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Joe Mcintyre

This paper was written by Joe Mcintyre.


Joe McIntyre is the President of the International Fellowship of Ministries.

Originally published in Refleks 1-1 (2002). Included by permission.

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Articles > Charismatic Theology > Healing In Redemption

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1 Pet. 2:24


The other New Testament verse that divine healing advocates frequently cite as a ‘proof text’ is 1 Peter 2:24:


who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness -- by whose stripes you were healed. (NKJV)


This is usually objected to by stating that the context is not about healing but sin. D. Edmond Hiebert, for example, states “The context indicates that the reference is not to the healing of physical sickness or disease. The passage cannot be used to teach that bodily healing is available in the atonement as salvation from sin is found at the cross.”[xxvi] This comment is typical of most conservative, non-Pentecostal (and some Pentecostal) scholars. But is it a valid view?


If what I have been offering above as reasons for the prejudice against healing in general and healing in the atonement in particular has merit, then Hiebert’s argument is really a perfect illustration of the dualism and cessationist presuppositions referred to above. And there is another difficulty with Hiebert’s (and those who follow this logic) interpretation.


Most people, scholars or otherwise, would agree that our spiritual experiences greatly color how we interpret the scriptures. The unregenerate scholar sees the new birth as a metaphor. Because the new birth is outside of his experiential knowledge, he must explain it in a way that is supported by his worldview. The conservative evangelical scholar, however, can never look at the new birth as a metaphor unrelated to experience.


Those who receive the gift of tongues can never wonder if “ tongues are for today?” Their experiential knowledge of Biblical truth determines, at least to some degree, their interpretation. That’s why we have Evangelical and Pentecostal scholars.


So when we read Peter, what well of experience and what worldview would he be drawing from? Western dualism and a cessationist bias? Hardly. Would he separate forgiveness from healing and consider them two entirely unrelated categories like so many scholars do today? I don’t think so. Peter would think like a good Jew!


As to healing, what would his experience have taught him? He had spent 3 and a half years participating in the healing ministry of Jesus. He saw multitudes healed, many whom he prayed for along with the other disciples. After the day of Pentecost, he saw multitudes healed through his ministry and the ministry of the others around him. When he wrote 1 Peter 2:24 was he inclined to speak of healing as a metaphor for forgiveness?  If so, that would be entirely inconsistent with both his worldview and his experience. He would be more likely, given his experience and worldview, to feel a need to explain his use of healing as a metaphor than to assume that his readers would take it that way. His readers were part of the community that had witnessed a tremendous amount of healing. It should also be noted that his ministry was primarily to the Jews, the part of the community that shared his worldview and presuppositions.

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