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MAGIC AND WITCHCRAFT IN THE GREEK BIBLE: LEXICAL ASPECTS

Dimitar Iliev

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski”

Abstract: The article deals with the history of the usage of several Greek terms from the lexical field of μάγος and μαγεία. It follows their occurrences from the earliest attestations in classical Greek literature up to the New Testament as well as in the translational texts of the Septuagint. The terms are examined in contrast with some other semantically related notions such as γόης. In the case of LXX, the relation of the translational Greek to some of the original Aramaic and Hebrew terms is briefly discussed. Conclusions are made as to the degree of pejorative load in μάγος and its derivatives and their relation to notions in the semantic field of 'religion', to the extent that the latter can be clearly delineated in Greek culture. It is also observed how the system of concepts in the field of magic and witchcraft changed with the expansion of Greek culture in Hellenistic times as well as with the advent of Christianity.

Keywords: Magic, Religion, Sorcerers, Hellenism, Christianty