Talk:Jesus walking on water

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Christianity / Jesus (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Christianity, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Christianity on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by Jesus work group (marked as Low-importance).

Actual walking on water[edit] -- should probably end up in the article. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:41, 21 May 2010 (UTC).


This is far too religious and should be replaced with an article explaining the science behind water walking animals and insects. While the myths of jesus could be added to a page like this as a simple reference, it shouldn't take up the bulk of it especially since there is things such as magicians, animals and robots who walk on water, which are more important subjects. This is wikipedia, not Conservapedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:52, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

For that, please see: Animal locomotion on the surface layer of water. Actually, maybe that should be added in the headers...I'll go and do that. Owl 16:10, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Adding real life occurances, and occurance in fiction[edit]

As the 'walking on water' idea isn't solely limited to Jesus anymore, I've added these to help expand the article. Hopefully we can go further into it. For example, are there any other mythologies where central or secondary characters are referred to as walking on water? Perhaps we can also make links to a generic.. walking on unusual substances. Walking on hot coals, a bed of nails, air, etc. are all similar astounding concepts. Even more generic, not walking. Such as... breathing water/solids, swimming in the air or through earth, intangibility, etc. There's probably an article out there like that. Tyciol 06:40, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Scientific views[edit]

Is it just me, or are the scientific explanations forgetting that the boat the disciples were in was being rocked by waves? How can "thin ice" exist in such a situation? (See Matthew 14:23-30.) I know we're not supposed to synthesize or cite original research but I mean... come on... a little common sense wouldn't hurt. --Chris (talk) 02:57, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

WP:NOR always applies, so it doesn't really matter. I'm sure the scientists are clever enough to have thought of this, and must have a reason for discounting from being a problem. I'm not going to do original research to work out what that might be, because original research is not appropriate ever. Clinkophonist 12:00, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
it is clear that mathew was written after mark, and matthew just added a bunch of stuff that he thought was cool. Mark is the only gospel that even matters,.. it was written by some guy named mark, and it's just allegory,.. it's so obvious, but the simple will believe every word and that is their folly.
Ugh, you obviously have no idea what the hell you're talking about. Why does Mark then mention things Matthew doesn't then? They only had so much room to write what they had to write. If one gospel mentions something else, then they're going to have to leave something else. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:12, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Why even bother giving "scientific views" to a supernatural event which is by definition, wholly unscientific. Also, why isn't the predominant scientific view of "the whole thing was probably just made up about 300 years later by figures in the Roman empire" even mentioned. A lot more scientists believe that scenario than any "thin Ice" theories or such.
Because it isn't the predominant scientific view. Do some reading.
Tohobbes (talk) 09:14, 5 September 2008 (UTC)"Predominant scientific view?" If these views are what science believes, then these book you are reading should be referenced in the article.

Tohobbes (talk) 09:14, 5 September 2008 (UTC)I think the "scientific views" section should be deleted, if only temporarily, until these claims are verified or at least attributed to some published work. No blogs or preacher's websites, but actual books where science tries to refute miracles through rational explanation. But most scientists I talk with don't even bother refuting the miracles because most of them believe that the miracles were myths or legends added to the stories after Jesus died. Thats why I think this "scientific views" section is a fabrication.

Tohobbes (talk) 09:42, 5 September 2008 (UTC)I'm sorry but I just have to delete the "scientific view" section. The first sentence says this: In April 2006, scientists placed a controversial theory in which they claim that Jesus may have actually walked on thin ice rather than water. But which scientists? And in which publication? And this would NOT be a theory but a hypothesis because scientists already know that a hypothesis isn't a proved theory until it verified by experimental data. This is a mistake commonly made by people who misunderstand science, and it leads me to believe that this claim is a fabrication, not a fact.

Tohobbes (talk) 14:45, 21 September 2008 (UTC) I removed this passage:

However Dr RA Cole, formerly of Moore Theological College Sydney has written: `It is impossible to think of this as meaning that he walked along the shore or along a sandbank, as some have interpreted it. The disciples, being fishermen, knew their lake well, and they would not have been terrified by that. There are no difficulties with Jesus walking on the water if we remember that he was the Son of God.` (IVP New Bible Commentary)

I removed it because it seems to be some kind of rebuttal to an argument that was never made in the first place. It was in the "Interpretive Criticism" section, but this isn't really interpretive criticism. At the very least, it should be re-written to fit in with the rest of that section. For now, I am going to take it out and post it here on the discussion page if anyone wants to revise it.

I know we're not to add original research here, but those looking for a skeptical interpretation might note that, in former times, due to seismic activity, blocks of natural asphalt up to 100 tons would rise from the bottom of the Sea of Galilee. (I am not suggesting that merely because an event is explainable that it is still not dramatic, symbolic, or enlightening) Wnt (talk) 16:41, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

This is an article?[edit]

Looks like anything can get an article on Wikipedia these days, no matter how pointless!

There are various insects which can walk on water, I was expecting some information on those but instead there's some religious nonsense. How unencyclopedic can you get?

Also, encyclopedias don't use "so-and-so" or "such-and-such". Even most real people don't do that.

Removed until someone thinks of a better way to word that. It's making me want to puke. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:18, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

I admire your neutral point of view. (talk) 01:23, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Even if you do not believe in the story, it does need an entry. Wikipedia entries like these are helpful for those who need information on an oft-cited biblical story also, it gives scholars who needs the citation the exact locations. Regardless of your POV, the story has enough historical and cultural significance to be here. Finally, the belittling attitudes on the talk page are offensive and should stop -- I'm not a Christian so I am not offended on religious grounds but as a person I am offended by small-mindedness and intolerance. Petropetro (talk) 07:36, 29 May 2011 (UTC)


There is no proof that Horus has walked on water. I cannot find any proof on the internet, and the sentence is not quoted. I suggest this should be deleted —Preceding unsigned comment added by M4R3K (talkcontribs) 18:14, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

John P. Meier undue weight[edit]

There's a whole paragraph dedicated to one guy's view. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SkreeHunter (talkcontribs) 18:45, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Article quality[edit]

This article requires serious clean up. There is specially a lot of material that is totally irrelevant to the "miracle of walking on water" that must go. These include:

  • All the material about a music video having 3 sentences about walking on water tells the reader NOTHING about the miracle, the topic of the article.
  • The fact that someone drowned (may he rest in peace) in a river, again does not in any way educate the reader about the topic of the article. The fact that the event is covered in the New York Times does not change its relevance for same issue of the newspaper probably reported on some sport events that is as irrelevant.
  • The picture of dogs appearing to walk on water is also totally irrelevant, again, not telling the reader anything about the miracle, the topic of the article.

