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Where did the word 'demon' come from?

Submitted: 6/17/2010
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Question: I notice in the King James Bible that the word 'demon' is not there. How did the word come about for the word spirit, devil, etc. and where did the word come from?

Answer: The word 'demon' is an anglicized version of the Greek word 'daimon.' Strong's dictionary defines a demon as a 'supernatural spirit (of a bad nature).' We do not know why the King James translators chose to use the word 'devil' instead. Perhaps that was the more common word back in 1611. The New King James Bible translates the word 'daimon' as 'demon' 45 times in the New Testament. This word was used among the ancient Greeks. For example, Socrates spoke of a wise daimon who imparted wisdom to him. To the Christian, demons are usually thought of as evil spirits that work for Satan in deceiving man and tempting him to sin.