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This study investigates the procedural techniques, significance, and the tangible effects of the laying on of hands in the New Testament. The author investigates the background of the New Testament practice by conducting investigation in the Old Testament and contemporary Judaism and the Graeco-Roman and Near-Eastern literature. The main chapters are exegetical, each discussing a particular use of the laying on of hands in the New Testament: for blessing, healing, reception of the Spirit and ordination. A special attention is given to the inner process of transfer of power through physical contact. It is the author's conclusion that in the New Testament the gesture always signifies transfer of some positive materia: blessing, 'life-force', the Spirit and charismata. In the final section, an attempt is made to gauge the possibility of any uniformity in the significance of the various New Testament uses of the laying on of hands.
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