In a recent posting, I gave a link for online access (also downloadable for free) to the Bolshakov Podlinnik (here it is again, if you missed it):
The publisher of that manual was Sergey Tikhonovich Bolshakov (1842–1906), an Old Believer. As I have said many times, it was the Old Believers who kept the old traditions of Russian icon painting alive long after the State Church had adopted the more realistic western European manner of painting.
Here is an old photo. Sergey Bolshakov is the fellow with the long forked beard, second from the right:
This pattern is from the Bolshakov manual:
Those of you who are familiar with the New Testament will recognize it as the Исцеление расслабленного в Капернауме — Istselenie rasslablennogo v Kapernaume — “Healing of the Paralytic in Capernaum.” In Greek the title means the same — Η θεραπεία του παραλυτικού της Καπερναούμ — He Therapeia tou paralytikou tes Kapernaoum.
It is the story found in Mark 2: 1-12:
And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word to them.
And they come to him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh to him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, your sins be forgiven you.
But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said to them, Why reason you these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Your sins be forgiven you; or to say, Arise, and take up your bed, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, (he says to the sick of the palsy,) I say to you, Arise, and take up your bed, and go your way into your house.
And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
In the edited version of this story found in “Matthew (9:1-8) there is no lowering of the man through the roof. Matthew merely says:
And he [Jesus] entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
“And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said to the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
The edited version of Luke 5:18-26 adds the detail that the man was let down through the roof tiles (διά τῶν κεράμων/dia ton keramon):
And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling [dia ton keramon/through the tiles] with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
Here is a 14th century fresco of the icon type from Vysokie Dechany, Serbia:
Do not confuse this type with that of the man healed of paralysis at the Pool of Bethesda — the story given in John 5:1-15. In each tale, a healed man is told to take up his bed and walk. The story of the Paralytic at Capernaum is commemorated on the sixth Sunday after Pentecost in the Orthodox Church.