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.” 27 Then Jesus and his disciples went to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They said, “John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others, one of the prophets.”

Suetonius The Twelve Caesars 7

About the Life of the Caesars

Immediately after this, arrived letters with intelligence that Vitellius’s troops had been defeated at Cremona, and he himself slain at Rome. Vespasian, the new emperor, having been raised unexpectedly from a low estate, wanted something which might clothe him with divine majesty and authority. This, likewise, was now added. A poor man who was blind, and another who was lame, came both together before him, when he was seated on the tribunal, imploring him to heal them, and saying that they were admonished in a dream by the god Serapis to seek his aid, who assured them that he would restore sight to the one by anointing his eyes with his spittle, and give strength to the leg of the other, if he vouchsafed but to touch it with his heel. At first he could scarcely believe that the thing would any how succeed, and therefore hesitated to venture on making the experiment. At length, however, by the advice of his friends, he made the attempt publicly, in the presence of the assembled multitudes, and it was crowned with success in both cases. About the same time, at Tegea in Arcadia, by the direction of some soothsayers, several vessels of ancient workmanship were dug out of a consecrated place, on which there was an effigy resembling Vespasian.

 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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