Exorcism
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Topical Bible Verses
Acts 19:13-16
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took on them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.
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Matthew 12:22
Then was brought to him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, so that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw.
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Mark 9:38
And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in your name, and he follows not us: and we forbade him, because he follows not us.
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Luke 10:17
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us through your name.
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Luke 11:20
But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come on you.
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Luke 10:19
Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
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Acts 19:15
And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?
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James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
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1 Corinthians 10:20
But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The act of exorcising; the driving out of evil spirits from persons or places by conjuration; also, the form of conjuration used.

2. (n.) Conjuration for raising spirits.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
EXORCISM; EXORCIST

ek'-sor-siz'-m, ek'-sor-sist (Exorkistes, from exorkizo, "to adjure" (Matthew 26:63)):

1. Definition:

One who expels demons by the use of magical formulas. In the strict etymological sense there is no exorcism in the Bible. The term "exorcists" is used once (Acts 19:13) in a way to discredit the professional exorcists familiarly known both among Jews and Gentiles.

2. Method of Expelling Demons in the New Testament:

The method of Jesus in dealing with demoniacs was not that of the exorcists. While it is said (Matthew 8:16) that He "cast out the spirits with a word," it is abundantly clear that the word in question was not ritualistic but authoritative. In Luke 4:35 we have a typical sentence uttered by our Lord in the performance of His cures: "Hold thy peace, and come out of him." In Mark 9:29 we have Christ's own emphasis upon the ethical element in dealing with these mysterious maladies: "This kind can come out by nothing, save by prayer." In Matthew 12:28 Jesus gives His own explanation of the method and power used in His cures: "But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you."

In Luke 9:1 the terms "authority" and "power" are used in such a way as to show the belief of the evangelists that to cure demon-possession an actual power from God, together with the right to use it, was necessary. This group of passages gives the New Testament philosophy of this dread mystery and its cure. The demons are personal evil powers afflicting human life in their opposition to God. It is beyond man unaided to obtain deliverance from them. It is the function of Christ as the redeemer of mankind to deliver men from this as well as other ills due to sin. Miraculous cures of the same kind as those performed by Christ Himself were accomplished by His disciples in His name (Mark 16:17). The power attributed to "His name" supplies us with the opportunity for a most enlightening comparison and contrast.

3. Exorcism in Ethnic and Jewish Writings:

Exorcism among ancient and primitive peoples rests largely upon faith in the power of magical formulas, ordinarily compounded of the names of deities and pronounced in connection with exorcistic rites, upon the bodies of the afflicted. The words themselves are supposed to have power over the demons, and the mere recital of the correct list of names is supposed to be efficacious.

Attention should be called again to the incantation texts of the Babylonians and Assyrians (see, for translations and full exposition of texts, Rogers, Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, 146). In this direction the absurdities and cruelties of superstition have carried men to extreme lengths. In the case of Josephus we are amazed to see how even in the case of an educated man the most abject superstition controls his views of such subjects. In Ant, VIII, v, in speaking of the wisdom of Solomon, he says that "God enabled him to learn that skill which expels demons, which is a science useful and sanitative to him." He also describes, in the same connection, a cure which he alleges to have seen, "in the presence of Vespasian and his sons," performed in accordance with methods of incantation ascribed to Solomon. A ring to which was attached a kind of root mentioned by Solomon was placed at the nostrils of the demoniac and the demon was drawn out through the nostrils. The proof that exorcism had actually taken place was given in the overturning of a basin placed nearby.

The absurdities of this narrative are more than equaled by the story of exorcism told in the Book of Tobit (see Lunge, Apocrypha, 151-53) where the liver and heart of a fish, miraculously caught, are burned upon the ashes of incense, and the resulting smoke drives away a demon. This whole story is well worthy of careful reading for the light it throws upon the unrestrained working of the imagination upon such matters.

In the rabbinical writers the very limit of diseased morbidness is reached in the long and repulsive details, which they give of methods used in exorcism (see Whitehouse, HDB, article "Demon," I, 592b; compare 593b; Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, II, 775-76).

4. Contrasts of New Testament and Popular Methods with Demons:

In most striking contrast with this stand the Biblical narratives. The very point of connection which we have noted is also the point of contrast. The mighty and efficacious word with which Jesus rebuked and controlled demons was no exorcistic formula spoken by rote, but His own living word of holy power. "In the name of Jesus" did not mean that the sacred name formally uttered possessed magical power to effectuate a cure. The ancient Semitic formula, "in the name of," given a deep ethical meaning in the Old Testament, had a still deeper meaning in the New Testament. The proper and helpful use of it meant a reliance upon the presence and living power of Christ from whom alone power to do any mighty work comes (John 15:5).

This fundamental difference between the ideas and methods of Jesus and His disciples and current conceptions and usages becomes the more striking when we remember that the lower range of ideas and practices actually prevailed among the people with whom the Lord and His followers were associated. The famous passage (Matthew 12:24 and parallel) in which the Pharisees attribute to demoniacal influence the cures wrought by Jesus upon the demonized, usually studied with reference to our Lord's word about the unforgivable sin, is also remarkable for the idea concerning demons which it expresses. The idea which evidently underlies the accusation against Jesus was that the natural way to obtain control over demons is by obtaining, through magic, power over the ruler of demons. In reply to this Jesus maintains that since the demons are evil they can be controlled only by opposition to them in the power of God.

It is most suggestive that we have in Acts 19:13 a clear exposition, in connection with exorcism, of just the point here insisted upon. According to this narrative a group of wandering professional Jewish exorcists, witnessing the cures accomplished by Paul, attempted to do the same by the ritualistic use of the name of Jesus. They failed ignominiously because, according to the narrative, they lacked faith in the living Christ by whose power such miracles of healing were wrought, although they were letter-perfect in the use of the formula. This narrative shows clearly what the New Testament understanding of the expression "in my name" implied in the way of faith and obedience.

