The blind beggar Bartimaeus (Mk 10:46-10:46)

“They came to Jericho.

As Jesus

With his disciples

And a large crowd

Were leaving Jericho,

Bartimaeus,

The son of Timaeus,

A blind beggar,

Was sitting

By the roadside.”

 

Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Ἰερειχώ. Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ Ἰερειχὼ καὶ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ ὄχλου ἱκανοῦ ὁ υἱὸς Τιμαίου Βαρτιμαῖος, τυφλὸς προσαίτης, ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν.

 

Both Matthew, chapter 20:29, and Luke, chapter 18:35, have something similar, but with some differences.  Luke had Jesus entering or approaching Jericho, not leaving it, as Matthew and Mark indicate.  Mark said that Jesus had come to Jericho (Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Ἰερειχώ).  However, he was leaving Jericho (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ Ἰερειχὼ) with his disciples (καὶ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ) and a large crowd (καὶ ὄχλου ἱκανοῦ), when this incident occurred.  Jericho was about 15 miles east of Jerusalem and about 8 miles north of the Dead Sea.  Jesus was getting closer to Jerusalem, but not quite there.  Mark is the only gospel writer that named this blind beggar Bartimaeus (Βαρτιμαῖος), the son of Timaeus, even with the name of his father (ὁ υἱὸς Τιμαίου).  Bartimaeus was a blind beggar (τυφλὸς προσαίτης), sitting by the way or the roadside (ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν).  On the other hand, Matthew had 2 unnamed blind beggars, while Luke only had 1 unnamed blind beggar.

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Jesus sees Simon and Andrew (Mk 1:16-1:16)

“As Jesus

Passed along

The Sea of Galilee,

He saw Simon,

And his brother

Andrew.

They were casting a net

Into the sea.

They were fishermen.”

 

Καὶ παράγων παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας εἶδεν Σίμωνα καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν Σίμωνος ἀμφιβάλλοντας ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ· ἦσαν γὰρ ἁλεεῖς.

 

Mark, as well as the other 3 canonical gospels, has Jesus meeting Simon for the first time at the beginning of his ministry.  Luke, chapter 5:1:11, has an elaborate story about Simon, where there was no mention of his brother Andrew, as Jesus and Simon went out fishing together.  In John, chapter 1:35-42, Andrew and Simon were disciples of John the Baptist, from the town of Bethsaida, about 5 miles north of Capernaum, near the Sea of Galilee.  However, here as in Matthew, chapter 4:18, which is almost word for word, there are only the simple comments about the brothers Simon and Andrew being fishermen.  Mark recounts that as Jesus was passing by, walking, or strolling along the Sea of Galilee (Καὶ παράγων παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας), he saw Simon and his brother Andrew (εἶδεν Σίμωνα καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν Σίμωνος) casting or dropping a net into the sea (ἀμφιβάλλοντας ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ), since they were fishermen (ἦσαν γὰρ ἁλεεῖς).  Mark did not mention the other name of Simon as Peter, like Matthew did.  However, it was common for people to have both a Hebrew name like Simon and a Greek name like Peter.  Both these brothers were casting their large fishing nets into the Sea of Galilee, which was about 13 miles long by 8 miles wide, about 80 miles north of the Dead Sea, at the north end of the Jordan River.

John baptized people (Mt 3:6-3:6)

“They were baptized

By him

In the Jordan River,

Confessing their sins.”

 

καὶ ἐβαπτίζοντο ἐν τῷ Ἰορδάνῃ ποταμῷ ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ ἐξομολογούμενοι τὰς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν.

 

Once again, Matthew followed Mark, chapter 1:5. All these people were baptized by John in the Jordan River (καὶ ἐβαπτίζοντο ἐν τῷ Ἰορδάνῃ ποταμῷ ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ), which would have been north of the Dead Sea and Jerusalem. Jewish baptisms were not that uncommon. Washing was a physical and spiritual cleansing for sins, as people were unclean or dirty. Thus, in the process of this spiritual cleansing, they would confess their sins (ἐξομολογούμενοι τὰς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν). John’s baptism had a few unique qualities since it was a moral statement with an expectation of a coming Messiah or savior.