Eric Altschuler of the psychology department at the University of California, San Diego, is gaining a reputation as the Bible's psychotherapist. Last February, he gained media attention for diagnosing strongman Samson with Antisocial Personality Disorder. In November, he claimed the prophet Ezekiel suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, with symptoms such as extreme piety, fainting, compulsive writing, frequent inability to speak, aggression, and delusions. The discoveries, he says, illuminate not only the biblical texts but also modern medicine. "If there were no old cases, we'd have to ask if there was something wrong in our environment," he told The Guardian newspaper.

Related Elsewhere

Related articles include:

Gloomy Ezekiel was an epileptic, says doctorThe Guardian, London (Nov. 15, 2001)
Biblical hero Samson may have been sociopath as well as strongman, according to new research — UCSD press release
Samson 'was mentally ill' — BBC (Feb. 15, 2001)
Scientists put Bible's Samson on couchThe Guardian, London (Feb. 15, 2001)
Anti-social SamsonNew Scientist (Feb. 14, 2001)

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.