A New Testament Text on a Syriac Incantation Bowl: Eph. 6:10-17 on ibc 3

in Vigiliae Christianae
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This article demonstrates the use of Eph. 6:10-17 on a Syriac incantation bowl (ibc 3), thereby challenging the commonly held opinion that there are no direct uses of the New Testament among the Syriac bowls. We then situate the use of this biblical passage on ibc 3 within the context of biblical citation and reference in Mediterranean magic more generally. Finally, we briefly reflect on the significance of the usage of the Bible on ibc 3 for the study of Syriac incantation bowls and for the value of categories of religious identification, such as “Christian,” “Jewish,” and “Pagan,” as it pertains to the study of late antique apotropaia.

A New Testament Text on a Syriac Incantation Bowl: Eph. 6:10-17 on ibc 3

in Vigiliae Christianae

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3

For discussion see É. Puech“11QPsApa: Un rituel d’exorcisme. Essai de reconstruction,” Revue de Qumran 14 (1990) 377-408; idem “Les deux derniers Psaumes Davidiques du rituel d’exorcisme 11QPsApa IV4-V14” in The Dead Sea Scrolls: Forty Years of Research ed. D. Dimant and U. Rappaport (Leiden 1992) 64-89; idem “Les Psaumes Davidiques du rituel d’exorcisme (11Q11)” in Sapiential Liturgical and Poetical Texts from Qumran: Proceedings of the Third Meeting of the International Organization for Qumran Studies Oslo 1998 ed. D.K. Falk F.G. Martinez and E.M. Schuller (Leiden 2000) 160-181.

5

J. Angel“The Use of the Hebrew Bible in Early Jewish Magic,” Religion Compass 3 (2009) 785-798; C. Rapp “Holy Texts Holy Men and Holy Scribes: Aspects of Scriptural Holiness in Late Antiquity” in The Early Christian Book ed. W.E. Klingshirn and L. Safran (Washington d.c. 2007) 199; D. Frankfurter “Beyond Magic and Superstition” in Late Ancient Christianity: A People’s History of Christianity 2 ed. V. Burrus (Minneapolis 2005) 279.

6

T. de Bruyn and J. Dijkstra“Greek Amulets and Formularies from Egypt Containing Christian Elements: A Checklist of Papyri, Parchments, Ostraka, and Tablets,” The Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 48 (2011) 164 (Greek); M. Meyer and R. Smith eds. Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power (Princeton nj. 1994) 105-109 (Coptic); J. Naveh and S. Shaked Amulets and Magic Bowls: Aramaic Incantations of Late Antiquity (Jerusalem 1985) 17 (Aramaic-Jewish).

8

H. Juusola“Who Wrote the Syriac Incantation Bowls?” Studia Orientalia 85 (Helsinki 1999) 76.

10

H. Juusola“Who Wrote” 76. See also T. Harviainen “Pagan Incantations in Aramaic Magic Bowls” in Studia Aramaica: New Sources and New Approaches. Papers Delivered at the London Conference of The Institute of Jewish Studies University College London 26th-28th June 1991 ed. M.J. Geller J.C. Greenfield and M.P. Weitzman vol. 4 in Journal of Semitic Studies Supplement (Oxford 1995) 58; S. Shaked J.N. Ford and S. Bhayro Aramaic Bowl Spells: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowls vol. 1 in Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity (Leiden 2013) 18-20.

13

M. Gawlikowski“Une coupe magique araméenne,” Semitica 38 (1990) 137; E.C.D. Hunter “Combat and Conflict in Incantation Bowls: Studies on Two Aramaic Specimens from Nippur” in Studia Aramaica: New Sources and New Approaches. Papers Delivered at the London Conference of The Institute of Jewish Studies University College London 26th-28th June 1991 ed. M.J. Geller J.C. Greenfield and M.P. Weitzman vol. 4 in Journal of Semitic Studies Supplement (Oxford 1995) 61-63.

15

MontgomeryAramaic Incantation Texts42. See also Hamilton “Syriac Incantation Bowls” 13; E. M. Yamauchi “Aramaic Magic Bowls” Journal of the American Oriental Society 85 (1965) 522; H. Juusola Linguistic Peculiarities in the Aramaic Magic Bowl Texts vol. 86 in Studia Orientalia (Helsinki 1999) 5; D. Frankfurter “On the Origin of the Mesopotamian Apotropaic Bowl” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 74 (2015) 9-18. It has also been suggested that the bowls were used for hydromancy (Naveh and Shaked Amulets and Magic Bowls 16; Hamilton “Syriac Incantation Bowls” 11-12; Yamauchi “Aramaic Magic Bowls” 522).

16

G. Abousamra“Coupe de prière syriaque chrétienne,” Parole de l’Orient 35 (2010) 27; Moriggi A Corpus 208.

17

Abousamra“Coupe de prière” 27-38.

18

MoriggiA Corpus208-211.

20

MoriggiA Corpus210; Abousamra “Coupe de prière” 34-35.

24

Abousamra“Coupe de prière” 33-34.

27

MoriggiA Corpus209. Moriggi and Abousamra here read ʾydÿk. Yet it seems from the photograph in Moriggi’s Corpus at least that the dots they interpret as a seyame are in fact marks or dirt in the clay.

28

Abousamra“Coupe de prière” 33.

29

Abousamra“Coupe de prière” 33-34.

30

Abousamra“Coupe de prière” 34.

34

Abousamra“Coupe de prière” 34. Weapons are used in analogies of apotropaic rituals in various bowls (e.g. cbs 2943 bm 91712 im 44107 and vk 5738:3).

36

Aland and JuckelDas Neue Testament331.

42

de Bruyn and Dijkstra“Greek Amulets and Formularies” 172.

46

P. Heid. 1101. For the editio princeps see F. Maltomini “Cristo all’Eufrate P. Heid.G.1101: Amuleto cristiano” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigrafik 48 (1982) 149-170. For discussions of this historiola see G. Fiaccadori “Cristo all’Eufrate (P. Heid. G. 1101 8 ss.)” La parola del passato 41 (1986) 59-63; R. Mazza “P.Oxy. XI 1384: Medicina rituali di guarigione e cristianesimi nell’Egitto tardoantico” Annali di storia dell’esegesi 24 (2007) 444-445. On the opening phrase of this historiola see J.E. Sanzo “‘For our Lord was pursued by the Jews …’: The (Ab)Use of the Motif of ‘Jewish’ Violence against Jesus on a Greek Amulet (P. Heid. 1101)” in One in Christ Jesus: Essays on Early Christianity and “All that Jazz” in Honor of S. Scott Bartchy ed. D. Matson and K.C. Richardson (Eugene or. 2014) 86-98.

50

Naveh and ShakedMagic Spells and Formulae27.

51

de Bruyn“Papyri Parchment” 173.

52

For the editio princeps see H. Hunger“Zwei unbekannte neutestamentliche Papyrusfragmente der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek,” Biblios 8 (1959) 11-12 (for G 30453); idem “Ergänzungen zu zwei neutestamentlichen Papyrusfragmenten der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek” Biblios 19 (1970) 71-75 (G 26034+ G 30453). The edition and translation cited above have been taken from Jones New Testament Texts 167-168.

53

JonesNew Testament Texts169.

55

Mihálykó“Christ and Charon” 203. Jones is therefore incorrect when he states that P. Vindob. G 2312 P. Berol. inv. 13997 and P. Vindob. G 26034 + 30453 are the only Greek amulets that contain (pseudo-)Pauline materials (Jones New Testament Texts 164).

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