Chuck wrote------------------ I think there is benefit in narrowing the question to, How do you assess the veracity of the miracles reported in the NewNov 7, 2011 1 of 50View SourceChuck wrote------------------
I think there is benefit in narrowing the question to, How do you
assess the veracity of the miracles reported in the New Testament?
As scholars, I believe, we are obligated to use the same criteria for
this assessment that we use for other ancient reports of the
miraculous. Am I suggesting that often we don't? Yes, I am.
If I had to answer yes or no to that I would have to say yes.
But I would prefer to qualify a little.
Some would work with an extreme definition of miracle some with a
definition not so extreme. Consider:
a) a miracle is an act which does something contrary to nature.
b) a miracle is an act which does something contrary to what
we currently think is natural.
c) a miracle in the Synoptics is an act performed long ago which was contrary
to what people thought to be natural then.
d) a miracle in an ancient text is something people then did not think
to be contrary to nature, but rather something which was surprising and
unusual and performed with the aid of some special beneficial or
I think I would tend to opt for a view which is somewhere between c) and d),
but I would not take the word "power" to have a _necessary_
implication involving some metaphysical status. However I would
sharply differentiate between
e) surprising acts which are done with good intent, and
f) those done to achieve status, or to harm others.
I think there is reasonable evidence for some events recorded in the
Synoptics belonging to category e).
David Mealand, University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
... Jeff, Indeed, Paul himself apparently claimed to have performed signs and wonders, though it should be noted in regard to the latter reference above, whichNov 10, 2011 50 of 50View SourceJeff Peterson wrote:
> ..... while Paul doesn't mention signsJeff,
> and wonders performed by Jesus, he does regard signs and wonders as marking
> apostles of the risen Christ (Rom 15:1819; 2 Cor 12:12).
Indeed, Paul himself apparently claimed to have performed signs and wonders,
though it should be noted in regard to the latter reference above, which is
Paul's strongest statement on the subject, that the context is his desperate
desire to present himself as a true apostle. Also he was somewhat agitated
(2 Cor 12:11).
But unfortunately none of the four claims to deeds of power (your two plus 1
Thess 1:5 and 1 Cor 2:4) are accompanied by details. Consequently we can't
be sure what Paul meant, and there is at least the possibility that he was
referring to the drama of mass conversions which this persuasive missionary
no doubt initiated.
> It wouldn't be a great leap to suppose that Paul had heard reports fromBut this is nothing more than a supposition, and its perceived likelihood
> Cephas, James, et al. of signs and wonders performed by Christ .....
depends on whether or not we consider (on other grounds) that Jesus was a
So I still maintain that our only independent witness to Jesus as a miracle
worker is the gospel of Mark.