What Are Demons?

To “have a demon” was the same as to “have an unclean spirit”, which is a Bible way of saying that something was wrong or “unclean” about a person’s way of thinking or mental capability. In short, a person with a demon was a person with a mental illness.

The story about Legion — a man with many demons — illustrates this conclusion quite well. Prior to Jesus’ healing, Legion is described as “a man with an unclean spirit who lived among the tombs... so fierce that no one could pass that way... for a long time he had worn no clothes... no one could bind him any more, even with a chain... night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and bruising himself with stones” (Mark 5:2-5; Luke 8:27; Matthew 8:28, RSV).

After Jesus’ healing, the “man who had had the legion” caused great concern among the townspeople who “came to Jesus, and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind” (Mark 5:15). The man’s “before” and “after” descriptions contrast “unclean spirit” with “in his right mind”, “fierce” with “sitting”, and “wore no clothes” with “clothed”. In other words, sane behavior replaces insane behavior.

To continue reading this Bible article, click here.

Author: George Booker

Keywords: Evil spirit, Sickness, Healing, Unclean spirit, Demons, Illness, Devils, Demon posession, Demoniac, Possessed of a demon, Demonology, Accomodation, Demon accomodation, Ancient sickness, Ancient illness, Ancient sicknesses, Ancient illnesses, Lunacy, Lunatic, Demon possessed, Possessed of a devil, Devil possession, Exorcism, Epilepsy, Epileptic, Moonstruck, Moon struck, Casting out demons, Casting out devils, Exorcize, Exorcise, Exorcize demons, Exorcise demons, Mental illness, Mental illnesses, Mental sickness, Mentally ill, Mentally sick

Bible reference(s): Acts 19:15-16, Acts 4:32, Acts 8:7, John 10:20, John 10:21, John 7:20, John 8:48, John 8:49, John 8:52, Luke 10:17, Luke 11:14, Luke 11:15, Luke 11:18, Luke 11:19, Luke 11:20, Luke 11:24, Luke 13:11, Luke 13:32, Luke 4:33, Luke 4:35, Luke 4:41, Luke 7:33, Luke 8:2, Luke 8:27, Luke 8:29, Luke 8:30, Luke 8:33, Luke 8:35, Luke 8:36, Luke 8:38, Luke 9:1, Luke 9:42, Luke 9:49, Mark 1:23-24, Mark 1:26, Mark 1:32, Mark 1:34, Mark 1:39, Mark 16:17, Mark 16:9, Mark 3:15, Mark 3:22, Mark 3:30, Mark 5:2-18, Mark 6:13, Mark 7:25-30, Mark 9:25, Mark 9:38, Matthew 10:8, Matthew 11:18, Matthew 12:24, Matthew 12:27-28, Matthew 12:43, Matthew 15:22, Matthew 17:18, Matthew 7:22, Matthew 8:16, Matthew 8:31, Matthew 9:33, Matthew 9:34

Source: “What Are Demons?”, The Agora.

Page indexed by: inWORD Bible Software.