The Greek word that we have translated as, involvement in the occult at Galatians 5:20 is pharmakia. This word has been translated many ways over the years to fit particular religious ‘hot buttons.’
While some have applied it to forbid spiritism and others have applied it to forbid the use of illicit drugs (due to the ‘pharmacy’ connection). However, the word refers specifically to the use of ‘magic potions’ that are supplied by mystics, such as witches and the like. And perhaps some connection to modern-day (prescribed and patent) medicines as sold in drug stores could be implied. However, the difference is that modern medicines aren’t claimed to have ‘magical’ or ‘occult’ powers.
The particular Greek/English interlinear Bible that we used when preparing this version translated pharmakia as druggery. However, the nuance that druggery implies in American English simply isn’t correct. It suggests the misuse (abuse) of mind-altering drugs, and that isn’t the primary meaning of pharmakia.
While mind-altering drugs would likely have played a role in ancient potions, the corrupt act mentioned here clearly refers to any involvement in occult practices.
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