Jesus Heals Bartimaeus

Josephson

Member
“How can it then be other than an absurd thing, for the Greeks to be so proud, and to vaunt themselves to be the only people that are acquainted with antiquity, and that have delivered the true accounts of those early times after an accurate manner? Nay, who is there that cannot easily gather from the Greek writers themselves, that they knew but little on any good foundation when they set to write, but rather wrote their histories from their own conjectures? Accordingly, they confute one another in their own books to purpose, and are not ashamed to give us the most contradictory accounts of the same things; and I should spend my time to little purpose, if I should pretend to teach the Greeks that which they know better than I already, what a great disagreement there is between Hellanicus and Acusilaus about their genealogies; in how many cases Acusilaus corrects Hesiod: or after what manner Ephorus demonstrates Hellanicus to have told lies in the greatest part of his history; as does Timeus in like manner as to Ephorus, and the succeeding writers do to Timeus, and all the later writers do to Herodotus nor could Timeus agree with Antiochus and Philistius, or with Callias, about the Sicilian History, no more than do the several writers of the Athide follow one another about the Athenian affairs; nor do the historians the like, that wrote the Argolics, about the affairs of the Argives. And now what need I say any more about particular cities and smaller places, while in the most approved writers of the expedition of the Persians, and of the actions which were therein performed, there are so great differences? Nay, Thucydides himself is accused of some as writing what is false, although he seems to have given us the exactest history of the affairs of his own time.”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book I :3​

“And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
– Mark 10:46-52​
 

Josephson

Member
In this parallel, Josephus is insulting the Greek historians for writing bad histories, specifically one "Timeaus and all the later writers" which is represented by "the son of Timaeus" or "Bartimaeus" who is blind because of the contradictions he has with other writers, and Josephus just keeps on insulting so many of these Greeks historians and then he asks "what need I say more" so Mark responds with "many charged him to hold his peace but he cried out a great deal more", he just wouldn't stop insulting the Greek writers, so Bartimaeus, the Greek writer, doesn't like to be insulted by a Jew, so says very sarcastically "have mercy on me, son of David", like nyah, and then Josephus informs us that it was Thucydides who wrote the best histories and so suddenly Barimaeus receives his sight, sarcastically, like oh what a miracle, I was blind but now I see! Thank you son of David!
 
Is there a parallel between "wrote their histories from their own conjectures," and "thy faith hath made thee whole"? The "faith" being in their own conjectures
 
In his writing, Josephus lacks the appearance of a humble sage, I'll readily grant that. But perhaps he is truly a prophet: rereading this today, I am struck how much we are the Greeks who are made whole by the faith we have in our differing conjectures
 

Josephson

Member
In my interpretation, "faith" in this case is believing Josephus, believing what he says, that Thucydides wrote the best of histories and the other Greek writers were all full of beans. If you believe him then you will instantly be made whole and you will see clearly.

If you think about it, you can summarize the Wars of the Jews as Josephus being taken by his adoptive father, the Lord of the habitable earth, and then following the Roman armies all around Israel to every village and city and Josephus tells them all that God's favor had gone over to the Romans, and that "God, after having over all the nations was now settled in Italy" and he told the Jews to repent of their seditions or they would be destroyed by the Romans. Josephus constantly curses the Greek writers and their "fables" and also curses the rebellious Jews. This is exactly the same as the story of Jesus who goes over all of Israel telling the Jews about "the kingdom of God" which will burn them all with fire unless they repent of their sins while he is all the time saying "woe" to the scribes and pharisees. It is really exactly the same story. The Romans are the kingdom of God which bring a just vengeance upon the seditions pharisees and the scribes are the Greek writers that Josephus hates so much, and Jesus is Josephus. Most of the time, anyway. Generally, "Jesus" represents the "son of God" who is doing God's (or Caesar's) work by preaching repentance and submission to authority or being killed. In that way, before Vespasian becomes emperor, while Nero is still emperor, Nero is God and Vespasian is the son of God doing God's work, which is why Vespasian is the Jesus who had his "face set as if he would go to Jerusalem" in appearance to besiege them, but in reality to deliver them. That is how you do satire and fables, you make characters to represent certain roles or "types" to show how this world works, to criticise it or to simplify and exemplify certain lessons to be learned about it.
 
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