Monday, December 01, 2008

Healing of the Paralyzed Man

Healing of the Paralyzed Man
Just finished the story of the healing of the paralyzed man from Mark ch2. There are six pictures in this set which brings our total Bible picture count to 758.

Picture one shows the four men with their friend on a stretcher outside the crowded house. One of the men is pointing upwards towards the roof. Picture 2 shows two of the men taking their friend up the exterior steps built into the side of the house, while another is starting to break up the roof. You can see the 2 foot high parapet wall around the top of the roof, a building regulation laid down in Deut 22:8.

Breaking through the roof seems a little extreme, but apparently this was a common practice in those days for the purpose of lowering down grain, straw and other articles. Dr Thomson in 'The Land and the Book' wrote "The roof could easily be broken in this manner, and easily repaired." There are many other explanations as to how the roof was taken up in this story, some required very little damage to the roof itself. It comes down to which theory you prefer. This is not set in stone! Click here for more information on houses in Bible times.

Picture 3 (above) shows the paralyzed man being lowered down before Jesus. This picture appears on the cover of the new ICB Gospel of Luke, (only 99p!)
In picture 4 we see Jesus questioning the scribes. When you illustrate a scribe, remember to add an 'inkhorn' hanging from his belt. Inkhorns were long slim boxes about 9-10 inches in length and 2 inches wide. They were made of either a hardwood like ebony or more commonly from metal such as silver, brass or copper. They were exquisitely carved and contained the writing implements used by the scribe. The inkhorn was divided into two parts, the main longer box held the reed pens and a knife, while the smaller 'inkstand', which was a much heavier little box with a hinged lid, held the powered ink. The ink, (which needed water adding to it before it could be used), was made from a mixture of lamp soot or pulverized charcoal and gum. Because this ink was water soluble, it could be easily erased with a sponge and water!

In picture 5, Jesus heals the paralyzed man. In picture 6 the man is following the command of the Lord Jesus by taking up his bed and going home!
This set of pictures will be uploaded to the 'Bible picture website' shortly.


MGVHoffman said...

In Mark 2:4 (which you are illustrating), the Greek does indicate that they dug through the roof. In Luke 5:19 (where you indicate the picture is being used), however, it says that "they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd." Luke seems to be picturing a tile rather than a thatch roof.

Bible artist said...

Yes, this is true.
I did read though in 'Bible Manners and Customs' that Tile-roofs however are not common in Syria, though Greek houses are usually covered in this manner. This fact has led to the suggestion that Luke, being probably a native of Greek Antioch, may have used the word "tiling," not in reference to the material of which the roof was made, but because it was to him the most familiar term which signified roofing.

Dr Leen Ritmeyer did point out however when he commented on the 'Houses in Bible Times' post that due to the scarcity of timber many houses were built completely of Basalt including the roofs!
So that would be a pro-Tile argument!

Paul Green said...

Does this really matter? Isn't the miracle the main point of the story?
If you had illustrated tiles someone would complain it should have been thatch. You can't win.
And short of a time machine taking you there you can never be 100% certain about these matters.

Bible artist said...

Yes, you have a point Paul! The miracle is without doubt the most important thing. No Bible artist would disagree with that, but we have to remember that this is a blog about Bible illustration and so we do tend to spend a lot of time thinking about seemingly insignificant details, but only because we have to draw them.

In the big scheme of things these details are unimportant and maybe we would benefit more from discussing the Spiritual aspects of each Bible story but there are many blogs out there doing just that, and doing it much better than I would to!

I have to admit that I do sometimes want to go much deeper into a subject, then I have to remind myself that the blog is about Bible illustration.

Paul Green said...

Okay Graham. That sounds logical.
This Biblical commentator has solved the problem of the seemingly contrary accounts of the roof by combining them.:))

"But these are not just fair-weather friends, they are more than simply determined: they are driven. They will get to Jesus in any way possible. So they come up with a plan. They will climb to the roof, remove the thatch and the branches, and even the tiles, break through and lower their friend down right in front of Jesus. At that, he would be sure to notice."

Mom said...

Is there any way to see larger, higher res versions of your pictures?

deboraw said...

Yes, Graham, that is exactly right! It is about the illustration, and as you've mentioned on earlier posts, study, study, study, is so important. However, even with all of the 'study' we are still not at 'complete' knowledge, therefore as my brother-in-law is so fond of reminding us, (smile) 'we are just doing the best we can with what we have to work with'. Deboraw

Paul Green said...

To Pohlmeiers - Yes there is a way to see large hi-res images. Buy his pictures. :)) Seriously if Graham placed hi-res pictures online people would just downlaod and print them and all Graham's hard work would be for nothing.

Bible artist said...

The Pohlmeiers:
Just to add to what Paul said, There are some higher res pictures under the 'free stuff' link. As Paul says, if we did upload high res pictures folks would use them and not buy the power-points! Any money that comes in from the sale of power-points goes back into the production of new Bible pictures.

This is true! There are many issues like this that we can't be dogmatic about. We can only do our best with the info that we have.