The Beelzebul Controversy



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The Beelzebul Controversy


Matthew 12:22–32

22 Then a blind and dumb demoniac was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard it they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” 25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand; 26 and if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.

28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.

30 He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Mark 3:19–30

Then he went home; 20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is beside himself.”


22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”

23 And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.


27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house.
28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”


Luke 11:14–23

14 Now he was casting out a demon that was dumb; when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke, and the people marvelled.
15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons”; 16 while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.


20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; 22 but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted, and divides his spoil. 23 He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.





Other Accusations that Jesus Has a Demon (i.e., Is Insane) or Is in League with Beelzebul

Matthew 10:25: “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.”


John 7:19–20: “‘Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?’ The people answered, ‘You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?’”
John 8:51–52: “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death.’ The Jews said to him, ‘Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets; and you say, “If any one keeps my word, he will never taste death.”’”
John 10:19–21: “There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, ‘He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?’ Others said, ‘These are not the sayings of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?’”


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