Miracles Of JesusMiracles of Jesus
I actually jumped the "Miracles of Jesus" hurdle pretty quick. For me, the suspension (or violation) of natural laws involved in the miracles of Jesus is really no different than what we witness on a day-to-day basis. There are inherent natural forces represented by the laws of physics, chemical properties and mathematical formulae, and there are volitional forces that can interact or counteract the natural ones. For instance, the laws of gravity that hold a rock to the ground are not suspended (or violated) when a boy counteracts gravity by applying a greater physical force to pick up and throw the rock. The same logic holds when we read the eye-witness accounts of Jesus walking on water or turning water to wine. From a rational basis, he's merely applying a volitional force outside what we know as the natural laws within our four material dimensions.
I may be philosophically pre-disposed to dismiss any reference to supernatural events, but that doesn't mean they can't and don't occur. Given the caveat that there is a God, the "miracles of Jesus" are very reasonable. A supernatural agent is not logically constrained by the effects of his supernatural cause - thus God is not restricted by the naturalistic laws governing our universe. Natural law is God's creation, instituted by God to govern his creation. The creator is not boxed-in by his creation. When considering a supernatural agent, it's logical to "think outside of the box."
Given the reality of a supernatural creator, the gospel accounts of the miracles of Jesus are very reasonable. Some believe these texts were inspired by God himself. However, whether or not you personally hold them in such high esteem, at the very least the gospels represent four separate historical accounts written by four individual authors who, according to secular criteria, independently document historical events. A philosophical predisposition to disregard anything theological or miraculous is simply no reason to reject the gospel texts.
Again, let's consider the integrity of the gospels' writers, men willing to suffer intense persecution and even die in the defense of their individual testimonies. As I discussed previously, Luke is generally regarded as one of the greatest historians of antiquity. Dr. John McRay, professor of New Testament and Archaeology at Wheaton University in Illinois, pretty much sums it up:
- The general consensus of both liberal and conservative scholars is that Luke is very accurate as a historian. He's erudite, he's eloquent, his Greek approaches classical quality, he writes as an educated man, and archaeological discoveries are showing over and over again that Luke is accurate in what he has to say. 1
Have we any good reason to discard Luke's account of the life of Jesus?
How about the other gospel writers that gave their lives for their written testimonies regarding the miracles of Jesus?
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