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Chrestos Magical Cup?

by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S

In 2008, an evidently pre-Christian cup or bowl was found at Alexandria, Egypt, with chrestou, the genitive form of the Greek word chrestos, inscribed on it. Naturally, there is a desire to push this artifact into the early first century and claim it has something to do with Christianity. However, this epithet "the Good" or chrestos was already known centuries before Christ's purported existence, and this bowl could predate the common era by decades.

Chrestos Bowl, discovered by Franck Goddio in 2008Some have suggested that this artifact is a forgery, but there appears to be no reason for such a conclusion, based solely on the inscription, since we know that the word chrestos was popular precisely at this time. Furthermore, the cup/bowl has a strange word on it, GOISTAIS or O GOHSTHS, an apparently magical term that seems Gnostic. It should be noted that Gnostic philosophy was seeded in remote antiquity, long before the common era, and many ideas found within the later, more formal Gnostic movement are comparable to those in the writings of the Egyptians, Greeks, Syrians, Jews and others.

It has also been suggested that Chrestos or chreston represents not necessarily an individual god or human but the principle of Goodness. Indeed, we find this "Goodness" discussed within Gnostic texts.

In consideration of the oracular and mysteries connection to the word chrestos, it would not surprise us if this artifact is a magical bowl, much like the later Aramaic magical bowls with their incantations, or the Christian incantation bowls in Syriac, both of which types date from the Sassanian period (226-636 AD/CE). In this instance, then, chrestos would be part of a spell, the same as was the case with the name "Jesus."

Further Reading

Is Suetonius's Chresto a Reference to Jesus? 
The Chi-Rho Symbol and Chrestos
Chrestes as Oracle and Chrematizo in the New Testament
Isis the Chrest and the Egyptian Houses of Goodness
Apollo, Son of God and the Chrest?
Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius: No Proof of Jesus
Christos or Chrestos?
Does Josephus prove a historical Jesus?
The Jesus Forgery: Josephus Untangled
Franck Goddio Society Chrestos Bowl Report
Earliest Reference Describes Christ as 'Magician'
Catalogue of Chrest
The First 'New Testament': Marcion of Pontus and the Gospel of the Lord



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