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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

fi-zish'-an (rophi; iatros): To the pious Jew at all times God was the healer (Deuteronomy 32:39): "It was neither herb nor mollifying plaister that cured them, but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things" (The Wisdom of Solomon 16:12). The first physicians mentioned in Scripture are those of Egypt. Long before the sojourn of the Hebrews in that land, Egypt had a priestly class of physicians (snu) and a god of healing (Imchtp). From the ancient medical papyri which have been preserved, the largest of which is the Papyrus Ebers, we know that the medical knowledge of these physicians was purely empirical, largely magical and wholly unscientific. In spite of their ample opportunities they knew next to nothing of human anatomy, their descriptions of diseases are hopelessly crude, and three-fourths of the hundreds of prescriptions in the papyri are wholly inert. Even their art of embalming was so imperfect that few of their mummies would have remained in any other climate than that of Egypt. Physicians of this kind who were Joseph's servants embalmed Jacob (Genesis 50:2) and Joseph (Genesis 50:26). It was not until the foundation of the School of Alexandria, which was purely Greek, that Egypt became a place of medical education and research.

There is no evidence that at any time the priests of Israel were reputed to be the possessors of medical knowledge or tradition. In the ceremonial law they had explicit instructions as to the isolation of those suffering from skin eruptions, so that they might recognize certain obstinate and infectious forms which caused ceremonial uncleanness, but with this duty as sanitary police their function ended and they used no means to cure these diseases. There is, as far as I know, no record or tradition of a priest-physician in Bible times. The records of cure by the prophets, especially Elisha, are mostly recorded as miracles, not as cures by treatment. The salt which cured the noxious water at Jericho and the meal by which the poisonous gourds were rendered innoxious, like the manipulation of the Shunammite's son, can scarcely be regarded as adequate remedies. There is an implied reference to a healer of wounds in Exodus 21:19, as also in Isaiah 3:7, and it is recorded in Pesachim, iv.9 that there was in existence in the time of the monarchy a book of cures, cepher rephu'oth, supposed to have been written by Solomon, but withdrawn from public use by Hezekiah. The first specific mention of Hebrew physicians is 2 Chronicles 16:12, but Asa is obviously regarded by the Chronicler as reprehensible in trusting to their skill. In 2 Kings 8:29 Joram, king of Israel, is said to have gone to Jezreel to be healed. Not far from this, across the Jordan, was Gilead, which possibly may also have been a place resorted to by those needing medical treatment, as indicated by Jeremiah's query: "Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there?" (Jeremiah 8:22). Job, irritated by the platitudes of his friends, calls them physicians of no value (13:4).

In the New Testament our Lord's saying, "They that are whole have no need of a physician," etc., shows that there were physicians in Galilee (Matthew 9:12 Mark 2:17 Luke 5:31), and in Nazareth He quotes what seems to have been a proverb: "Physician, heal thyself" (Luke 4:23). There were physicians in Galilee who received fees from the woman of Caesarca Philippi who had the issue of blood (Mark 5:26 Luke 8:43). Of her there is a curious story told in Eusebius (VII, 18).

There are several Talmudic references to physicians; in Sheqalim ii 1, it is said that there was a physician at the temple to attend to the priests. A physician was appointed in every city (Gittin 12b) who was required to have a license from the local authorities (Babha' Bathra' 21a). The familiar passage in Ecclesiasticus 38:1-15 the Revised Version (British and American) in praise of the physician gives him but limited credit for his skill: "There is a time when in their very hands is the issue for good," and later, "He that sinneth before his Maker, Let him fall into the hands of the physician."

Luke, called "the beloved physician" in Colossians 4:14, is said by Eusebius to have been a native of Antioch and a physician by profession. According to Origen he was the unnamed "brother whose praise in the gospel is spread through all the churches" (2 Corinthians 8:18). There are evidences of his professional studies in the language of his writings, though of this probably more has been made by Hobart and others than it really merits. Had we not known of his profession it is doubtful whether it could have been conjectured from his choice of words. Sir W. Ramsay calls attention to the two words used of the healings at Melita in Acts 28:8-10: for the cure of Publius' father the word used is iasato, but for the healing of those who came later it is etherapeuonto, which he renders "received medical treatment." From this he infers that Luke helped Paul with these (Ramsay, Luke the Physician, 1908).