Overall, I think this article needs to be about the Christian miracle as reported in the Gospels since it refers to the Gospels anyway. The material on other religions needs to move elsewhere. I will clean it up now, add more material on the miracle a little bit later. In fact it really needs a disambig page anyway. I will add that later. Cheers History2007 (talk) 07:33, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Since the information on other religions seems to have vanished...[edit]

I'm starting to put it back. There is no reason why this should be a "Christian only" page.Ethan Mitchell (talk) 19:37, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I reverted your good faith, yet bold change based on WP:BRD. This page stated at the top that it is about the "Christian miracle" as it appears in the Bible, there is a diasmbig page Walk on Water and non-Christian items are listed therein. As is, there is a specific structure for Miracles of Jesus and a page for each. Other religious issues have specific pages. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 19:56, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Great, so let's discuss. Previous versions of this article have mentioned Horus and Orion, with at least two citations, and those additions have been cut. They are not being moved to some putative Walking on Water in Non-Christian Mythology page. The disambig page only links to various media that use the phrase "walk on water". The net result is that we are building an article about only one occurrence of a phenomena, which is specifically Christian. That's bias.
If there were a compelling reason for this to be a Christian-only page, that might be understandable. But I don't see one. It's not a long article.Ethan Mitchell (talk) 12:36, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Mmmm, sorry, I see that Horus and Orion have been put back. I don't understand the criteria here.Ethan Mitchell (talk) 12:39, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I need to understand how much non-Christian items there are. I will can a search, but is there a lot of it anyway? This article does have a Miracles of Jesus banner at the end, so if other items are deleted then that will not apply, and that banner applies to all miracles etc. And there is the question of focus. But first let us see what else there is. History2007 (talk) 13:11, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, there are at least two Buddhist texts, some Hindu stories, the Huang-Po story, the stories of Orion, Horus, Macbeth, and the Aeneid. I'm pretty sure there are some native American myths as well. The point is that walking on water is understood to have supernatural significance in many cultures. I have been looking at the handling of Jesus' other miracles, and I don't see why the master list can't direct to a subsection of this page. I mean, this isn't the transfiguration or something; there's not actually a great deal of theological interpretation about this miracle. Ethan Mitchell (talk) 19:37, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
If you could provide names, links and refs for these right here that would be good. In the end, if that information is to be used, we need the names and links anyway. So why not see it here as we discuss it? Thanks. History2007 (talk) 21:01, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I did some searches and it seems that it even goes beyond you said, in that the phrase is very generic now and according to the dictionaries just means amazing acts. So we must rename this page to avoid confusion and also clarify the phrase, for I had been unaware of the general applications and others may be too. So I did that, and please add your material to the generic page. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 09:24, 24 July 2010 (UTC)


Any idea/s why Peter is not mentioned in this story as told by the gospel of John? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 29 October 2010 (UTC)


Actually Jesus walk on water is not correct, if you wanted to change should have been "Jesus' walk on water". I will move it. History2007 (talk) 18:42, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Consistency of Citations[edit]

I came to this page in order to find the exact chapter and verse so I could then look them up, so the mixed citations (all 3 as references and one in-line) confused me so I made the first references inline as it seems that is how most entries on biblical accounts are done, with direct citations if the gospels differ. In this case I moved the footnoted references to the 3rd sentence, though they could be deleted for now. Is there a standard that all Wikipedia entries citing religious texts should follow? Feeding the multitude seems to be consistent but Calming the storm does not. Any clarification? Petropetro (talk) 07:44, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, the future direction is Wikisource with no external links, the way I fixed the lede. Now to change that all over the encyclopedia does require another miracle... wink. History2007 (talk) 07:59, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

How to improve the article[edit]

Q: How to improve the article? A: Get some sources!

Get Mr France's book on Google. Mr France isn't my personal cup of char, but he's not a complete idiot. Then start searching. Search for (use the search bar at the TOP of the page) commentaries on the gospels of Mark, Matthew and John. Then look up the relevant passages in the many, many commentaries you'll suddenly find at your fingertips. The write something worthwhile!

Why do I bother.... PiCo (talk) 09:58, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Good question my friend. Of course, the basic requirements for editing Wikipedia are: "a heartbeat and a modem..." But as they say, be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. We have now had some new material, but mostly hallucinative fringe views about "what may have happened" on a lake at night 2,000 years ago. Most people who have had less than 12 drinks would guess that it is pretty hard to reconstruct what happened 2,000 years ago on a lake a night, but then "publish or perish" kicks in so they write books on it... History2007 (talk) 21:27, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Digression into Young, no consensus[edit]

I tagged the new, much longer George W. Young item as WP:Undue, given that it is not a mainstream issue and I see no consensus for such a long item. As you note, I did not object to the initial shorter inclusion. But per WP:Undue one can not just type long sections from a book which expresses the views of a single author to dominate an article. I think given that there is no consensus for such a major digression, that material should get trimmed back to the initial mention of Young and his fantastic literature theory, as it was. As is, it is but a fantastic digression. History2007 (talk) 09:53, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

