Monday, May 18, 2015

Satan Myth: What about LEGION, the man who was possessed by many devils, Tomsan? - Part #1


You may read about LEGION or the man who was supposed to be possessed by many devils in Mat 8:28-34, Mar 5:1-19 and Luk 8:26-36.

⓪ Difference in Details.

An unprejudiced reading of the three passages mentioned above reveals quite a few differences in details.
  1. While Mark and Luke mentions a man possessed by devil, Matthew mentions two men.
    Mat 8:28 ... there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs,...
    Mar 5:2 ... there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, (See Luk 8:27)
  2. Please note that "possessed with devils", "had devils" and "with an unclean spirit" are used interchangeably.
  3. Mark starts out with "unclean spirit" (singular) and switches to "unclean spirits" (plural) later on: Mar 5:13 ...And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: ...
  4. Only Mark details the uncontrollable nature of the man - Mar 5:3-5
  5. Only Matthew mentions about the demon possessed man saying that Jesus came "before the time" (cf Mat 8:29 with Mar 5:6, 7 and Luk 8:28)
  6. Matthew does not mention Jesus seeking the name of the man/men possessed by devil. So, the name Legion does not appear in the gospel of Matthew. (See Mar 5:9 and Luk 8:30)
  7. In Matthew's gospel, the demon possessed man does not seek Jesus not to sent out of the country. (See Mar 5:10, Luk 8:31)
  8. Matthew does not tell us the villagers who came to the scene were afraid on seeing the man (men) who was healed. (See Mar 5:15, 16; Luk 8:34, 35)
  9. Matthew does not tell us about the healed man requesting Jesus to take him along with Him or Jesus telling him to go back to his people and testify for what God has done for him. (See Mar 5:18, 19; Luk 8:38, 39).
  10. Both Mark and Luke tell us that the man was in his right mind after he was healed. (Mar 5:15; Luk 8:35)
  11. Please note that the Greek language used in the New Testament doesn't have separate words for he, his, him, she, her, they, them, their and it. αὐτός (pronounced as autos, G846 in Strong's Lexicon) is translated as aforementioned words. So, English expressions like "he said to him", "he said to them" and "they said to him" have almost same Greek text. This can be very confusing for both the translators as well as us.
  12. Though the King James Version (KJV) renders several Greek words as devil, διάβολος (pronounced as diabolos, G1228 in Strong's Lexicon is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word translated as Satan)
  13. The Greek words rendered as "devil" in the three passages that we discuss here are: δαιμόνιον (pronounced as daimonion, G1140 in Strong's) and δαιμονίζομαι (pronounced as daimonizomai, G1139 in Strong's). The appropriate English translation of these words is demoniac or demoniacs (demon possessed - these words are not related to diabolos). Reading the same passages in English Standard Version (ESV) or Young's Literal Translation will make it clear to you that the appropriate translation is demoniac or demon-possessed.

① The Symptoms.

Let me tell you upfront that the man in question was a Schizophrenic, rather than someone possessed by devils. Before presenting the scriptures, let me present you the definition of Schizophrenia:
Schizophrenia (/ˌskɪtsɵˈfrɛniə/ or /ˌskɪtsɵˈfriːniə/) is a mental disorder often characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real. Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, auditory hallucinations, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and lack of motivation. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the person's reported experiences.

Now, here is what the scriptures tell us:
Luk 8:27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
Luk 8:29 ... For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.
This man, let us call him Mr. Legion, not wearing clothes, and dwelling in tombs and wilderness - instead of houses, shows his abnormal social behavior - some of the symptoms of Schizophrenia. Though schizophrenics are not generally violent, the insensitive behavior of people around them may force them to become violent.

② The swines question.

While we say that Mr. Legion was in fact a schizophrenic, people retort: if it be so, what did go into the swine? They consider the swine to be a necessary prop for Jesus to heal Mr. Legion. Let us examine the scriptures to see whether there were anyone else with the same ailment as Mr. Legion.

Compare this description about Mr. Legion:
Luk 8:27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils[G1140] long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
with this one about Mary Magdalene:
Luk 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils[G1140],
There were situations where large crowds gathered around Jesus, with demon possessed people along with other sick people.
Mar 1:32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils[G1139].
Mar 1:34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils[G1140]; and suffered not the devils[G1140] to speak, because they knew him.
  • If swines were a necessary prop in healing the demon possessed, do you really think all these people brought as many swines as the number of devils they are possessed by, while coming to be healed by Jesus?
  • How are they supposed to know how many devils have possessed them?
  • If someone like Mary Magdalene were among the crowd, could she have brought 7 pigs so that the 7 devils that possessed her can be sent to them?
  • How about hundreds of demon possessed people bringing many hundreds of swines? Won't the atmosphere be filled with grunts (oinks) of swines?
  • Do Jews rear pigs?
  • If the devils or unclean spirits that leaves a person has to enter into another, we can't visualize what they will enter into in a large, unruly crowd. What if they enter another human being?

The point is: swines or pigs were not necessary in healing demon possession.

You may ask: Why did Jesus sent the so-called unclean spirits to swines? Let me ask you this: we read about Jesus spitting into the eyes of a blind man in order to heal him. (Mar 8:23) There were many blind people who were healed by Jesus. Did He spit into the eyes of each one those whom He healed?

Most importantly, it was not Jesus' idea to send the unclean spirits to the pigs, it was suggested by the unclean spirits.
Luk 8:32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought Him (Jesus) that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
We can safely say that it was part of the false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking of a schizophrenic.

Are we not told that Jesus healed the demon possessed by His word?
Mat 8:16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils:[G1139] and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
Jesus is the Word of God and He could heal people with His power and His word, without the help of spittle or swines!

... Continued in part #2
In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal

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