The History and Origins of Demonic Possession
According to the Bible, Man is subject to the influence of evil simply by original sin. And though Jesus came down for our salvation, we are still plagued by temptation every day. The existence of demons, however, goes back even further, and are interpreted in various ways by many cultures and religions.
The Sumerians. Having the oldest references to demonic possession, these people believed that disease came from “sickness demons”, with exorcisms performed by sorcerers rather than physicians. Their clay tablets contained prayers to be spared by these demons, or to expel those that have entered their bodies.
Shamanic culture. With similar beliefs in possession and exorcism rituals, the culture attributed sickness to vengeful spirits, and made offerings to appease them.
Christianity. Christians define demons as fallen angels, and that possession is linked to a Devil named Satan. Given this status, demons are more powerful than humans, but submit to Jesus’ authority.
Roman Ritual. Demonic possession was characterized by the four typical characteristics: manifestation of superhuman strength, speaking in tongues, revelation of hidden or distant knowledge, and blasphemous rage.
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