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Divine Healing in the Prophetic Literature and Its Theological Significance

Hong, Seong Hyuk 1

1서울신학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The primary purpose of this study is to find out the theological significance of healing exclusively by God’s intervention, namely divine healing, on the basis of the prophetic literature. For this purpose, I first argue that, while divine healing is exclusive and ultimate, healing by prophets or physicians was not denied. I also mention that to recognize prophets or physicians as healing consultants was not to acknowledge their healing as a competition with the exclusive position of divine healing, but as complementary to God’s healing. In addition, I maintain that the emphasis of the scriptures on divine healing in the prophetic literature is for the purpose of affirming God’s utter sovereignty over the present world and the eschatological alike. For this purpose, I rely on the theological analysis of the texts in the prophetic literature while minimizing the historical analysis of them. The texts, which clearly show a variety of concepts associated with healing, are selected. When necessary for the conceptual explanation of healing, a few texts of other genres, which is not in the prophetic literature, are selected. It is shown that in the prophetic literature divine healing is primary, but that healing by prophets or physicians, and the application of medicine to the sick as well, were not excluded. It means that the human healing consultants had to pray to God for a divine guidance in the healing process, prescribing a right medicine for the patient. The healing account in the prophetic literature particularly stresses that the Divine Healer is utterly superior to the other deities of the neighbouring heathen countries. This leads us to claim that healing was for the purpose of consolidating the exclusive worship of Yahweh against the idolatrous worship of the neighboring pagan nations. Divine healing was intended to promote not only God’s present rule over the world but also the hope of God’s eschatological rule, although healing was not successful. Finally, this paper suggests that, although healing is ultimately dependent on God, believers should not neglect the prayers of the pastor and the help of physicians and medicines, holding to his belief in God’s present and eschatological sovereignty over the world.

Citation status

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