performed extraordinary wonders beyond any natural explanation but...
That does not make Him a magician
A guest document
The purpose of this document is to expose the contradictions of the
nonsensical theories that portray Jesus as a powerful magician, an
initiate in the arts of millenary civilizations, a master of esoteric
wisdom instructed by other men.
There have been very creative accounts since ancient times, such as
those that affirm that Jesus learned magical arts during his childhood
in Egypt (1)(2).
Even more, now there are those who go so far as to
represent a scenario in which the Resurrection would be nothing more
than a supposed ancestral formula secretly preserved by Egyptian wise
men and revealed by them to Jesus (3). These attempts to
Faith in such a ridiculous way are not new, and the contradictions they
contain are easily demonstrable (4).
But unfortunately they have much
impact in our time, when more and more people prefer to know the Sacred
History through fictional novels about Jesus and through articles by
esoteric "scholars" (5),
all without even reading the Bible.
The trap is twofold: on the one hand, people who are inclined to
believe in the supernatural are prepared for the entrance of the False
Christ (6) as a
new "teacher of wisdom"; and on the other hand,
believers who, to dismantle the fables of "Jesus the magician", hasten
to deny that magic exists, are put in a bind because the Bible itself
testifies that magic is a reality. In this document we will see how
everything has a harmonious explanation within the Faith itself.
The historical impossibility of Jesus'
magical instruction in Egypt...
There are other "creative" stories (7) that present Jesus as a
initiated in magic", but we will focus on one —the fable of the
Jesus-magician instructed in Egypt during his childhood— to exemplify
how the historical contradictions can be exposed. As for this and other
fables, invented and yet to be invented, we will expose below the
theological argumentation that invalidates them.
Thanks to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, we know that Herod
died in the year 4 BC and, despite the doubts of historians about the
exact date of the birth of Jesus, it is a commonly accepted fact that
he was born between 7 BC and 4 BC. In short, Herod died when Jesus was
just over two years old (8)
and we read in the Bible [Matthew 2:19-22]
that an angel informed Joseph about this and Joseph immediately
returned to Galilee. How could a Jesus-child of about two years old be instructed in
Egypt in high ancestral knowledge?
In the most unfavorable case (just in case anyone doubts the
aforementioned historical dates), we clearly read in the Gospel of St.
Luke that at the age of twelve
Jesus was already back in the land of Israel [Luke 2:41-42]. How
the mind of a child under twelve assimilate the mysteries and ancestral
wisdom of the Egyptian magicians? At the age when one learns to read
The very creators and disseminators of these fantastic stories claim
the complicity of their parents in this learning. Assuming for a moment
that they left Jesus in an Egyptian school for Harry Potter-style
where he was taught the special trick of the Resurrection
and other incantations, why were they so astonished that their Son was
able to hold a conversation with the wise men of the Temple of
Jerusalem [Luke 2:46-50]?
... and the Theological impossibility
We must recognize that we find in Jesus the elements of
supernaturalness, forces inexplicable by human reason, invocation of
certain acts or words, performance of religious rites, interaction with
spirits... Everything seems to fit with what we commonly call "magic",
so what prevents us from classifying Jesus as a "magician"? The answer
is that there is "something" present in Jesus that we will not find in
any magician, and that "something", instead of
making Him a more powerful magician, makes Him a servant. That
"characteristic" will not appear in any definition of "magic" no matter
how hard we look for it, that "little detail" forgotten by those who
qualify Jesus as a magician is neither more nor less than... God.
Of course, the
constant, infallible and visibly manifest invocation and
presence of God in all of Jesus' acts changes everything. Jesus never
acted on his own without the Father's authority — "For I have come down
from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me"
The New Testament, from the first to the last verse, expresses this.
How is it possible to ignore it? For that is precisely what those who
call Jesus a magician do: they preach, without expressly saying so, the
absence of God.
