The expert physician here discovers, in the phenomena of possession, indubitable evidence of mental disease. The student of Scripture, after utilising the best exegetical data, finds himself con fronted by a fact to which he finds it difficult to assign any definite significance. The perplexities of the subject are really enormous, and have scarcely been realised as yet. History and medicine and theology have their separate contributions to make towards the solution of this problem; but the awkwardness of the situation lies in the fact that they persist in making these contributions separately. The result is a conflict of opinion or a suspense of judgment. Demonic Possession in the New Testament is still an unsolved problem. That statement is a variance with a considerable body of opinion recently expressed on two Continents. Nevertheless, it is a correct representation of the present state of the case. Modern writers have attained a certain unanimity, only by approaching the subject from one point of view and confining attention to the more conspicuous phenomena. But any investigation which claims finality must explore the whole environment and scrutinise all residual facts. There is a comparative demonology to be studied ; there are types of mental disease to be examined ; there is a criterion of genuine possession to be discovered and applied. The inquiry thus broadens out and takes account of many points hitherto ignored or neglected. The whole subject thereby assumes a new complexion and has received restatement accordingly.


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Demonic Possession in the New Testament - WM Menzies Alexander