Mark 5:2, One Man or Two? Part II of II

When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him.

//Two days ago, I gave an example where Matthew changes the story of one blind man (Bartimaeus) into a story of two blind men. In case you don’t believe this is intentional, here’s another example. You all know this story well, about the man living among the tombs, out of whom Jesus cast a swarm of evil spirits. In fact, the man’s name was Legion, because of the many evil spirits inhabiting him. Jesus chases them out into the pigs, and the pigs rumble pell-mell down the hill into the lake, where they drown.

So. What do you suppose the man’s name is in Matthew’s version? I bet you never noticed … according to Matthew, there is no name given, because there are two demon-possessed men in his story!

Matthew 8:28, When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.

In Mathew’s rendition, Jesus does the same thing, casting the demons out into the pigs. Do you find it odd that Matthew would so fecklessly change one person into two? You shouldn’t. Matthew loves to double his characters; it appears to be a unique literary style of his. In Matthew 9:27, like the verses presented two days ago, Matthew again has two blind men. In 4:28-21, he calls his disciples in pairs of brothers (Simon/Andrew, and James/John). In 26:37, he alone again refers to James/John as “the two brothers.” In 26:20, he alone mentions “two false witnesses.”

I don’t have an explanation for this literary habit, but I would enjoy hearing your opinions.

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