as will be clearer in the following, Young addresses quite conventional issues of text structure and interpretation like the climax in v. 50b with direct speech and the allusion to the divine name "I am". it is a detailed example of a literary-critical interpretation rooting in traditional exegesis, published within the well-respected "Biblical interpretation series". please let me finish my abstract of the main ideas, then we can consider together how to shorten it.
however, main contents of the interpretation should be reported, not only the formal approach, which could be misleadingly understood. finally, undue weight can be balanced by adding other interpretations in the future. --Jwollbold (talk) 10:34, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
As you noted, I did not revert your addition, but it does need a serious trim. FYI: less than 1% of readers will even bother to read the details you added at this length anyway. History2007 (talk) 10:48, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, now I've finished. if Young's text analysis should be rendered, the "abstract" is already quite condensed... I hope I could make understandable the complicated, but deep interpretation. at the end, there is one clear meaning: the openess of all conceptions of reality. hence, Young belongs to the old tradition of meditation about the hidden God. he is not at all exotic and deserves closer attention.
but, of course, I'm not attached to my text. I learned much by the active reading of Youngs book and offer my results to the readers and the Wikipedia community. best regards --Jwollbold (talk) 12:37, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Do you have a comment on this? Or this? or this? If "fantastic literature" is a mainstream interpretation, why does it show up so rarely, if at all? Because it is a single gospel, minority view, textual analysis and not a mainstream view.
And Young only covers Mark and the account in John is not related to that analysis, given that it has different text. In fact a thinking reader would wonder that given the n-Q-source situation for John, why is this explanation from Mark alone even notable at all? And in fact that reader may have a point in that G.W. Young himself states on page 5 of his book that Heinz Kruse insists that only John 6:16-21 preserves the original text of Jesus' sea-walk and that the synoptics were merely an embellishments of that - making single gospel text analysis irrelevant. Young's text analysis is but a minority view for sure.
But with your edit "Young's views on Mark" cover over 50% of the body of the article (excluding the lede). So we have an obscure view on one gospel account dominating the article: i.e. the definition of WP:Undue. History2007 (talk) 15:34, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
by my knowledge and according to Young's report, Kruses opinion is absolutely minoritary. in addition, it does not matter - Young's purpose is not a historical, but a literary analysis. hence, he has to start from a given text within the context of one gospel. nevertheless, he gives some parallels to the other gospels. he mentions, e.g., that matthew and john omit the commentary of mk 6:52 (as support for his view as an "unreliable narrator").
google searches for special terms are not expressive. at present, I don't have the time to perform more adequate ones or to provide specific examples. I only remark that the point is not the application of tools developed for the analysis of fantastic literature, but Young is an example of "a whole range of newer techniques of interpretation, including ... semiotic, post-structuralist, reader-response and other types of literary readings" (description of biblical interpretation series on the Young cover).
it is a book related entirely to the present lemma, hence relevant. it is not my fault that until now the article was rather poor - once again: a balance should be established by adding, e.g., a historical critical view and a more traditional theological reading (Pentecost essentially is only reported by his review of the gospel text). I can contribute to this, but due to other projects this can take weeks or months. first, during the next days, I'll propose abbreviations of my text. in the long run, several of Young's remarks could be integrated in a general exegesis verse by verse that does not depend on a specific approach. --Jwollbold (talk) 19:05, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I do not see the key point being addressed here. What I do not see is "any" indication that Young is not "singing a lonely tune". In order to show that you need to provide other scholarly support that his view is not a single, lonely analysis that would be a remote minority analysis.
As for Young being mentioned in the article, I did not object to his being "mentioned" but to his being the dominant item in the article, per WP:Due. That issue is not going to go away until we go back to the original, much shorter version you had or unless you expand this even further verse by verse, and make an article unto itself about Textual analysis of the gospel of Mark, which can then get a link from here. History2007 (talk) 04:07, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a large overview on new testament exegetical literature, so I can't describe the relevance of Young's book exhaustively. a judgement by a third person would be helpful. in order to conclude this issue for my part, I give some hints:
  • google scholar mentions 10 citations, partly in old testament studies - that's not convincing, you are right.
  • Biblical criticism lists three methods for which Young is an example: rhetorical, narrative and postmodernist criticism (with fantasy as explicit topic). within this broader research context the book is relevant, as I pointed out. you can't expect that there is a complete research community concerned with the interpretation of mark (or even mk 6.:45-52) as fantastic literature.
  • about 2 years ago, I added another literary-critical (semiotic) interpretation to the german wikipedia article judas ischariot (it has been accepted until now - no valid argument, I know).
  • overall, I have the impression that new methods of exegesis have become much more frequent over the last 20 years, and they receive attention within the community of biblical scholars - may be not so much among a larger public (I found the book at a university library). but that's just another reason to try an understandable excerpt, which can be improved, of course.
at present I don't think about a new article. before my edit there was almost no text interpretation in this article, apart from Pentecost's speculation about Jesus' pedagogical intentions, silly naturalistic explanations and their simple rejection. however, readers deserve hints for understanding the pericope. therefore, I don't want to delete all of Youngs statements with regards to content, at present. instead, I'll try to shorten the text and - as a first step - to add some material from Youngs research overview. you are invited to join this urgently necessary revision of the article. --Jwollbold (talk) 15:06, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Actually I do not think it is necessary to throw your text away. It is logical and well written, just too long. I think we can keep it as a stub for a new article, and leave a summary here. In time that can be expanded to have value. I can start the new article. As for urgency, this is 2,000 year old material, 2 weeks makes no difference. History2007 (talk) 15:15, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

well, not urgent, but necessary, in the long run :-). thank you for the constructive suggestion. what should be the focus of a new article? Young's book only? then the title could be Mk 6:45-56 as fantastic literature or Fantastic reading of Jesus' walk on the water, if the latter means the same.
however, in german wikipedia I only know articles about famous books like the pope's Jesus books... I fear that I don't have the opportunity to enlarge the subject, for instance according to Literary criticism of Jesus' walk on the water - but maybe someone would be motivated by the existence of such an article. your title Textual analysis of the gospel of Mark amounts to a complete exegesis of Mark - that's definitely a too huge project! I suggested to include a - basically classical - verse by verse exegesis into the present article. --Jwollbold (talk) 12:07, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
The way Wikipedia grows is to start something more general, and often people show out of nowhere and expand it. For example consider this. I only wrote 2 sentences basically to "park that painting" and without any major effort from me, other people made it a pretty nice article. I think the more general issue is the Textual analysis of the gospel of Mark because it will not have objections regarding notability. G.W. Young's focus on a part of Mark will work well as a significant section, and will attract other analysis. In one year, that may well grow like the San Cassiano article. Please give me a few days and I will think how we can start it, and then wait for it to gorw - either others will do it or we will do it ourselves in 2012. History2007 (talk) 13:10, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
after thinking more about it, such an ambitious article is an interesting idea to me. it would be concurrent / complementary to articles related to singular episodes listed in Gospel_of_Mark#Content. the new article would make sense if restricted to literary analyses of the text in its final redaction - at least there should be no digression into questions of the historical Jesus. classical exegetical studies can be hardly excluded - I already planned to buy a commentary on Mark, hence I could contribute further to the new article. - I'm curious about your definition and start of the article. --Jwollbold (talk) 18:10, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Fine, please give me a few days and I will sketch something as a start. History2007 (talk) 19:32, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
time is no problem - I myself can only edit articles in a slow rhythm. --Jwollbold (talk) 17:20, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

