Talk:Miracles of Jesus

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The miracles attributed to Jesus are significant in attesting to the deity of Christ as contrasted with the humanity of Christ in Christ's dual natures. Comparisons between Moses and Jesus as between Judaism and Christianity are numerous in literature. Jesus is not the only agent of the miraculous and miracles don't always lead to faith. My understanding was that the section labeled under Interpretations--Christian within the article provided a place to comment on significance of the miracles as opposed to a log or description of the miracles that appears elsewhere in the article.

Footnotes (2) have been added as a response to requests for citation by Andrew c. Thank you for the requests. -- Itohacs 19:08, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Counts, categories and quality[edit]

The opening paragraph gives four categories and then says "many others". What are the many others? And exactly how many from the canonicals? John Clowes, The Miracles of Jesus Christ 1817 published bu E. Hodson lists 33 major miracles, excluding the Resurrection, but including the Transfiguration. The article says 40, but some are not generally considered miracles by referenced books. The four categories: cures, exorcisms, raising the dead and control over nature seem right and almost conform to H. Van der Loos, 1965 The Miracles of Jesus, E.J. Brill Press, Netherlands who has two main categories: Healings and Natural phenomena, with healings encompassing the first three categories here.

Some of the items in the table are NOT generally considered miracles by Jesus, e.g. Annunciation, or conversion of Nathanael. They need to be deleted. And "Healed every disease" is not a specific miracle. Hence it should not be in the table. To get this article cleaned up, only miracles that have specifics should be use din the table, e.g. Daughter of Jairus which has specific details. And that brings about another question: was that one miracle or two? I would tend to count that as one "miracle incident" and just call it the Daughter of Jairus miracle since it has specific commentary about the message it delivers, e.g. John R. Donahue, Daniel J. Harrington 2005 The Gospel of Mark ISBN 0814659659 page 182.

The 5th category on knowledge is NOT considered a miracle by the books I have looked at and needs to be deleted, unless someone has a better reference for it.

And the miracles need to be listed in as much of an order as possible. E.g. in Gospel harmony there is a table as well as the table here, but that is numbered. I think the miracles need to be in 4 tables, by category, listing 33-37 miracles. Of course the desire to have a temporal order on the miracles runs into Gospel harmony, but does anyone here know anything about that order?

There is also a serious lack of quality in sections such as Herbal medicines. For Heaven's sake this has so many citation needed flags on it, it needs a miracle to cure it. I will delete that section now, for it is totally unsourced.

Overall this article needs a good deal of work. I will try to fix it in the next 10 days or so, and suggestions will be appreciated. I will also make a Navbar with the 33-37miracles on it in 4 categories, and eventually try to get 33-37clean articles together with the NavBar on all. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 17:41, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Updating the Table: I have now finished the 26 new pages for the miracles that did not have their own article. The visual guide is consistent, but the long table is not. The table needs to be updated along the lines of the Gospel harmony article. But that has to wait for a while. If anyone wants to work on the table, be my guest. I will look at it again in a week or two. History2007 (talk) 18:40, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
As for categories, the Jesus Seminar lists 6 exorcisms, 19 cures and resuscitations, and 7 nature wonders found in the 4 gospels. I'd be glad to list those 32 events if you think it'd help. -Andrew c [talk] 15:05, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
To break it down further, based on the Template:Miracles of Jesus, the JS does not list the Healing in Gennesaret with the cures, the Exorcising at sunset is not listed among the exorcisms, nor are Transfiguration and the Coin in the fish's mouth considered to be nature miracles. John P. Meier, who devotes half (~500 pages) of his second volume of A Marginal Jew to the topic of miracles, uses the 4 category system "Exorcisms", "Healings", "Raising the Dead", and "So-Called Nature Miracles". I'll research exactly what miracles Meier discusses, and report back. -Andrew c [talk] 20:34, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
The other books include those. I did not invent the miracles out of thin air. I looked them up in the books. It is also a question of names, e.g. Clowes, The Miracles of Jesus Christ page 36 lists the sunset exorcism as "Casting out devils" and it was already in the article before I got to it, but elsewhere it can be called something else. I did not invent it, but built a clear visual interface so they can be clicked on for each page. The funny thing is that before I got to this article, many more "miracles" were sitting in there for a long time in total haphazard form. As is the table still has many miracles that appear no where else and need to be cleaned up. As to what Meier reports, whether he wrote 500 pages or 500 million pages does not change what the New Testament says. Coin in the fish is listed elsewhere, and has art devoted to it, as is Transfiguration. If they are in the Gospel, and are "beyond regular everyday phenomena" and are listed as miracles by more than 2 books, they should go in. The purpose is to report on the Gospels for the readers who need to be informed, NOT re-invent the Gospels. If 2 or more books on miracles list it, it should be called one. That is really simple. History2007 (talk) 00:40, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Ok, that is good to know. It seems like I may have upset you, so please understand that was not my intention. I apologize if I have offended you. I do not intend to defend the old article, or attack the changes you made. As I have stated elsewhere, I believe you have done good work. If we were listing miracles that appeared nowhere else, then I'm 100% fine with their removal. I felt that removing the extra-canonical miracles wholesale and the cross reference to the Qur'an, Peter, James, etc was a bit too bold IMO. That's all. I don't think we need to have a rule about the number of books a miracle appears in. But, it may help to actually use inline citations to those books. For what it's worth, Meier has this to say about "The Story of the Temple Tax": Often, for the sake of completeness, the story of the temple tax is included in an inventory of Gospel miracle stories, usually under the category of "nature miracles."[13] Yet this pericope is not, by form-critical standards, a miracle story, and strictly speaking no miracle is narrated." My outstanding concerns are twofold. First, we may want to consider rephrasing some of the miracle story article titles, as some get very few, or no google hits, and it seems like there may be more commons names to be used. Second, if we do find situations where some miracles are listed on some lists, and others are not, then it is probably beneficial to the reader to note the controversy, as opposed to being simply all inclusive. It's part of NPOV, presenting all notable sides. -Andrew c [talk] 16:07, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Seperate issues raeagrding outstanding items:

