Christianity and Pharmaceuticals
The Greek words pharmakon, pharmakos, and pharmakeia are usually rendered “sorcerer” or “sorcery” in the King James Version of the Bible. That version was translated by 1611, and ever since then most theologians have followed in its footsteps, and have kept the interpretations of the medieval Englishmen of that time, while the rest of the world has become “modern”, and has updated its language. Or have we?
Here are the definitions of those words, from Liddell & Scott’s An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, Oxford University Press, Impression of 1999, First edition 1889. I will supply English transliterations in place of all of the original Greek words:
pharmakon: “a drug, medicine, Homer etc.: the pharmaka applied outwardly were christa, egchrista, epichrista (ointments), and pasta, epipasta, kataplasta (plasters), Theocritus, Aristophanes; those taken inwardly brosima, and potima, pota, pista, Aeschylus, Euripides, etc… 2. In bad sense, an enchanted potion … so a charm, spell, enchantment … also a drug, poison … II. a remedy, cure, Hesiod …. ”
pharmakeia: “the use of drugs, potions, spells, Plato. 2. poisoning, witchcraft … Demosthenes. II. remedy, cure, Aristotle.”
pharmakos: “a poisoner, sorcerer, magician, N.T.”
Note that Liddell & Scott gave only the New Testament as a source for their definitions for this use of the word pharmakos. And why did they not give secular Greek definitions? Because they would have had to put “apothecary”, “pharmacist” and “druggist”, yet perhaps that was already not politically acceptable by 1889, and so instead they put nothing! The large and scholarly Ninth Edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon does likewise, defining the word in this sense identically, and citing only the Septuagint and the N.T., even though it cites the secular Greek writer Herodianus (2nd c. A.D.) on the pronunciation of the word. This is the only time that I have seen Liddell & Scott limit their definition of a word to the manner in which Bible translators have treated it, when the word appears also in Greek writers outside of the Bible. There is another sense in which the word pharmakos is used, and that will be discussed below.
Here is a lengthy citation concerning physicians from Strabo’s Geography, Book 15:1:60: “As for the Garmanes, he says that the most honourable of them are named Hylobii and that they live in forests, subsisting on leaves and wild fruits, clothed with the bark of trees, and abstaining from wine and the delights of love; and that they communicate with the kings, who through messengers inquire about the causes of things and through the Hylobii worship and supplicate the Divinity; and that, after the Hylobii, the physicians are second in honour, and that they are, as it were, humanitarian philosophers, men who are of frugal habits but do not live out of doors, and subsist upon rice and barley-groats, which are given to them by everyone of whom they beg or who offers them hospitality; and that through sorcery they can cause people to have numerous offspring, and to have either male or female children; and that they cure diseases mostly through means of cereals, and not through means of medicaments; and that, among their medicaments, their ointments and their poultices are most esteemed, but that the rest of their remedies have much in them that is bad; and that both this class and the other practise such endurance, both in toils and in perseverance, that they stay in one posture all day long without moving; and that there are also diviners and enchanters, who are skilled both in the rites and in the customs pertaining to the deceased, and go about begging alms from village to village and from city to city; and that there are others more accomplished and refined than these, but that even these themselves do not abstain from the common talk about Hades, insofar as it is thought to be conducive to piety and holiness; and that women, as well as men, study philosophy with some of them, and that the women likewise abstain from the delights of love.”
The word for sorcery which Strabo used above is pharmakon. Note that it is used of physicians, and their medicaments, or medications. However those who practice divining and enchanting are discussed separately following the discussion of the physicians! Therefore “sorcery” describes the use of pharmaceuticals, and not the magic or divining arts. The word pharmakeia, from the above definitions and examples, means little else but drugs – whether taken internally or applied topically.
It is clear to this writer that our word pharmaceutical and all related words were derived from these Greek words, and that they bear the same meanings. Our language isn’t really “modern” after all! It may be argued that a pharmaceutical is a drug, and not a potion, and that the Bible is talking only about potions. That argument is entirely subjective. The Bible makes no such distinction, but talks of pharmakeia in general. There is absolutely no proof supporting any such distinction between drugs and potions or sorceries: the distinction did not exist at all until the foundation of the modern pharmaceutical industry and the money of the international bankers who created it!
