Why did the blind of Bethsaida see men as ''trees walking''?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Giuseppe
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Why did the blind of Bethsaida see men as ''trees walking''?

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:32 am

As the reader knows, I think that in Mark 8, the verse 28 is an anti-Gnostic interpolation:

27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
28 And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
...being the original answer of Peter in the Earliest Gospel: ''The men say that Thou art the Christ''.

Now, what precedes the answer of Peter in Caesarea Philippi is the following episode:

22 Jesus and his followers came to Bethsaida. There some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch the man. 23 So Jesus took the blind man’s hand and led him out of the village. Then he spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on the man and asked, “Can you see now?”
24 The man looked up and said, “Yes, I see people, but they look like trees walking around.”
25 Again Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then the man opened his eyes wide and they were healed, and he was able to see everything clearly. 26 Jesus told him to go home, saying, “Don’t go into the town.”

The allusion behind ''men as trees walking'' is to a passage in Judges 9:8-15
8 One day the trees decided to appoint a king to rule over them. They said to the olive tree, ‘You be king over us!’
9 “But the olive tree said, ‘Men and gods are honored by my oil. Should I stop making it and go and sway over the other trees?’
10 “Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be king over us!’
11 “But the fig tree answered, ‘Should I stop making my sweet and good fruit and go and sway over the other trees?’
12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be king over us!’
13 “But the vine answered, ‘My new wine makes men and gods happy. Should I stop making it and go and sway over the trees?’
14 “Then all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be king over us.’
15 “But the thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to appoint me king over you, come and find shelter in my shade! But if not, let fire come out of the thornbush and burn up the cedars of Lebanon!’
Now it is clear why all the people (and not only Peter and the 12, as in the our falsified Mark) called Jesus as ''the Christ''. They wanted that Jesus was their ''King of Jews''.

Jesus was not, for the people, ''John the Baptist, or Elias, or one of the old prophets''. He was simply the davidic Christ.


Since the vox populi in a Gospel is not vox dei, then the contrary is perfectly true for the Earliest Gospel: Jesus was not the Christ predicted in the Jewish Scriptures.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Location: Vicenza (Italy)

Re: Why did the blind of Bethsaida see men as ''trees walking''?

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:38 am

The Gospel of John is never quoted by me in this forum, but there is always a first time...


John 6:1-15
6 After this, Jesus went across Lake Galilee (or, Lake Tiberias). 2 Many people followed him because they saw the miracles he did to heal the sick. 3 Jesus went up on a hill and sat down there with his followers. 4 It was almost the time for the Jewish Passover Feast.
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough bread for all these people to eat?” 6 (Jesus asked Philip this question to test him, because Jesus already knew what he planned to do.)
7 Philip answered, “Someone would have to work almost a year to buy enough bread for each person to have only a little piece.”
8 Another one of his followers, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, 9 “Here is a boy with five loaves of barley bread and two little fish, but that is not enough for so many people.”
10 Jesus said, “Tell the people to sit down.” There was plenty of grass there, and about five thousand men sat down there. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves of bread, thanked God for them, and gave them to the people who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, giving as much as the people wanted.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, Jesus said to his followers, “Gather the leftover pieces of fish and bread so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they gathered up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with the pieces left from the five barley loaves.
14 When the people saw this miracle that Jesus did, they said, “He must truly be the Prophet who is coming into the world.”
15 Jesus knew that the people planned to come and take him by force and make him their king, so he left and went into the hills alone
.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Charles Wilson
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Re: Why did the blind of Bethsaida see men as ''trees walking''?

Post by Charles Wilson » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:34 pm

Josephus, War, 5, 3, 2:

"But Titus, intending to pitch his camp nearer to the city than Scopus, placed as many of his choice horsemen and footmen as he thought sufficient opposite to the Jews, to prevent their sallying out upon them, while he gave orders for the whole army to level the distance, as far as the wall of the city. So they threw down all the hedges and walls which the inhabitants had made about their gardens and groves of trees, and cut down all the fruit trees that lay between them and the wall of the city, and filled up all the hollow places and the chasms, and demolished the rocky precipices with iron instruments; and thereby made all the place level from Scopus to Herod's monuments, which adjoined to the pool called the Serpent's Pool..."

The Blind Man now sees everything clearly and he is not to return to the "Village". Jerusalem is to fall and there is nothing that can save it.

Charles Wilson
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Re: Why did the blind of Bethsaida see men as ''trees walking''?

Post by Charles Wilson » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:27 pm

I want to add a brief bit here. The Blind Man SEES CLEARLY. If it were "Can you read the third line on the Eye Chart with your right eye?", the Blind Man would fail since he hasn't seen an eye chart before, much less "E G P O T R Q". I s'pose he could have been blinded after birth and before that moment but it's a nice Word Play.

"I see men walking like trees...". What a wonderfully clear bit of opaque dialogue. This is a symbolic moment. Men don't stand still for years and trees don't walk. You have to have a Background to set the Symbolism. As a rewrite of Titus sealing the fate of Jerusalem, it is very dark.

Yet, it fits.

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