For more on ancient amulets, read “Miniature Writing on Ancient Amulets,” “1,500-Year-Old Christian Amulet References Eucharist” and “The Shema‘ Yisrael: Monotheistic Jewish amulet discovered near Carnuntum.” That many practitioners listed the opening lines of the Gospels, in particular, is worth noting. It is significant, therefore, that some ritual experts did not simply list the gospel 2 includes the following statement: “The four beginnings of the gospel, which is holy: the Gospel according to Matthew; the Gospel according to Mark; the Gospel according to Luke; the Gospel according to John.” Even more than in the prior example, the scribe behind this seventh-century C. amulet has drawn attention to the holiness of the four-fold Gospel corpus.Given the circulation of numerous gospels during late antiquity, including those found in the Nag Hammadi Library, the defense of the four-fold Gospel canon was a priority for many early Christian leaders. These practitioners were not simply citing important or sacred texts, but—at least in some capacity—were also self-consciously capitalizing upon the significance of an exclusive number of gospels and, consequently, marking the boundaries of holy writ.) of Biblical books and texts, including the first words of the Gospel of John, were written on strips of papyrus, parchment and other materials in order to cure bodily illnesses and/or to protect individuals from demons?Scholars have traditionally called such curative and protective objects “amulets.” The Greek and Coptic amulets and related artifacts that have survived from late antiquity (c. E.), mostly from Egypt, demonstrate that many “magicians” (a.k.a.While church fathers, such as Athanasius of Alexandria (c. E.), were busy drawing their preferred boundaries around the Bible, a wide range of material evidence testifies to the fact that other Egyptian scribes were at work composing, transcribing and translating books that Athanasius and his ilk would regard as “non-canonical” or even “heretical.” The codices now known collectively as the Nag Hammadi Library—which contain “non-canonical” writings, such as the Gospel of Thomas—provide a useful counterexample to Athanasius’s view of scripture. E.) argued that Christians must only recognize four Gospels ( 6.25.3).
While a definitive answer to this question will probably forever elude us, it is important to note that the second Gospel is disproportionately underrepresented in the extant manuscript evidence from late antique Egypt.“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” You might recognize this sentence as the first verse of the Gospel of John.Did you know that in antiquity, the opening lines (a.k.a.Thus, the gospel 4 and 13 include only a few words from Luke 1:1 (“Inasmuch as many have undertaken”).
In these abbreviated cases, it seems that the practitioner needed to provide just enough text so that the opening line would be recognized as such.
Indeed, the Christian canon was not only a scribal invention of late antiquity, it was also a discursive site on which Christian identity was contested, defined and defended.
Ancient Amulets with Incipits - Biblical Archaeology Society
Ancient amulets containing incipits of Biblical passages have been uncovered in Egypt and were used as protective charms to ward off evil. Learn about early Christian amulets with incipits in this Bible History Daily guest post by Joseph E. Sanzo.…