2257Re: Mark 8:19-21
- Sep 5, 1998Let me first say, Jan, what a pleasure it is to discuss these matters with
you. You are an excellent proponent of a viewpoint that I would otherwise
take to be hopelessly misguided. There are still many things to be said on
this topic, but I want to concentrate on the two types of "basket" for a
moment, to see what can be made of their relative size.
(the 5000): 5 loaves and two fish --> 12 kophinoi of fragments
(the 4000): 7 loaves (+ some fish?) --> 7 spyridoi of fragments
Can it be doubted that "multiplication" is going on here? Well, maybe - if
your hypotheses are true, viz.:
H1: ... a spyris is fashioned so as to carry a single loaf of bread
H2: ... the volume of 5 spyrides is the same as that of 12 kophinoi
But is H1 true? Well, according to Philip Lewis on this forum:
A multitude of four thousand, fed by seven "spyridoi," common market
baskets, flat and large enough for Paul to be seated in one as he was let
down over the walls of Damascus, was chosen by Mark as the symbol of a
Gentile feeding. (end Lewis quote)
Obviously, Paul cannot have been "seated" in a basket only large enough to
hold a single loaf of bread. But perhaps he only had one foot in it (toe
Again, there is the pesky matter of those NT translators. Some of them
actually translate 'spyridoi' as '_large_ baskets'. A "large" basket
holding only a single loaf of bread? How could they be so wildly mistaken?
Or again, take your own mathematics: According to H2, spyridoi are _larger_
than kophonoi. That makes sense, but when taken together with H1, it
results in the conclusion that kophonoi carry less than half a loaf of
bread! Is that likely?
So evidently, H1 is simply false. I'm not sure whether you would want to
try to save it or not. What say you?
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