Anointing of the Sick

This Epistle of James is also the chief biblical text for the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.  Some have suggested that this activity indicates a later work, since there was an official body of presbyters.  That contrasts with the Pauline free spirit healing, especially at Corinth.  Nevertheless James, chapter 5:13-15, has become the basis for the Roman Catholic sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.  Care for the sick was a common theme among the early Christians.  Anointing was a common practice among both the Jewish and gentile people of the first century.  Anointing had a kingly and priestly nuance.  In fact, the very name of “Christ” is the Greek work for the anointed one.  Thus, anointing sick people did not seem out of place in the early Christian community that did so in the name of Jesus Christ.  Do you ever anoint yourself or anyone else with oil?

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