The section does indeed need to be made shorter someday, but I see no reason to rush it. It's too well-written and non-spammy to do away with. I'm interested in helping with a proposed article, so keep me abreast, probably on my talk page, of how I can help. I have a seminary library at my disposal. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 02:49, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Ok, great. What needs to be done is to create a forest so we can move a tree without cutting it. So we need to find and write about other cases of "textual analysis" of Mark which do not deal with historicity issues, but just do textual analysis as Young does. I did take a look at possibilities, but did not get very far. So if you have 2 or 3 examples Carl, we can follow up on those. Any ideas who 3 other authors would be who should be mentioned in the new article? if so we can sketch it based on that then make it grow. And please do feel free to star the new page any time you like. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 03:51, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Ha. Ha. It will be a good forest though. Should it ever get created. It does seem a bit ambitious--textual criticism of the *entire* gospel of Mark? I'll start it but it's gonna be spotty for a long time. I can't think of authors off the top of my head, but I know the section in the library to go to. Basically we want any criticism except historical-critical, yes? I'll try n make a start on it this week. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 04:00, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok, that is fine. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 04:16, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
hi carl bunderson, fine that you like my contribution. as already mentioned, I reported another textual interpretation within the german article judas ischariot - but based on semiotics and mainly related to matthew.
even if the focus of the new article is not quite clear to me, I'll try to contribute to it - we'll see in which direction it develops. the best case would be many "cell divisions" due to a much too broad first outline. --Jwollbold (talk) 22:20, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Okay, I went to the library today, and "textual criticism of Mark" is wayyy too big of a topic for me to tackle. My new intent is to just add perspectives on this page, so that the Young addition is less conspicuous. To that end I've picked up: 1) Critical Readings of John 6, R. Culpepper, ed. 2) Christology and Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Suzanne Henderson. 3) Matthew A Commentary on His Literary and Theological Art, Robert Gundry. and 4) Jesus and the Miracle Tradition, Paul Achtemeier. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 23:28, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Ok, let us do it that way. But then we need to condense the Young item so we don't get a huge page. But in any case, let us see what happens. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 15:52, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
During the next days, I'll shorten my text - of course, you can begin or continue it also.
I regret somehow that we will not start a new article, but I was skeptical from the beginning. The present article is the right place to assemble different interpretations. However, would it be in accordance to the rules of the english wikipedia to have an article solely on Young's book, for instance Subversive Symmetry (George W. Young)? As I said, the book is not famous, and I found only 10 citations, but it is precise, interesting and an example of a common type of gospel interpretation. I have still more material, e.g. regarding the character of Jesus within the whole gospel or an overview of the interpretation history of mk 6:45-56. His "Introduction to Fantastic Studies" and "Contours of Fantasy" (pp. 49 - 111) probably are too long, but it seems he has several original ideas that could be reported. Finally I could start with some remarks regarding the author. --Jwollbold (talk) 17:08, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
My guess is that we can be over 80% sure that Young's book is notable in that it is scholarly for sure, and also carves out a somewhat new theological analysis ground. So I think a page on that will survive and should not be a problem. And that may well be the best place to put your text without deleting it. It does not deserve deletion. But Young's name should bot be in the title and per disambig rules it should be Subversive Symmetry (book). As recent WP:DYK examples, please see the format of Self-Efficacy (book) or Faith and Health: Psychological Perspectives. History2007 (talk) 17:49, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Fine, that will be a good solution! It remains for me to confirm your and my guess by several reviews. --Jwollbold (talk) 22:46, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok, but I have seen many Afds and I think that page is unlikely to get deleted, or even Afd-ed if it has proper references. History2007 (talk) 22:49, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
The real problem with the Young material is that there's too much of it - surely his main idea can be expressed more succinctly?
Ditto Dwight Pentecost (can that be his real name?) He actually has only one small thing to say: "the miracle was designed to teach the apostles that when encountering obstacles, they need to rely on their faith in Christ, first and foremost." The rest of what appears in that subsection is just a summary of the miracle itself.
The "naturalistic explanations" subsection can probably be scrapped - no source for this is given in our article.
All in all, the entire Interpretations section could be a whole lot shorter and more readable. Something like beginning with Pentacost's view, which I suspect is pretty widely held and certainly seems rather self-evident, then something about the mythological overtones of the story ("in ancient narrative the sea was a place of chaos and disorder" - that's a reference to the story as arising from myth, although it's not obvious), and, if we can work it out, Young's idea. PiCo (talk) 05:50, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Change of article focus[edit]

The article is now more aptly called: "denial of the biblical account of the walk on water". It does not even mention the biblical account, but is mostly text indirectly aimed at discrediting it, providing all kinds of interpretations on origins etc. that are anyone's guess. Overall a sad joke now. History2007 (talk) 09:28, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Eh? My edits certainly weren't aimed at discrediting it. They're a summary of a chapter in Young, in which he goes over the three ways biblical scholars have looked at the origins of the story. Not covered yet is the meaning of it. That remains to be done. Pentecost is a good one to keep for one meaning, which is suspect might be the mainstream idea - that it's intended to point out the importance of faith. That said, you're right that the article doesn't mention the biblical story itself. It never did. Big failing. I'd like to add a section - make it the first section - summarising the three gospel stories. PiCo (talk) 09:58, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, I did not mean to direct it at you. But the way I see it, overall the article now is 90% interpretations that say it did not happen, or was a fantastic dream, etc, and a minor account of what "it" is that did not happen. My overall view of these types of pages is that when most users start, what they want to know what "it" is first. So I think the usual structure is:

  • What is this about? Answer: give the biblical account.
  • What were the traditional views on it since Augustine to Aquinas, etc.?
  • What do the other/opposing scholars say these days?

So I think these types of articles need 4 sections usually:

  • Biblical narrative (sans commentary)
  • Traditional interpretations
  • Other interpretations
  • Artistic depictions

