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Pharmakeia φαρμακεια is the Greek word for pharmacy, which is the practice and making of medication and vitamins. It also refers to the making of spell-giving potions, or alchemical potions (or elixirs) believed to have transforming powers, such as the power to extend life, boost energy, or enhance the mind. It also refers to any substance used to poison someone, to prevent or treat disease (or, for that matter, to cause it), or to gain control of someone's behavior.[unreliable source?] Pharmakeia and its related word forms pharmakeus, pharmakon, pharmakos and pharmakoi are the words from which we get the modern English words pharmacy, pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical, pharmacist, pharmacopia, pharmacology, pharmaceuticalist and pharmaceuticalism. The modern transliteration of pharmakeia is pharmacia. Pharmakeia and its related forms appear several times in the New Testament, including the Epistle to the Galatians and the Book of Revelation. It is frequently translated as "witchcraft" or "sorcery".[unreliable source?].Magical pharmacia substances or potions often bind someone under a spell by evocation with and without uttered word formulas. Cosmetics, lotions and perfumes were also made by practitioners of pharmaceuticalism and by extension any lab made substance or chemical falls in the realm of pharmakeia or pharmacia. In modern times petrochemicals are used to create chemical reactions with plants to create pharmaceutical substances.[relevant? ] One well known example is the street drug cocaine, where coca leaves are soaked in gasoline and sulfuric acid to produce the substance cocaine.[relevant? ] Other pharmaceuticals are made solely from petrochemicals.[relevant? ] Today people who practice organic farming and gardening are those who reject the form of pharmakeia using chemicals which is turning to witchcraft for the success of their crops.[relevant? ]
Pharmakeia and the Bible
Pharmakeia and its related word forms appear four times in the Book of Revelation as follows:
Revelation 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries (Pharmakeia), nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
Revelation 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (Pharmakeia) were all nations deceived.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers (pharmakon), and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers (pharmakeus), and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
The Epistle to the Galatians lists pharmakeia or pharmacy as works of the flesh for which those doing such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft (pharmakeia), hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
In the masoretic text in the portion of the Old Testament called the Torah, practitioners of kashaph - incanting maleficium is translated into the Greek Septuagint version of the same passages as pharmakeia. Historically this passage has been translated into English using vague terminology such as witchcraft.
- The Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the King James Bible defines the word as follows in its Greek Lexicon:
- 5331 φαρμακεια pharmakeia, far-mak-i'-ah; from 5332; medication ("pharmacy" [pharmaceutical]) i.e. (by extens.) magic (lit. or fig.):-sorcery, witchcraft.
- 5332 φαρμακενς pharmakeus, far-mak-yoos'; from φαρμακον pharmakon (a drug [or medicine] i.e. spell giving potion); a druggist ("pharmacist") or poisoner, i.e. (by extens.) a magician:-sorcerer.
- 5333 φαρμακος pharmakos, far-mak-os'; the same as 5332:-sorcerer.
- Michael A. Rinella, Pharmakon: Plato, Drug Culture, and Identity in Ancient Athens, p.74.
- Exodus 22:18
- Exodus 22:17 (LXX); note that for technical reasons, verse numbering in the Septuagint doesn't correspond exactly with the masoretic text
- Exodus 22:18 (numbered as verse 17 in the NAB, which follows Septuagint numbering)