The term "biblical healing" can refer either to specific instances of healing mentioned in the Bible or to modern faith healing based on biblical principles. Many religious people accept as history the various accounts of healing described in the Bible. There is much controversy, however, regarding the validity of faith healing in the modern world.
The Bible mentions many instances of what might be called biblical healing. In the Old Testament, for example, Moses and Elisha are among those who healed. The New Testament also has many references to healing, both by Jesus and by his followers.
With respect to modern biblical healing, there are several New Testament passages of relevance, although the application of the passages is controversial. In Mark 16:18, for example, Jesus says that his followers "shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." This passage is omitted or bracketed in many modern Bible translations. For those who count it authentic, it is viewed as a temporal sign accompanying the apostolic age; on the other hand, it is applied to the modern day, thereby giving basis for faith healing. In 1 Corinthians, healing is classified as a spiritual gift.
Another New Testament passage regarding healing, James 5:14-16, is accepted by many people as applying today but is interpreted differently. In this passage, the sick are instructed to call for elders to pray over them and anoint them with oil. This is seen by many as a clear statement that believers can be healed by doing this. Others, however, believe that this passage is limited only to healing for illnesses that came about specifically as a result of an individual's sins.
The Bible is filled with references to healing, and it also contains several passages that suggest some believers might have a gift of healing. The application of these passages, however, is controversial to some. Although some people believe that biblical healing might involve a miracle worked by faith, others believe these miracles have ceased to occur. Many religious leaders and others who believe in the Bible claim to be able to perform biblical healing or to have benefited from it.