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The Devil, Disease, and Deliverance: Origins of Illness in New Testament Thought Paperback – June 2, 2011
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About the Author
John Christopher Thomas (PhD, University of Sheffield) is the Clarence J. Abbott Professor of Biblical Studies at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, TN USA, and is Director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University in Bangor, Wales, UK.
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An unfortunate byproduct of the systematic approach is the inevitability of redundant information or duplicative discussions. The casual reader will quickly become bored, but anyone serious about understanding the NT presentation of this material will do well to stick it out. Thomas instills confidence in the readers that we have adequately covered all the relevant texts in the NT and at least gotten most of the talking points on the table.
There are few shortcomings to this work. Perhaps the most notable for me is related to Thomas’ blanket suggestion that both NT authors are “not hesitant to assign the origin of certain illnesses to God.” He notes Paul’s blindness and Zechariah’s muteness as the primary examples, but both of these examples are in cases where there was a direct angel/divine visitation. Should those experiences be normative for Christians or are we looking at special cases? The astute reader is left wondering if perhaps there is more to that discussion than has been addressed.
Overall however, this is a stellar book and a must read for student of healing in the Bible.
I make it a point to buy and read every work presented by Dr. Thomas. He is a true Pentecostal scholar but above that he is a man who loves God and His people.