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Divine healing in the Bible – Part 1

By Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide
19 June 2022   |   3:37 am
“SICK,” Gk asthenei, includes more than physical sickness. The verb’s basic meaning is to be weak. The Bible uses it for a variety of weaknesses, such as being weak in faith...

Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

Definition Of Sickness In The Bible

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:14)

“SICK,” Gk asthenei, includes more than physical sickness. The verb’s basic meaning is to be weak. The Bible uses it for a variety of weaknesses, such as being weak in faith (Rom 14:1-2), fearful (2 Cor 11:29), in financial need (Acts 20:35) or suffering various diseases (Luke 4:40). The corresponding noun astheneia is used of the moral helplessness of sinners (Rom 5:6), weakness that gives up too easily (Mat 26:41), as well as weakness that gives too much attention to externals and is constantly troubled in conscience.

Definition Of Health

In The Bible
Health is the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; used especially for physical health. Neither Hebrew nor Greek has a direct equivalent for our concept of health. Since a variety of terms is employed, English translations vary considerably in their use of the term “health.” The KJV has the most numerous references to health (17 times). Modern translations frequently replace health with other terms. The substitutions of the NRSV are typical. The most common substitution is healing for health (Prov 3:8; 4:22; 12:18; 13:17; Is 58:8).

Elsewhere the NRSV substituted “well” as a broader statement of well-being (Gen 43:28; 2 Sam 20:9) or help (Psalms 42:11; 43:5) and saving power (Ps. 67:2) as more specific instances of God’s assistance. The NRSV substituted “recovery” for health at Jer 33:6, though rendering the underlying Hebrew as health elsewhere (Jer 8:22; 30:17) as in KJV. At Acts 27:34 the NRSV has ‘help you survive” in place of “for your health.”

The health wish of 3 John 2 is typical of Hellenistic letters (cp. 2 Macc 1:10; 3 Macc 3:12; 7:1). The basic Greek concept of health is what is balanced. Thus the Greeks frequently used the adjective “healthy” (hugies) to mean rational or intelligible. The adjective is frequently translated “sound” in the NT (1 Tim 1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim 1:13; 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1,8).
Definition Of Some

Diseases In The Bible
Diseases Physical and/or mental malfunctions that limit human functions and lessen the quality of life. Successful treatment of disease depends primarily on prompt, correct diagnosis, and the use of effective therapeutic agents. Unfortunately, people living in biblical times had limited means to diagnose and treat illness. The best-educated people in biblical times had a meager understanding of human anatomy and physiology and even less knowledge about the nature of disease and its effect on the body. No one knew about bacteria and viruses. This fact hampered diagnosis. Illness was often attributed to sin or to a curse by an enemy.

• Email:mercyolumide2004@yahoo.co.uk. www.thebiblicalwomanhood.com Mobile: +234 803 344 6614; +234 808 123 7987

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