So I think that would present the item first, give the traditional view, then the other/modern/etc/ interpretations, then show some small gallery, discuss art, etc. And the length of these sections need to be roughly proportional. That will cover all viewpoints. History2007 (talk) 11:03, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I've now added a section summarising the stories from the three gospels - that should cover your point about the need for a "biblical narrative" section without commentary (and I agree with you).
Traditional view? I don't really understand what you mean. Like Augustine, Martin Luther etc etc? If you can find it, sure.
Other interpretations: this needs to come in two parts, modern scholarly views on where the story comes from, and ideas about what it means. So far Pentecost is the only one we have for the second part of that. I'm sure France and others would prove useful.
Artistic depictions. You mean the Young book? I'm still not sure of that one - I mined what he had to say about intrepretations, it was quite useful, but his own work seems to me to be very turgid and jargon-ridden and I'm not still not convinced it's useful PiCo (talk) 11:51, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, somewhat better, but it does not need to say "spake with them, and saith unto them" etc. The reader can get the link to Wikisource anyway. I think the general reader needs to be told the "summary of the story" which is simple:
  • They get in a boat, Jesus walks on water, Peter tries to walk and almost sinks. Peter gets a lecture that he needs faith. The apostles are amazed".
Somewhat longer than that, say 3 paragraphs, but that would be the basis. And the background of where they were before and where they went after with two other paragraphs so 5 paragraphs of modern English. That is all.
By traditional, I meant the Pentecost type statement. By other I meant the much shortened Young item with a main to his book. By art I meant the pictures/images. So it is really easy to put together I think. History2007 (talk) 15:19, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I've tried to refine the summary in the lead.
"He spake" etc. That's what our Wikisource gives me. I'm sure there must be better translations available.
I like the fuller treatment of the three sources, as an addition to the synthesising summary in the lead. It throws up so many interesting details - like John, where the message of the miracle is made quite explicit in Jesus' final remarks.
I like the art you find - keep it up! I'll try to find more people offering their ideas of the meaning of the story - maybe France... PiCo (talk) 05:46, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok, but do we really need to repeat all 3 gospels? Most peopel will not read it. I can not do it now, but in a few days, let me try a simple story outline. I am not sure if the "you ate too many loaves" in John is part of this episode. And now that Young is quoted so many times (more than anyone else in fact) his section should move to new accommodations in a book page. But we should wait for Jwollbold to do that. Anyway, let us wait a few days and see. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 06:23, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
John's account is interesting. It puts as much stress on the reaction of the 5000 as on that of the disciples. The disciples are afraid because they see Jesus walking on the sea, but they simply take him into the boat. And then "straightway straightway the boat was at the land whither they were going." Next day the 5000 are amazed at how Jesus could have crossed the sea without a boat, and maybe at the speed ("straightway..."). They ask him how he did it, and he gives an answer that doesn't address the question but refers to the feeding instead: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled." Very strange. PiCo (talk) 07:02, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Stranger than walking on water? Maybe.. History2007 (talk) 08:36, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Not quite so strange as walking on water :) PiCo (talk) 10:01, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thank you for your work, PiCo! Reporting the interpretation history according to Young was just what I wanted to do. I think he is fair and rather comprehensive, at least in regard to the question of realism versus legend. Nevertheless, his point of view should be supplemented by others.

At first sight, I'm not very happy with the lengthy narratives of the 3 gospel versions. Instead, differences should be highlighted together with historical critical remarks and literary criticism. But my first task becomes more urgent: Assembling the Young material in the new article (this weekend?) and shortening the section here drastically. --Jwollbold (talk) 22:29, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Ok, we will wait for you to start the page. In the meantime, I will touch up the current structure, to use modern language in the biblical section. But in the main "biblical narrative" section there should not really be any interpretation at all because we have no even said what the story is. After the story has been presented in a simple form, then interpretation can take place in a subsequent section. So there should be first: a retelling of the story by itself, plain and simple. 2. A section on interpretation. I will just leave the Young section there as a separate section, but now that Young was summarized by Pico (the most frequent reference in the article now, and still dominates the tone by far) it can not take up more space. It will be pretty simple actually once you make the book page. I will leave the book page as a redlink and when you build it, it will be set. Then we just remove the last section because it is in the book page. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 04:19, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Well. However, some sentences summarizing Young's interpretation should remain in the last section. --Jwollbold (talk) 12:13, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually Young's interpretation is a specific interpretation approach and should get it sown subsection that has a Main to the book. Then all points of view will be covered, and the Young text survives as a summary here, and altogether in the book page. Let me play with it a little and you will see what I mean. History2007 (talk) 14:06, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I tried a first shortening and hope that the focus of Young's interpretation becomes now more understandable. Except for the last paragraph, I don't see redundancy, but you surely will find other possibilities... Perhaps you would like to wait until the new article is accepted? Furthermore, at present we have almost no other interpretation of specific verses. In any case, the weight of the sections should be balanced by additional content. I'll contribute to this, in the long run. --Jwollbold (talk) 19:40, 14 January 2012 (UTC)


Can we get some more content for the Meaning section? Dwight Pentecost is fine in his way, but there must be more out there. Any sources? PiCo (talk) 06:43, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I am planning on that. There is much more to write not just on meaning, but context. I will wait for the Young book article to happen, then do that. I was, however wondering about the rationale for Honey, I Shrunk Pentecost... History2007 (talk) 09:24, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I shrunk poor Professor P because he was far too bulky - we need to make room for others. His basic idea is noteworthy, but easily expressed. I want to get more povs in there. (Prof P. is perfectly acceptable, but surely there's more?) PiCo (talk) 11:20, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe, maybe not. But now that you have your shrinking gun all tuned up, can you aim it at professor Young too. He is far more bulky. History2007 (talk) 16:03, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Prof. Young's meaning passes my understanding, I'm sorry to say. I think he's saying that the story in Mark is ... no, I don't know what he's saying. I'm waiting for it to be explained to me. PiCo (talk) 22:03, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
50% of the time editing Wikipedia is hard because one has to deal with brain donors. But whenever you come around the fun starts. Good sense of humor and adherence to scholarship... way to go... We may not always agree, but it is fun. History2007 (talk) 22:12, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

New article Subversive Symmetry (book)[edit]

Well, now I started the new article. I'll add the observations regarding the character of Jesus from Gospel of Mark. PiCo, do you want to add your content from the book to the section "Historical critical exegesis"? (Surely you will not mind if I'll revise it here and there.) Finally, I found no recension (with Google and Google scholar). I could try the Web of Science - do you have any other idea?

