Christ, Magic Bowls, and Syncretism in Ancient Alexandria: An Archeological Find Has the Scholarly World Abuzz Over a Christ Reference Dated Between the 2nd Century BCE and the Early 1st Century CE

Christ the magician?

A new archeological find has scholars speculating. MSNBC reports:

Christoph Gerigk / Franck Goddio/ Hilti Foundation
A bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., is engraved with what may be the world’s first known reference to Christ. The engraving reads, “DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS,” which has been interpreted to mean either, “by Christ the magician” or, “the magician by Christ.”
Egyptologist David Fabre, of the European Institute of Submarine Archaeology, thinks the bowl was used by a magus (magician) for ritual purposes and said:
“It should be remembered that in Alexandria, paganism, Judaism and Christianity never evolved in isolation. All of these forms of religion (evolved) magical practices that seduced both the humble members of the population and the most well-off classes.”
And:
“It was in Alexandria where new religious constructions were made to propose solutions to the problem of man, of God’s world,” he added. “Cults of Isis, mysteries of Mithra, and early Christianity bear witness to this.”
Read the full article here.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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