Mark 8:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 8:23, NIV: 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?'

Mark 8:23, ESV: And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?”

Mark 8:23, KJV: 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.

Mark 8:23, NASB: Taking the man who was blind by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting in his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, 'Do you see anything?'

Mark 8:23, NLT: Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man's eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, 'Can you see anything now?'

Mark 8:23, CSB: He took the blind man by the hand and brought him out of the village. Spitting on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked him, "Do you see anything? "

What does Mark 8:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

There has been much speculation as to why Jesus takes the blind man out of the village. In the previous chapter, He had led a deaf man in Decapolis away from a crowd before healing him (Mark 7:31–35). It appears that Jesus wishes the men to understand that He is there to heal them and that this healing relationship is between Him and them; it is not dependent on the surrounding group of people.

In his work The Natural History, a collection of thirty-seven science books, Pliny the Elder says Romans used saliva to "cure inflammation." Book 28, "Remedies Derived from Living Creatures," Chapter 7 insists that spittle can preserve against snake venom, cure epilepsy, prevent a curse that follows from meeting someone who is lame in the right leg, ease a crick in the neck, recover a part of the body that has gone asleep, and guard infants against strangers. It was believed that if a man assaulted another with a fist or projectile and then spit in the palm of the offending hand, the victim would forgive him. More to the point, Pliny wrote, "We may well believe…that ophthalmia may be cured by anointing, as it were, the eyes every morning with fasting spittle…"

Scholars suspect that Mark recorded the words Jesus used when healing the little girl who had died (Mark 5:41) and the deaf man (Mark 7:34) in the original Aramaic so readers would be assured He didn't use an esoteric magic spell. Here, He appears to use an accepted medical practice to show the crowd He isn't using witchcraft. God is well able to heal using medical practices—even those that have no basis in science. Sometimes He may do so to hide the fact His work is a miracle.