Still today, I should be able to shorten the Young part in the present article. --Jwollbold (talk) 15:58, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Is this now your "short version" here? History2007 (talk) 20:02, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Please see above (but I'm finishing for today). --Jwollbold (talk) 20:15, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that. But it is easier to type at the end here. So is this the short version? History2007 (talk) 20:18, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
The new article on Young's book might have trouble establishing the notability of its subject - 9 citations on Google-scholar isn't really all that many.
Thanks for the invitation to contribute to the article, but I'll leave it to you. I don't mind if you use, and revise, what I put in this article.
My problem is that I don't understand a word of it. Like: "The disciples' conventionalized reality certified by vision is subverted." I have no idea what that means. What is a "conventionalized reality"? What does "certified by vision" mean? If Young means what I think he means, then I think he's wrong. If he means that the disciples were operating within a "conventional reality" in which people can't walk on water, then he might be mistaken - they believed that Jesus was not a man, but the heavenly Son of God, which sort of meant that he controlled nature, rather than vice versa. They might have been mistaken in their belief, but if they believed it (and everything in the gospels says they did), then it wouldn't have been too surprising to see the supernatural Messiah walking on water.
Similarly, if by "certified by vision" Young thinks that ancient Palestinians thought that you should only believe what you see, then again he's probably wrong. There's been a bit of writing lately about the role of vision in the more supernatural sense in ancient society. Quite sober Greek and Roman writers are forever reporting the visions of politicians and generals, which were treated as revelations by the gods and guides to conduct. Paul counters the visions of the risen Jesus as given by others with own such vision on the road to Damascus and feels that his had equal if not greater value as a true experience. In short, I think Young is making the mistake of treating the people of a very distant age and culture as if they were modern Americans.
But, can you please boil Young down into a sentence or two that I can understand, because I honestly don't. PiCo (talk) 21:36, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
I will give you the secret to understanding it my friend, if you promise not to tell anyone... Gaze at the triangle diagram, focus on it. Now your eyes are getting heavy... now your eyes are getting heavy... Then you will understand... History2007 (talk) 21:51, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your sensible and efficent interpretation help, ... ;-) PiCo, I'm unhappy that even my long version is not clear enough.
First you should consider that Young does not make any statement concerning the historical reality of Jesus and the disciples, but only analyzes Mark's text. Then, obviously also in antiquity supernatural vision was an extraordinary event unsettling the usual, conventional world view. Mark narrates that the disciples see something which is impossible within the life world of a Palestinean fisherman. Their vision is subverted, they can't trust their eyes - nevertheless they believe in their perception and react with astonishment. If you can accept this, you have already understood two of the conflicting triangle perspectives...
Finally, Mark comes to blaming the disciples for not acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God, whereas elsewhere he tells about the Messianic secret. This is the third perspective - Mark is aware that such a statement of a "metaphysical" reality is not at all self-evident. Alltogether, even if Young's three perspectives may seem provocative at the beginning, they could give new insight also to religious Christians. It is an interpretation in the old tradition of God's obscurity, challenging his people by the exodus, by the prophets and his disregarded and crucified Son.
I'll try further to shorten and clarify the section, but no more today. --Jwollbold (talk) 19:18, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── But you must note that Pico is pretty familiar with the biblical issues and has edited those types of pages for long. So if he has doubts the average reader will feel lost and confused like the disciples in the boat...

But overall it is clear that Young's analysis is "novel" in a sense, and a "minority view" in another sense. So by any measure it can exist and be explained in the page about his book, but can only get a very small piece of real-estate in this page, given Wikipedia policies regarding minority views and WP:Undue. History2007 (talk) 19:55, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Finally the fantastic part should be short enough... The first paragraph is related to a literary critical reading in general. The second, then, is very condensed, you admit? Any proposal for an "even better" understanding? In the end, I leave it to you, History2007, to keep or delete the picture. --Jwollbold (talk) 21:26, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
It looks close. I will touch up the sentences format a little bit. The use of the term "literary critical method" vs the "historical critical method" is a good method to telegram the message of how this is different. But the diagram has no explanation here and is best left in the book page - it will just confuse people here. I will do this after the 24 hour Wikistop today. History2007 (talk) 22:46, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Now the section looks fine, condensed, comprehensible - encyclopedic. Thank you for the good collaboration on this subject (whereas I could have understood the point faster). --Jwollbold (talk) 21:20, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. If you manage to find one or two more references like Douglas W. Geyer then we can remove the tags from the book page and it will be all clean and neat too. History2007 (talk) 22:23, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I will check the other citations, if available. --Jwollbold (talk) 21:25, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Range of the historical critical method[edit]

Hi History2007, you arranged my section about cultural parallels as an independent section. However, I consider comparisons to contemporary or older texts as part of the historical critical method, closely related to form critics. For Young also, "Creative Symbolism" is a subsection to "Traditional Historical-Critical Arguments". I plan to add a short section concerning the history of the tradition (oral tradition, 2 sources for Mark also in chapter 6, his few redactional changes), possible also one concerning the genre. What section hierarchy do you propose? --Jwollbold (talk) 21:56, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

From all I have seen the "historical critical" approach does not usually deal with the Neptune angle. The Neptune type issues are discussed in a larger cultural context, but hardly b those historians who deal with the historical critical item. The issue I see is that as you know the Young item is by and large a "solo performance" without a scholarly chorus of any type. The Neptuen angle is not as much a recluse as Young, but also not as mainstream as authors such as Sanders, Vermes, Brown, Pentecost, France, etc. So it seems to me that some of these "sideline academics" who never get invited to the party in the mainstream circles should not get invited to the main part here, and should not get 50% of the rel-estate either. History2007 (talk) 22:26, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
By the way, I should comment that I do not know what the big deal is here, and I think many readers will ask the same question. In general, any reader who had less than 12 beers and happens on this page will know that it is really impossible to know what happened on a lake 2,000 years ago. Many theories can be presented, and depending on the number of beers the reader has had, they may or may not seem plausible. But as Bart Ehrman has correctly pointed out the obvious elsewhere, it is in general "impossible" to either prove or disprove supernatural events in an ancient historical context. So I do not see a need for an overkill here, given that most sober readers will just shrug their shoulders or shake their heads. History2007 (talk) 22:45, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, we should not enlarge further this somehow boring question of reality of the miracle. However, my edit deals not primarily with this question, but with understanding the text. It fits exactly at "Finally are those scholars who regard the story as an example of "creative symbolism," or myth: Rudolf Bultmann pointed out that the sea-walking theme is familiar in many cultures". Collins also mentions Bultmann, but reports that he voted against an influence of older texts on the oral tradition. She seems to have a classical exegetical point of view, starting from redaction and form critics, with a focus on comparisons to biblical, Qumran, Greek/Roman (her hobby, it seems ;-) and other texts. The 2009 edition of her commentary has been cited 25 times, and of course she gives an overview on common scholarly reseach.
Do you want to integrate her observations after Bultmann and possibly shorten them? Anyway I'll add some stuff from this commentary, most importantly a verse-by-verse exegesis (I forgot to mention yesterday). Then I'll propose a new arrangement - possibly statements from existing parts of the article can be integrated, if they relate closely to the text. --Jwollbold (talk) 22:27, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
It depends on what one finds boring I guess. I find this Neptune story as boring as can be. What is next, Nessy? If you review mainstream scholarship, this is an example of a divergent tangent. Yes, it has been suggested, but is it a "mainstream item"? Not by a mile. So it should not get WP:Undue real-estate in the article. You may be fascinated by the sea creature aspect, but WP:Undue is there to curb personal fascinations, and present the mainstream items, with a smaller space for divergent fascinations. History2007 (talk) 02:29, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not only about Neptun, but also about real kings, therefore Jesus' kingship. And don't overlook the Jewish background. It's not a question of personal fascination, but apart from Allison/Davies, Collins is the only detailed commentary included in the article until now. Her text analysis belongs here in any case (which can take a while). Of course, anybody is free to add interpretations of other commentaries.
Most urgently, "cultural contexts" has to be (shortened and) combined with the last paragraph of "Historical critical analysis". During my first edit, I didn't consider enough that they are quite parallel and partly redundant.
PS: I guess a buddhist influence on our pericope is considered as much more exotic in exegesis than Greek/Roman mythology, since Mark wrote also for a non-Jewish audience in the Roman empire. --Jwollbold (talk) 14:09, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok, so we will both get to do other things in life beyond this pericope, let us do this: please shorten the cultural subsection by 50% then just delete the section heading and it will merge by itself. Then life may begin beyond Mark... History2007 (talk) 14:46, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

