Biblical Leprosy: Shedding Light on the Disease that Shuns by Dr. Alan Gillen, found at the Answers in Genesis website:
Disease is a constant reminder of just how much things have changed since God pronounced a curse on the earth. At first, everything was “very good,” but Adam’s sin brought death and decay into the world.
One of the most well-known examples of debilitating disease in this sin-cursed creation is Mycobacterium leprae, the infectious bacterial agent of leprosy. Leprosy is discussed quite often in the Bible. While its definition in modern times is different from biblical times, there is no doubt that the definitions overlap, and the modern form of the disease still illustrates important spiritual lessons today.
The term “leprosy” (including leper, lepers, leprosy, leprous) occurs 68 times in the Bible—55 times in the Old Testament (Hebrew =tsara’ath) and 13 times in the New Testament (Greek = lepros, lepra). In the Old Testament, the instances of leprosy most likely meant a variety of infectious skin diseases, and even mold and mildew on clothing and walls. The precise meaning of the leprosy in both the Old and New Testaments is still in dispute, but it probably includes the modern Hansen’s disease (especially in the New Testament) and infectious skin diseases.
Leprosy has terrified humanity since ancient times. It is a powerful symbol reminding us of sin’s spread and horrible consequences.
, a biology professor at Liberty University, is the author of Body by Design andThe Genesis of Germs. He has also written more than 30 papers on topics in microbiology, zoology, and anatomy. Dr. Gillen is a regular contributor to various creation-based magazines, journals, and books.