What is a…

Hebrew: רָפָא —transliteration: rapha —meaning: heal, healer or physician

Greek: ἰατρὸς —transliteration: iatros —meaning: a physician / from the word ἰάομαι —transliteration: iaomai —meaning: “healed” or “I heal”

In the New Testament, Luke was known as a Gentile physician—“one who heals”—a professional medical practitioner.

Joseph’s servant physicians mentioned in Genesis 50:2 were also skilled in embalming the dead and prepared the body of Israel (Jacob) for transportation to Canaan for burial.

In the Old Testament, King Asa, afflicted with some bodily malady, “sought not to the Lord but to the [so-called] physicians” (2 Chronicles 16:12). These “physicians” were not doctors but rather those who “practiced heathen arts of magic, disavowing recognized methods of cure, and dissociating the healing art from dependence on the God of Israel. The sin of Asa was not, therefore, in seeking medical advice, as we understand the phrase, but in forgetting Jehovah.”

Article Version: January 27, 2018