“The accusations against Jesus of practicing the magic of Egypt were numerous, and at one time universal, in the towns where he was known. The Pharisees, as claimed in the Bible, had been the first to fling it in his face, although Rabbi Wise considers Jesus himself a Pharisee. The Talmud certainly points to James the Just, as one of that sect. But these partisans are known to have always stoned every prophet who denounced their evil ways, and it is not on this fact that we base our assertion.
These accused him of sorcery, and of driving out devils by Beelzebub, their prince, with as much justice as later the Catholic clergy had to accuse of the same more than one innocent martyr. But Justin Martyr states on better authority that the men of his time who were not Jews asserted that the miracles of Jesus were performed by magical art – the very expression used by the skeptics of those days to designate the feats of thaumaturgy accomplished in the Pagan temples. “They even ventured to call him a magician and a deceiver of the people”, complains the martyr.
In the Gospel of Nicodemus, (the Acta Pilate), the Jews bring the same accusation before Pilate. “Did we not tell thee he was a magician?” Celsus speaks of the same charge, and as a Neo-Platonist believes in it. The Talmudic literature is full of the most minute particulars, and their greatest accusation is that “Jesus could fly as easily in the air as others could walk.”
St. Austin asserted that it was generally believed that he had been initiated in Egypt, and that he wrote books concerning magic, which he delivered to John. There was a work called Magia Jesu Christi, which was attributed to Jesus himself. In the Clementine Recognitions the charge is brought against Jesus that he did not perform his miracles as a Jewish prophet, but as a magician, i.e., an initiate of the “heathen” temples. It was usual then, as it is now, among the intolerant clergy of opposing religions, as well as among the lower classes of society, and even among those patricians who, for various reasons had been excluded from any participation of the Mysteries, to accuse, sometimes, the highest hierophants and adepts of sorcery and black magic.
So, Apuleius who had been initiated, was likewise accused of witchcraft, and of carrying about him the figure of a skeleton – a potent agent, as it is asserted, in the operations of the black art. But one of the best and most unquestionable proofs of our assertion may be found in the so-called Museo Gregoriano. On the sarcophagus, which is paneled with bas-reliefs representing the miracles of Christ, may be seen the full figure of Jesus, who, in the resurrection of Lazarus, appears beardless “and equipped with a wand in the received guise of a necromancer (?), whilst the corpse of Lazarus is swathed in bandages exactly as an Egyptian mummy.””
H. P. Blavatsky