5. Stiller of Tempests

“Walking tall in Galilee, Feeding many wish a fish

Walking side by side with sin, Drinking wine with thieves and whores

But I can’t, Get pissed with the man on the moon

But I can’t, Eat shit with a make believe spoon

But I can’t, go fishing on a red mushroom

Raise the dead from a cold dark tomb

Casting forth the demon seed, walking round the still dead sea

Shaking hands with human scum, giving all  to who have none

But I can’t, Get pissed with the man on the moon

But I can’t, Eat shit with a make believe spoon

But I can’t, go fishing on a red mushroom

Raise the dead from a cold dark tomb”

This song is about the wonders Jesus is said to have performed. I have tried to drag the myth into reality and give a perspective from Jesus who couldn’t do the supernatural.

The Gospels are abundant with the varied and astounding miracles of Jesus. In the Gospels of Mathew, Mark and Luke we can read about the following.

  1. The cure of a Leper.
  2. The cure of a Paralytic.
  3. The cure of a woman suffering a Haemorrhage.
  4. The raising from death of an officials daughter.
  5. The cure of the man with a withered hand.
  6. The famous feeding of the 5000 with 5 loaves and two fish.

The following miracles are not in all four gospels.

The famous miracle of Jesus walking on water can be found in Mathew, Mark and John but not Luke.

The changing of water into wine is only found in John. The raising of Lazarus from the dead is only detailed in John, although a passing reference to this event is mentioned in Luke.

Cures for blind, dumb crippled possessed and diseased people are mentioned in all four gospels along side many indiscriminate references to Jesus curing anonymous people on his wanderings.

The curing of the Centurions daughter is in Mathew, Mark and Luke, but not John.

The calming of the wind and sea as Jesus is in a boat is in Matthew, Mark and Luke, but not John.

So what do we make of the supernatural powers of Jesus. He was a healer who made the blind see, the lame walk and the insane normal. He walked on water, fed 5000 people with 5 loaves and two fish. He turned water into wine and even raised the dead. If that wasn’t enough, he died and was resurrected and ascended to Heaven.  It takes a fellow of faith to believe in these incredible acts. But then, religion has never been rational. If a man appeared today raising the dead, strolling across lakes and made lunch for 5000 people with just 5 loaves and two fish everyone would applaud his magical skills. We would have a star in the making and wonder at how he pulled off these dazzling feats? But unlike 2000 years ago, these feats would be proven beyond doubt as miraculous or fraudulent.

2000 years ago the very thought of a trick wouldn’t have entered peoples head. If Jesus appeared in the Middle Ages he would have been burned as a witch. If he had appeared 5000 years ago no one would have known how to document his deeds and we would be none the wiser of his existence. Men were deemed Godlike in many ancient realms, but that was then.

Time plays a very important part in how he was received and how his life was documented.

If you sent a modern illusionist back to the times of Jesus he would have been the very figure the Jewish religious system despised and the Roman oppressors feared. The populace would not have the intellect of our modern minds to dismiss his traveling show as mere theatrics.

The healing of the leper probably took weeks to achieve so one cannot dismiss this miracle in its highly likely original context.

Jesus apparently performed around eight nature miracles, seventeen individual healing miracles, seven exorcisms and three resuscitation’s from the dead, according to the Christian New Testament.

History is rife with reported miracles that get more awe inspiring the further back in time you go.  The authenticity of miracles depends upon the reliability of evidence and witnesses. The Old Testament relates about 76 miracles over a span of several thousand years, from a talking snake in the Garden of Eden, Balaam and his talking donkey, The parting of the Red Sea,  to Jonah living in the belly of a great fish for three days and nights and then being spat out up unharmed. A Christian is taught that these events are as real as the pages they are written within. But would any man of reason believe such outlandish tales of yore?

Billy Graham, the fire and brimstone preacher form the USA, Billy says “we sometimes dismiss people who lived in the past as ignorant and gullible – but they weren’t, especially when it came to miracles. They lived close to nature – much closer than most of us do – and knew firsthand the reality of storms, illness and death. They knew dead people didn’t come back to life and storms didn’t suddenly stop – not unless God was at work? That’s one reason why miracles took place: miracles pointed to God and His power.”

Make of that what you will, and I know what I make of it and that’s wishful thinking. You just can’t redefine history with fantasy, to adjust what did happen to what you want to happen.

Some believe that “Jesus was or is an Ancient Vedic Master Wizard from a dimension

much more mystical and spiritual than we realize. He was sent or chose to arrive here in human form to experience all the worldly negativeness and simple pains and strife we as humans had to endure as we were not ready to be ascended into a higher realm of thinking & being”. What a load of verbal drivel that idea is.

How about

There is nothing wrong with the dubious claims of many of the miracle  workers as long as you know they are parading charlatans claiming to have a personal and private relationship to God. It is when you actually believe in their wonders that fact can twist itself into fiction. To the ignorant the worlds was once flat. We cannot appreciate how the mind in the ancient worlds calculates what is real and what is not. It can only operate in the restrictions of how it has been informed. In today’s modern world we have access to the internet, untold knowledge at out finger tips so any uncertainty is quickly abolished and we can to a certain degree be sure of our answers. The ancient world had no such luxuries, and especially the rural folk who were out of the reach of learning and education. Like many of the poorest nations on Earth today, this lack of knowledge breeds ignorance. Jesus had a main audience of such rural peasants as he rarely preached in the towns. His audience would have been illiterate and gullible to anything that was new. What I have stated is a fact and from this strong footing we can appreciate the ease in which such a scenario could nurture the Miracle stories into fully blown supernatural events. If you went into a distant village in India or China with a mobile phone the reaction to this unseen technology would be one of awe and intrigue. Then, over time they will become familiar with the technology and it becomes less of a thing of reverence and more of understanding.

