Christadelphians, Please Beware!
by Anthony Buzzard
It is a terrible thing to be found tampering with the sacred text of Scripture. Unwittingly Christadelphians appear to have been caught in a trap when they attempt to alter the inspired words of the New Testament in order to justify a long-held tradition that demons are non-existent!
In Luke 4:41 “Demons came out of many, crying out and saying, ‘You are the Son of God!’ And rebuking them he did not allow them to speak because they knew him to be the Christ.”
What information is conveyed by this record? Demons came out. Demons cried out. Demons spoke. Jesus rebuked demons. Demons recognized Jesus as the Christ.
Non-existent things do not speak! Non-existent things cannot recognize Jesus as the Christ!
Commenting on Luke 4:41 a discussion of demons states, “A common sense reading of the passage is that when the demons were cast out, the people declared Jesus to be the Son of God” (John Allfree, Bible Study, No. 2, emphasis added.
The laws of grammatical agreement in Greek allow us to know with complete certainty who it was who cried out and spoke and who it was who recognized Jesus as Messiah. According to Luke it was the demons who recognized Jesus, not their victims:
Luke 4:41: “Demons [neuter plural] came out of many people [masculine plural], crying [neuter plural agreeing with demons] and saying [neuter plural agreeing with demons], ‘You are the Son of God.’ And he rebuked them [neuter plural, the demons] and did not allow them [neuter plural, the demons] to speak, because they [the demons] knew him to be the Christ.”
Christadelphians must be cautioned against suppressing or altering the biblical text in the way suggested by the “common sense” reading. It is hardly “common sense” to mistranslate the Bible!
In James 2:19 we read that “the demons also believe and tremble.” A desperate expedient is employed by Christadelphians to avoid this plain proof that demons are conscious, intelligent beings:
“Job 32:7 says that ‘days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.’ In this verse clearly ‘days’ = men who have days and ‘years’ = men who have years. By the same figure in ‘the devils also believe and tremble,’ devils = men who have devils.” No evidence is cited from any source that demon is ever a figure of speech for a demon-possessed person. In the New Testament the demon and its human victim are not confused.
May Christadelphians awake to the serious interference with scriptural truth implied by such “explanations.” James taught that demons believe in the one God. This establishes the existence of demons beyond any doubt. To turn the word “demons” into “the demonized” is an alteration of the sacred text.
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