Drugs Or Sorcery?

Q. I was listening to a popular TV bible teacher recently, and his comments involved drug use in the Bible. He said that in the book of Revelation, ch.9, those who refused to renounce their sorceries would be cursed. He said that was a misinterpretation in the Bible, and that it meant “pharmachia” or pharmacy. So which is it?

A. In the King James, Rev. 9:21 says, “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” The Greek word translated sorceries is pharmakeia, which literally means the use of drugs. It only appears 3 times in the Bible and is either translated witchcraft or sorcery. Perhaps that’s because the King James translators were not familiar with recreational drug use. Most modern translations follow the King James lead, and I don’t know of any that use the literal meaning of the word.

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