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With the emergence of the modern quest for the historical Jesus, theologians began increasingly questioning traditional views of Jesus as a healer of human bodies. While a growing suspicion of Jesus’s role as a literal healer of the body is commonly traced to the influence of the Enlightenment, in this essay, I will suggest that the roots of this theological marginalization run deeper, in the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformations, when supernatural did not yet equal superstitious. The essay will examine two representative exegeses of the healing of the woman with the flow of blood in Mark 5:25–34, offered by Martin Luther and John Calvin. My analysis will reveal a shift of hermeneutical emphases from the bleeding woman’s restoration to the dynamics of her faith, and consequently, a new Protestant vision of Jesus’s role in the story, which I will argue occurred due to the new theological importance placed on faith by Protestant reformers.


Originally published in Religions. 2023. Volume 14. Issue 4. Page 479.