, according to researchers.

The Revelation of the Magi, reputedly a first-hand account of their journey to pay tribute to the son of God, only now has been translated from ancient Syriac.

Brent Landau, professor of religious studies at the University of Oklahoma, spent two years deciphering the fragile manuscript.

It is an eighth-century copy of a story first written down nearly half a millennium earlier, less than 100 years after the Gospel of Matthew, the original source of the Bible story.

The newly translated tale differs in major respects from Matthew’s very brief account.

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