John 5 – Superstition about the waters at Bethesda

The Bethesda Pool, where Jesus heals the paralytic man in the Gospel of John, is a complex site. It appears to have been a mikveh, or ritual bath. As the spot of one of Jesus’ miracles, the Bethesda Pool was built over in subsequent periods with chapels and churches that are still visible today. Source:

This pool [was] evidently a mineral spring of some sort whose waters bubbled intermittently as escaping gases broke the surface…No doubt these waters had-as hot mineral springs do in our day-some curative and healing powers, which gave rise to a legend, among the superstitious and spiritually illiterate Jews, that ‘an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water,’ and that ‘whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.'” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 2: 66.)


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1 Response to John 5 – Superstition about the waters at Bethesda

  1. Pingback: The Messiness of Scripture | LDS Scripture Teachings

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