The case of visual agnosia in the Bible…

I was just posting apologetics info on a forum I frequent, and realized I hadn’t blogged about this topic here yet.  This is just a fun little snippet of something my husband and I found one time, and enjoy discussing.  It is one of those small details that lends so much credence to the Biblical record, including the times when the authors record miracles:

Mark 8:22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23 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. 24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. 25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly

Guess what we find today when individuals who have been blind are cured by surgery? They cannot comprehend what they are seeing. They have sensation, but not perception. They suffer from visual agnosia. They actually have to learn to perceive what they are “seeing” this can be a tough process, and some never fully see like a  person sighted since birth, they sometimes never “see” clearly. You can read about an interesting case of this in Oliver Sack’s book An Anthropologist on Mars and I believe even the author catches the connection. So, Jesus first heals the man’s sight (sensation), then he heals his perception. Did He miss the perception the first time around? I don’t think so – for those of us in this century it shows us that although Mark might not have known it when writing his gospel, now we can see why the blind man Jesus healed could not perceive at first; Mark faithfully recorded the incident, though he couldn’t have known it would lend credence to this particular miracle, for he couldn’t have known what visual agnosia was. Our modern technology backs up the case of visual agnosia in the Bible.

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