Yesterday’s Gospel to be Mark’s pericope the Bartimaeus, the remote beggar of Jericho (Mk 10.46–52; synoptic parallels Mt 9.27–31, 20.29–34, Lk 18.35–43). That struck me the passing characters in the gospels, especially recipients of healing, are anonymous (Luke’s variation does no name the blind man, and also Matthew renders him 2 anonymous men). Most of united state treat ‘Bartimaeus’ as a straightforward name, yet I think it’s unusual for a pair of reasons.

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He is presented as “Bartimaeus, kid of Timaeus” (ὁ υἱὸς Τιμαίου Βαρτιμαῖος, ho huiòs Timaíou Bartimaîos). This is often read as if Bartimaeus is his name, and his dad is Timaeus. However, the simple fact that ‘bar’ is the Aramaic for ‘son of’ suggests that ‘son the Timaeus’ is the partial translate in of ‘Bartimaeus’. It’s constantly interesting to watch what the Syriac Peshitta does through such translations the Aramaic, seeing together there is commonly no require for a gloss top top Aramaic (Syriac being a range of Aramaic). The Peshitta converts the name together ܛܝܡܝ ܒܪ ܛܝܡܝ (Ṭimai bar Ṭimai). Although this argues once again a ideal name ‘Timai bar Timai’, this still does no make a good deal that sense.

The pericope provides the location ‘Son the David‘ double to describe Jesus, which has messianic connotations. I believe that reading ‘Son that Timai’ together a equivalent to ‘Son of David’ might assist us find an interpretation in the name.

The important question is what go ‘Timaeus’ or ‘Timai’ mean? There room two means we have the right to translate it:

The alternate lexical root might be the pure Aramaic word טמא or ܛܡܐ (ṭmā), meaning ‘unclean’, ‘impure’, ‘unchaste’ or ‘abominable’. In this sense, ‘Bartimaeus’ might mean ‘son of my impure ones’, which is in maintaining with the general bigotry against those v disabilities that they inherited a parental error or sin.

I think the very first interpretation is slightly stronger, having the backing of the Peshitta and involving interplay through the only comparable name in the pericope, ‘Son of David’. However, it can be possible, although more complex, to recognize Bartimaeus as a type of Israel as an unclean people. Probably one might relate the injunction against the remote sacrificing as priests (Lev. 21.18-20). The book of Isaiah also has a variety of references to blindness indicating a absence of spirituality understanding. However, creating a meaningful argument around the meaning of the surname in this way seems somewhat awkward.

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An less complicated answer would be that ‘Timaeus’ is a ideal name, i beg your pardon is common by the Platonic character Timaeus the Locri and by Timaeus the historian. However, this connection does not seem coherent either. Over there is always the nagging chance that ‘Bartimaeus’ to be a historical person v a meaningless name all along.