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Author Index - Luke

Luke was our imaginary doctor who penned the Differential Diagnosis series in Nucleus from 1992 - 2002

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Differential Diagnosis 21 (nucleus - autumn 1997)

The men of Israel indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women and are led into idolatry. God sends a plague because of their disobedience. (See 2 Pet 2:15, Jude 11, Rev 2:14 for New Testament insights into Balaam and his involvement in the Israelite downfall.) As the plague is associated...

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Differential Diagnosis 19 (nucleus - spring 1997)

Nebuchadnezzar's insanity was characterised by rapid onset (v33), with spontaneous remission after an unspecified interval (v34). His behaviour (eating grass and allowing his hair and nails to grow long) is suggestive of lycanthropy; a delusion in which the patient believes himself to be an animal. This may be caused by...

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Differential Diagnosis 18 (nucleus - winter 1996)

It seems Rebekah's twin pregnancy was not easy. The phrase 'the babies jostled each other within her' (Gn 25:22), is hard to put into medical terminology but suggests unusually violent foetal movements. This foresaw the momentous future conflict between Esau and Jacob- and their descendants (Gn 25:23). In the Bible...

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Differential Diagnosis 17 (nucleus - autumn 1996)

There have been some remarkable injuries in the history of sports medicine but this is one of the most dramatic. During his gruelling and prolonged wrestling contest Jacob's hip was 'wrenched' (v 25) by his opponent and was almost certainly 'put out of joint' (v 25 RSV) or dislocated. It...

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Differential Diagnosis 16 (nucleus - summer 1996)

Luke has a difficult task in determining the aetiology of the blindness in this passage, the possible causes being legion. However, the Apostle John gives us a number of clues. We know that the man was blind at birth or soon afterwards as testified by the people and his parents....

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Differential Diagnosis 15 (nucleus - spring 1996)

The language used implies Uzzah's death was immediate, suggesting a cardiovascular cause. His youth (he was still living in his father's house) and fitness (he was chosen to perform a manual task), would make ruptured aneurysm, brain stem infarction and massive pulmonary embolism unlikely explanations. There is also no history...

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Differential Diagnosis 14 (nucleus - winter 1995)

After his encounter with the risen Jesus, Saul (as he was then) was blind for 3 days (Acts 9:9), and his sight was restored (9:17-18) when 'something like scales' fell from his eyes. In later years Paul's eyesight was poor. He refers to a personal illness in his letter to the...

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Differential Diagnosis 12 (nucleus - summer 1995)

Luke's history taking is again salient and clear; Elymas's vision suddenly became misty, blackness came over him and he groped around for some one to lead him. The speed of onset suggests a vascular cause, and the total visual loss implies a bilateral event. Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) of sufficient magnitude...

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Differential Diagnosis 11 (nucleus - spring 1995)

Leprosy (or Hansen's disease) is an infectious condition caused by the pathogen Mycobacterium leprae which was first described in 1847. It is characterised initially by a macular rash, progressing to dermal nodules most commonly on the nose, face, extensor sufaces of the limbs and the mucous membranes of the upper...

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Differential Diagnosis 10 (nucleus - winter 1994)

When the Roman soldiers approached Jesus on the cross intending to break his legs, they found he was already dead (v33). Indeed, he had been observed to die by eye witnesses a short time before (v30). Seasoned executioners such as these were unlikely to be mistaken in their diagnosis and...

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