Are You Guys a Cult, or What?

Q: What's with the name "Wizard" Academy? Are you guys a cult, or what?

A: Sigh...

Wizard Academy is a business school. But we get asked that question a lot. We have no intention of changing the name.

Any student of language will tell you that "wizard" simply means "wise man."

A person who cowers is a coward. A person always drunk is a drunkard. A person who is dull is a dullard. A person who is wise is a wisard.

Since the "s" is pronounced as a "z," it came to be spelled with a "z."

The person who is able to give good advice at critical times is a wise-ard, or wizard. The insights they provide might seem like magic, but they're merely the result of careful investigation fueled by curiosity.

Arthur C. Clarke addresses this misunderstanding
in his famous Three Laws of Technology:

"1. When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right.
When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic."

At Wizard Academy, we push the boundaries of what is known.
From these efforts emerge insight, knowledge and new technologies.
It only seems like magic.

But doesn't the Bible condemn wizards?

(Really? You want to do this? You want to have THIS conversation?)

Sadly, the translators of the 1611 King James Bible chose to use the word "wizard" throughout the Old Testament to describe persons who speak to demons or to the dead. It was an unfortunate and inaccurate choice. (Necromancer is the word they should have used. "Necro" means dead, as in necrotic flesh. But I digress.)

Now before you get all holier-than-thou and say something silly like, "If the King James translation was good enough for the apostle Paul, it's good enough for me," remember: these same King James translators used the word "spirit" to describe a frightening apparition, (Matthew 14:26) and "ghost" to describe the presence of God. (Matthew 1:20 and throughout the New Testament.) Today these words have precisely the opposite meanings, do they not? Ghost is the frightening apparition and Spirit is the presence of God.

Remember John Milton of Paradise Lost? In 1629, barely 21 years old, Milton stayed up all night on Christmas Eve to write On the Morning of Christ's Nativity. It was the first thing he ever wrote. This is the fourth stanza:

"See how from far upon the eastern road
The star-led wisards haste with odours sweet:
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet
Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the angel quire,
From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire."

Obviously, Milton was speaking of the magi (magicians) or "wise men" spoken of in Matthew chapter two who somehow knew that star to be the sign that Christ had been born. These wise men, or "wisards" received no annunciation from an angelic choir. That was given to the shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, remember?

Yet not only did the wisards' studies tell them the Christ had been born, they also knew what gifts to bring: Gold, the gift given to a king, Frankincense, burned in the temple as an offering to God, and Myrrh, resin harvested from the skin of the commiphora tree, used to embalm the bodies of the dead. The wise men or "wizards" believed that this newborn baby was king, that he was God, and that he was born to die. And they came to worship him.

Here is the exact passage from the King James Bible:

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him…' And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh." – Matthew chapter 2, King James Bible, translated in 1611

Wizard simply means "wise man."
And they came to worship him.

And so it was, and so it is, and so it will ever be.

Roy H. Williams