Date: Mon Feb 04 2002 - 01:18:10 EST
In a message dated 2/3/2002 8:46:33 PM Eastern Standard Time,
>"Those concerned in v. 18 were evidently already confessing
>Christians, as the perfect tense PEPISTEUKOTWN would indicate.
>That the "evil deeds" (PRAXEIS) were magical arts is indicated
>both by the context (cf. v. 19) and by the fact that PRAXEIS
>was a technical term for magic spells...." (Polhill, Acts, pg. 405)
>Do we have Christians practicing magic spells here?
BGAD indicates that PRACEIS can be used for magic spells. It, however,
In Ac 19:18, because of the context, it is poss. that PRACIS is specif. a
t.t. [TECHNICAL TERM] for certain magical practices (PGM 4, 1227 PRAXIS
GENNAIA EKBALLOUSA DAIMONAS. Cf. PGM 1, 276; 4, 159; 1317 and oft.;
Ps.-Clem., Hom. 2, 26; Acta Pil. A 1, 1; PRASSEIN=‘practice magic’ PGM 3,
Here I think the important point is CONTEXT. The word could be and was used
in other senses in which there can be no suspicion of the sense "practice
magic." E.g., Lk 23.51
hOUTOS OUK HN SUGKATATEQEIMENOS THi BOULHi KAI THi PRACEI AUTWN-APO
ARIMAQAIAS POLEW TWN IOUDAIWN, hOS PROSEDEXETO THN BASILEIAN TOU QEOU,
I don't think anyone would imagine that the gospel is accusing those who were
responsible for the crucifiction of practicing magic. The point I seek to
emphasize that PRACIS is ONLY a technical term for magic IN A PARTICULAR
That having been said, the answer I would give is a definite "yes."
See v. 19 which follows.
hIKANOI DE TWN TA PERIERGA PRACANTWN SUNENEGKANTES TAS BIBLOUS KATEKAION
ENWPION PANTWN, KAI SUNEYHFISAN TAS TIMAS AUTWN KAI hEURON ARGURIOU MURIADAS
Here PRASSW (aor. gen. pl. part.) - paronymous with PRACIS - is used of the
activities described as PERIERGA. While this word has the sense of "be a
busybody", I don't think this is what is intended here. I don't really
suppose that they were writing "how-to" books on being a busy-body. It is
rather the second meaning which is intended, magic. The books burned were
thus books of magic APPARENTLY OWNED BY PROFESSING CHRISTIANS.
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