Jesus Was an Ancient Magician, Check it out.

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    Dec 05, 2013 4:03 AM GMT
    Yes, yes, yes, I say contemplatively.

    One means towards being a magician is control of a demon or a good spirit. (And Jesus could send the Holy Spirit.)

    Mark 1: 9-10
    It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove descending upon him.

    Commentary from Jesus the Magician by Morton Smith (I've also added to his comments):

    the story of the coming of the spirit is surprising because the event it describes is just the sort of thing that was thought to happen to a magician. Essentially, it admits the charge that Jesus had a spirit [as a means to magic] and, as told by Mark, it takes for granted that the reader will know this as a good spirit, not a bad one. ...

    Directions for getting such a spirit were available in magical texts: When the sun rises, greet it reciting this: holy spell burning uncut frankincense. While you are reciting the spell, the following sign will occur: A hawk flying down will stop (in the air) in front of you.." As we read in the Bible, instead of a hawk, a dove appears for Jesus--nevertheless, a bird appears.

    However, this spirit had led Jesus to into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan and this spirit led jesus to crucifixion; hence, the case for supposing it a demon that deceived and destroyed him must have been plausible.

    "Elijah and Elisha do indeed present us with figures resembling the Jesus of the synoptics--each, a man, who receives a divine spirit that makes them miracle workers and revelators, and whose subsequent life is a series of miracle stories and revelations." I say, given this similarity, it is no wonder Elisha means Jesus in some passages of the Babylonian Talmud.

    Another means to magic is being divine. So, the pharisees, refuting his divinity by not admitting he was THE Son of God would have to acknowledge him as a worker of magic and faith healing.

    Being a magician was fundamental in Celsus' explanation of Jesus' career: Having been brought up in obscurity, he went as a hired laborer to Egypt and there acquired experience of some [magical] powers. Thence, he returned, proclaiming himself a god on account of those powers.

    A damaging point that Origen had to counter was the similarity of Jesus' miracles to those of the common magicians: tricks done by those who have learned from Egyptians, driving demons out of people, blowing away diseases, calling up spirits of long dead heroes [think Transfiguration], make objects not really alive move as if alive and seem to be so.

    Finally, a magician gives his followers his own name as a magic word. Even resurrections are done in the magic word of "Jesus."

    Apollonius like Jesus did miracles, but when arrested he neither stood dumb nor submitted himself to indignities, but lectured the emperor as a philosopher should, and then vanished.

    QUESTION: Jesus was more the magician after his resurrection than before, in that he was disappearing after the resurrection but not disappearing before the resurrection.

    As for walking on water, that is not a miracle. The gospel writers, competing with the Homeric Gods, knew that Hermes had wings on his boots and traveled over water (Athena also), so Jesus had to be able to hover over water as well. HOWEVER: walking on the water is also attributed to a Hyperborean magician by Lucian's dupes (Philopseudes). A magical papyrus promises that a powerful demon will enable his posses to walk on water.

    So, the answer to the Ehrman Debate at SMU, "Can we trust the New Testament?"

    "In evaluating all these points of the evidence, and others like them, the reader of the gospels must keep in mind that the gospels were written in a hostile world to present the Christian case. Consequently, the elements in them that could be used to support magic are probably only the tips of the iceberg of suppressed traditions, while elements that counter the charge must be viewed with suspicion for apologetic purposes. We have to deal with a body of edited material. page 93

    Appendix: Elisha treated a (one) leper by telling him to go wash 7 times in the Jordan. Jesus treated (10) lepers on their way to tell priests they were healed. "Jesus cured ten times as many as Elisha and quicker."
  • CecilWitte

    Posts: 573

    Dec 09, 2013 7:21 PM GMT
    Yes, it is all basically sorcery. When the priest blessed our rosaries, it was basically a magic spell.
    People praying so that others may be healed are also performing a kind of magic spell.
    Exorcisms are spells.
    Recently, the (idolatrous) Orthodox Church was carrying around an icon of Mary over our province that supposedly is miraculous. But again, it is sorcery. People prayed to this picture, and eventually enchanted it. And this applies to any object in any religion. Any power that it has is given to it by people, and has nothing to do with any gods or spirits.
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    Dec 12, 2013 2:20 AM GMT
    No one in the first century doubted Jesus was a competent exorcist and miracle worker.

    Reza Aslan in Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth