In a recent article in this journal, I argued that when Jesus used spittle to heal a blind man in stages in Mark 8:22-26, it was a picture of the “blindness” of the disciples. They did not understand what following Jesus meant. The use of the spittle indicated that what Jesus was about to say to them about this topic was disgraceful and disgusting in their eyes. That is the only miracle in the NT where Jesus spits in the face of a person. Such actions, in the first century, were shocking.1
That is also the only healing Jesus performs in stages. The man is not healed all at once, but in stages. The eyes of these disciples would also be opened in stages.2
The spittle healing of Mark 8:22-26 also begins what can be called the discipleship section of Mark, which runs through Mark 10:52.3 The ending of this section also involves the healing of a blind man—Bartimaeus. Both healings are illustrations of discipleship.
It is not surprising that blindness would be used to describe the disciples in a spiritual sense. In Mark 4:11-12 the Lord uses lack of sight to describe spiritual blindness. Immediately before the healing at Bethsaida the Lord tells the disciples that they are blind. Clearly this is a metaphorical blindness. It will be maintained that the two healings that begin and end the discipleship section are pictures of the metaphorical blindness of the disciples.
Understanding these two healings as having metaphorical significance is not reading one’s theology into the text. Jesus used miracles to teach deeper spiritual realities. In the Gospel of John the Lord tells us specifically that a healing of blindness had that very purpose. After healing a blind man in John 9, at the conclusion of the chapter Jesus gives the significance of that healing. He has a conversation with the Pharisees:
And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”
Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains” (John 9:39-41).
Here, the reader sees that the healing of this blind man is an illustration of the fact that there are people who are blind, that is, they do not “see.” But Christ came so that they might see. This is a clear reference to coming to faith in Him as the Messiah. In addition, there are those who think they see (in this context the Pharisees), but in reality are blind. There is a spiritual blindness on all unbelievers (2 Cor 4:4). When a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life, that blindness is removed. In John 9 Jesus was telling the Pharisees they were blind because they thought they had spiritual sight in trying to receive eternal life through good works. They needed to recognize their blindness by seeing who He was and believe in Him.
It is also not surprising that in John’s Gospel the blindness in question is one addressed to unbelievers. John’s Gospel was written to unbelievers for the purpose that they would look at the miracles Jesus performed, see that He is the Christ, and come to faith (John 20:30-31). The healing of this blind man is the sixth sign in the book. The unbeliever could say, when considering what Jesus did, that he had been blind about who Jesus is.4
It will be argued below that Mark is written to believers. If that is the case, and John is written to unbelievers, it is completely expected that pictures of blindness can refer to different types of blindness. Believers can also be blind to spiritual realities.
In the discipleship section Jesus tells the disciples three times what following Him involves (8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34). The things Jesus says are shocking. The idea that Jesus was going to be crucified was unacceptable. Each time, the disciples are “blind” to what he is saying. They need to have their eyes opened. The healing of the two blind men form an inclusio and ties the section together.
A number of questions need to be asked about these things. What does discipleship mean? Is it the same thing as being eternally saved? If the blind man in Mark 8 is a picture of the disciples, were they saved? Is the teaching in the discipleship section addressed to believers or unbelievers?
II. THE SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF THE DISCIPLES
When we try to determine the spiritual condition of the disciples, we must ask if they knew if Jesus was the Messiah. John tells us that the one who believes that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) has eternal life (John 20:30-31). As the Christ, He is the one who gives that life to all who believe in Him for it.
Some maintain that in the Gospel of Mark we are told that the disciples did not know that Jesus was the Messiah until Peter’s confession in 8:29. It is held by many that the disciples were not believers through much of the Gospel. For example, their fear and ignorance about the identity of Christ during the storm on the sea in Mark 4:35-41 leads some to say they were not believers at this stage of Jesus’ ministry.5 They are still “blind” about these things immediately before Peter’s confession, and are even described as having hearts that are hardened (8:1718). Throughout the discipleship section they only gradually begin to understand who Jesus is. The more radical holders of this view would go as far as to say that Jesus Himself only gradually understood this fact.6
Related to this line of thought was the idea expressed by the famous work of William Wrede at the beginning of the 20th century. He suggested that the identity of Jesus’ Messiahship in the Gospel of Mark cannot be determined by the historical veracity of Mark’s account, but by the thought-world of Mark. Mark wants to say that the Messiahship of Jesus can only be understood after the cross. Therefore, it was a “secret” until then.7 So, for Wrede, even after the confession of Peter in 8:29, the disciples do not understand that Jesus is the Christ.8
This, however, is not Mark’s view of the disciples. Even in the beginning of the book we see that the disciples believed that Jesus was the Messiah and followed Him (1:14-20). He gave them authority over demons (3:15) and sent them out to preach the coming of the kingdom and to heal (6:7-13). The Lord also made a distinction between the Twelve and those who were “outside” (4:11).
The disciples knew that Jesus was the Messiah. Peter’s confession simply vocalizes what they have known for some time. The Gospel of John makes it clear that the disciples believed in Him as the Messiah very early in Jesus’ ministry (John 1:42-49). In other words, they were believers and had eternal life. This is critical. If the discipleship section, which begins with the blind man at Bethsaida and ends with the healing of blind Bartimaeus, is directed to the disciples, and if these healings of the blind are a picture of the disciples, the whole section is addressed to people who already have eternal life. Believers can be “blind.” To put it another way, Mark is writing to believers. Discipleship is not the same thing as “becoming a believer.” There is a difference between having eternal life and being a disciple of Christ. This should prevent us from being inconsistent in understanding the teachings found in this section and the two healings.
III. INCONSISTENCIES IN MARK 8–10?
Some writers exhibit inconsistencies in interpreting the discipleship section of Mark. Part of this inconsistency, no doubt, arises from the fact that many do not make a distinction between believing in Jesus Christ for eternal life and following Him in discipleship. However, if there is a distinction, the disciples do not need to “see” that Jesus is the Messiah. They already see that. They do need to see what following Him means.
This inconsistency causes some to see in this section of Mark some teachings addressed to unbelievers, and some teachings as addressed to believers. The same thing is true in regard to the healing of the blind men. Grassmick, for example, believes that the healing of the two blind men are pictures of the disciples, but that at least in the case of Bartimaeus the healing illustrates how one obtains eternal life.9 When the Lord teaches about what it means to follow Him in 8:31, it refers to how one obtains eternal life. However, in the other two instances (9:33-35; 10:41-44) it is addressed to believers and deals with greatness in the kingdom.10
Lane and Hiebert show the same inconsistency in regards to Jesus’ teaching about His crucifixion and the cost of following Him. The same is true concerning the two healings. The blind man at Bethsaida is a picture of the disciples (believers). Bartimaeus is an illustration of the unbelieving religious leaders.11
Ryle shows the implications of this inconsistency. He also believes that in the discipleship section sometimes Jesus is telling the unbelieving readers the requirements for eternal life and sometimes he is telling believers how to be great in the coming kingdom. He maintains that both healings deal with how to obtain eternal life. Bartimaeus is an illustration of the fact that obtaining eternal life involves the unbeliever recognizing their deplorable state and the need to persevere.12
One can see here that how one interprets the healing of Bartimaeus can impact how he presents the gospel. Does a person have to be aware of his “deplorable state” in order to obtain eternal life. Does one have to persevere in order to obtain it? If one sees Bartimaeus as such an illustration it is easy to come to these conclusions. Eternal life is not received as a free gift by faith in Christ alone, but by our willingness to follow Christ in discipleship.
However, there is no need to hold to these inconsistencies. It is much better to see the teachings of Christ on the cost of following Him, in all three instances, as being addressed to believers and not as the cost for obtaining eternal life. Bartimaeus, like the blind man at Bethsaida, also is a picture of what the believing disciples need to “see.” To argue these points, one must look at the context.
The first eight chapters of Mark contain many miracles. Starting in 8:22, however, the number of miracles decreases substantially. The healing of Bartimaeus is the last healing in Mark. In the section from 8:22– 10:52 teaching, and not miracles, is the emphasis.13 Specifically, it deals with teaching on discipleship. Best makes the comment that everything in the section relates either to the Person of Christ or discipleship.14
It is noteworthy that the two miracles that begin and end this section of diminishing healings both involve the healing of a blind man. Not only do these similar healings form an inclusio, certain words are found in both and tie the healings and unit together. Both begin with the words “kai erchontai eis” and contain the words tuphlos and anablepō.15
These two healings also both function as transitional hinges in Mark’s Gospel. The first healing marks the transition from Christ’s ministry in Galilee to His journey to Jerusalem. The healing of Bartimaeus marks a transition from the journey itself to His entry into the city.16
Between the two healings, Jesus is on the way (on the “hodon”) to Jerusalem. As mentioned above, He is on His way to die, and three times He tells His disciples this fact. Within the section, there are instructions to the disciples concerning Christ’s fate. There are three predictions of the passion (8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34) and instructions to the disciples on how they should respond in light of it, and what discipleship looks like. Five times before the healing of Bartimaeus, Mark tells us Jesus is on the hodon to this destiny (8:32; 9:33, 34; 10:17; 10:32). In the last instance, Mark specifically states He is on the “road” going up to Jerusalem. Being on the “road” is connected with each of the three times Jesus says He will be crucified.17 As Jesus rides the donkey into Jerusalem, Mark tells us that the people were throwing branches and their clothes on the “road.”
As will be seen, the word “road” occurs twice in the healing of Bartimaeus. Being on the road with Jesus, in the context of discipleship, is connected with this blind beggar.
Connected with this is the idea of “following” Christ. The concept, and the very word itself (akoloutheō) is also often repeated in the section [8:34 (twice); 9:38; 10:21, 28, 32). It also occurs in the healing of Bartimaeus (10:52).
Mark, then, relates discipleship to the passion of Christ. Discipleship means “following” Christ on the “road” to the cross. These ideas are found in the healing of Bartimaeus. This healing occurs at the end of the section of discipleship, immediately before the Lord enters Jerusalem to meet that fate.18
Specifically, the Lord wants the disciples to understand that the “road” of discipleship and “following” Jesus involve a life of hardship and is costly. A disciple must be willing to give up everything, including his own life (8:35; 10:19). He must become like a child in status, and not seek greatness as defined by the world, in order to serve others (9:35; 10:44). Much confusion and inconsistency in interpreting this section of Mark would be avoided if we simply realized that these things cannot refer to receiving eternal life. The reception of eternal life is free and costs nothing (Eph 2:8-9; John 4:10). In this section of Mark, which deals with discipleship, Jesus is instructing His disciples about something that is extremely costly.
It is noteworthy that the two healings of the blind men, healings that begin and end this section on discipleship, occur after the Lord rebukes His disciples. Both in 8:17-21 and 10:42-45 the disciples do not have a clear understanding of what discipleship means. One might say they were “blind.”
Specifically, in the verses immediately before the healing of Bartimaeus, the Lord tells the disciples they need to serve others, just like He came to do (10:42-45). The reason He gives them this instruction is because they were trying to be great by taking advantage of each other. They were seeking others, even within the group of disciples, to serve them. Christ’s first coming was characterized by humble submission to God and service to others. This submission led Him to the cross.19 They will be asked to take the same attitude if they want to “follow” Him. Their path may take them to the same destination. This is a costly proposition indeed. As in the case with all Jesus’ predictions of His upcoming death, this teaching was shocking.
Even though they are believers and had eternal life, they were blind to these things. They thought they were going to Jerusalem to reign with Christ (10:37). They thought Jesus was going to be installed as the King. Instead, Jesus is talking about His crucifixion and the heavy costs of following Him on the path He is going. Like the healing of the blind man that begins the section, it was like they had been spit in the face.
Through the discipleship section of Mark, the Lord tries to cure the disciples of their blindness. These attempts end at the account of Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus is a picture of what the disciples need to see. He is one who clearly sees what discipleship means.
If the above discussion is correct, we would expect that Bartimaeus was a believer. In the first verses of the account, all indications point to this conclusion.
V. THE SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF BARTIMAEUS (MARK 10:46-48)
A. Introduction to the Account
Some form critics seem to recognize that the account of the healing of Bartimaeus is used by Mark to make a spiritual point. They point out that the healing itself is not the emphasis. Even though a miracle is clearly performed here, and form critics recognize the category of “miracle story,” this miracle is different. Usually there is a dramatic word spoken or some kind of gesture accompanying the miracle. In addition, there is often the mention of astonishment on the part of those who witness it. None of those things occur here. It seems that Bartimaeus, not the miracle, is the emphasis. Because of these things, Steinhauser refuses to even call it a miracle story.20
Achtemeier and Stein both agree that the miracle is not the main point and the emphasis is on the beggar. They label it a “call” story since Bartimaeus follows the Lord. Bartimaeus is specifically named. He is put forth as one of exemplary character.21
If indeed the point of the healing of Bartimaeus is to offer a picture of discipleship, all of these things would be expected. Mark wants his readers to consider what this man represents.
B. A Translation
In the first three verses of the account, the reader meets Bartimaeus. There are things in these verses which will be dealt with in part 2 of the article. Here, the emphasis will be on the picture of Bartimaeus’ spiritual condition. When he meets Jesus, is he a believer or not?
Verse 46: And they came to Jericho. And as He was going out22 from Jericho, along with His disciples and a large crowd, the son of Timaeus,23 Bartimaeus, a blind man begging,24 was sitting by the road.
Verse 47: And having heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene,25 he began to cry out and to say, “Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me.”
Verse 48: And many were rebuking him, in order that he might be silenced. But he cried out much more,26 “Son of David, have mercy on me.”
One could give a simple outline of the account of Bartimaeus. If so, verses 46-48 could be called “Bartimaeus’s call to the Lord.”
C. Bartimaeus’s Call to the Lord (10:46-48)
In these verses, the Lord enters Jericho. While He is leaving the city, Bartimaeus calls upon Him. If Mark is using Bartimaeus as an illustration, it is clear he is an illustration of one who believes in Jesus.
1. Verse 46.
The opening phrase kai erchontai eis Ierichō takes the reader back to 8:22 and the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida that begins with the same words. The account of Bartimaeus forms an inclusio with the previous healing and provides the conclusion of the section that began in 8:22.
Part of the vividness of Mark’s account is seen in the fact that Mark gives the name of the blind beggar. His name is given as huios Timaiou, Bartimaios. This is the only Gospel that names the blind man. In addition, this is the only time in Mark where the person who is healed is named. This may link Bartimaeus with discipleship because perhaps his name was known because he had become a disciple of the Lord.27 In simple terms, this beggar was known in the early church. One could assume he was part of that church. He was not somebody who simply experienced a healing and was never heard of again.
If Mark’s main interest in this pericope is discipleship, it would also explain why neither Matthew nor Luke mention his name in the parallel passages. In addition, in Mark, disciples are named when Jesus calls them.28
Usually, when Mark uses an Aramaic name, he places it first. Here, he places it after the Greek phrase. The use of “bar” (=son of) suggests a Jewish and Palestinian context.29 Johnson says this points to a very early oral tradition behind this account and supports its authenticity.30 France suggests that there may even be a stronger emphasis on discipleship by the name given. The rare way of expressing the beggar’s name implies that the father of the beggar was known and may also have become a follower of the Lord.31
Mark tells us that Bartimaeus is a blind beggar that is sitting by the hodon. In one sense, the word is not figurative. Sitting by the road would have been a good place for a beggar to position himself as religious pilgrims would have been travelling that road. They were on their way to Jerusalem for the religious feast of Passover. In theory, they would have been in a generous mood towards the less fortunate.32
It is also true, however, that hodon in this verse has a figurative meaning. It forms an inclusio with the same word in the last verse of the pericope (v 52). At the end of the pericope it relates to following Christ— following Christ on the road to Jerusalem. Here, in v 46, Bartimaeus is sitting by the road. He is a marginalized member of society.33 He is a blind beggar. People are passing him by. Christ has just said that He has come to serve others (vv 42-45). Bartimaeus is an example of such a person.
2. Verse 47.
While sitting by the road as it led out of Jericho, Bartimaeus hears the noise of the large crowd that is following Jesus as it enters the other end of the city. No doubt he asks a bystander what the noise means and is told that Jesus the Nazarene has entered into the city.
This verse and the ones that follow clearly show that Bartimaeus has heard of Jesus. He has heard of his healing abilities. A man in his physical condition would probably never have an opportunity to gain an audience with Him. This would be his only chance to be healed.34 Bartimaeus cannot see Him and has no way of knowing when He will pass by.
As a result, he begins to cry out to get His attention. To get His attention, he calls him by the double vocative huie Dauid Iēsou, showing that he knows exactly who he is addressing. This is another example of the vividness of the account since the second vocative is unnecessary. It points to an emphatic, emotional address that an eyewitness would have remembered.35
There is wide disagreement among scholars as to the significance of the title “Son of David.” One issue is whether it was a messianic title. Another issue is what type of messiah the Jews in the first century anticipated.
Cranfield is one who holds that it was not a Messianic title but a polite address to somebody who was descended from David, or who was a devout Israelite. He feels the title only later became a Christian designation for the Messiah.36 Chilton claims that in the first century one could be called “Son of David” without being considered the Messiah.37 Duling maintains that for the first century Jew the title was ambiguous.38 Achtemeier says that the title was unimportant for Mark’s purposes. It was simply a part of the original tradition the writer received. For Mark it simply meant that the person was worthy to follow.39
The pseudepigraphal Psalms of Solomon, which dates from the first century BC, contains the title “Son of David” as Messianic.40 Lohse says that the title sprung from the OT titles “sprout of David” and “shoot of David” in Isa 11:10 and Jer 23:5. The idea of a future ruler from the lineage of David was indeed widely held among the Jews in the first century based upon 2 Sam 7:12-16.41
The title “Son of David” is also used in the OT Apocrypha as a designation for the Messiah.42 Perhaps most importantly, in Mark 12:35, the Lord shows that at least the scribes of His day associated the Messiah with the title “Son of David”.
If Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as the Messiah, what kind did he expect Him to be? Some maintain the Jews of the first century looked for a miracle-working Son of David based upon certain beliefs concerning Solomon. Solomon was a son of David that performed miracles, especially exorcisms.43 In contemporary literature Solomon is called the Son of David and called upon to have mercy on an elderly man who is being oppressed.44 Josephus also records the idea that Solomon was known in Josephus’ day as a miracle worker.45 Qumran literature also indicates that the Messiah would be a miracle worker that healed the wounded, gave sight to the blind, and even raised the dead.46
Based upon these references, Duling says that Bartimaeus’ cry of “Son of David” meant that he was calling for a great miracle worker like Solomon, who would have mercy upon him and cure his blindness.47 In his cry, Bartimaeus was not thinking of a conquering Messiah or a Messiah that one was to follow.
The other view of the title “Son of David” refers to a nationalistic Messianic king. The Psalms of Solomon say that the Son of David will be a king who rules Israel, will judge the nations, and crush Israel’s enemies. This is the type of Messiah he would be.48
Based upon the strong emphasis on discipleship in this section of Mark, it is unlikely that Bartimaeus only looked for a healing from Jesus. Stein points out that the vocative “Jesus” in this account, Mark 1:1, and Peter’s confession in 8:29 equates the title “Son of David” with the title “Christ.”49 There was clearly a Jewish expectation of a kingly Messiah. It is not surprising that Bartimaeus had heard of the healings that Jesus performed, since that knowledge was extensive among the Jews (1:32-34; 2:1-2; 3:20; 4:1-2, 36; 5:21-34; 7:24-30).50 Bartimaeus’s request in this pericope shows he had indeed heard. If Bartimaeus saw Jesus as the kingly Son of David as well, it would not be a stretch for him to combine the idea of a kingly and miracle-performing Messiah. The OT speaks of the blessings of the kingdom, which includes the blind receiving their sight (Isa 29:18; 35:5; 61:1).51
When one considers the connection of this healing with Jesus’ immediate entry into Jerusalem that follows, the evidence strongly suggests that Bartimaeus’ address of Jesus as the “Son of David” means he believed Him to be the Christ. This is the first time in the Gospel of Mark that He is addressed by this particular title. When He arrives in Jerusalem the people proclaim the coming of the kingdom of David (11:10). The section of discipleship (8:22-10:52), which the healing of Baritmaeus concludes, begins with Peter proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ (8:29). That proclamation was also tied with a healing of a blind man. It is not surprising that the end of the section would also involve a proclamation that Jesus is the Messiah. Evans and Edwards both conclude that the title has an unmistakable messianic ring.52 Cranfield and Bock take this idea a step further. If the title “Son of David” was not a common title for the Messiah in the first century, then Mark’s point might be that Bartimaeus, even though blind, had more sight than those who could see.53
3. Verse 48.
In this verse, Bartimaeus calls Jesus the Son of David a second time. All the time, people are trying to silence him. It is significant that it is the crowds (polloi) and not Christ, that try to rebuke Bartimaeus in order to silence him. Previously in Mark, Jesus is the one who rebukes others and tells them to be silent. The verb epitimaō occurs in 1:25, where the Lord rebukes the demons and tells them to be silent. The demons call the Lord “Jesus,” the “Nazarene,” and the “holy one of God,” all of which have parallels with this passage. In 3:12, a demon calls Him the Son of God and Christ rebukes him and orders him not to make Him known. In 8:30, after Peter says He is the Christ, the Lord “rebukes” the disciples and tells them not to tell anybody about Himself. This, then, is the first time in Mark that Christ does not rebuke somebody who publicly says that He is the Messiah.54
We also see here, with Bartimaeus, that there is not a call to be silent about Jesus’ Messiahship. This is due to the fact that the Lord is approaching Jerusalem where He will declare Himself as the Messiah in the context of suffering.55 In any event, Bartimaeus, in the Gospel of Mark is a blind man who sees better than anybody we meet in the Gospel. He knows that Jesus is the Son of David. If he is an illustration of anybody, he is an illustration of a believer.
A believer is someone who believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of David. Bartimaeus believed that. He believed that before he was healed of his blindness. But there is a spiritual blindness, as it relates to discipleship, that a believer can have. The disciples in Mark had that problem. In the next article, it will be seen that Bartimaeus does not have that problem. Unlike the blind man at Bethsaida, and the disciples themselves, he is one who sees clearly.
1 Kenneth Yates, “Jesus’ Use of Spittle in Mark 8:22-26,” JOTGES 54 (Spring 2015): 3-15.
2 Elliott S. Johnson, “Mark VIII.22-26: The Blind Man from Bethsaida,” NTS 25 (1978-79), 383; Adelo Y. Collins, Mark: A Commentary, Hermeneia (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2007), 394.
3 John D. Grassmick, “Mark,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, eds. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983), 138.
4 Robert N. Wilkin brings up some interesting points about this healing in the Gospel of John. After Jesus heals the blind man and Jesus meets him after he was kicked out of the Sanhedrin, the two have a conversation (John 9:37-38). The man says that he believes in Jesus, but unlike in the evangelistic encounters in John, Jesus does not mention eternal life to this man. These verses are also the only place in John where anyone worships Jesus. These facts lead Wilkin to suggest this man was already a believer, before he met Jesus. He was an example of an OT saint who believed in the coming Messiah. See Robert N. Wilkin, “The Gospel According to John” in The Grace New Testament Commentary, vol. 1, ed. Robert N. Wilkin (Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society, 2010), 417. In any case, the blindness of this man and his subsequent healing is a picture of spiritual blindness in the Pharisees.
5 Jack D. Kingsbury, Conflict in Mark (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1989), 105; Ernest Best, “Discipleship in Mark: Mark 8:22-10:52,” SJT 23 (1981): 326; R. A. Culpepper, Mark, Smyth and Helwys Bible Commentary, ed. R. Scott Nash (Macon, GA: Helwys, 2007), 221.
6 Hiekki Raisanen, The Messianic Secret in Mark’s Gospel, trans. Christopher Tuckett (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1990), 39-41.
7 William Wrede, The Messianic Secret (Cambridge: James Clark, 1971), 129.
8 Ibid., 104, 113.
9 Grassmick, “Mark,” 155.
10 Ibid., 141-42, 146, 154.
11 William L. Lane, The Gospel According to Mark, NICNT (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974), 287, 309, 382, 389; D. Edmond Hiebert, Mark: A Portrait of the Servant (Chicago: Moody Press, 1974), 201, 210, 256, 261, 265.
12 J. C. Ryle, Mark: Expository Thoughts on the Gospel (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1993), 117, 124, 135, 159, 163.
13 Vernon K. Robbins, “The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus,” JBL 92 (1973): 224.
14 Ernest Best, “Discipleship in Mark: Mark 8:22-10:52,” SJT 23 (1981): 324.
15 J. F. Williams, “Other Followers of Jesus: The Characterization of the Individual from the Crowd in Mark’s Gospel” (PhD diss., Marquette, 1992), 227.
16 Augustine Stock, “Hinge Transitions in Mark’s Gospel,” BTB 15 (1985): 27-29. Evans takes a different view and says that the healing of Bartimaeus begins the next section in the Gospel, where Jesus meets His fate. Even this view makes a connection between the healing of Bartimaeus and the Passion week. See Craig A. Evans, Mark 8:27-16:20, vol. 34A, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. Ralph P. Martin (Nashville, TN: Word, 2001), 126.
