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    10 Nov '14 04:432 edits
    23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
    24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
    25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”

    (Mark 8:23-25)

    Some points I find interesting:

    In verse 22 the locals begged Jesus for a miracle but he took the blind man outside of his usual environment to heal him. He took him outside of the village and subsequently told him not to go back. Once we can see and understand it is impossible to back.

    Jesus had two attempts to heal the blind man; the initial attempt seemed to fail but he got there in the end. There are numerous explanations on this by Christian commentators, mostly considering it as parabolic or as a spiritual metaphor. Many years ago I was reading this double effort by Jesus and struggling to understand why it took two attempts; the truth I believe is that it is two separate healings.

    As you may know the human eye is actually part of the brain, connected to the visual cortex (at the rear of the brain) by the optic nerves. Blindness can be caused by a single or compound malfunctions in any part of this visual pathway including the optic nerve or visual cortex.

    Interpretation and perception of what the eye sees is a complex process involving the visual cortex and memory. If a person has been blind for all or most of their life their visual perception will not have developed during childhood and suddenly having their sight restored would result in them seeing their environment but not perceiving or understanding it.

    Jesus healed the man twice; first his visual pathway, then his perception. In fact he didn't "heal" his visual perception, he gave him it because the man simply didn't understand what he was looking at, he had little or no visual memory records to compare.

    This miracle of Jesus is probably the one that means most to me.
  2. Joined
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    10 Nov '14 15:12
    First things first: I like what you say about how a person who’s been blind won’t understand what he sees when he can see. Regardless of my (lack of) beliefs, I enjoyed reading that interpretation.

    But, considering I am an atheist, of course this story sounds like nonsense to me when taken literal. My first question would be one that I’ve asked before, although that concerned a different miracle: why would Jesus/God do this? Why would he heal someone, but not many, many others?

    My second question: Why don’t you find this particular story silly, but you scoff at sonship’s “other worlds” comment? Because to me both stories sound ridicules, without any basis in reality. How do you discriminate between “truth” and “nonsense” when both stories are... let’s call it “unbelievable”?
  3. SubscriberBigDoggProblemonline
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    10 Nov '14 16:38
    Originally posted by divegeester
    [b]23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
    24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
    25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, an ...[text shortened]... memory records to compare.

    This miracle of Jesus is probably the one that means most to me.
    Interesting ... I note that the 21st century KJV gives verse 26 as:
    26 And He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.”

    Why do you suppose that Jesus didn't want the miracle to be known to the people of the town? Or was there another motivation?
  4. SubscriberBigDoggProblemonline
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    10 Nov '14 16:42
    Originally posted by Great King Rat
    First things first: I like what you say about how a person who’s been blind won’t understand what he sees when he can see. Regardless of my (lack of) beliefs, I enjoyed reading that interpretation.

    But, considering I am an atheist, of course this story sounds like nonsense to me when taken literal. My first question would be one that I’ve asked bef ...[text shortened]... scriminate between “truth” and “nonsense” when both stories are... let’s call it “unbelievable”?
    Sheldon: More wrong? Wrong is an absolute state and not subject to gradation.
    Stuart: Of course it is. It’s a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable, it’s very wrong to say it’s a suspension bridge.
  5. Standard membersonship
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    10 Nov '14 16:481 edit
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    Interesting ... I note that the 21st century KJV gives verse 26 as:
    26 And He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.”

    Why do you suppose that Jesus didn't want the miracle to be known to the people of the town? Or was there another motivation?
    Why do you suppose that Jesus didn't want the miracle to be known to the people of the town? Or was there another motivation?


    Jesus may have wanted the man to be saved from his own weakness for boasting. There are other times when Jesus told someone to keep a blessing done to them private. And they did not listen.

    It could also be that the people of the town would sow doubt, unbelief, skepticism into the blessed man causing him to doubt WHO Jesus was.

    Actually, that is a pretty good question you have there.

    It is believed that the Apostle Paul had spectacular things done with him from God which he kept to himself for as long as fourteen years. At the appropriate time he felt the freedom to speak of these things. He spoke of these matters in his second letter to the Corinthians - things which he held private for 14 years.

    Man's tendency is often to not be able to constrain himself from bragging.
    But Jesus did not just want to recover the man's physical body, but every part of his soul as well.
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    10 Nov '14 16:48
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    Sheldon: More wrong? Wrong is an absolute state and not subject to gradation.
    Stuart: Of course it is. It’s a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable, it’s very wrong to say it’s a suspension bridge.
    Believing there are other worlds out there with beings that will learn from the mistakes of other beings - including humans - is more wrong than believing a man will spit in a blind man's eye making him see again?

    Nope.
  7. Joined
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    10 Nov '14 16:481 edit
    Originally posted by Great King Rat
    why would Jesus/God do this? Why would he heal someone, but not many, many others?

    Why don’t you find this particular story silly, but you scoff at sonship’s “other worlds” comment? Because to me both stories sound ridicules, without any basis in reality. How do you discriminate between “truth” and “nonsense” when both stories are... let’s call it “unbelievable”?
    why would Jesus/God do this? Why would he heal someone, but not many, many others?

    I don't know I'm afraid. It's a bit like asking why does God allow suffering I suppose. I could speculate but any speculation would be relative to the realm of a "God" and therefore nonsense to you; I understand that.

    The best but very general (and therefore not satisfactory) response is the rather lame but well meant: The world as it is is on a path that needs to run it's course. The MO of God is to intervene with the purpose of revealing his greater plan for mankind.

