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Old Testament

Medicine, Miracle and Magic in New Testament Times (Society by Howard Clark Kee

By Howard Clark Kee

This e-book sketches and illustrates intimately the diversity of understandings of the human and treatments for ills that prevailed while Jesus and the apostles - in addition to their successors - have been spreading the Christian message and launching Christian groups within the Graeco-Roman international. therapeutic performed so favourite a component in Jesus' ministry as depicted within the New testomony that you will need to take into account that point of his allure within the context of the ways that it used to be understood through Greeks, Romans and Jews of the time. a few observed disorder because the results of magic played opposed to the sufferers via enemies, others because the paintings of demons. a few observed overall healthiness because the results of ordering existence in response to nature, emphasising the precious results of usual elements. Jewish attitudes, for instance, ranged generally over the centuries from hostility in the direction of physicians to treat for them as males endowed by means of God with specified wisdom for human profit.

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Extra resources for Medicine, Miracle and Magic in New Testament Times (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series)

Example text

For the most part, the ailments to be treated by these various means are internal to the body, concerned with organic malfunction. But intrusive factors are also considered frequently, such as the bites of serpents, scorpions and other venomous creatures. In some cases, however, the medication is not taken into the body or even applied to it directly, as in the case of an ointment, but is hung around the neck, or used as an amulet, or placed in a window, or the body is to be struck with it. One benefit of some of these medications, as we shall examine in some detail below, goes beyond what in modern times would be considered the realm of medicine to include the warding off of witches, demons and enchantments.

Healing in the Old Testament 26 What we see from this survey of the evidence is neither simple continuity of perspective on healing between the Old Testament and Judaism at the beginning of our era, nor across-the-board replacement of the older points of view. The connection between sin and sickness remains. The possibility of divine action, either directly or through an intermediary, to meet the human need is likewise shared by the earlier and the later writings. The differences are the following: (1) medicine comes to be viewed as a positive contribution to human welfare; (2) human suffering and disabilities are regarded as the work of Satan and/or his cohorts.

On the other hand, Dioscorides describes as beneficial certain items which are mentioned in the New Testament, but which would have been repulsive to Jews as well as to most early Christians. For example, the dust, debris, clippings and parings left behind from the Medicine in the Greek and Roman traditions 44 human bodies in gymnasia and baths, when applied as salve, aid stiff joints, abrasions and old ulcers. Clearly these are examples of sympathy/antipathy of the kind mentioned by Celsus. 97).

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