Examine the apostolic accounts of demonology in the New Testament – Demonology


The New Testament contains several apostolic accounts of demonology, where the apostles, following the ministry and teachings of Jesus, encounter and deal with demons and evil spirits. These accounts provide insight into the apostles’ actions and beliefs regarding spiritual warfare and the power of Christ over malevolent forces. Here are some notable apostolic accounts of demonology in the New Testament:

  1. The Twelve Apostles and Authority over Demons:
    • In the Gospels, Jesus empowers his twelve apostles to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick and cast out demons (Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:14-15; Luke 9:1).
    • The apostles exercise the authority given to them by Jesus to perform exorcisms and liberate those who were demon-possessed.
  2. Peter and the Healing of the Possessed:
    • In Acts 5:15-16, it is reported that people brought the sick and those afflicted by unclean spirits into the streets so that even Peter’s shadow might fall on them, and they would be healed.
    • This passage highlights the belief in the apostles’ ability to heal and cast out demons through their association with Jesus.
  3. Paul and the Slave Girl with a Spirit of Divination:
    • In Acts 16:16-18, Paul and Silas encounter a slave girl with a spirit of divination who brings her owners much profit through fortune-telling.
    • Paul, moved by the Spirit of God, commands the spirit to come out of her, and she is delivered from demonic influence.
  4. Paul’s Exorcism in Ephesus:
    • In Acts 19:11-20, it is recounted that extraordinary miracles were performed by Paul in Ephesus, including the casting out of evil spirits.
    • Some Jewish exorcists attempted to invoke the name of Jesus to cast out demons but were unsuccessful, highlighting the importance of genuine faith in Christ’s authority.
  5. The Sons of Sceva:
    • In Acts 19:13-16, the story of the sons of Sceva illustrates the dangers of attempting exorcism without a genuine relationship with Christ.
    • These individuals tried to use the name of Jesus as an incantation but were overpowered by the demon, emphasizing that true authority over demons comes from faith in Christ.
  6. Teaching on Spiritual Warfare:
    • The apostolic writings, particularly in the Epistles, contain teachings on spiritual warfare and the importance of putting on the armor of God to resist the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-18).
    • These teachings emphasize the need for believers to stand firm against spiritual forces of evil through faith in Christ.
  7. Exorcism as a Sign of the Kingdom:
    • The apostolic accounts of demonology echo the themes found in the Gospels, demonstrating that the casting out of demons was a sign of the kingdom of God breaking into the world.
    • The apostles continued the ministry of Jesus by proclaiming liberation from spiritual oppression through faith in Christ.

These apostolic accounts of demonology in the New Testament underline the belief that the authority and power of Jesus over evil spirits were passed on to his apostles. The apostles’ encounters with demons serve as evidence of the transformative impact of Christ’s ministry and the expansion of the kingdom of God through their preaching and exorcisms. These accounts also emphasize the importance of genuine faith and a personal relationship with Christ when dealing with spiritual warfare.