This paper traces religious scriptural conceptualization and praxis of disability through pre-monotheistic Hellenic, Judeo-Christian, Islamic and eastern religious contexts. Secular-rationalistic conceptualization of disability through the medical model is discussed and situated within its origins of Judeo-Christian ethics. This is especially relevant in the history of eugenics. Universalization through the social model of disability is contrasted with the increase of faith-based organizations in development practice that bring their own religious world-views. I argue that understanding historical scriptural conceptualizations of disability are important to understand current trends in international development that affect persons with disabilities.