Alexander Macalister

2395. iatros -- a physician
... a physician. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: iatros Phonetic Spelling:
(ee-at-ros') Short Definition: a physician Definition: a physician. ...
// - 6k

2323. therapeuo -- to serve, cure
... Spelling: (ther-ap-yoo'-o) Short Definition: I care for, attend, serve, heal Definition:
I care for, attend, serve, treat, especially of a physician; hence: I ...
// - 9k

3065. Loukas -- Luke, a Christian
... Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Loukas Phonetic Spelling: (loo-kas') Short Definition:
Lucas, Luke Definition: Lucas, Luke, Christian physician and writer of ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
7495. rapha -- to heal
... to heal NASB Word Usage become fresh (3), completely healed (1), heal (24), healed
(22), healer (1), healing (2), heals (3), physician (1), physicians (4 ...
/hebrew/7495.htm - 6k

Physician to the Rani of Khetri
... PHYSICIAN TO THE RANI OF KHETRI. In March, 1885, Dr. Swain received a call
to a native state to attend the wife of the Rajah, and ...
// a swain md/physician to the rani of.htm

Christ the Great Physician.
are whole have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. ...
/.../viii christ the great physician.htm

The Good Physician.
... SONG OF SOLOMON Hymn 62 The good Physician. John Newton 7,6,7,6. The good Physician.
How lost was my condition. Till JESUS made me whole! ...
// hymns/hymn 62 the good physician.htm

Epistle xxviii. To Theodore, Physician.
... Great. Epistle XXVIII. To Theodore, Physician. To Theodore, Physician.
Gregory to Theodore, Physician at Constantinople. My most ...
/.../epistle xxviii to theodore physician.htm

Epistle xxxi. To Theodorus, Physician.
... Great. Epistle XXXI. To Theodorus, Physician. To Theodorus, Physician.
Gregory to Theodorus, Physician to the Emperor. I myself ...
/.../the epistles of saint gregory the great/epistle xxxi to theodorus physician.htm

Epistle Lxvi. To Theodorus, Physician.
... Register of the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great. Epistle LXVI. To Theodorus,
Physician. To Theodorus, Physician. Gregory to Theodorus, &c. ...
/.../the epistles of saint gregory the great/epistle lxvi to theodorus physician.htm

Work of the Physician. October 18.
... Work of the Physician. October 18. The question which is forcing itself
more and more on the minds of scientific men is not how ...
/.../kingsley/daily thoughts /work of the physician october.htm

Letter cli. To Eustathius the Physician.
... Letter CLI. To Eustathius the Physician. If my letters are of any good,
lose no time in writing to me and in rousing me to write. ...
/.../basil/basil letters and select works/letter cli to eustathius the.htm

Letter cccxxiv. To Pasinicus, the Physician.
CCCXXIV. To Pasinicus, the Physician. ...
/.../basil/basil letters and select works/letter cccxxiv to pasinicus the.htm

Letter clxxxix. To Eustathius the Physician.
... BIBLION. Letter CLXXXIX. To Eustathius the physician. Humanity is the regular
business of all you who practise as physicians. And ...
/.../basil/basil letters and select works/letter clxxxix to eustathius the.htm

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Asa, afflicted with some bodily malady, "sought not to the Lord but to the physicians" (2 Chronicles 16:12). The "physicians" were those who "practised heathen arts of magic, disavowing recognized methods of cure, and dissociating the healing art from dependence on the God of Israel. The sin of Asa was not, therefore, in seeking medical advice, as we understand the phrase, but in forgetting Jehovah."
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A person skilled in physic, or the art of healing; one duty authorized to prescribe remedies for, and treat, diseases; a doctor of medicine.

2. (n.) Hence, figuratively, one who ministers to moral diseases; as, a physician of the soul.

Physician (6 Occurrences)
... 2. (n.) Hence, figuratively, one who ministers to moral diseases; as, a physician
of the soul. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. PHYSICIAN. ...
/p/physician.htm - 14k

Doctor (5 Occurrences)
... Such diplomas may confer an honorary title only. 3. (n.) One duly licensed to practice
medicine; a member of the medical profession; a physician. ...
/d/doctor.htm - 10k

Evangelist (2 Occurrences)
... 5. Physician: Paul (Colossians 4:14) expressly calls him "the beloved physician."
He was Paul's medical adviser, and doubtless prolonged his life and rescued ...
/e/evangelist.htm - 23k