The remaining 13 percent are up to you ;-) However, I'm not yet completely finished, but soon. - Or if at the end I even change my relaxed wikipedia working style and try to make it a featured article? To be more modest: Is there a ranking corresponding to German 2nd level "lesenswerter Artikel"? --Jwollbold (talk) 21:40, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Good joke actually... As for rankings, I really do not pay attention to them. The two requirements for ranking an article are the same two requirements for editing Wikipedia: a heartbeat and a modem... History2007 (talk) 22:12, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Biblical comparison table[edit]

I find this table very hard to read, and not of encyclopedic value. It is sitting there right upfront like a barrier to reading the rest of the text. And the bolding etc. amounts to WP:OR because the original does not have bold font. I think if smaller font is used, and the bold font is removed it "may" work at the very end of the article, but as is it does not explain anything except through selective bolding - which is WP:OR. So I suggest we either remove it, or push it to he end of the article in a smaller font. Suggestions? Thanks. History2007 (talk) 12:15, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

In principle I agree. However, the comparison may be useful, because most readers will not possede a printed concordance - possibly there is one on the web, and a link is sufficient? Normally the text comes before the interpretation, but it should be a subsection of "biblical narrative" indicating that it can omitted at frist reading. Bold font should be removed, a smaller font is not very usual in Wikipedia. --Jwollbold (talk) 21:44, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Concordances are usually of interest to biblical researchers and the like, not the average reader who wants to know "what is this all about". A weblink would soon run into WP:Linkrot. They always do. As for smaller font, I do not think there is a policy against it. But anyway, I think bold should be removed given the OR issue and it can be referenced as "See the concordance table below" and moved to the end, so the article flow of text does not get interrupted. History2007 (talk) 04:58, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Possibly User:History2007 thinks it needs to be smaller because it appears larger on his system? The "Verdana" font in the table is a more open, less scrunched together font, so some of the letters appear wider, but the height is the same. People without that font on their system will not see any difference. I'm not locked into the idea of using that font. User:Jwollbold is right – the text needs to appear before the critical comments and interpretations.
  • The bolding is not selective "OR", but was intended as a visual aid to help sighted readers distinguish quotes of things said, from the ordinary narrative. I thought it would make the "at a glance" comparison faster. Oh well. Bold removed.
  • Underlining in the table is only to make it easy for the reader to spot the phrases that correspond to the subject and title of the article. The goal is to make the information as accessible as possible, and there may be other things that could be done to refine the table.
    Thanks for the input. —Telpardec  TALK  16:24, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I know, but when you add underline, it is no longer what the "official" was. I will now show how the linked version looks. So please comment on that. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 16:34, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Scientific Explanations[edit]

Apparently there used to be a section that indicated that Jesus might have walked on a thin sheet of ice. Apparently it was deleted because it was unsourced. I refer you now to which states: "Jesus may have appeared to be walking on water when he was actually floating on a thin layer of ice, formed by a rare combination of weather and water conditions on the Sea of Galilee, according to a team of US and Israeli scientists." Accordingly I recommend reinsertion of that material. (talk) 16:20, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Will add to avoid further questions, although a fringe explanation in my view. But the source is ok, so will add. History2007 (talk) 16:23, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Picture issues[edit]

Codex Egberti, 10th century

My edit comment: "reverted unsourced gallery comments and pics switch, original pic at top showed correct night scene, the daytime 3-men-in-a-bathtub-sized boat is just so wrong, and the 2nd pic with full sail? they were rowing against a windstorm - see talk"

This addition to the gallery was unsourced:

Western depictions in art most often showed both Jesus and Peter walking on the water, following Matthew. This was both more dramatic, and taken to support Papal primacy. Sometimes Christ is on the shore, helping Peter out. The most famous depiction was the huge Navicella ("little ship", the usual name for the scene) in mosaic at Old St. Peter's Basilica in Rome by Giotto (1310-13), which now effectively lost. Other prominent versions were a fresco in the Brancacci Chapel by Masaccio (or perhaps his colleague Masolino), and one of the bronze relief panels on Ghiberti's north doors of the Florence Baptistery.

The controversial comment about papal primacy would certainly need to be sourced. The picture portraying Christ on the shore "helping Peter out", is not the night time walking on water scene – note the 2 pairs of men in 2 small boats in the background, with fishing nets part in and out of the water. It's closer to the scene in Luke 5 where Simon Peter fell down before Jesus and said, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord." (Luke 5:8) (But, verse 3, Jesus was sitting in one of the ships in that incident, not standing on the shore. :)

We don't need a gallery in this article, there is one in the commons - I corrected the link to that page. Images within the article need to agree with the text as much as possible. The picture of the Nicene Creed was off topic for this article.
—Telpardec  TALK  02:23, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Requested move - common term[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Reopening with new suggested target.  — Amakuru (talk) 12:26, 29 June 2013 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

Jesus' walk on waterJesus walking on the sea – Common term. The present article name is not precise:

