Biblical Division


New Testament


Dean Deppe

Reader 1

Mariano Avila


Joan Beelan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)


Magic, New Testament, Acts of the Apostles, Christianity, Greco-Roman era


Magic is an intriguing topic in the New Testament but compared to other topics of discussion in New Testament Studies, the significance of the theme of magic has been unjustly undermined as indicated by David E.Aune. From the all eight occurrences of magic in the New Testament, four are found in the Acts of the Apostles. Therefore, the Acts of the Apostles is the most significant source to understand magic. The purpose of this thesis is to figure out the understanding of magic and Christianity in the Acts of the Apostles. Since Christianity flourished in the Greco-Roman era, the understanding of magic with its practices in the Greco-Roman era is significant in order to enlighten the serious confrontation between magic and Christianity in the Acts of the Apostles. The discovery of the Greek Magical Papyri (PGM: Papyri Graecae Magicae) has evidenced the practices of magic which is evil before Christianity. The apologetic purpose of Acts is the best context to understand magic because all the five episodes of magic in the Acts of the Apostles are presented within the proclamation of the gospel throughout the world in fulfilling Jesus’ commandment in Acts 1: 8. The lengthy episode of magic in Acts 8: 4–25 highlights the magician Simon whose reputation even reached as far as Rome, thus his confrontation with Philip and Peter is serious and also confirms the wickedness of magic. In each geographical area in the Roman world such as Samaria, Cyprus, Ephesus, Philippi, and Malta, Italy where the gospel is proclaimed, magic must be vanquished. Only when magic is vanquished, the word of God can spread unimpededly even until the “End of the Earth.”



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