I was discussing this subject with a friend, Chris, the other day, and he informed me that the word ‘wizard’ has nothing to do with magic, at least in its original origins. He has a pretty interesting article on it HERE.
A wizard is etymologically a ‘wise’ man – indeed originally the word was used for ‘philosopher’ or ‘sage’, without any suggestion of magical practices. It was derived from wise. The distinction between philosophy and magic was sufficiently blurred in the Middle Ages for the sense ‘magician’ to emerge in the 16th century, and that is the one which has prevailed.
Interesting, no? Tolkien knew this; that’s why his ‘wizards’ such as Gandalf were in fact ‘Istari,’ derrived from the word ‘Istar.’ One would actually think he knew what he was talking about!
Let’s see what the Bible says about them.
31Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Familiar Spirits would be demonic spirits, of course, but the interesting thing is that the word ‘wizard’ is a relatively modern one. The original Greek/Hebrew texts of the Bible wouldn’t have used the word ‘wizard’ as it still meant ‘wise one’ when the Bible was written.
And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
Again, ‘demon spirits’ is used in context with the word ‘wizard’ which would definitely indicate that the original word used would have been ‘Necromancer,’ which is a person who communicates with demonic spirits.
Sorcery, witchcraft, ‘channeling,’ etc. still are not acceptable according to the Bible.
So really, it depends on what the wizard is doing; what kind of wizard he is. Is he Gandalf? Or is he Harry Potter? Is he Fenworth, or is he Merlin? How is the character written, and is it acceptable within the confines of Biblical principles?