christ_the_magician.jpgby Vic Tanner


Recently an ancient bowl with the engraving, "DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS," or "Christ the Magician" was found at a sunken archaeological site off the coast of Alexandria. Most intriguing wasn't the bowl itself, but a collection of scrolls that were found near it. Once translated, it was found that the scrolls contained the words of none other than Jesus himself. However, the text is not a religious statement as one might expect. Rather, it was a commentary on stage magic. As it turns out, Christ was not only a magician but perhaps the world's first magician to break the sacred magicians' code by revealing his secrets. This ancient "Magic's Greatest Secrets Revealed" is giving a newfound insight into the New Testament and the miracles reported within it.

The text is topped with the bold headline, "Jesus: How I Did It," and is followed up with an annotated list of magic tricks, the text of which is reprinted below:

Turning Water Into Wine: "This one is big at parties, of course. It really goes over well at frat houses and wedding dances. It's a bit more than slight of hand, so it takes a bit of set up, but once you do the reveal, the crowd will get so wild that you'll be able to eat free for a week. All it really takes is some red dye and an assistant in the crowd. Oh, and be sure that everyone is already good and drunk."

Walking on Water: "I learned this one from Krishna. He used to do it on the Ganges. The trick: lamb's bladder's tied to your feet. It takes some practice to keep your balance, so rehearse it well before trying it in front of a crowd."

Curing lepers: "Yeah, I never really did that. Not sure where that came from actually. But, hey, never turn away good publicity!"

Multiplying Loaves: "Well, let's just say that the loose robes we all wore at the time were great for slight of hand. You could tie like, a hundred loaves of bread around your body."

Casting out Demons: "Well, you see, this is easy. It's all in their head. All you have to do is calm them down. A shoulder rub works very well."

Returning from the dead: "There's a few of us that used to do this one on the circuit. Krishna, Horus, Bacchus, Mithras. They all did it well, but I think I really got a lot of impact out of it by making my death really grisly. I rolled my eyes, splattered blood on the crowd. Oh, they got worked up. The problem is, this trick worked too well. Once I did it, people would not leave me alone. They started crowding around me everywhere I went. I hung around the area for a while, and then I just had to leave. It was just too much."

At the end of the scroll, Jesus said that you didn't have to perform the "big" tricks to make a decent living as a magician, but they were the ones that got the most press. "Most of the tricks I did were real simple. Slight of hand type stuff. Card tricks and such. But, people only remember the showy ones."

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