You Spin Me Right Round, Baby, Right Round

Now that you’ll have that awful song running through your head for the rest of the day, we can move on to weightier matters.

Such as this interesting report about an ancient Christian manuscript (first brought to my attention today by Gene Veith’s blog).  The manuscript is referred to as a charm because it was inside an amulet that someone would wear, and because the Egyptians apparently had a practice of wearing charms and magical spells for protection.  The article asserts that Christians 1500 years ago were copying their Egyptian neighbors in this practice, merely substituting a Christianized text.  

Unfortunately, this is rather poor scholarship and Biblical ignorance, since the idea of wearing Scripture on your person dates back at least another thousand years before this manuscript, based on Hebrew practices derived from Deuteronomy 11:18.  Hebrews and Jews and later Christians all derived value from literally keeping the Word of God close to their bodies.  Reading the translation of the text provided also makes it relatively clear that this was not a charm or magic spell.

The article also asserts that this is the earliest Christian document to refer to the Eucharist – but that’s hardly the case as references to the Eucharist date back hundreds of years prior to the roughly 6th century dating of this particular manuscript. 

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