The reality of magic is not a problem
for the Faith
To give a sample, in the New Testament we read that "a certain man,
Simon by name, [...] used to practice sorcery in the city and amazed
the people of Samaria" [Acts
8:9-11] The reality of magic,
divination, etc. is a fact attested by the Bible itself (both in the
Old and New Testaments) and its existence is not a problem for the
Faith. It is simply that the handling of the supernatural must go hand
in hand with God, that is, only guided by Him and with full submission
to His Will. To do without Him —to enter into "the Occult" and "the
Paranormal"— is to deny His Sovereignty and whoever does so seeks ruin
(among other things, instead of Truth, he/she will find a world of
appearances —where what appears to be is not— controlled by spirits
of lies). To go deeper into the subject we recommend the reading of the
related documents of this domain (10)(11)(12).
There is a passage of the Old Testament that synthesizes perfectly the
question. We read in Exodus [Ex.
7:8-13] that when Moses and Aaron
stood before Pharaoh, "Aaron cast
down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a
We know that Aaron and Moses did not act on their own authority,
but "did so, as Yahweh had commanded".
The Egyptian magicians "did the same
thing with their enchantments", but of course the Authority of
God prevailed and "Aaron’s rod
swallowed up their rods". Later, in the New Testament, Jesus
affirms "Don’t think that I came to
destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to
5:17]. If, as some
claim, Jesus was an "initiate" heir to the wisdom of the Egyptian
magicians like those magicians at the command of Pharaoh, how is it
that He says He is going to continue in —and complete— the same line
as Moses and Aaron, who acted "as
Yahweh had commanded"? Who does Jesus obey, Yahweh or Pharaoh?
To Yahweh, of course. To claim otherwise is to call Him a liar.
(this document): The miracles performed
by Jesus do not make Him a magician
(1) For example, in the
second century an author named Celsus mocked
Jesus in his work "The
True Discourse" saying that Jesus would have been the son of a
Jewish woman who had an affair with a Roman soldier, and that he would
have practiced the magic he learned in Egypt.
(2) As another example of what
the human inventiveness can reach, in
gospel of the infancy of pseudo Thomas" —most
probably composed in the II century— they tell that the child
Jesus, full of anger, killed another child by means of a curse — The
reason? because that child had dispersed with a twig the waters that
Jesus had gathered.
(3) In his thesis written in
the form of a novel, "El secreto
egipcio de Napoleón" ["Napoleon's
Egyptian Secret"], the
author Javier Sierra affirms that "Jesus discovered the secret of the
resurrection in Egypt" (Ch. 27) - ISBN 978-84-9793-849-5, DeBolsillo
Publishing House, February
(4) A requisite to perceive the
coherence of the Bible is to read it in
a balanced and non-fanatical way, that is, without pretending to interpret it
absolutely literally and without reducing it absolutely to symbolisms
(Part I) (and Part II).
All the fantastic stories that go against
the Bible are defeated by the principle of coherence.
(5) For example, "The Da Vinci Code" and "The
Gospel of Judas" (Part I) (and Part II).
(6) The False Christ, who
pretends to impersonate the True Christ by a deceptive staging of His
Second Coming. Not to be confused with the
Antichrist, who opposes Christ and prepares the coming of the False
(7) Like the one that affirms that
Jesus went to India at the age of
twelve or thirteen to learn Hinduism.
(8) It is the margin we are
left with when we remember that Herod,
"according to the exact time which he
learned from the wise men", had the
children "from two years old and
under" [Matthew 2:16]
(9) In our time, when magic is
introduced as an appetizing product for
children, the problem is not Harry Potter, the
problem is the lack of
proper spiritual formation (Part I) (and Part
Spiritual World - How it influences our behavior
and cures - And what about God?
Myth or Reality? - Which is the truth?
En Español: Los milagros de Jesús no lo convierten
en un mago
Published in Spanish in 2009
Translated to English on July 22, 2022
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