Christian views on magic

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Christian views on magic vary widely across denominational and individual barriers, and are often influenced by Biblical, theological, and historical considerations. Some Christians actively condemn any form of magic as Satanic while others simply dismiss it as superstition. Conversely, some branches of esoteric Christianity actively engage in magical practices.

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Biblical references

There are several references to witchcraft in the Bible that strongly condemn such practices. For example, Deuteronomy 18:11-12 condemns anyone who "..casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you" (NIV); Exodus 22:18 states "Do not allow a sorceress to live" (NIV).

Some adherents of near-east religions acted as "mediums", channeling messages from the dead or from a "familiar spirit". The Bible sometimes is translated as referring to "necromancer" and "necromancy" (Deut 18:11 KJV) However, some lexicographers, including James Strong and Spiros Zodhiates, disagree. These scholars say that the Hebrew word kashaph, used in Exodus 22:18 and 5 other places in the Tanakh comes from a root meaning "to whisper". Strong therefore concludes that the word means "to whisper a spell, i.e. to incant or practice magic". The Contemporary English Version translates Deuteronomy 18:11 as referring to "any kind of magic".

The topic of Biblical law in Christianity is still disputed among Christian denominations.

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