Here are all of the Scripture references where those words appear in the New Testament, from the Christogenea New Testament:
“20 And the rest of the men, those who had not been killed by these plagues, did not even repent from the works of their hands, that they do not worship demons and idols, things of gold and things of silver and things of copper and things of stone and things of wood, things which are able neither to see nor to hear nor to walk. 21 And they did not repent from their murders nor from their drugs [pharmakon] nor from their fornication nor from thefts.” ( Revelation 9:20-21, CNT )
“23 And the light of a lamp shall not shine in you hereafter! And the voice of the bridegroom and a bride shall not be heard in you hereafter! Because your merchants were the great men of the earth! Because by your pharmaceuticals [pharmakeia] have all the nations been deceived!” (Revelation 18:23, CNT )
“8 But for the cowards and the faithless and abominable and murderers and fornicators and drug-makers [pharmakos] and idolaters and all those who lie, their fate is burning in the lake in fire and sulfur, which is the second death!” ( Revelation 21:8, CNT )
“15 Outside are dogs and druggists [pharmakos] and fornicators and murderers and idolaters and any who love and make a lie.” !” ( Revelation 22:15, CNT )
“19 Manifest are the deeds of the flesh, such things are fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, use of drugs [pharmakeia], hostilities, contention, rivalry, wrath, intrigues, dissensions, sects, 21 envyings, drunkenness, revelries, and things like these; which I have announced to you beforehand, just as I have said before, that they who practice such things shall not inherit Yahweh’s kingdom.” (Galatians 5:19-21, CNT )
For the purposes of this paper, I am only going to cite here one Old Testament reference for the use of the word pharmakeia, Isaiah 47:9 from the KJV: “But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.” How can “sorceries” be connected to the loss of children, and to widowhood? Think about birth-control pills. Think about the declining birthrates which many tie to the modern chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Think about the premature deaths of so many people who have substituted fast food and prescription drugs in place of sound nutrition and exercise. Do we see a problem today with wizards and sorcerers deceiving all of the nations, as we have just read in Isaiah and the Revelation? Or do we see the whole world captivated by a need for drugs? Read all of Isaiah chapter 47, and one should realize with certainty that it is much the same language as Revelation chapter 18, where pharmakeia is also condemned, and that both chapters are talking about the same thing: the condemnation of the great whore and mystery Babylon!
The Christian should look to Yahweh his God for healing, protection or deliverance from evils and enemies, and a long and healthy life. Those very things are promised to those who keep His laws, for instance the commandment at Exodus 20:12 states “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” And the law also states, as Paul quotes Lev. 18:5 at Romans 10:5: “Moses writes of the justice which is from of the law, ‘That a man who practices these things shall have life by them.’” It is no mistake, that our English-speaking forebears used the word crises to describe what evils befell a man. For the word is directly from the Greek krisis, meaning judgement.
When men circumvent the laws of their God and Creator, they are forced to seek their own remedies for the resultant evils which befall them. Hence the search for pharmakeia in order to solve our troubles. This has opened a veritable Pandora’s Box, and our society’s dependence upon pharmaceuticals grows larger and larger with each passing day. We have become so alienated from our God, and have strayed so far from His laws, that even our infant children are pumped with all sorts of unnatural substances almost as soon as they are born, and we as a people have become drug-dependent at every stage of our lives! Drugs have become our escape both from the realities of life, and from the natural punishments resulting from our deviant behavior. But that escape is only a temporary illusion. For we know not what greater damage we have brought upon ourselves as a result of our turn away from God and towards our own devices.
When man was created, he was told that every green herb was for him for food. There are thousands of natural remedies that are useful for alleviating various ailments or which act as preventatives for those ailments. Very little capital is put into the development of the knowledge of these remedies. The reasons for this are solely economic: investment bankers cannot control what grows out of the ground, and once the studies are done and the results published, the prospects for financial profit are quite dim – the people will simply grow their own product! Instead, pharmaceutical companies scour the globe looking for naturally-occurring substances, especially in the plant world, and examine what those substances may be good for. Once a discovery is made, the drug companies strive to guard the information, and then they synthesize the substance, hoping to then profit from it once they patent it. Christians, in turning away from Yahweh their God, have now put their health and their lives into the hands of the anti-Christ jews: and what good will ever come from that? None whatsoever!
Pharmaceuticals and the laws of clean and unclean foods.
Whatever you ingest into your body in any manner is, in essence, a food. Even the ancients knew that the blood contained digested foods which then circulated throughout the body, nourishing its members (see Livy, History of Rome, 2.32.9-12). Injecting pharmaceuticals into your bloodstream is the same as injecting them into your cellular food supply: you are eating them. These pharmaceuticals, and especially vaccines, contain agents which you may otherwise never eat. Mercury, for instance, or cultures from the dead body parts of unclean animals, are regularly used in vaccine production. These all violate the laws handed down to Christians by Yahweh their God, and these laws should still be governing Christians unto this day. By receiving injections, one is eating unclean foods, even though he is bypassing the usual digestive process. And to consider the very nature of these unclean foods used in the production of vaccines and other medications, any normal person would grow ill at even the thought of eating such things!
Very strangely, the word pharmakos also had another use in ancient Greek, and Liddell & Scott offer another definition for that other sense of the word: “II. one who is sacrificed as an atonement for others, a scape-goat, Aristophanes; and, since worthless fellows were reserved for this fate, pharmakos became a general name of reproach, Iliad, Demosthenes.” When are Christians going to learn, that Yahshua Christ is their only true pharmakon? All pharmaceuticals are therefore unChristian, and contrary to the laws and the will of Yahweh our God.