Did you know that the word once used to describe witchcraft, sorcery and magic evolved into the word we now use for the place we pick up our medications?
It’s true! You can even find it in the Bible (if you check out the original Greek).
Read on to find the story behind the word: Pharmacy.
Our modern word for pharmacy came from the Greek word, pharmakeia.
It’s pronounced: “Far” + “Ma” + “Kay” + “uh.”
And like many of our words today, it had different meanings depending on the context in which it was used.
We find this word in the Holy Bible, in particular in Galatians 5.
“idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,”
– Galatians 5:19 (English standard version)
But in the original Greek text, the word used for sorcery was pharmakeia.
And in Greek, pharmakeia could mean magic, sorcery, witchcraft, enchantment, drugs or medication. As previously mentioned, its meaning depended on its use in context.
When the pharmakeia is used various places in the Bible, it has these meanings:
From Greek, pharmakeia, meaning “practice of the druggist” > which is based on pharmakon, meaning drug > medieval Latin > Old French, farmacie > late middle English, pharmacy.
phar·ma·cy | fär-mə-sē | färməsē