Apostles (79 Occurrences)
... the critics with "airy conceit and lofty contempt." Harnack has done a very great
service in carefully sifting the matter in his Luke the Physician (1907). ...
/a/apostles.htm - 62k

Acts (271 Occurrences)
... Acts of Certain Apostles.". As regards its authorship, it was certainly
the work of Luke, the "beloved physician" (Comp. Luke 1:1 ...
/a/acts.htm - 101k

Visit (97 Occurrences)
... 1. (vt) To go or come to see, as for the purpose of friendship, business, curiosity,
etc.; to attend; to call upon; as, the physician visits his patient. ...
/v/visit.htm - 36k

Rabmag (2 Occurrences)
... Assyrian Rab-mugi, "chief physician," "who was attached to the king (Jeremiah
39:3, 13), the title of one of Sennacherib's officers sent with messages to ...
/r/rabmag.htm - 9k

Sick (117 Occurrences)
... (KJV ASV WBS). Matthew 9:12 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are
healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. ...
/s/sick.htm - 44k

Gifts (144 Occurrences)
... of the dependence of the physical upon the spiritual, of the control of the bodily
functions by the subconscious self, and of the physician's ability by means ...
/g/gifts.htm - 61k

Luke (4 Occurrences)
... to his own statement (Luke 1:2), he was not an "eye-witness and minister of the
word from the beginning." It is probable that he was a physician in Troas, and ...
/l/luke.htm - 55k

Bible Concordance
Physician (6 Occurrences)

Matthew 9:12 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do.

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Luke 4:23 He said to them, "Doubtless you will tell me this parable,'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in your hometown.'"

Luke 5:31 Jesus answered them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do.

Colossians 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you.

Jeremiah 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there? why then isn't the health of the daughter of my people recovered?



Physician: Figurative

Physician: General Scriptures Concerning

Physician: Luke, a Physician

Physician: Proverbs About

Related Terms

Doctor (5 Occurrences)

Evangelist (2 Occurrences)

Apostles (79 Occurrences)

Acts (271 Occurrences)

Visit (97 Occurrences)

Rabmag (2 Occurrences)

Sick (117 Occurrences)

Gifts (144 Occurrences)

Luke (4 Occurrences)

Strong (736 Occurrences)

Miracle (15 Occurrences)

Healthy (18 Occurrences)

Health (49 Occurrences)

Games (2 Occurrences)

Quote (4 Occurrences)

Native (35 Occurrences)

Leach (1 Occurrence)

Lucas (1 Occurrence)

Leech (1 Occurrence)

Lukas (3 Occurrences)

Greet (46 Occurrences)

Thyself (352 Occurrences)

Trade (33 Occurrences)

Reformation (24 Occurrences)

Righteous (407 Occurrences)

Rab-mag (2 Occurrences)

Regular (95 Occurrences)

Retired (3 Occurrences)

Require (46 Occurrences)

Experienced (23 Occurrences)

Eutychus (1 Occurrence)

Doubt (49 Occurrences)

Demas (3 Occurrences)

Disease (213 Occurrences)

Doubtless (10 Occurrences)

Dressing (7 Occurrences)

Dearly-loved (20 Occurrences)

Diseases (38 Occurrences)

Malchus (1 Occurrence)

Medicine (4 Occurrences)

Profession (9 Occurrences)

Patient (34 Occurrences)

Physicians (5 Occurrences)

Publius (2 Occurrences)

Profess (9 Occurrences)

Physically (2 Occurrences)

Better (218 Occurrences)

Consult (27 Occurrences)

Caper'na-um (16 Occurrences)

Cure (28 Occurrences)

Asa (54 Occurrences)

Applied (22 Occurrences)

Attend (71 Occurrences)

Sinners (132 Occurrences)

Salutes (7 Occurrences)

Simile (61 Occurrences)

Skill (26 Occurrences)

Sweat (3 Occurrences)

Hometown (9 Occurrences)

Thessalonians (6 Occurrences)

Greetings (48 Occurrences)

Salute (48 Occurrences)

Surely (587 Occurrences)

Recovered (25 Occurrences)


Whatsoever (167 Occurrences)

Balm (7 Occurrences)



Healing (60 Occurrences)

Whatever (411 Occurrences)

Gospel (108 Occurrences)

Beloved (117 Occurrences)



Certainly (415 Occurrences)

Capernaum (16 Occurrences)

Answering (202 Occurrences)

Proverb (24 Occurrences)

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