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Out of the question: Healing miracles

16 June 2009

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.

Your answers

Is there a book that goes consistently through the biblical healing miracles and offers a diagnosis and explana­tion of the cure, written by a person qualified in medicine and/or psychology?

There is one book at least which dis­cusses miraculous healings in the Bible and suggests diagnoses and ex­planations for them. It is The Bible and Healing: A medical and theological commentary by John Wilkinson, BD, MD, FRCP (Handsel Press, Edin­burgh, and Eerdmans Publishing, Michigan, US, 1998). I have found it a most useful book over the years, as it has added some­times surprising richness to the realities of those well-loved stories.
E. Jane Hatt, Burgess Hill, West Sussex

Psychology, Religion and Healing (Hodder & Stoughton, 1951) is the most important book written by Leslie D. Weatherhead (1893-1976), the outstanding Methodist preacher, who for a number of years was Minis­­ter of the (Congregational) City Temple in London.

Weatherhead wanted to be a doc­tor, but his family could not afford it. So, from his early years as an army chaplain, he was interested in the con­nection between religion and healing. He consulted widely among min-isters, doctors, and psychologists, including my father, who was a med-i­cal psychotherapist and formerly a minister.

I know of no better book on the healing miracles.
(The Revd) Douglas Hadfield, Helmdon, Northamptonshire

I hope not. That would be to con­fuse the biblical-theological concept of healing and wholeness with purely physical remedies. The two are not mutually exclusive; but, while cures are by definition tem­porary (death will come to us all), wholeness is for eternity.
(The Very Revd) Charles Taylor, Dean of Peterborough

Your questions

Some ancient manuscripts omit v.37 from Acts 8 — a mistake and then copied, perhaps? Since it must be counted the most significant verse of the story of Philip and the eunuch — and included in the Tyndale and King James Bibles — why the omission nowadays? Can, or should, any adult be baptised a Christian without the profession (made by the eunuch in some versions of the Bible) that he or she believes Jesus Christ to be the Son of God? U. S. O.

Post-Reformation Commandment boards (Decalogue, Creed, and Paternoster) retained in some churches, usually as a reredos, are sometimes flanked by paintings, which are invariably of Moses and Aaron. But why Aaron? He is as­sociated with priesthood, but why would this be emphasised in a very Protestant church? J. R.

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 13-17 Long Lane, London EC1A 9PN.


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