A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

Home | About | Alternative Health | Contact

as a lion, so he was as strong as a legion ; and, indeed, a lion could easily disperse a disarmed legion. Jesus, then, would appear to have put the question, ' Who are you ? ' as a means of establishing personal contact with him by inviting him to speak of himself. This is an example of Jesus' discrimination or the diakrisis pneu-maton mentioned above. Coupled with some sympathetic gesture, the adoption of this attitude would draw the man nearer to Him. It seems that Jesus and the disciples had crossed the lake for recreation, and presumably they would have food with them. Possibly they asked the maniac to join them in their picnic and treated him as one of themselves. By this kindness Jesus would be able to calm him. It is fairly certain that this took place in a Gentile environment; the region was known by the Greek name Decapolis and was under Greek influence ; a herd of swine would have been an abomination to the Jews. The number of the swine, as given by Mark (2000), where it is placed rather awkwardly in the context, is not given in the narratives of Matthew and Luke, dependent though they are upon Mark, and is therefore unlikely to have formed part of the original account, having been added later as a marginal gloss. All three Evangelists make the devils request Jesus to send them into the herd of swine, while Luke adds a further request, namely, that before being despatched to the ' abyss' the term for a cleft in the darkest and hottest portion of Gehenna especially reserved for the entertainment of devils they should be allowed a respite in the bodies of the swine.
It is doubtful whether any New Testament scholar of standing would now maintain that the Gerasene maniac was actually possessed by a legion of devils and that these were transferred to a herd of swine; while modern psychiatry, on the other hand, can find