17 Best, “Discipleship in Mark: Mark 8:22-10:52,” 328.
18 Paul J. Achtemeier, “And He Followed Him: Miracles and Discipleship in Mark 10:46-52,” Semeia 11 (1978): 115.
19 David K. Lowery, “A Theology of Mark,” in A Biblical Theology of the New Testament, ed. Roy B. Zuck (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1994), 74.
20 Michael G. Steinhauser, “The Form of the Bartimaeus Narrative (Mark 10:46-52),” NTS 32 (1986): 583.
21 Robert H. Stein, Mark, Baker Exegetical Commentary, ed. Robert W. Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 491; Achtemeier, “And He Followed Him,” Semeia 11 (1978): 115.
22 The change from third person plural to singular is typical of Mark. Collins, Mark: A Commentary, 508.
23 It is not clear whether the name was originally Greek or Semitic. The common Greek name is accented on the first syllable, not the second. Henry Swete argues for a Semitic origin, The Gospel According to St. Mark: The Greek Text with Introduction, Notes and Indices (London: MacMillan, 1913), 242. Wellhausen, however, suggests that the origin is Greek and that timai is the Semitic abbreviation of the original timotheos, Julius Wellhausen, Das Evangelium Marci Ubersetzt Und Erklart (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1903), 85.
24 The majority of manuscripts have the participle prosaitōn instead of the noun prosaitēs. The Alexandrian witnesses support the noun. Metzger says that the participle replaced the noun because the noun is a rare and late Greek word. If one accepts the Majority Text he could easily argue here that the participle is the original. Here is an example where Metzger adopts the Alexandrian witness but not with a great deal of confidence. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (United Bible Societies, 1971), 108.
25 The article would normally go with the proper name, but with a substantive in apposition the article goes with the noun in apposition. A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville, TN: Broadman, 1934), 760.
26 Pollō is a dative of measure, and when combined with mallon means “much more.” Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 167.
27 I. V. Olekama, The Healing of Bartimaeus in the Markan Context (New York, NY: Peter Lang, 1999), 87.
28 Williams, “Other Followers of Jesus: The Characterization of the Individual from the Crowd in Mark’s Gospel”, 230.
29 Joachim Jeremias, New Testament Theology (New York, NY: Charles Scribner, 1971), 90. Jeremias states that the rare word for rabbi in v 51 and the use of the title “Son of David” in vv 47-48 point to the same conclusion.
30 Johnson, “Mark 10:46-52: Blind Bartimaeus,” 193.
31 France, The Gospel of Mark, 423.
32 Stein, Mark, 194.
33 Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, 329.
34 Lenski, The Interpretation of Mark’s Gospel, 470.
35 Wallace, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics, 71.
36 C. E. B. Cranfield, The Gospel According to Mark, Cambridge Greek Commentary, ed. C. F. D. Moule (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1972), 345.
37 Bruce D. Chilton, “Jesus Ben David: Reflections on the Davidssohnfrage,” JSNT 14 (1982): 99.
38 Dennis C. Duling, “Solomon, Exorcism, and the Son of David,” Harvard Theological Review 68 (1975): 235.
39 Achtemeier, “And He Followed Him,” 124.
40 Psalms of Solomon 17:21-32.
41 E. Lohse, “Son of David,” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Friedrich, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, vol. 8 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1968), 480.
42 2 Esdras 12:32.
43 Loren Fisher, “Can This Be the Son of David,” in Jesus and the Historian, ed. F. T. Trotter (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1968), 85.
44 Testament of Solomon 20:1.
45 Josephus, Ant. 8.2.5.
46 Scroll 4Q521 (Messianic Apocalypse).
47 Duling, “Solomon, Exorcism, and the Son of David,” 246-48.
48 Psalms of Solomon 17:21-40.
49 Stein, Mark, 495.
51 Olekama, The Healing of Bartimaeus in the Markan Context, 71.
52 Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, 330. See also Evans, Mark 8:27-16:20, 129.
53 Cranfield, The Gospel According to Mark, 346; Darrell L. Bock, The Gospel of Mark, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2002), 496.
54 John N. Suggit, “Exegesis and Proclamation: Bartimaeus and Christian Discipleship,” JTSA 74 (1991): 59.
55 France, The Gospel of Mark, 424.