Original Research

The call of blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52)

Maarten J.J. Menken
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 61, No 1/2 | a442 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v61i1/2.442 | © 2005 Maarten J.J. Menken | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 October 2005 | Published: 09 October 2005

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Maarten J.J. Menken, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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The story of Blind Bartimaeus (Mk 10:46-52) displays some traits that are unusual in a synoptic healing miracle and it displays most of the features of a call story. The genesis of the narration may account for the combination of these two genres: the story about the calling of the blind beggar Bartimaeus has been expanded by that of the healing of the blind man, where Jesus focuses attention on his faith. Next, the crowd was introduced to highlight Bartimaeus’ faith. Finally, the pericope was adapted to fit into Mark’s Gospel. The main editorial contribution of the evangelist is his contextualizing of the scene at the end of the section 8:27-10:52, which deals with Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem, to suffering and death. In this episode Jesus calls Bartimaeus to follow him on his way. Mark added significance to the story by contrasting Bartimaeus with other characters, especially Peter, James and John, the foremost three disciples. This contrast may imply some criticism of leadership in the Markan community.


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