Miraculous Restoration of Sight
by Bill Sardi by Bill Sardi
A well-known Bible story has suddenly been confirmed by archaeologists.
A report in the Los Angeles Times says "Workers repairing a sewage pipe in the Old City of Jerusalem have discovered the biblical Pool of Siloam, a freshwater reservoir that was a major gathering place for ancient Jews making religious pilgrimages to the city and the reputed site where Jesus cured a man blind from birth, according to the Gospel of John."
Archaeologists have argued that the existing Pool of Siloam uncovered in earlier excavations could not be the pool mentioned in the Book of John in the New Testament because it was built between 400 and 460 AD by Empress Eudocia of Byzantium. Till now, there had been no evidence for the existence of the earlier pool referred to in the Book of John, as if to intimate these stories were made up many years after Jesus’ death. However, New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary says: “Now we have found the Pool of Siloam … exactly where John said it was,” about 200 yards away from the pool built hundreds of years later.
Police reports confirm the story
But what of the claim that Jesus healed a beggar man born blind in that location? Does this Biblical account withstand scrutiny? The record of the healing is recorded in the ninth chapter of John. Jesus was at the Pool of Siloam in the city of Jerusalem when he happened to come upon a man born blind. Now any fake healer could have planted a man at the poolside to suddenly claim his vision had been restored, and there were many false healers then as there are today, so this lends credibility to the account, that he had been blind from birth.
The account in the book of Mark says: "When He (Jesus) had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing."
Neighbors were astonished and sought to confirm this was the same man who had begged for coins at the pool. They asked the man to explain his account of what happened. He replied: "A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight."
The account of this miracle finally reached the religious authorities, who were familiar with false accounts of healings. So they went to verify the report by contacting the parents of the blind man. They asked parents of him that had received his sight: "Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? How then does he now see?" His parents answered them and said, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind." The authorities went back to the healed man and asked again, "How could you be healed by a mere man who is a sinner like the rest of us?" The man replied: "Whether He be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." The skeptical authorities had verified the story. At least the police reports verify the story, but what of its scientific accuracy?
Is There Any Medical Evidence This Could Be True?
So a man who had been born with limited sight happens to be healed when Jesus applies clay to his eyes. Could this just be coincidence? Just narrowly examining this Biblical account from a scientific point of view without the intent to diminish a true miracle, is there any modern evidence that the application of clay to a man’s eyes could actually restore sight? There may be. Was Jesus using clay as a reshaping device to alter the curvature of the cornea, the clear front surface of the eyes that bends light rays through the pupil opening? This appears to be so.
Today, using the modern technology of a cold laser beam, eye surgeons correct vision by reshaping the curvature of the cornea in a procedure called LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis). The Biblical account of restored eyesight in the Book of John appears to be medically accurate. Jesus apparently had unusual knowledge (that of a Creator?), that a slight alteration of the curvature of the cornea (measured in microns, or 1/1000th of a millimeter) can dramatically improve sight. This miracle would require a knowledge of optics and molecular manipulation that exceeds even today’s modern technology. Jesus had the power to heal by re-molding the cornea just as He had the power to turn water molecules into wine.
Furthermore, there is another account of Jesus healing a man who was blind from birth at the pool at Bethsaida. This account is recorded in the eighth chapter of the book of Mark. Here, Jesus leads a blind man out of town and applies spittle once again to his eyes. The Biblical account says Jesus asked the man, after his healing, what he saw. "And the man looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking." So Jesus put his hands again upon the man’s eyes, repeating the previous "treatment." After this second application, the Bible says Jesus "made him look up, and he was restored, and saw every man clearly." (Mark 8: 22—25) Once again, this account is medically accurate. The Bible describes to perfection a case of vertical astigmatism. Men looked abnormally tall, as they might look in a fun-house mirror. Jesus repeated the healing to perfect it.
The current location of the pool at Bethsaida has not been found, though it was originally said to be located north of the Temple in Jerusalem. An ancient document, The Venerable Bede, DE LOCIS SANCTIS, c. 690 C.E., mentions a pool at Bethsaida. Not only has the existence of these New Testament-era water pools been confirmed, but the miracles that accompany them appear to be medically accurate as well.