    Why don’t you find this particular story silly, but you scoff at sonship’s “other worlds” comment?

    The account above is a worn story I know but I choose to buy it although I know it's irrational and scorned by atheists. What I choose not to buy is stuff which is obviously not scriptural, which in my opinion is that the God who I believe in for his goodness, would create eternal suffering. As for people on other planets watching this eternal suffering and being warned by it, I accept that it is no more irrational than a miracle, but that is not the issue. The issue is that within the frame of reference of traditional Christian doctrine, mainstream interpretation of Biblical themes and a common sense open reading of the Bible, it is blatantly clear that sonship's beliefs in this area are erroneous.

    Now you will argue that the Bible is "made up". OK but to understand why I find sonship's claims ridiculous one first has to accept the frame of reference which is the Bible. It's a bit like saying that Jesus (as portrayed in the New Testament writings) was not the Messiah. You don't have to be a Christian to consider that statement ridiculous because clearly he was depicted as the Messiah.

    You may have noticed other Christian's giving me a hard time of late because I call out stuff like this, stuff like God burning people for eternity, defending myself from being accused of undermining the faith of others etc. You possibly wonder why I bother; I bother because despite my own doubts and struggles with the rational side of my mind, I cannot unbelieve my belief in God and feel it is important to defend the veracity of scripture. I don't feel 'obliged' or that I'm 'on a mission' or any of that malarkey in fact sometimes I wonder why I'm bothering if I'm honest. But as Peter said when Jesus asked him if he was going to leave him too... "you have the words of life, where else is there to go".
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    10 Nov '14 16:51
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    Interesting ... I note that the 21st century KJV gives verse 26 as:
    26 And He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.”

    Why do you suppose that Jesus didn't want the miracle to be known to the people of the town? Or was there another motivation?
    Yes I spotted that too. I don't know but I find it intriguing. I think Jesus told people a number of times not to tell about it. Maybe it differentiates his strategic mission from his compassionate nature.
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    10 Nov '14 17:01
    Originally posted by divegeester
    [b]why would Jesus/God do this? Why would he heal someone, but not many, many others?

    I don't know I'm afraid. It's a bit like asking why does God allow suffering I suppose. I could speculate but any speculation would be relative to the realm of a "God" and therefore nonsense to you; I understand that.

    The best but very general (and therefore ...[text shortened]... him if he was going to leave him too... "you have the words of life, where else is there to go".[/b]
    Thanks for your answer.
  10. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    10 Nov '14 17:341 edit
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Yes I spotted that too. I don't know but I find it intriguing. I think Jesus told people a number of times not to tell about it. Maybe it differentiates his strategic mission from his compassionate nature.
    "Mark 8:23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he took..."

    "Our Lord's action here is most significant, Having abandoned Bethsaida to judgment Matthew 11:12-24 . He would neither heal in that village, nor permit further testimony to be borne there Mark 8:26 . The probation of Bethsaida as a community was ended, but He would still show mercy to individuals. Cf Revelation 3:20."

    http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/scofield-reference-notes/mark/mark-8.html

    Hope Bible Scholar Scofield's comments shed light on the passage.
  11. Joined
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    10 Nov '14 21:03
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Mark 8:23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he took..."

    "Our Lord's action here is most significant, Having abandoned Bethsaida to judgment Matthew 11:12-24 . He would neither heal in that village, nor permit further te ...[text shortened]... ence-notes/mark/mark-8.html

    Hope Bible Scholar Scofield's comments shed light on the passage.
    An interesting POV and congruent with the instructions given to the disciples to "shake the dust off" while there was of course still repentance for the individuals.

    Actually this has got me thinking a bit more about how God possibly differentiates between community or collective "spirit" and individual spirit.
  12. SubscriberBigDoggProblemonline
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    11 Nov '14 04:40
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Yes I spotted that too. I don't know but I find it intriguing. I think Jesus told people a number of times not to tell about it. Maybe it differentiates his strategic mission from his compassionate nature.
    This is further reinforced by the next few verses:
    27 And Jesus went out with His disciples into the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He asked His disciples, saying unto them, “Who do men say that I am?”

    28 And they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say Elijah, and others, one of the prophets.”

    29 And He said unto them, “But whom say ye that I am?” And Peter answered and said unto Him, “Thou art the Christ.”

    30 And He charged them that they should tell no man of Him.
  13. SubscriberBigDoggProblemonline
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    11 Nov '14 04:41
    Originally posted by Great King Rat
    Believing there are other worlds out there with beings that will learn from the mistakes of other beings - including humans - is more wrong than believing a man will spit in a blind man's eye making him see again?

    Nope.
    I think so. Healing the eyes of the blind is something we can actually do today. The other is just something invented out of thin air.
  14. Standard memberRJHinds
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    11 Nov '14 08:35
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    Interesting ... I note that the 21st century KJV gives verse 26 as:
    26 And He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.”

    Why do you suppose that Jesus didn't want the miracle to be known to the people of the town? Or was there another motivation?
    The Pharisees might want to stone him for dealing in witchcraft and associating with the ruler of the demons. The following happened at another time.

    After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." But the Pharisees were saying, "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons."

    (Matthew 9:33-34 NASB)
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    11 Nov '14 16:05
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    The Pharisees might want to stone him for dealing in witchcraft and associating with the ruler of the demons. The following happened at another time.

    After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." But the Pharisees were saying, "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons."

    (Matthew 9:33-34 NASB)
    So now you think Jesus was scared of the Pharisees!

    Do you have a YouTube clip to help me understand your blithering nonsense?
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