Here as elsewhere, the chastened mental restraint under which the New Testament was composed, the high spiritual and ethical results of the intimacy of the disciples with Jesus, are clearly manifest.

Our Lord and His disciples dealt with the demoniacs as they dealt with all other sufferers from the malign, enslaving and wasting power of sin, with the tenderness of an illimitable sympathy, and the firmness and effectiveness of those to whom were granted in abundant measure the presence and power of God.

Louis Matthews Sweet

Library

Whether what is done in the Exorcism Effects Anything, or is a ...
... OF THE PREPARATIONS THAT ACCOMPANY BAPTISM (FOUR ARTICLES) Whether what is
done in the exorcism effects anything, or is a mere sign? ...
//christianbookshelf.org/aquinas/summa theologica/whether what is done in.htm

Whether Exorcism Should Precede Baptism?
... OF THE PREPARATIONS THAT ACCOMPANY BAPTISM (FOUR ARTICLES) Whether exorcism should
precede Baptism? ... Therefore exorcism should not precede Baptism. ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether exorcism should precede baptism.htm

The Form, or Rite, of Baptism. Exorcism.
... Exorcism. What shall I say of the actual form of this sacrament? ... What does my exorcism
work in that babe, if he be not held in the devil's family? ...
/.../augustine/anti-pelagian writings/chapter 63 xxxiv the form or.htm

The Rise and Origin of Evil. The Exorcism and Exsufflation of ...
... Book II. Chapter 50."The Rise and Origin of Evil. The Exorcism and
Exsufflation of Infants, a Primitive Christian Rite. As to ...
/.../augustine/anti-pelagian writings/chapter 50 the rise and origin.htm

Even Infants, when Unbaptized, are in the Power of the Devil ...
... Book I. Chapter 22 [XX.]"Even Infants, When Unbaptized, are in the Power of the
Devil; Exorcism in the Case of Infants, and Renunciation of the Devil. ...
/.../augustine/anti-pelagian writings/chapter 22 xx even infants when.htm

Special Preparation for Baptism.
... Sec. 3. Exorcism. One of the earliest ceremonies, after the registration
of names, was Exorcism, which seems to have been often ...
/.../chapter iii special preparation for baptism.htm

Whether it Belongs to a Priest to Catechize and Exorcize the ...
... v). But catechumens who are instructed by catechism, and "energumens" who are cleansed
by exorcism, are counted among the unclean, as Dionysius says in the ...
//christianbookshelf.org/aquinas/summa theologica/whether it belongs to a 2.htm

Of This, Then, Ye have Now Received, have Meditated...
... [1766] This is the reason why, as ye have seen to-day, as ye know, even little children
undergo exsufflation, exorcism; to drive away from them the power of ...
//christianbookshelf.org/augustine/on the creeds/section 2 of this then.htm

Why May not those who Go into the Temptations of the Show Become ...
... [372]. Footnotes: [369] [The exorcism. For the exorcism in Baptism, see Bunsen,
Hippol. iii. 19.]. [370] See Neander's explanation in Kaye, p. xxiii. ...
/.../tertullian/the shows or de spectaculis/chapter xxvi why may not.htm

Appendix xvi. On the Jewish views About Demons' and the Demonised ...
... According to Josephus Solomon had exercised this power by incantations, his formulae
and words of exorcism being still known in Josephus's days. ...
/.../the life and times of jesus the messiah/appendix xvi on the jewish.htm

Thesaurus
Exorcism
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. EXORCISM; EXORCIST. ek ... formulas. In the
strict etymological sense there is no exorcism in the Bible. ...
/e/exorcism.htm - 14k

Exorcist (1 Occurrence)
... Many of these professional exorcists were disreputable Jews, like Simon in Samaria
and Elymas in Cyprus (8:9; 13:6)." Other references to exorcism as practised ...
/e/exorcist.htm - 15k

Demonology
... of their numbers, haunts and habits, of times and places where they are especially
dangerous, and of ways and methods of breaking their power (see EXORCISM). ...
/d/demonology.htm - 24k

Demoniac (7 Occurrences)
... of their numbers, haunts and habits, of times and places where they are especially
dangerous, and of ways and methods of breaking their power (see EXORCISM). ...
/d/demoniac.htm - 26k

Demon (26 Occurrences)
... of their numbers, haunts and habits, of times and places where they are especially
dangerous, and of ways and methods of breaking their power (see EXORCISM). ...
/d/demon.htm - 32k

Zoroastrianism
... 4, III, 592-95), in many Talmudic passages (ZDMG, XXI, 552-91), certain customs
of the Essenes, various anti-demoniac charms (see EXORCISM; SORCERY), and ...
/z/zoroastrianism.htm - 17k

With (66342 Occurrences)
... daimonizomenoi) together with all that is told us of the methods of treating these
eases adopted by our Lord and His apostles (see EXORCISM) indicates the ...
/w/with.htm - 20k

Enchantment (4 Occurrences)
... That this method of imposture, eg. the use of the magic knot for exorcism and other
purposes, was common, is indicated by the monuments of the East. ...
/e/enchantment.htm - 16k

Exorbitant (1 Occurrence)

/e/exorbitant.htm - 7k

Devils (48 Occurrences)
... daimonizomenoi) together with all that is told us of the methods of treating these
eases adopted by our Lord and His apostles (see EXORCISM) indicates the ...
/d/devils.htm - 31k



Exorbitant
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