John 9:11 "He answered, "The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, Go to Siloam and wash." So I went and washed and received my sight." ESV

Can we say what sort of belonging is implied by "my" of "my eyes"?

Here belonging ownership might be effected by ""The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein". Psalm 24:1.

Can we say if the man used this in a locative or ownership sense?

If he used it in an ownership sense would this contradict the teaching of Psalm 24:1?

  • 'My' does not necessarily imply "ownership", as such. It can be merely locative. That is to say, 'my eyes' not 'his eyes'.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 27 '20 at 17:39
  • @Nigel J I think the world uses "my" very often and therefore there is further worth in looking at it in the Bible.
    – C. Stroud
    Nov 27 '20 at 18:26

We should not jump to metaphoric and spiritual meanings too quickly else we miss the central message; that central message of a Bible passage is always based on the literal meaning.

John 9 - the story of the healing of the blind man is perfect example of this. Let us examine this story in its simple, literary form:

  • V1-6 - Jesus heals the blond man with mud made of saliva
  • V7-12 - the crowds are amazed at the healing and confirm his identity
  • V13-34 - the teachers and Pharisees are amazed and struggle to understand what has happened because they cannot accept the identity of Jesus. That is, their preconceptions prevented their understanding.
  • V35-41 - Jesus finds the man and draws a spiritual lesson from all this about spiritual blindness from which the overhearing Pharisees are offended.

Thus, the early part of this story should be read simply and literally. "My eyes" in the Greek is part of a phrase that is literally, "and anointed of me the eyes". That is, the eyes that Jesus anointed were part of the physical body of the man cured of blindness.

Now, none of this changes the general principle stated in Ps 24 that all things belong to God. Indeed, we have a specific instance of this in 1 Cor 6:19, 20 -

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.

Thus, while we are ourselves and have our body parts, even our own bodies ultimately belong to God.

  • You say "even our own bodies ultimately belong to God". I agree. Is not the meaning of "my" here dependent upon whether we know enough about the man who said "my eyes" to know if he would agree? Also what is "our own" in view of God's ultimate ownership?
    – C. Stroud
    Nov 30 '20 at 13:18
  • @C.Stroud - that is the point - I believe my body belongs to God who has ultimate ownership. However, I can still speak of my arm or my tongue and my eyes. These are all part of the body that is "me" that belongs to God.
    – Dottard
    Nov 30 '20 at 19:23

To my knowledge, the rules regarding when and to what degree one might draw inferences from scriptural assertions have not been expressly stated within holy writ. And yet, by example, such metaphoric meaning is everywhere demonstrated within scripture. Philo, who popularized the Platonic reading of the OT might have defined some theoretical limit to such "spiritualized" reading of the OT but I am not sufficiently versed in his ideas to identify it.

As far as I can tell from the teaching and example of the NT authors, if you can find in the "OT", something that by a Platonist/metaphoric reading speaks of Christ, go for it.

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