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Drug Abuse in Scripture and Other extra-Biblical Writings

 

A GREEK - HEBREW LEXICON OF DRUG ABUSE AND OTHER RELATED IN SCRIPTURE

(a)

A GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

John Dawson A.B. 1831  Revised  W.C. Taylor LL.D 1861

Pharm red opPharmakeia

A Greek- English Lexicon of the New Testament John Dawson 1831 Revised W.C. Taylor 1861 Public domain

Reproduced from:

Dawson - Taylor Editions 1831 -1861

W.C. Taylor of Trinity College, Dublin died before publication of the New Revised Edition of 1861

φαρμακεία pharmakeia direct lexicon link

 Public Domain

(b)

THE CAMBRIDGE GREEK TESTAMENT 1914

A. Lukyn Williams D.D.

φαρμακεία pharmakeia

Galatians 5:19-20

The Use of Drugs as Media in Magic - not Medicine

Galatians 5.20  Cambridge Greek Testament  Public domain

Reproduced from the Cambridge Greek Testament 1914 ‘Notes to Galatians’ (5:20)  p.124 by  A. Lukyn Williams D.D. (1853-1943) courtesy Cambridge University Press 2008. This work entered the Public domain in 2014.

 Now available Free from e-Sword

(c)

MANUAL GREEK LEXICON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (P.466)

George Abbott-Smith D.D. D.C.L. LL.D

First published UK 1922 - Third Edition 1937

φαρμακεία pharmakeia

Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament., p.466. Abbott-Smith. Third Ed. 1937 Courtesy T&T Clark,

  Reproduced by Kind Permission T&T Clark Ltd.  Edinburgh, Scotland, 1993 for non-commercial use.

Catalogued Internet  Archive USA

from the Scribner Publication, New York, 1922

(d)

φάρμακον phármakon - φαρμακεία pharmakeia - φαρμακός pharmakós

Reproduced from:

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Apostolic Church vol 2  p.519 Article ‘Sorcery’

Hastings' Dictionary of the Apostolic Church vol ii p.519 Article 'Sorcery' Public domain

 James Hastings M.A. D.D. 1852-1922

Public Domain

  (ii)

A HEBREW AND ENGLISH LEXICON OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

The Oxford Hebrew Lexicon (OHL)

Eds.  Francis Brown, S.R. Driver and Charles A. Briggs

First Edition 1907

Kesh op kashãph.

‘A Sorcerer’

Through the Semitic root (RS) the magical ‘cutter’ or ‘off-cutter’. One who prepares potions, charms or philters from the magical plant cuttings.

In the Greek Old Testament (LXX) compiled from the original Hebrew from about c. 250 BC this word translates almost uniformly as the φαρμακευς pharmakeùs, the ‘drug magician’, ‘an enchanter with drugs’ as later reciprocated in the New Testament and other Early Christian Writings.

See Concordance

Oxford Hebrew Lexicon (B.D.B) p.506 courtesy Oxford Universit Press -  Copy forbidden - All rights reserved

160w approx. from p.506  A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament Eds. Francis Brown, S.R. Driver and Charles A. Briggs (Second Printing 1975) by kind permission Oxford University Press.

All Rights Reserved  www.oup.com Copy prohibited

(iii)

 THE HEBREW ראש Rô’sh = THE OPIUM POPPY

‘[...L]est there be among you a root bearing [a] poisonous (ראש Rôsh) and bitter fruit’ Deuteronomy 29:18 RSV

In later Hebrew ‘any bitter poison in general’

Cf. Deuteronomy 29:18 (17) KJV (3) / RV (1) marginal reference ‘poisonful herb’

+ Deuteronomy 32:32-33 KJV - Heb - LXX etc.

