PALSY (παραλυτικός, G4166). Palsy means loss of motor function, and sometimes of sensory ability. It is an abbreviation of “paralysis.” In modern Eng. it is used much less frequently than “paralysis,” but palsy is still a well-recognized medical term.
Palsy—or paralysis—occurs in scores of different forms. It may be limited to a local area of the body, or be generalized. It may be temporary or permanent. Almost everyone has experienced the temporary rigidity of ischemic palsy, due to interference with the flow of blood to the muscles involved. Progressive, or wasting palsy, is seen in muscular dystrophy with its gradual loss of muscular tissue. A striking example of generalized and usually permanent paralysis is seen in some cases of polio meningitis.
The causes of palsy are many and varied. The condition may be inherited. It may be due to injury at birth. Sicknesses, such as polio or syphilis, may be responsible. A common cause is injury to a major nerve, or to the spinal cord. Paralysis due to hysteria is seen occasionally. In Biblical days sins of an individual were blamed for his paralysis, and this thought must have added greatly to the patient’s misery.
Jesus cured people with paralysis (
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
pol’-zi, pa-ral’-i-sis (paralusis): The English word "palsy" is derived from the Old French paralesie, which in Middle English was shortened into palesie, the form in which it appears in Wycliff’s version. In the 16th century it appears as "palsy," the form used in the