The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
What Are Demons?
To “have a demon” was the same as to “have an unclean spirit”, which is a Bible way of saying that something was wrong or “unclean” about a person’s way of thinking or mental capability. In short, a person with a demon was a person with a mental illness.
The Prayer of Faith
Comment is made on pp. 478, 480 and 481 on the two Greek words for “sick,” and the interpretation of the passage given in the article depends heavily on the distinction drawn between the two words. It is claimed that “sick” in James 5:15 “relates particularly to the mental state of the sick person” (p. 480), and a meaning is given to the passage which is not its obvious meaning on face value. Not of course that we should refrain from looking beneath the surface of words to ascertain the meaning accurately, but if this distinction is to be sustained against the more obvious meaning of the passage it must be clear and unequivocal in the original language.
Note on Diabolical Possession
In the New Testament, disease, except when it is a special visitation from God (Hebrews 12:6), is regarded as the work of super-natural forces (Matthew 9:32, 12:22; Luke 11:14, 13:16; Acts 10:38, etc.). In particular, nervous diseases and insanity are represented as due to diabolical possession. This was the universal belief of the time, and our Lord, in using language which implies it, need not be regarded as teaching dogmatically that there is such a thing as possession, devils or demons. There were strong reasons why He should seek to ‘accommodate’ his language to the popular theory. (1) The insane persons whom He wished to heal, were firmly convinced that they were possessed by devils. This was the form assumed by the insane delusion, and to argue against it was useless. The only wise course was to assume that the unclean spirit was there, and to command it to come forth. (2) It was our Lord’s method not rashly or unnecessarily to interfere with the settled beliefs of his time, or to anticipate the discoveries of modern science. The belief in demonic possession, though probably erroneous, was so near the truth, that for most purposes of practical religion it might be regarded as true. He, therefore, did not think fit to disturb it. He tolerated the belief and left it to the advance of knowledge in future ages to correct the extravagances connected with it.
The Language of Accommodation
John Walton said it particularly well in a lecture: “Nowhere in the Bible does God ever ‘upgrade’ the Israelites’ understanding of the world.” Meaning: He doesn’t tell them the world is a sphere; He doesn’t tell them that the sun is bigger than the earth or that most stars are bigger than the sun. He doesn’t expound the germ theory of disease. He doesn’t explain the causes of mental illness. He doesn’t give them any new technology—including steam engines, but also including, say, soap; etc., etc. He takes them as He finds them, and expounds to them theological ideas only.
The Prayer of Faith: They Were Not All Healed Even Then
Having lately been somewhat exercised in mind over James 5:14–15, would you please answer the question as to how we should understand the same as a command or exhortation. And in what way does the brotherhood regard it?”
The Samaritan Woman and the Nobleman of Cana (John 4)
In John chapter 4, Jesus talks with the Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar and then later with the nobleman of Cana, who sought Jesus to heal his son. The entire segment can be viewed below.
Jesus Heals a Woman of Faith
Jesus heals a woman’s illness when she, in faith, touches His clothing. Based upon the Gospel of Mark, chapter 5, verses 22-43.
Placebo: “Scoliosis of the Spine is 100% Demonic"
With new research demonstrating the startling power of the placebo effect, this episode of Radiolab examines the chemical consequences of belief and imagination.
Healing, Gifts of
(χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων, charísmata iamátōn): Among the “spiritual gifts” enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 12:28 are included “gifts of healings.” See SPIRITUAL GIFTS. The subject has risen into much prominence of recent years, and so calls for separate treatment. The points to be considered are: (1) The New Testament facts, (2) The nature of the gifts, (3) Their permanence in the church.
hēl ́ing (מרפא, marpē), תּעלה, te‛ālāh, כּהה, kehah): In the Old Testament this word is always used in its figurative sense; marpē', which literally means “a cure,” is used in Jeremiah 14:19 twice, and in Malachi 4:2; te‛ālāh, which literally means “an irrigation canal,” here means something applied externally, as a plaster, in which sense it is used metaphorically in Jeremiah 30:13; kēhāh occurs only in Nahum 3:19 the King James Version and is translated “assuagings” in the Revised Version.
Healing Touching, i.e., stroking the patient’s face with both hands, to remove the scrofula, significantly called the king’s evil, was practiced by the kings of France as early as Clovis or Philip I, kings of Hungary, and English sovereigns, from Edward the Confessor to queen Anne, who touched Dr. Johnson. Bradwardine says that crowds resorted to the kings of England, France, and Germany. Solemn prayer and the sign of the cross, first laid aside by James I, were used. Henry II and Edward I practiced the touch. The ceremonial took place on a progress, on Good Friday, monthly, quarterly, or at Michaelmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, and in 1683 from All-Saints till a week before Christmas, and from Christmas till March 1. The first form of service was drawn up in the reign of Henry VII. The gospel (Mark 16:14) was read while the king laid on his hands, and during another (John 1:1), at the words “the light,” an angel, noble, or medal with St. Michael stamped on it was attached by a white ribbon round the neck of the patient, who had to produce a certificate of his malady, Signed by the parish priest and churchwardens, and was examined by the king’s surgeon-in-waiting. The faculty of healing was popularly attributed also to the ninth son of a ninth son, or the seventh son of the seventh son.
Healing of the Nobleman’s Son
The Healing of the Officer’s Son
Jesus and the Centurion
Jesus Heals a Mute Possessed Man
Naaman in the Jordan River
Paul Heals a Crippled Man in Lystra