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Ritual Use of Jesus’ Name in Healing and Exorcism

October 25, 2019

In 2018 I posted about an interesting conference to which I was invited that focused on exorcism and healing in early Judaism and early Christianity here.

I’m pleased now to see that the papers from that conference have appeared:  Healing and Exorcism in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity, ed. Mikael Telbe and Tommy Wassermnan.  (Tubingen:  Mohr-Siebeck, 2019.  In that previous posting I summarized points from my own paper on the ritual use of Jesus’ name in exorcism and healing, set in the context of the ancient Roman world.  There are some interesting similarities to other practices, but also some striking differences in the use of Jesus’ name in comparison to the use of other powerful names.

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  1. Joshua Kelley permalink

    Is there any cause for concerns over someone studying at Tübingen in modern times? I have two friends studying there. Thanks.

  2. Dear Professor Hurtado

    Please excuse a message that is not on this theme, but I wanted to contact you.

    I am pleased to see you posting more frequently again.

    Those of your readers who prefer to read Spanish, and who may have read your book “Lord Jesus Christ” in its Spanish version, “Señor Jesucristo: La devoción a Jesús en el cristianismo primitivo”, may be interested to know that the latest version of the introductory textbook on Koiné Greek, Jeremy Duff’s re-writing of Wenham’s “The Elements of New Testament Greek” (publisher’s page here: is now available in Spanish. The publisher’s page is here:

    I had the privilege of producing the Spanish version, which is a lot more than a translation, as language explanations have been completely re-written for learners whose mother tongue is Spanish. However, it was possible to retain the original, English-language pagination, so that Spanish speakers can sit side-by-side with students who are learning Koiné Greek with an English-speaking teacher, if necessary, yet follow the explanations in their own language – something that is likely to be useful in some colleges and seminaries in the USA.

    The publisher is also offering free of charge teaching materials that I have prepared, including programmes for each term, lesson plans, 60 PowerPoint presentations and other support materials for teachers and students.

    If you felt it appropriate to draw the attention of the readers of your blog to this publication, I would be most honoured.

    The publishers have sent me a few copies to distribute to interested people, and if you wished to receive a copy, I would be happy to send one to you.

    With very best wishes for you and your family at this time.

    In Christ

    Trevor R Allin

  3. I read the March 2018 post, as well. I wonder if you could comment on the precise use of name(s) in evidence in exorcisms/healings. Does the evidence show it was often Jesus’ given name that was used by itself for these purposes — or perhaps kurios, christos, or a combination?

    • The evidence of earliest texts is that “Jesus” was the word/name invoked, always, of course referring/invoking a specific Jesus (at God’s right hand).

  4. Greetings Professor Hurtado and thanks for the continuing posts. An slightly offbeat question: No matter whose name was invoked, do you believe that Jesus (or anyone) was exorcising actual demons?

    • This site isn’t about my beliefs, but about historical work on Christian origins.

  5. Tommy Wasserman permalink

    Thanks Larry, the volume has appeared on the publisher’s webpage in spirit but not in flesh just yet. We have sent in the whole manuscript with indices and according to plan the volume will be available in December.

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