Disabilities in Old and New Testaments

I would like to know how the Old and New Testaments view persons born with a disability (cleft Palette, hearing impared, down syndrome, learning disabilities, etc.). And how would they have been treated in the sense of those leading the religious institutes (i.e. priests, Pharisees, early Christian leaders, etc.)? I know that through our own deeper understanding that these are not sins, but at one time people viewed these as sins or sins of their fathers. Only until we have grown in our limited wisdom have we understood that these are not brought about by anyone sinning. Thank you!

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Disabilities do not equal sin in the Bible

Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament scriptures portrays such impairments as the result of sin, or as blameworthy.  In the Old Testament law about the temple, priests could not serve if they had any physical defect, or if they had a running sore or if they had sexual relations within a certain time frame.  These all had to do with ritual purity, not moral purity.


In the New Testament, the Christian assemblies aren't a temple, so these ritual requirements don't pertain.

But in answer to your question, no.  The Bible doesn't anywhere associate physical impairments with the result of sin.

Author: Larry W. Hurtado




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