The most complete summation to date of the New Testament evidence for magical practice by Jesus and the early Christians. The very notion of Jesus being a sorcerer runs so against the grain of the Western cultural myth that even non-Christians are likely to find it far-fetched or even vaguely disturbing. Nevertheless, scholars steadily accumulated evidence for magi-cal practices in the New Testament throughout much of the 20th century . It is that ever expanding body of knowledge that has made this book possible. This book examines the following: The nature of the earliest Christian documents, the defects of their trans-mission, and the evidence for the suppression of descriptions of magical acts.
The closely related problem of the New Testament accounts as historical sources.
The radically apocalyptic nature of Jesus’ message and the expectations of the early church.
The failure of the apocalypse to occur and the theological reaction to that failure.
The role of magic and mystery religion in early Christianity.
A revisiting of the story of the “beloved disciple” and what it may tell us about Jesus and suppression of evidence about his life.
Documentary Evidence / Infancy Narratives / Confrontation / Resurrection as Ghost Story /Apocalyptic Prophet / Apocalypse Postponed, / Magic and Mystery, / Jesus the Magician / Spirit Versus Spirit, / Ecstatic Inner Circle, / Christian Mysteries, / Secret Gospel of Mark, / Beloved Disciple, / On the Use of youth in Magic, / Apocalypse, Magic, and Christianity, / “son of David.” / Mary Magdalene