A ritual gesture in the OT; it is the means by which a man could enable a sacrificed animal to be his representative (Lev. 1: 3–4); and the means by which God's authority is transmitted, as by Moses to Joshua (Num. 27: 18). In the NT Jesus laid his hands on the sick to heal them (Mark 6: 5). In the Church it was a ritual act within the rites of initiation (Acts 8: 14–17) conferring the gift of the Holy Spirit, or marking a new stage in the progress of the Gospel (Acts 13: 3;19: 6).