This probably comes up every Christmas, but a search of the board turned up nothing.
I voted for option one. Matthew's gospel is full of "events" in which Christ's Messianic identity is supposedly confirmed by the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies, and I believe that the story of the Magi is such a story - ie historically untrue.
The relevant passages of the Old testament are:
- Numbers 24:17 - A star has come forth from Jacob, a comet has risen from Israel.
- Isaiah 60:6 - A flood of camels shall cover you ... all those of Sheba shall come; gold and frankincense shall they bring.
- Psalms 71:10-11 - The kings of Sheba and Seba bear gifts ... may all kings do him homage, all nations serve him.