Mark 8:23

New Testament

22 Then they came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to Jesus and asked him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and brought him outside of the village. Then he spit on his eyes, placed his hands on his eyes and asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 Regaining his sight he said, “I see people, but they look like trees walking.” 25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again. And he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”

Shabbat 108b

Babylonian Talmud

Ravin asked another question: When one washes himself on Shabbat in water from the Dead Sea, what is the halakha? Is it permitted for him to close and open his eyes in the water so that the water gets inside? Rabbi Yirmeya said to him: That case I did not hear; however, with regard to a similar case, placing wine in one’s eye on Shabbat, I did hear. As Rabbi Zeira said, sometimes he said it in the name of Rav Mattana and sometimes he said it in the name of Mar Ukva, and they both said it in the name of Shmuel’s father and in the name of Levi: One of them said: With regard to placing wine inside the eye on Shabbat, it is prohibited because it heals; on the eye, it is permitted. And one of them said: Bland saliva, saliva from one who has not eaten since waking, even placing it on the eye on Shabbat is prohibited because it is commonly used as medicine.

 Notes and References

"... As is true in many other respects, the New Testament proves itself a Hellenistic book by the kind and number of miracles it records. The form of the miracle story found in the New Testament, particularly in the Synoptic Gospels is closer to the pagan than to the Jewish. Jesus is never recorded as having performed a miracle by means of prayer, and he is never remembered as having affected rainfall, a favorite activity of the wonder working rabbis. On the other hand, Jesus is not remembered to have used any kind of incantations, or magical metals or plants in the working of miracles. Yet there are common elements in the New Testament miracle stories and those of the Hellenistic world. Jesus uses saliva in the healing process, his exorcisms contain elements familiar from the Hellenistic world, and in two instances, reports contain reference to foreign phrases (Mark 7:33; 8:23; b. Shabbat 108b, Suetonius, Lies 7.2-3) ..."

Achtemeier, Paul J. Jesus and the Miracle Tradition (p. 214) Cascade Books, 2008

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