A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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iv               THE ECCLESIA AND PNEUMATIC THERAPY            145
Palestine and in Greece they were supposed to have curative value. Wine was thought to have antiseptic properties, while oil was soothing and softening to the skin. The story shows that Jesus was acquainted with the medical methods of His time and that He approved of their employment when necessary. Apart from this, Jesus Himself is nowhere reported to have used oil in His treatment and there is no evidence that He instituted the sacrament of Holy Unction.
The other reference to the use of oil is in Mark vi, 13, where it is reported that the apostles ' anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them \ Perhaps that was done when oil was needed as a drug ; but, on the other hand, this sentence may be a marginal gloss or adaptation of the original narrative, since it does not appear in either of the other Synoptic Gospels. If that were so it would not be the only addition of its kind. For instance, the clause, ' And fasting \ in Mark ix, 17, is omitted in the best MSS., and so also is its parallel in Matthew xvii, 21 ; and it is plain that the addition was made in the second century, being regarded as an essential condition of effective exorcism in the Eastern Church. The sacramental use of oil has its root in the passage from the Epistle of James already quoted.
Jesus, in His traditional charge to the disciples, is not reported to have instructed His disciples to use the phrases ' in My Name ' or * in My Hand ' ; nor did He tell them to anoint with oil. His invitation to ' learn of Me ' (Mark xi, 29), however, is one to which those who wish to become His disciples should pay due heed. The phrase, ' in My Name \ which is found in Mark ix, 38-40, is not so easy of acceptance. It appears elsewhere in Mark three times, but always in passages which are almost certainly interpolations. Two are in chapter viii and the third is in xvi, 17, the former