With this premise in place we can deconstruct some of the Miracles attributed to Jesus and perhaps come to a different conclusion to one of divine instigation.

So if the miracles of Jesus were not of supernatural origins how could we view them otherwise?

Walking on water with something submerged slightly below the surface is a simple enough answer.

Making a blind person see with a stagehand and a little trickery is not beyond the realms of  possibility.

Wine in ancient times [especially wine that common peasantry could indulge in] was a sharp, sour drink. It was always diluted with water in order to make large quantities. For a feast, it would have been necessary to mix the wine with water in large pots. If you imagine a scenario of many pots filled with a little diluted wine and then water being poured into them, the impressions of water turning into wine would make sense.

To quote Craig Bloomberg, distinguished professor of the New Testament, Denver, Seminary – For some people, the miracles in the Gospels form the most incredible part of the New Testament accounts. Modern science, they say, has demonstrated that the universe is a closed continuum of cause and effect. The ancients may have believed in the possibility of supernatural forces in the world but we know better today.

In fact, this cluster of opinions proved more common a half-century ago than today. Philosophers of science have stressed that by definition all science can adjudicate is that what is repeatable under controlled conditions. If there is a God of the kind in which Jews, Christians and Muslims have historically believed, then we would expect him occasionally to bypass the laws of nature. The real question becomes whether there is good reason to believe in God in the first place. Today, perhaps the most common scholarly objection to the credibility of Jesus’ miracles is that stories and myths from other religions that competed with Christianity in the first-century Roman Empire are similar enough that it makes best sense to assume that the Christian miracles stories likewise teach theological truth through fictional narrative

If all the main reasons for not believing in the Gospel miracle stories fail to convince, what are positive reasons for believing in them? To begin with, they are deeply embedded in every layer, source and finished Gospel in the early Christian tradition. Jewish sources likewise attest to Jesus’ miracles. Faced with the opportunity to deny the Christian claims that Jesus performed such amazing feats, Josephus and the Talmud instead corroborate them, even though they don’t believe he was heaven-sent. The rabbis often made the charge that Jesus was a sorcerer who led Israel astray, much like certain Jewish leaders in the Gospel accounts (Mark 3:20-30) accused Christ of being empowered by the devil.

The closest parallels to the miracles of Jesus are in fact in the Old Testament. Feeding the multitudes with miraculously supplied bread, God’s sovereignty over wind and waves, Elijah and Elisha raising people from the dead all appear as crucial background for understanding the New Testament texts. If anything, such parallels should inspire confidence in the reliability of the New Testament accounts.

So, we can assume the miracles of Jesus occurred, but are subject to Christian or just natural ancient ignorance pertaining to the supernatural. Of the Healing and skill Jesus employed in his teaching their can be no doubt.

The Jewish philosopher, Benedict Spinoza, Arguing from a Newtonian concept of nature, Spinoza insisted that “nothing then, comes to pass in nature in contravention to her universal laws.

He proposed the following argument against miracles

1. Miracles are violations of natural laws

2. Natural laws are immutable

3. It is impossible for immutable laws to be violated

4. Therefore, miracles are not possible .

To look upon the Miracles as with the whole Gospel narrative the very presence of the supernatural must be removed. What is left must be the answer and if there is not an answer then it never occurred. By this method of deduction we can conclude that Jesus could never had literally walked on water unless he was Godlike. He could not have stilled the tempest unless by coincidence. He could not have sent out the fishermen who had caught no fish all day to the most bountiful catch of their careers unless by coincidence. There is no divine intervention here and that is the problem when we have the Gospels as our core source for unravelling the real Jesus. The Gospels are supposedly Divine inspired works and thus do not follow the same rules as other biographies and historical accounts of other people. To weave fact and the fabulous as one cohesive work makes sense to the blindness of faith and no sense at all to the eyes of the sceptic.

How you determine the Miracles of Jesus must firs derive from your own perspective of who or what you perceive him to be. The Miracle stories become far less awkward is you fervently believe and that is your choice. I however have the Burden of knowing this man from Galilee existed on the same level and abided by the same laws of nature from where I have evolved. There are no fantastic Miracles or God defining moments in my life and none that I have seen. We look upon our world today though different eyes, but Jesus could never see what I see, though I can see much of what he would have seen. In this age Miracles are resigned to dreams of quirks of coincidence.   Every destructive event is put down to Gods retribution and imminent end of days by your shallow Jehovah Witness’s. Oh how bored would they be without an Earthquake or a war to bemoan and wail about? If they were around in the times of Jesus there would have still been plenty to horror about and these devotees of God would have been no doubt revered for their gloomy prophetic wisdom. [it doesn’t take a genius to predict bad times ahead for the human race in any century passed or to come]

The raw reality of life was for Jesus no less or more cold than mine. He healed with skill, preached with passion and from this charismatic unique individual followed the exaggerations we read today.  And here is the twist. The Gospels being a work of supposedly divine inspiration would necessitate the fantastic so to accommodate the historical.  Jesus and his deeds would be amplified, expanded and twisted into the supernatural, for within the constraints of the Historical these events could not exist and yet the Gospels are not wholly historical so the transcendental can be accommodated.