Angelogy, the Study of Angels
by James T. Bartsch
Demonology (Fallen Angels)
And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. (Mark 1:34)
There are four different Greek words used relating to the English word "demon." The most common is the noun daimonion (1140). It is used 63 times in the Greek NT. In the NASB it is translated 62 times as "demon" or "demons" and once as "deities" (Acts 17:18). The next most common word is the verb daimonidzomai (1139). It is used 13 times in the Greek N.T. It is translated in the NASB 11 times as "demon-possessed" and twice as "demoniacs" (Matt. 4:24; 8:33). Two other words are used only once each in the Greek text on which the NASB is based. One of those is the adjective daimoniodes (1141), used only once in the Greek N.T., James 3:15, where it is translated by the NASB as "demonic." The other is the noun daimon (1142), translated by the NASB as "demons" in Matthew 8:31.
For the purposes of this article, the evidence in the NT is too extensive to examine each passage referenced above. We will limit ourselves to passages with an extended narrative, and perhaps a couple of other note-worthy references.
The first use of any of this family of words is daimonidzomai (1139), found in Matthew 4:24, which reads as follows: "The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them" (emphasis mine). Two observations are in order: (1) Matthew listed demoniacs (a plural present participle, literally, "ones being demonized") within the general category of those who were suffering various diseases and pains, along with those whom he called epileptics, and paralytics. All these conditions manifested themselves in the form of physical afflictions. (2) Jesus' antidote was to heal (therapeuo, 2323) them all. So there is a sense in which a demoniac (usually translated as one "demon-possessed") can be included among those who are physically ill and who stand in need of healing or therapy. Of course, there is a spiritual cause, and we will deal with that momentarily.
The second occurrence of daimonidzomai is found in Matthew 8:16, where Matthew recorded, "When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill." Again, Matthew placed the "demon-possessed" (literally, many "being demonized" [present tense]) alongside those who were ill (kakos, 2560), whom He healed (therapeuo, 2323). It is also worth noting that Jesus cast out the spirits (pneuma, 4151) of those being demonized.
In a more extended passage in the same chapter, Matthew recorded what happened immediately after Jesus had stilled the tempest on the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 8:23-27). The subsequent events are recorded in Matthew 8:28-34.
And having gone to the other side to the country of the Gadarenes, there met Him two men being demonized, exiting from the cemetery, extremely violent - so much so that no one was able to pass through that way. And - observe - they cried out, saying, "What is there between us and you, Son of God?! Have you come here before time to torment us?!" There was, moreover, far off from them a herd of many swine feeding. The demons, moreover, were begging Him, saying, "Since you are casting us out, send us into the herd of the swine." And He said to them, "Go!" Now they, exiting, departed into the swine. And - observe - the whole herd stampeded down the steep slope into the sea and drowned in the waters! The herdmen, moreover, fled, and departed into the city. They reported everything, including what had happened to those being demonized. And - observe - the entire city left for a meeting with Jesus; and seeing Him, they begged Him thus to withdraw from their region! (Matthew 8:28-34, author's literal translation).
The first occurrence of daimonion (1140) is to be found in Matthew 7:22. In the immediate context, Jesus warned that not everyone who called Him "Lord" would enter the kingdom of the heavens, but only those performing the will of HIs Father, the One in the heavens (Matt. 7:21). Jesus continued, “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’" (Matt. 7:22). To which Jesus said He would confess to them that He never knew them. They were presently to depart from Him, for they were, literally, "the ones working the lawlessness" (Matt. 7:23). The following observations are noteworthy: (1) It is possible for human beings to cast out demons from those who are afflicted. (2) It is possible for unregenerate humans, in the name of Jesus, not only to cast out demons, but to prophesy and to perform miracles!
Prepared by James T. Bartsch
Published Online by WordExplain.com
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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)
Originally Published May 3, 2012
Updated January 25, 2020