The healing of a blind man with spittle.

Mark 8.22-26  (John 9.1-41).

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Notes and quotes.

§ This pericope is one of only two miracles present in Mark but absent from Matthew. The other is Mark 1.23-28 = Luke 4.33-37, the exorcism of the Capernaum demoniac.

§ Thomas 24c:


There is light within a man of light, and he becomes light to the whole world; if he does not become light, it is darkness.

§ Papyrus Egerton 2, fragment 1 verso, lines 15-17, nonlineated:

...οιδαμεν οτι Μω{υσει} ελα[λησεν] ο θ{εο}ς· σε δε ουκ οιδαμεν [ποθεν ει]....

...we know that God sp[oke] to Mo{ses}. But you, we do not know [whence you are]....

§ I have linked Mark 8.22-26 with John 9.1-41 because of the obvious similarity in miracle: Spittle helps to cure a blind man. John Dominic Crossan, however, links John 9.1-41 with the healing of the paralytic in Matthew 9.1-8 = Mark 2.1-12 = Luke 5.17-26 because of the connection made in that pericope between curing the sick and forgiving sins, so reminiscent of John 9.2, 34. On page 441 of The Historical Jesus Crossan annotates his complex number 127 as follows:

127+. Sickness and Sin: (1) John 5:1-9a, 14; (2) Mark 2:1-12 = Matt. 9:1-8 = Luke 5:17-26.

(The plus sign + indicates that, in the judgment of Crossan, this complex is based on an historical incident of some kind in the career of Jesus.)

§ On page 135 of Light from the Ancient East Adolf Deissman gives the text and translation of what he calls one of four records of cures inscribed on a marble tablet some time after 138, probably at the temple of Asclepius on the island in the Tiber at Rome (I have slightly modified his translation):

Ουαλεριω Απρω στρατιωτη τυφλω εχρηματισεν ο θεος ελθειν και λαβειν αιμα εξ αλεκτρυωνος λευκου μετα μελιτος και κολλυριο[ν] συντριψαι και επι τρεις ημερας επιχρεισαι επι τους οφθαλμους. και ανεβλεψεν και εληλυθεν και ηυχαριστησεν δημοσια τω θεω.

To Valerius Aper, a blind soldier, the god revealed that he should go and take blood from a white cock, together with honey, and rub them into a salve and anoint his eyes for three days. And he saw again and came and gave thanks publicly to the god.