Was Jesus Considered a Magician?

Biblicalarchaeology.org ran news story concerning Lee M. Jefferson’s article Jesus the Magician? Why Jesus Holds a Wand in Early Christian Art exploring the possibility that early Christians considered Jesus of Nazareth a magician among other things. The story begins:

“Did Jesus use a magic wand when performing his miracles? It seems so—if we are to judge by some of the earliest depictions of Jesus in Christian art.

“Early Christian iconography provides us with precious insights into the esthetics of early Christians. Inspired by biblical and apocryphal texts, the earliest Christian imagery is also a window into the theological thinking of the third- and fourth-century followers of Jesus. Coming primarily from funerary contexts, early Christian art is especially rich in mural paintings found in catacombs and in smaller sculptures, such as sarcophagi and tombstones. It is thus no surprise that the repertoire of motifs expressed in these media is mostly associated with the afterlife and healing (physical or spiritual).

In his article “Jesus the Magician? Why Jesus Holds a Wand in Early Christian Art,” published in the Fall 2020 issue of <em>Biblical Archaeology Review</em>, Lee M. Jefferson of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, zooms on one particular subject from the plethora of artistic motifs—Jesus holding a wand or rod while performing a healing or miracle.

Read the whole story, and click through to the original article:


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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