I learned this today. Scary stuff.
Where does the word pharmacia appear in the Greek version of the New Testament?
Answer: Sorcery or witchcraft
One place is in Galatians 5:19-21–
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The bolded word sorcery above is the translation of the Greek word pharmacia, which refers to the usage of mind-altering drugs. It’s where our words pharmacy and pharmacuticals come from.
Also in Revelation 9:21–
21 And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.
23 the light of a lamp will never shine in you again; and the voice of a groom and bride will never be heard in you again. All this will happen because your merchants were the nobility of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery…
The word pharmakeia is associated with mind-altering medicine and drugs, spells, poisoning, and witchcraft. The supposed primary purpose of this practice was to protect the patient from demonic forces, but the Bible warns against these things. Taking this term in its original context, its modern application could be associated with the field of Psychiatric medicine. Many of the common “disorders” that are now treated with medication would have been viewed in ancient times as demons. Pharmakeia could also be associated with the sale and use of illegal drugs.