A disorder marked by erratic electrical discharges of the central nervous system resulting in convulsions. In ancient times epilepsy was thought to be triggered by the moon. The term at
Matthew 4:24 translated as epilepsy by most modern translations is literally “moonstruck”. The KJV term “lunatic” from the Latin luna (moon) assumes the same cause for the disorder. Many interpreters understand the symptoms of the boy in
Mark 9:17-29 (inability to speak, salivation, grinding teeth, rigid body, convulsions) as expressions of epilepsy.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'EPILEPSY'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".