John 5:4 and Raphael


In John 5:7 the waters of the pool in Bethseda are “stirred up”.

Who stirred up the healing Waters?
Was it the angel Raphael?
In my Ignatius RSV it say the waters were troubled not stirred and mentions ancient authorities as having added verse 4.

Any further information about the verse or the Angel Raphael would be appreciated.


The New American Bible omits the verse, but refers to it in the notes:

[LEFT]Toward the end of the second century in the West and among the fourth-century Greek Fathers, an additional verse was known: “For [from time to time] an angel of the Lord used to come down into the pool; and the water was stirred up, so the first one to get in [after the stirring of the water] was healed of whatever disease afflicted him.” The angel was a popular explanation of the turbulence and the healing powers attributed to it. This verse is missing from all early Greek manuscripts and the earliest versions, including the original Vulgate. Its vocabulary is markedly non-Johannine.[/LEFT]
The New American Bible : With Revised New Testament*. electronic ed. Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1986; Published in electronic form by Logos Reseaarch Systems, 1996, S. Ge 1:1

The only explicit mention of St. Archangel Raphael is in the book of Tobit.

To where is St. Raphael pointing ?


to heaven



Glorious Archangel Saint Raphael,
great prince of the heavenly court,
thou art illustrious
for thy gifts of wisdom and grace.
Thou art a guide of those who journey
by land or sea or air,
consoler of the afflicted,
and refuge of sinners.
I beg thee,
assist me in all my needs
and in all the sufferings of this life,
as once thou helped
the young Tobias on his travels.
Because thou art the medicine of God,
I humbly pray thee to heal the many infirmities
of my soul and the ills that afflict my body.
I especially ask of thee the favour

(Make your request here…)

and the great grace of purity
to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Ghost.


St. Raphael,
of the glorious seven
who stand before the throne of Him
who lives and reigns.
Angel of health,
the Lord has filled thy hand
with balm from heaven
to soothe or cure our pains.
Heal or cure the victim of disease.
And guide our steps when doubtful of our ways.


St. Raphael is one of seven Archangels. He appeared to help Tobit, Tobiah and Sarah. Raphael helped Tobiah through his difficulties and taught him how to safely enter marriage with Sarah.

Besides Raphael, Michael and Gabriel are the only Archangels mentioned by name in the bible. Raphael’s name means “God heals.” He “healed” the earth when it was defiled by the sins of the fallen angels. Raphael is also identified as the angel who moved the waters of the healing sheep pool. He is the patron of the blind, of happy meetings, of nurses, of physicians and of travelers. September 29 is his feast day.


John Chrysostom Commentary

The water, however did not heal by virtue of its own natural properties, (for if so the effect would have followed uniformly,) but by the descent of an Angel: For all Angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water. In the same way, in Baptism, water does not act simply as water, but receives first the grace of the Holy Spirit, by means of which it cleanses us from all our sins.

And the Angel troubled the water, and imparted a healing virtue to it, in order to prefigure to the Jews that far greater power of the Lord of the Angels, of healing the diseases of the soul. But then their infirmities prevented their applying the cure; for it follows, Whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in, was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

But now every one may attain this blessing, for it is not an Angel which troubles the water, but the Lord of Angels, which works every where. Though the whole world come, grace fails not, but remains as full as ever; like the sun’s rays which give light all day, and every day, and yet are not spent. The sun’s light is not diminished by this bountiful expenditure: no more is the influence of the Holy Spirit by the largeness of its outpourings. Not more than one could be cured at the pool; God’s design being to put before men’s minds, and oblige them to dwell upon, the healing power of water; that from the effect of water on the body, they might believe more readily its power on the soul.

He did not, however, proceed immediately to heal him, but first tried by conversation to bring him into a believing state of mind. Not that He required faith in the first instance, as He did from the blind man, saying, Believe you that I am able to do this? for the lame man could not well know who He was. Persons who in different ways had had the means of knowing Him, were asked this question, and properly so. But there were some who did not and could not know Him yet, but would be made to know Him by His miracles afterwards.

And in their case the demand for faith is reserved till after those miracles have taken place: When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been a long time in that case, He said to him, Will you be made whole? He does not ask this question for His own information, (this were unnecessary,) but to bring to light the great patience of the man, who for thirty and eight years had sat year after year by the place, in the hope of being cured; which sufficiently explains why Christ passed by the others, and went to him. And He does not say, Do you wish Me to heal you? for the man had not as yet any idea that He was so great a Person. Nor on the other hand did the lame man suspect any mockery in the question, to make him take offense, and say, Have you come to vex me, by asking me if I would be made whole; but he answered mildly, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool; but while I am coming, another steps down before me. He had no idea as yet that the Person who put this question to him would heal him, but thought that Christ might probably be of use in putting him into the water. But Christ’s word is sufficient, Jesus said to him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk.

Behold the richness of the Divine Wisdom. He not only heals, but bids him carry his bed also. This was to show the cure was really miraculous, and not a mere effect of the imagination; for the man’s limbs must have become quite sound and compact, to allow him to take up his bed. The impotent man again did not deride and say, The Angel comes down, and troubles the water, and he only cures one each time; do You, who are a mere man, think that you can do more than an Angel? On the contrary, he heard, believed Him who bade him, and was made whole: And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.


Could you please cite your quotes…it’s the only was to give credibility to your posts.


Do you have reason to doubt the post? Those were not quotes, therefore they are not cited. . It was a fairly simple bit of basic background info concerning Raphael and not a formal defense. It would be helpful if you indicated what you disagree with rather than casting doubt on the “credibility”.


St. Raphael the Archangel is in the Book of Tobit. He describes himself as one of seven angels who enter into God’s presence.

I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One. (Tobit 12:15)

The angels who enter into God’s presence are called Archangels. This verse from Tobit is how we know there are seven.

The other named archangels are St. Michael from the Epistle of St. Jude and the Book of Revelation. St. Gabriel is in St. Luke’s Gospel. There is a reference to Jeremiel the archangel in the apocryphal 4th Book of Ezra. The rest are not named.

It’s all in the Bible.



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