Posted by CN Staff on January 06, 2003 at 15:05:47
PTSource: BBC News <http://news.bbc.co.uk/>
Many of the miracles concerned healing
Jesus Christ and his apostles may have used a cannabis-based
anointing oil to help cure people with crippling diseases, it has been claimed.
Researchers in the United States say the oil used in the early days of the
Christian church contained a cannabis extract called kaneh-bosem.
suggest the extract, which is absorbed into the body when placed on the skin,
could have helped cure people with a variety of physical and mental problems.
The medical use of cannabis during that time is supported by
archaeological records -- Chris Bennet
The author of the article,
published in the US drugs magazine High Times, says his findings are based on a
study of scriptural texts.
The article does not question the validity of the miracles reported
in the Bible but rather examines whether the early Christian Church may have
made use of substances with an active medical effect.
They do not rule
out the role played by blind faith in Christ.
Chris Bennett said
cannabis was widely used at the time to heal the sick.
"The medical use
of cannabis during that time is supported by archaeological records."
said the ancient anointing oil contained high levels of cannabis extract.
"The holy anointing oil, as described in the original Hebrew version of
the recipe in Exodus, contained over six pounds of keneh-bosum - a substance
identified by respected etymology, linguists anthropologists, botanists and
other researchers as cannabis extracted into about six quarts of olive oil along
with a variety of other fragrant herbs.
"The ancient annointed ones were
literally drenched in this potent mixture."
Mr Bennett suggested the drug may have played a role in some healing
miracles carried out by Jesus and his disciples.
He wrote: "In the
ancient world, diseases such as epilepsy were attributed to demonic possession.
"To cure somebody of such an illness, even with the aid of certain herbs
was considered exorcism or miraculous healing.
Jesus often becomes the
final hope for the pharmacologically impaired --
"Interestingly, cannabis has been shown to be effective
in the treatment of not only epilepsy but many of the other ailments that Jesus
and the disciples healed people of such as skin diseases, eye problems and
Mr Bennett said the findings suggested that it was
unchristian to persecute people who used cannabis.
"If cannabis was one
of the main ingredients of the ancient Christian anointing oil, as history
indicates, and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his
followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be
However, Christian groups in the United States
have rejected Mr Bennett's claims.
They have insisted that the arguments
made in the article are lame.
In a response to the article published on
JesusJournal.com -- http://www.jesusjournal.com/ -- critics said: "As many of us
know firsthand, Jesus often becomes the final hope for the pharmacologically
Source: BBC News (UK Web)
Published: Monday, January 06,
Copyright: 2003 BBC