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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Palsy

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The more common word is ‘paralysis.’ Only two instances are reported in the Acts 8:7 (many) and Acts 9:33 (aeneas). The condition referred to is marked by loss of muscular control, caused by cerebral or spinal lesion, or by local disease or disorder of nerves and muscles. Whether the paralytics who were healed by Philip in Samaria were brought to him on beds, were visited by him, or were able to come to him with others who were suffering from bodily disturbance, we are not told. aeneas was for eight years bed-ridden, and thus appears to have been in a desperate plight. In the absence of competent and explicit medical testimony, it would be idle to conjecture whether any of these cases was organic rather than functional, or how large a part suggestion played in their cure. The healings by Philip brought to an end the practice of sorcery by Simon and led to his conversion; the healing of aeneas showed anew the power which resided in ‘the name of Jesus’ (cf. Acts 3:6, Acts 4:10). The recovery of all these paralytics followed the customary order of NT cases: no sooner was the word spoken than the cures took place.

C. A. Beckwith.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Palsy'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/p/palsy.html. 1906-1918.

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