The astonishing stories of the battle between magicians and wizards that took place during the rise of the early church have fallen into the hands of historians. For the first time, the scientists were able to translate "apocryphal" Christian texts into English. These are the stories that are not included in the canonical Bible. The science is aware of the existence of over 300 such texts. It was stated by Tony Burke, who is a professor of early Christianity at the University of York in Toronto.
At one time, they were an integral part of the spiritual life of Christians, who were called upon to abandon the biblical texts, but these calls were not always effective. Christians debated exactly which texts might be true about Jesus. By the end of the 4th century, the church canonized some of these stories, having determined their accuracy, and included them in the Bible.
One of the narratives translated by modern scholars testifies to the battle of the magicians. It took place in Greece in the town of Philippi. Devil wizards, as the text says, tried to destroy the ancient church. It was erected in Philippi to honor the Virgin Mary. The text was compiled in Coptic using the Greek alphabet. It is about 1500 years old. According to Paul Dilly, who is a professor of religious studies at the University of Iowa who authored the translation, the story consists of two narratives, both from a monastery in Egypt.
At the time the text was drafted, most of the Mediterranean population was converted to Christianity, but the remaining people were polytheistic. Remnants of the faith were identified with polytheism, associating its adherents with demonic wizards who, secretly or openly, presented a danger to the Christian church.
The story tells of the Virgin Mary, who talks to Bishop Basil in his dream, and directs him to look for an image that was not created by human hands. She asks to find and place the image on top of two columns in a church that he will find outside the town of Philippi. Indeed, historical records say that two columns with demonic images were installed in the church. The translated text says that the Virgin Mary tells the bishop that they can only be removed by order of her beloved son Jesus.
The bishop and his assistants go to the temple and along the way they encounter magicians who have learned the devil's magic. Upon learning of the plans of the newcomers, they created a witchcraft illusion to prevent the plans from being realized. The bishop, with the help of a staff, made the saving signs of the cross on the columns, after them a strong crash was heard. The columns rolled down from their places. The mages tried to restore them to their places.
With the onset of night, the bishop's group stops for the night and in a dream the Virgin Mary comes to Basil again and warns that the magicians will be defeated, since they have committed an evil and inappropriate act not worthy of magic.
After Vasily woke up, water begins to rise around the columns and its flow begins to heal people. The magicians, and those who believed them, are swallowed up by the open Earth. And the image of the Virgin Mary appears on the columns. Copies of the translated texts were transferred to the Vatican Apostolic Library and the Leipzig University Library.