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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2008, 11:22 
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Earliest Reference Describes Christ as 'Magician'

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Oct. 1, 2008 -- A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that, according to an expert epigrapher, could be engraved with the world's first known reference to Christ.

If the word "Christ" refers to the Biblical Jesus Christ, as is speculated, then the discovery may provide evidence that Christianity and paganism at times intertwined in the ancient world.

The full engraving on the bowl reads, "DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS," which has been interpreted by French epigrapher and professor emeritus Andre Bernand as meaning either, "by Christ the magician" or "the magician by Christ."

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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2008, 10:22 
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"DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS"

Wrong. Dia Chrestou, which is a Greek name. There's a tendency to equate all Chrestoi with Christus, the names sounding very similar. But that happened back in antiquity, and Tertullian, 2nd century author, mentions the confusion.

I don't think this points to Christ.


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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2008, 15:40 
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Though it would not surprise me if Christ was in fact learned in the mysticism of the time. I would believe that many of the "Prophets" of that time may have had to do all sorts of odd jobs in order to support themselves/expand their listening population. Of course, back then, it would not have been the sort of esoteric and fringe employment that it is now. Modern man may think of it as superstitious claptrap but it was accepted belief back then.


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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2008, 16:54 
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mysticism or pretidigitation?

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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2008, 21:00 
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Um...Yes?


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PostPosted: 17 Oct 2008, 12:20 
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It would surprise me, and it's not backed up by available evidence. But magic back then wasn't necessarily "mysticism", and most "mystics" as we think of were really an eastern (Israel to Persia) rather than a Graeco-Roman thing, and this goblet was definitely along the Greek tradition of magic.


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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2009, 17:36 
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It's likely someone else with that name. It's like the James Ossuary, which contains the inscription "James son of Joseph, Brother of Joshua/Jesus" -- those were common names in that place and time. Imagine an inscription from our place and time saying "Bill son of Bob, Brother of Brian".

As to Jesus Christ himself, some of the authors of the Talmud (a huge collection of rabbinical lore) also claimed that he was a sorcerer. In general, they had a VERY low opinion of Jesus Christ, charging that the virgin-birth story was a coverup of him having a Roman soldier as a father. So they likely believed that he worked all his miracles with black magic.

So someone closer to him in time calling him a sorcerer would not be unprecedented.


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