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October 19, 2010 at 3:51 am #139948JaxKeymaster
I was going to write a post on this, but due to time and also to encourage more discussion I’d like to put the question out here first. How do you define the difference between curing a person and healing them? Which is more important and why? I’ll add my thoughts later.October 19, 2010 at 4:13 am #156296jdmcowanParticipant
The way I use the two terms are that healing fixes a specific injury and curing fixes an ongoing pathology. You heal a wound; you cure a disease. These terms can be used for both physical conditions and spiritual conditions. Using these definitions, it is difficult to say that one is more important than the other, since they are used in different situations. Though if there were a disease that was causing wounds, the first priority would obviously be to cure the disease so that when the wounds heal they will not recur.
I looked them up in both my collegiate dictionary and my medical dictionary. They do not support such a clear distinction, though the differences between the definitions could be read to imply the above. So I wonder where such a clear distinction comes in my head. Perhaps from D&D where a healing spell restores hit points and a curing spell removes an effect. I’m interested to see if others make the same distinction that I do.
Zen-RyoOctober 19, 2010 at 4:18 am #156297JaxKeymaster
I’m not a D&D person, but thank you for that reference. I’ll have to think about the questions you brought up. If you’d like to know where the inspiration came from, I was listening to A Prairie Home Companion this weekend and it came up in the News From Lake Wobegon segment. You can hear it on the website (the Oct 16, 2010 show for future reference) http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/ It got me thinking of situations I’ve seen in life which I’ll share later.October 20, 2010 at 10:49 pm #156341jdmcowanParticipant
I usually listen to the braodcasts live, but I didn’t realize that they had it broken up into sections like that on the internet. Thanks for pointing me there. I missed it this week and so hadn’t heard that yet. Interestingly, I have also never heard anyone tell the story of the ten lepers like that. It is usually told as an example of how easy it is to take God’s grace for granted and how we need to be more thankful. I don’t know that I buy into the story as told.
Warning: academic discussion of the Bible story in Luke 17:12-19 ahead…
The Greek calls the ten “lepros” which is where we get our word “lepers”, but could refer to any skin disease that might be contagious. In Mosaic law the priests were the ones that could declare a leper clean (i.e. no longer have the disease – “cured”). Jesus tells them to see the priests implying that they would no longer be unclean. While on the way there they are “cleansed/cured” (katharizo – related to “catharsis”). The Samaritan then realizes that he is “cured/whole” (iaomai) and turns back to thank Jesus. Jesus tells him that it was his faith that made him “healthy/saved” (sozo).
Most translations use “cleansed” for “katharizo”, “healed” for “iaomai”, and “whole” or “well” for “sozo”. Keillor uses “healed” for “katharizo” and “cured” for “iaomai”. Since the pastor then went on to differentiate “healed” and “cured” it sounds like he is making the same distinction that I described earlier. Perhaps there is an implication in the Greek that the disease could recur in the 9, but the Samaritan is protected from recurrance.
Interestingly, though most translations give verse 19 as, “Your faith has made you whole/well,” it could also be translated as, “Your faith has saved you,” which gives it a double entendre for Christians.
I don’t know if that helps you consider the issues that first came into your mind or not, but I hope it was educational and not too boring.
Zen-RyoOctober 20, 2010 at 11:07 pm #156342JaxKeymaster
Not what I had in mind but very interesting! I had no idea about all that history. Heading home now, but think of what the spiritual implications would be for curing vs healing. This is an issue that comes up for people who walk the path of healing in some way.October 20, 2010 at 11:10 pm #156343Jedi_PhoenixModerator
I’m not sure about the spiritual implications per se, but my thoughts on this is that curing is a more passive process done by one party to another, where as healing is a very dynamic process involving both parties and is very active.
I’m not sure that this is always the case, but to me that is what comes to mind if there really is a difference. Healing also has a more wholesome connotation to me. For instance, when Zen Ryo talked about Jesus: healing was used to describe not only his outward illness but also the condition he suffered from in terms of faith. A cure might have just been of the disease itself.
Does that make sense? lol
PhoenixOctober 20, 2010 at 11:13 pm #156345JaxKeymaster
More interesting ideas! This is fun That’s closer to what I was thinking. Eventually I post what I was thinking, but this is pretty interesting to see what you guys take from it.October 21, 2010 at 1:24 am #156346jdmcowanParticipant
My mind certainly doesn’t distinguish the words in that way, but I can see where you are going – healing would be the process of the body or spirit mending (active) and curing would be the pathology being taken away (passive). It doesn’t sound like Keillor is using those definitions either, since Jesus says that the “cure” came through the Samaritan’s own participation in the process (i.e. his faith). But if Keillor sounds like he is using my definition and Jax is using Phoenix’s definition, then perhaps that’s what inspired the question.
Modified to refer to “body or spirit”.October 21, 2010 at 2:34 am #156350jdmcowanParticipant
To show examples of the application of my definitions to the spirit…
You would heal the spirit in the case of not getting over the death of someone close or holding a grudge that is effecting your life negatively. It is a spiritual wound caused by a distinct event (or a limited series of distinct events).
You would cure the spirit in the case of chronic depression or paranoia. It is an unhelpful way that the mind works and causes ongoing multiple cases of disturbance.
As a physician, and in my experiences helping those in spiritual need, I find healing wounds to be much easier than curing pathologies, but curing pathologies to be more imporant.
If I were using the definitions presented by Phoenix, I would have to say that I find “healing” to be both easier and more effective. I always use inclusive language with my patients. I don’t say, “I’m going to heal/cure you,” or even, “if you apply this here it will heal/cure you.” I say, “let’s get this healed/cured,” or, “if you apply this here it will help you heal.”
Zen-RyoOctober 21, 2010 at 2:37 am #156351Jedi_PhoenixModerator
Thanks Zen-Ryo for the back up examples. Just goes to show how we really can differ in our interpretation, and to an extent how that can impact an outcome!
I’m glad we had this discussion though, Jax; especially now that I am going to start massage therapy school and it will probably be something I can keep in the back of my mind =]
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