George Lamsa on demons


#1

I find the idea that there are creatures not composed of matter that are able to occupy and influence people totally implausible. I’d say I’m more than 99% sure the “traditional” view of demons is wrong. So what are we to make of biblical references to demons? George Lamsa offers a much more believable explanation IMO.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and see links to Lamsa expounding different demon verses. http://www.bibletopics.com/biblestudy/166.htm


#2

Why?


#3

The idea of a being not composed of matter occupying and influencing a being composed of matter makes sense to you? Uhhh ok.


#4

Sarcasm as intelligent answer? Uhhh ok.

In other news, the obvious fallacy of your inability to think something as being somehow a control over what is real - is really imo short-sighted.
If in fact we are body and mind, as a great many actual thinkers tend to agree, then an immaterial substance does in fact occupy a material substance in every human being.
Not saying YOU have to accept that, but ruling it out of hand a priori ain’t gonna cut it either.


#5

But a demon would be something else. It wouldn’t have a body. The person it occupies would have the body. Explain how two beings can occupy one body.


#6

The human mind is, according to at least one major school of thought, immaterial, and yet does affect, and is affected by, the material body.
This is not easy stuff. J.P. Moreland does a good job in a painstakingly reasoned manner in his book “Body and Soul.”
I’m not being critical here, qaz, just wanting to make the point that we can justifiably believe in immaterial beings.


#7

Each creature’s mind I (we?) have ever interacted with has been inextricably linked to a body. I don’t see how a third party can squeeze its way into that. How can such a being be “cast out” if it doesn’t have physical properties?


#8

I don’t either.


#9

Interesting topic. In my quagmire of ‘on the shelf’ beliefs (at least at this time) I tend to have known enough folks who really believe in ghosts and spirits that I have to say I can’t dismiss this.

Personally, I view this in a different light than the ‘demons’ in the scriptures.

In the nursing home I work at there have been numerous stories of a man with a cowboy hat on a certain hall.

The other day Bob (not his real name) and who is suffering from extreme dementia, was at the nurses station telling them about this cowboy he saw on his hall and does anyone else know where he went cause he wanted to touch base with the chap. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#10

I don’t see how a mind can exist without a body. How can a being/mind possess a body and then be “cast out” from it if it has no spatial properties?


#11

So you see no difference between spirit and body?


#12

I don’t understand what would prompt you to ask such a question. As far as I can tell, the idea of a spirit without a body is incoherent.


#13

So please tell me where this comes from.


#14

Demon possession is big business! I once knew a guy who knocked out 6,000 demons, a whole legion of them!

I have always felt that spirit was the “life force” behind life. I see it as the energy of life. So the brain is just that, a brain until it is given life force. It then becomes a “mind”. Disembodied spirits is not something I believe it. To me, the whole thing is superstition.

I think demons don’t actually exist, but are used to convey ideas. Ideas that we can be locked up under and held captive. Hence when Jesus says the “truth will set you free”, in many cases, are people who suffer from mental ailments because they believed a lie that they are worthless. Once shown kindness and that they are of value, is often enough to overcome these debilitating demons.

I am not sure if the NT writers actually believed in them either. It would appear they did, and they can’t really be faulted for it though, because they just didn’t have the scientific understanding we did today. Besides that, in the end, it probably doesn’t matter, because whether a real demon is in your head, or whether it is metaphoric, the end result is the same.

If you were take technology of today and bring it back into Christ’s time, you would be accused of all sorts of sorcery and devilry. Imagine trying to explain to someone of that era about the internal combustion engine? The fuel? Oh that fuel clearly looks like alchemy potion! Kill the wizard!

Magical Arts are a farse… Unfortunately, because Acts depicts people burning up their “spell scrolls” Christian’s seem to think they were real. Then of course this whole crazy movement of anti dungeon’s and dragon’s creeps up because one guy claims to be a Wiccan preist (who has also been a vampire, mormon, etc…). It is sad, because I can personally attest to all the damage done by believing in this bogus stuff. I was sold on this type of deliverance stuff in my upbringing and because I believe it, I really felt there were demons in my (at the time) head… Now I look back and laugh. Charlatans, I tell ya.

I suppose this where Paidion comes in and gives me an anecdote of someone he knows, who knew someone else, who knew a guy who said they casted out demons and he has “no reason to disbelieve the person”… As for that, I’ll preemptively say “just because someone sincerely believes something doesn’t mean it is true”. The power of “belief” is incredibly potent. It can makes unreal things real, if you only believe it.


#15

That cuts just as nicely both ways, si?


#16

Certainly!


#17

So what are you both trying to say?


#18

I think I made my position clear; I don’t believe demons exist. I am not sure what Dave believe’s on this because he didn’t play his cards, only to tell me that my statement was double edged and applies to me as much as the position I oppose, which I completely agree with him on.


#19

I have no cards on this issue! I’m happily agnostic about it, though I do think that, once superstitious elements are removed - if any - there is still a core supernatural truth in there that just does not fit into our comfort zone.


#20

I agree.