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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Periods & styles of Magic » » Magicians in the Christian Bible? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Invisticone
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Out of depth? Out of date... Excuse me...

No edit function on this forum? I shall preview my posts in future...
friend2cptsolo
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Spent all this time on the Cafe' and all I have to show for it is
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Daniel did some dream interpretation for king Nebuchadnezzar and then some where on the same story line there was mysterious writing on the wall that apears during a dinner? The phrophets lived through being thrown into a fire. And in Exoudus the staff of Moses does some wierd stuff and the kings magicians come to perform, kinda like a performance duel w/ Moses.

Water to wine...... mentioned in the Tarbell Course
MagicDan3333
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I have found the book, Jesus the Magician to be of some use in understanding magic in Biblical times. Tarbell touches on it with the wise men who sought out Jesus.
magiccollector69
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Quote:
On Apr 13, 2014, LeoH wrote:
In Acts 8:9-24 it tells of a magician named Simon. He was very popular with all the people, maybe the "Copperfield" of his day. To find out what happens in the verse, I'll let you go to the Book and read the story, or Google it.


Simon Magus? In the movie The Silver Chalice, Jack Palance played Simon Magus. A number of stage/parlor effects were used in the movie. It's not a great movie, but it's interesting to see the magic done in it, as well as how Simon designs his final trick, to allow him to fly above the audience.
malaki
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This is a late reply to this post, but I only recently joined.

These are questions that can open up a can of worms, especially in the southern areas of the US, so I will tread lightly. Let me carefully delve into this subject, not with the intent of irritating anyone or insulting their religion, but to help clarify the subject for this very specific audience.

When writing "Timeline of Magic", I began from the perspective of showing that magical effects were actually performed in the Middle Ages. The problem that I encountered was the fact that the further back in time you go, the more blurred become the lines between Magic, Art, Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and even music. Each was, at one time or another, considered to be magical or mystical in nature.

Cave paintings were originally created as a form of representational, sympathetic magic. You draw a picture of a bison or antelope, you draw a representative of yourselves on the hunt. The prey is then ritualistically killed to bring success to the coming hunt.

Music was, and still is used as a means of obtaining a meditative state. In this state, the body is capable of doing things that it normally cannot do, such as walking across hot coals, or allowing the spirit leaving the body to go on an astral journey. Many of the tests of faith are performed under this state of mind, such as the sun dance in native American rituals of medicine.

Chemistry was born of alchemy, Astronomy was begat by astrology. Drugs have had ritualistic use in many religions, including Christianity <wine anyone?>.

Specifically from the Bible, Moses was said to have battled with the Pharaoh's magicians, parted the Red Sea and brought forth water from the stones during the exodus. Daniel, as mentioned earlier, interpreted the Pharaoh's dreams. Jesus was said to have multiplied fishes and loaves, walked on water, raised the dead and turned water into wine.

Later, in the Middle Ages, the Catholic church was well known for chasing all of the magicians out of various towns, but would then seek one out to help them during the Feast of the Annunciation so that they could levitate an actor playing the part of the Archangel (with his chorus of angels) down from the rafters of the church to the top of the rood screen to tell the actor playing Mary of her pregnancy.

Let's clarify some terminology:
Wizard: wiz = wise man, ard = supposed. Thus, Wizard = supposedly wise
Witch: "wise person" or "Wise One"
Necromancer: "One who, through supernatural means, will raise the dead to act as a servant or informer"

It never fails to astound me how many times it becomes the goal to eliminate the wisest amongst the group
- though it explains much about their sociology as well.
These terms have been skewed through such incidents as the Inquisition, for the purpose of aiding conviction of heretics.

Do not think that I am picking on the Christians, many other religions have also gone through their share of persecution and purges of the magical community.

Did Jesus really perform miracles? I do not know, and until someone creates a working time machine, the answer will never be known. My question is, does it really matter? Whether it was due to an impassioned appeal to a deity, channeling power through him, or simply a set of illusions, expertly performed, His message of peace and forgiveness got spread around the world. That message has touched millions of people, causing them to better themselves and to help their neighbors.