  • The proposed name meets the five naming criteria: Recognizability, Naturalness, Precision, Conciseness, Consistency.
  • The Bible does not say that Jesus walked on the water, but it does say that Peter "walked on the water" (Matthew 14:29). Different terminology is used to describe what Jesus was doing. In John 6:19 "they see Jesus walking on the sea". John 6:18 says "the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew", so the sea surface was not calm water – the ship was "tossed with waves" (Matt.14:24) – obviously there were high sea conditions and "boisterous" wind.
(Sidenote: When Peter climbed down out of the back of the ship to go to Jesus, there would have been relatively calm water in the wake of the ship which also protected him from the head-wind. Mark says Jesus would have passed by them, so by the time Peter climbed down, Jesus was no longer behind the ship, but toward one side, so Peter had to leave the protected area, and was unable to deal with the wind.)
  • In sum: all three gospel writers say Jesus was walking on the sea. Common terminology. (See comparison table in article.)
    —Telpardec  TALK  12:28, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose, though the present title is bad. The "Sea of Galilee", aka Lake Tiberias is a freshwater lake, and the implication that the incident took place on the ocean should be avoided. Exploring google confirms that "walk" is far more common in verb forms such as "walking" or "walks" than the noun form here. So we should move to something like: "Jesus walking on water", "Jesus walks on water", +- a "the". Google shows that "water" is more common than "sea". (later) Support Jesus walking on water. Johnbod (talk) 13:39, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose, although I agree that your premise is grammatically correct to the written word, the common term in Christianity (in my experience at innumerable churches) is "water". Thus the more recognizable term, which is key for Wiki, would be water. Ckruschke (talk) 16:02, 19 June 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke
  • Oppose: per reasons mentioned above. Wikipedian77 (talk) 18:40, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support/propose Jesus walking on water. Red Slash 05:36, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Ckruschke, current version is far more commonly used and understood.Boogerpatrol (talk) 11:30, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
The exact current title is very rare & not very idiomatic. There seems potential consensus here to move to a more usual Jesus walking on water or similar. Johnbod (talk) 16:07, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Not sure where you're getting that as we primarily have Oppose votes so far (well I guess you do have two !votes for "walking" assuming your vote changes). The "sea" proposal is not a good one one IMHO, and I'd still argue that the current title is best, as this is an individual, miraculous act per the gospel account, a distinctly singular walk, not multiple acts of walking.Boogerpatrol (talk) 17:22, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I say above "So we should move to something like: "Jesus walking on water", "Jesus walks on water", +- a "the"". Wikipedian77 says "per reasons mentioned above" which may include this. The present title does not meet WP:COMMONNAME. Johnbod (talk) 17:53, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
We agree on "Jesus" and "water", my reading of COMMONNAME doesn't seem to address choice of verb conjugate vs. noun form (still think walk is a bit better in this case) so not sure how it fails that guideline...Boogerpatrol (talk) 18:05, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
A name is often a whole phrase, as here. We shouldn't be making stuff up, like whoever created this title did. "Choice" should be avoided, except between equally common alternatives found in sources. No one has yet attempted a full analysis, though my quick scan of several variants gave the results I mention above. Johnbod (talk) 21:18, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved. WP:NOUN doesn't express a preference for plain nouns over noun phrases, and the proposal has attracted majority support anyway. --BDD (talk) 17:28, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Jesus' walk on waterJesus walking on water – Reopening the above RM with a new suggested target per consensus during the discussion.  — Amakuru (talk) 12:28, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Comment I am personally neutral and uninvolved in the debate for this move, having closed the previous one. I have notified all users who participated in the above debate of the new move request, to enable them to state their views on this. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 13:05, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per my comments above. Johnbod (talk) 15:09, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per our earlier discussion above, think the current title is spot on, though it's preferable to the prior "sea" proposal... Boogerpatrol (talk) 16:05, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per my comments above. -- Necrothesp (talk) 16:48, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per my comments above. —  AjaxSmack  02:00, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support as per above. Red Slash 07:11, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose – "walk" is a noun; "Jesus walking" is a verb phrase made into a noun phrase. --Article editor (talk) 08:32, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
this is the crux of why I think the title should remain as is, in the noun form as the specifically notable & singular act...Boogerpatrol (talk) 12:18, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


This is my first eentry to wikipedia so i dont know the format of entering information but i have something important to say shouldn't this article include the fact that there has been discovered a huge pile of rocks very almost reaching the surface of that particular sea, heres my reference: I-copeland (talk) 14:02, 29 September 2013‎

I'm not sure this discovery has anything to do with the page unless you are implying this is what Jesus walked on. It would be an interesting coincidence, for those that believe the event is historical, for the rocks to be exactly where he walked. Of course, since the Bible doesn't specify an exact area that He met up with the boat, we of course couldn't connect the two. Also since the Bible says he started out from the shore and walked on the Sea out to the boat, the discovered structure couldn't explain Jesus walking on the water since the structure doesn't also extend from the shore. Ckruschke (talk) 17:53, 30 September 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke
It doesn't say how near the surface it is, & I think the Sea of Galilee is a lot smaller & shallower now than then. Johnbod (talk) 20:00, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Another good point. Ckruschke (talk) 17:47, 1 October 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke

water vs sea[edit]

Since this article is discussing a passage from the Bible it should reflect the wording of the Bible and not change what is says to suit current ways of thinking. In particular the the term "Jesus walks on water" is nowhere found in the English Bible's source language, Greek. Most English translations that I am aware of reflect the distinction between sea and water in translating the original. In all passages found in the Greek text where this event in discussed there is a distinction made between Peter walking on water and Jesus walking on the sea (θαλασσης). In the same passage it says the boat was in the midst of the sea (θαλασσης) not water. That the Greek term can be used for a relatively larger body of water is irrelevant since the text uses this terminology over and over in many contexts. The text records in the words of people living at that time that the body of water in which the boat was sailing was called a sea (θαλασσης). The term "Sea of Galilee" (θαλασσαν της γαλιλαιας) is commonly used in the Bible text elsewhere. Those trying to read θαλασσαν as water are making an anachronistic reading of the text to suit a certain viewpoint, that the writers were in correctly using the term sea as it is understood 2000 years later. Also other wikipedia articles refer to the Sea of Galilee, not the water of Galilee.[1][2]. The article title and internal references should be changed to "Jesus walking on the sea" from "Jesus walking on water" to reflect what the subject matter and the text being discussed actually says. Kellnerp (talk) 03:03, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Sea of Galilee". wikipedia. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Sea of Galilee Boat". wikipedia. wikipedia. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
See at least one previous discussion here. These clearly established consensus that "water" is the most common usage, and the one we should use. Note tthat we should generally follow secondary sources rather than primary ones. Johnbod (talk) 15:19, 14 June 2016 (UTC)