 ראש Rô’sh

Gesenius Hebrew Lex 'Rosh'  Public domain

Reproduced from:

A Hebrew and English Lexicon p.965

William Gesenius trans. Edward Robinson

Crocker & Brewster, Boston 1844

Public Domain

 

Drug Abuse in Scripture  All rights reserved (d)

The Jewish Encyclopedia Article ‘Witchcraft

 

For the full list of Plants in the Bible (including ‘Gall’=Opium)

visit

Wikipedia

 

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NOTES TO LEXICON

φαρμακεία pharmakeia

In the technical sense, as noted by the Dawson - Taylor Greek-English Lexicon (above) and particularly Hastings’ Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, vol. ii p.519 (article ‘sorcery’ above) this ancient word means: the use of drugs 'with magic' to produce an effect either good or evil. Hypnotic drugs for example are prescribed in modern medicine. The powerful hallucinogenic LSD-25 was at one time  prescribed as an analytical agent in the psychiatric clinic.  The drug was however later banned due to widespread non-clinical abuses.

The opium derived painkiller diamorphine (Heroin) is also widely prescribed in modern medicine though again the drug is much open to non-clinical abuses.

It is clear that Scripture itself is never anti-medicinal and great works have been compiled which elucidate Biblical and Talmudic medicine.In example the Magi or wise men from the east brought, along with gold and frankincense, a gift of myrrh at the Epiphany of Jesus. (Saint Matthew 2:1-12). Myrrh, the dried resin of Balsamodendron myrrha was greatly valued in the ancient east for its healing and embalming properties and as such, emblematic of the Life and Death of Christ, was clearly acceptable in the sight of God. In the original Greek of the Scriptures the word for ‘Saviour’ Σωτήρ Sõtér is in fact a form of the Greek root σώζω sõzõ meaning ‘to heal’.

Similarly, Saint Luke, the missionary companion of Saint Paul is clearly termed  ‘the beloved physician’, the Ιατρός Iatrós, again from the Greek root Ιάομαí Iáomai meaning ‘to heal’ (cf. Colossians 4:14). This, in the same sense that we would distinguish the illicit trafficker or drug-peddler from a clinician, pharmacist or prescription chemist of our own time, draws a clear distinction  between the Ιατρός Iatrós or healing physician and the φαρμακευς pharmakeús or illicit ‘drug magician’ of Scripture and the ancient world.

As such, in the Greek New Testament and the O.T. Septuagint the term φαρμακεία pharmakeia or magic with drugs, again where clearly distinguished from the Greek Ιάομαí Iáomai and the Latin medicina or healing medicine of the physicians art is always, almost exclusively, used of sorcery and the cognate substance abuses. In particular of the apocalyptic Babylon. Only in the LXX Apocrypha at Ecclesiasticus  38:1-4, where the physicians art is praised, and the highly metaphorical Ecclesiasticus 6:16 is the cognate φάρμακα phármaka used of a literal or metaphoric medicine. Compare also for example the Early Church Epistle of St. Ignatius to the Ephesians  1:20 and St. Ignatius to the Trallians v. 6.  (c. 97-108 AD) for the use of the word φαρμακόν phármakon ‘a drug’ also in the highly metaphorical senses.

 

Source Index

 (i) Julius Preuss Biblical and Talmudic Medicine, Trans.  Dr. Fred Rosner,  Aronson Inc. 1978 (first German edition 1911) ISBN: 1-56821-134-1, also  (ii) Hastings’ Dictionary of the Apostolic Church  article ‘Sorcery’.  (iii) The New Bible Dictionary article ‘Myrrh’.

 

For further extra-Biblical and other historical material related to the above notes and lexic.

 

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[Drugs in Scripture] [Babylon the Great] [Jezebel] [Ishtar of Nineveh] [Golgotha] [The Fallen Angels] [The Early Church] [Luke the Physician] [The Biblical Tare] [The Medieval Concept] [Lexicon] [Concordance] [Bible Search] [Legal] [Disclaimer] [eBook Contents] [Download]

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Further Free Lexicons from the

Internet Archive

GREEK

Samuel Bagster & Sons

The Analytical Greek Lexicon

First published 1870

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Charles Robson

A Greek Lexicon to the New Testament

First published 1839

***

Edward Robinson

A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament

First published 1836

***

Liddell & Scott

A Greek-English Lexicon

First published 1901

HEBREW

Benjamin Davidson

First published 1850   d. 1871

The Analytical Hebrew & Chaldee Lexicon

 Samuel Bagster 1870

***

Davies - Chushing

A Compedious and Complete Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon of the Old Testament

First published 1879

***

See page

Bible Search

for download requirements

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