As a magician, I have noticed that, regardless of what you do, when the story of your performance is retold by someone who saw it, the act is always embellished.
Years ago, I attended a Coronation, where I, using a Square & Circle, produced a pair of etched wine glasses for their Majesties. When I heard the story retold 10 years later, I not only produced the wine glasses, but a magnum of champagne to go with it! Consider the fact that these events happened many centuries before anyone bothered to write it down. How much more did the story grow in several times that amount of time?

Seeking real magic? I once gave a lecture in a psychology class, comparing The Force to the Taoist teachings of Chi. During this lecture, I demonstrated a simple form of telekinesis by folding a 3" square of paper into a pyramid. I then pierced a book of matches with a straight pin. Balancing the pyramid on the pin, I was able (with effort) top cause the pyramid to spin first one way, then the other. (I doubt that I could do it today - lack of practice) To this day, the gent who taught me how to perform magic still thinks that I secreted in a motor. Try it!

These questions are exactly the reason why I am writing Volume IV of Magical Renaissance. This volume, to be titled Magical Traditions, will be a comparative study of magical and medicinal practices across the globe. This is a huge undertaking that has required me to collect books on the subject(s) for many years. Thus is why it will also be the final volume of the set...

Again, it is not my intention to offend anyone, merely to contribute to the conversation, and, as Newt Scmander said in Fantastic Beasts: "to gently educate my fellow wizards."
Mr. Woolery
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Malaki, I think you make a good point when you note that even within a few years, with no particular agenda attached, a performance can be exaggerated to the point of being impossible. We have all probably heard stories about magicians recalled by audience members that could not possibly have happened. But people remember their impressions, not their actual experiences. And if there's some reason to promote a story as proof of something more than a clever performance, well, I think it is easy for someone to look back at events of 50 years prior and recall a little more amazement than maybe was there...

I recognize that even addressing this is walking a bit of a fine line on the Café. That said, it really is a fascinating topic to consider.

A few years ago, someone asked (I think on the Penny forum) what one effect could be used to launch a religion. It was pointed out that cracking the toes was used to start Spiritualism (at least, if you believe the first confession of the Fox sisters). The later manifestations added to the mystery, but it all started with a couple of kids cracking their toes.

There have been some repeated miracles in the Catholic Church, including weeping statues, blood of a saint that reliquifies every year, a body that never decays. Could some or all of these be hoaxes? Sure. Would it even take the skills of a modern conjuror? Not at all. You and I have to be sneaky in the open. We don't get to appeal to miracles happening and just show the results. Am I claiming this is the case? Not really. I'm saying that blind faith is weak faith and if a belief in a miracle can't stand some critical examination, there's a bit of a problem with it. That's all.

Thanks for your input!

-Patrick
HenryleTregetour
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Patrick and Malaki,

I will add one "Catholic" hoax discovered during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. That is the Rood of Grace.

From my understanding, a "rood" is a statue (wooden or otherwise) of the crucified Christ. This particular rood was capable of moving its eyes, maybe its mouth, head, and maybe even crying blood. You can look up the specifics. Anyway, the particular monastery was famous for the miraculous rood, which of course brought lots of pilgrims and lots of loot. It was discovered to operate by a series of wires operated by monks. Needless to say, the rood was paraded across the country as an example of "Popish" deception, and eventually (and unfortunately for us) consigned to the fire.

Perhaps even more interesting is the man who founded the Bartholomew Faire. According to actual sources, he was apparently a courtier before he received religion, with a reputation of being somewhat of a trickster. But then he became religious, and he founded the fair (ca. 1133), which for several centuries was the preeminent fair in England. I believe he was connected to a monastery, which received the benefits from the fair. And the monastery became the site of numerous faith healings while he lived--a LOT of healings! Somewhere on the internet there is a site that includes the original chronicles as well as a nineteenth century (?) book on the fair. I unfortunately did not find it in my brief check for this missive. I will check and post it later.

HLT
HenryleTregetour
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The founder's name is Rahere.

Here is the site address: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/st-barts-records/vol1
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