Robert studied biblical (better called “Helenistic” or “koine”) Greek in the early 1970s, also biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Coptic. His professors were Margaret Howe and Ronald Veenker, both now retired. Neither of them endorse or approve of his theories, especially those in Jesus the Sorcerer. Robert made a detailed study of the Greek New Testament although he is agnostic about all supernatural claims. Our best surviving evidence on Jesus is that he was one of many local apocalyptic Jewish prophets, likely reacting to the presence of Romans and Roman influence in Palestine. Like similar figures, Jesus was an ecstatic performer who did healing and exorcism (a quintessentially Jewish preoccupation), and displayed other charismatic “gifts” such as mind reading as proof of his prophetic calling. He was, as Morton Smith pointed out, what both ancient and modern people would regard as a “magician,” but he preached the coming of an apocalyptic judgment that would come within his generation and that, obviously, did not happen.
Robert’s current focus is how the study of consciousness might increase our understanding of paranormal phenomena.
Author’s “Magic in Christianity” website
Podcast: 1. Magic in Christianity with Robert Conner – AeonByte’s library
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