The “evil eye” was a widespread superstition in the ancient world, one that continues on into the present day. The belief that one could cause someone harm merely by looking at them, or cast a spell over them by the same means, shows up in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamian, Greece, Rome, and Rabbinic writings. But does the Bible contain any reference to the notion? This episode explores biblical references to having an “evil eye” and discusses the meaning of those references in biblical thought.

Select References:

Marie-Louise Thomsen, “The Evil Eye in Mesopotamia,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51:1 (1992): 19-32

Edwin M. Yamauchi, “Magic in the Biblical World,” Tyndale Bulletin 34 (1983): 169-200 (Sec IV.C)

Nicole Tilford, “The Affective Eye: Re-Examining a Biblical Idiom,” Biblical Interpretation 23 (2015) 207-221

D. A. Fiensy, “The Importance of New Testament Background Studies in Biblical Research: The ‘Evil Eye’ in Luke 11: 34 as a Case Study,” Stone-Campbell Journal. 2:1 (1992): 75-88

Eastman, “The Evil Eye and the Curse of the Law: Galatians 3:1 Revisited,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 83 (2001): 69-87

NB 162 Transcript

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