  • Regarding the article titles, exactly which ones do you think are too obscure? If you list them, and suggest a more Google friendly title, as well as title used in books, we can see if they can be changed. There are no unique titles, many books just use different titles and the only unique representation method would have been a concatenation of the verse numbers: totally unreadable. So all titles will be non-unique, but some may be more "widely used". So let us see what there is. I think what must happen in to have a paragraph at the end of each page that says: Other titles for this miracle are: "A, B, C, ...etc." Then Google will find it anyway. Listing the alternative titles at the top will be too confusing for the first time reader.
  • The pages for Transfiguration and Coin in the fish now have several books each that consider them miracles. I can even find more, but not necessary. It was even interesting that Barth pointed out that Transfiguration is a very unique miracle. So which other one is not a miracle?

The only item that I think does not make the list is the "Woman at the well" because it involves knowledge and most sources do not consider knowledge a miracle. History2007 (talk) 21:51, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, History2007, for your enormous effort on this article[edit]

History2007, you have done a great job with this article. Thank for the tremendous editing and the new articles. Well done.

Great job on the Talk page, too. Helpful explanations. Afaprof01 (talk) 03:09, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

I second the kudos. Chensiyuan (talk) 03:53, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I think it is important to have a clean categorization of the miracles of Jesus as they appear in the NewTestament. I also built a horizontal Navbar Template:Miracles of Jesus to bring them together and added it to all the articles to unite them. I am going to work on Parables next to get those nicely categorized, and I noticed that in Template:Parables of Jesus they keep using the Gospel of Thomas! I was "really" surprised for it is not part of the New Testament and most Christians have never heard of those parables. Wikipedia should report on what Christianity is, not "define it anew". I would like to modify things there on Template:Parables of Jesus so it is consistent with the miracles which only use the New Testament and avoid non-Christian texts, and will appreciate your opinion. Could you guys please comment about this issue on Template talk:Parables of Jesus? I will appreciate it. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 12:34, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
It isn't clear to me why you removed the "Other sources" column from the table, nor why you removed various Apocryphal miracles. Your edit summaries were lacking (such as "ce"). Wholesale deletion is not a simple copy edit. I'd like to have the other sources restored, and I believe, in addition to being simply listed in the table, a discussion of miracles found outside of the gospels should be expanded. -Andrew c [talk] 14:14, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
I responded on the "central page there". Those other sources can be fully listed, but I will make a separate article now about ONLY the miracles in the New Testament. This type of debate has taken place before and that is why Mariology is separate from Roman Catholic Mariology for they can co-exist in clean form. The previous table was FULL of errors. Anyway, please respond there in central form. History2007 (talk) 20:37, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

As I looked at other articles such as Last words of Jesus and Parables of Jesus, I asked myself why this name has "attributed" in it. Wikipedia Gospel related articles do not require that qualification. It seems non-uniform to have that here. Unless there ae serious objections, I will have that moved. History2007 (talk) 06:27, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I believe the reason was that this article was intended to cover all of the miracles attributed to Jesus during his lifetime, including Muslim, apocryphal and deuterocanonical accounts (but excluding post-resurrection/modern stuff like Jesus' face appearing on french toast, and a Jesus statue crying blood). The idea was this would be a holistic article describing the miracles attributed to Jesus during his lifetime. Simply stating that this article is about the "Miracles of Jesus" wouldn't necessarily do the article justice, as surely there would be miracles listed that various groups would dispute. If that is to be the goal of this article, to be inclusive and complete, then I feel the current title is better and more descriptive (and possibly more neutral to boot). -Andrew c [talk] 14:28, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Ok, the ONLY solution is to move this to "Miracles of Jesus in the Gospels", for that is the only way it can maintain its quality. In my mind, what was called "inclusive" before was also very incorrect and reference free in that the counts of the miracles were wrong and there were serious errors all over the place that I had to correct. Anyway, I will respond on the central place you typed on Talk:Jesus#Miracles_of_Jesus. History2007 (talk) 20:04, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
So you ask if the article should be moved. I disagreed. So you moved it anyway. Umm... there clearly is no consensus (yet) for your change. Please wait to see if there is further support. You are welcome to request a WP:RM in order to get more attention at this topic. Thanks. -Andrew c [talk] 05:24, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
I asked if it should move to "Miracles of Jesus" not to "Miracles of Jesus in the Gospels". In any case, I can (and in fact must) start another page just on the Gospels, because for those who want to know "what the Gospels say" in an error-free and consistent manner, regardless of what some modern pundit and his publisher have decided about historicity issues, the information needs to be available. As with pages such as Good Friday and the long talk there, this will eventually happen anyway, because over time people will come from all over the IP world and try to add material from outside the Gospels. Then the Gospel materials need to be gradually separated to remain consistent. One of he reasons that the Gospel material can and must be dealt with separately is that the views that come off the printing machines every 40 years may change, while the Gospels have been there for many centuries (and will be there for many more) regardless of the views of the commentators and the pundits, be they from the Jesus seminar of the Group of 23. In case you have not heard of Group of 23, it will be formed in the 23rd century by people who have not been born yet to present a new set of dramatically new views based on a set of documents discovered in the 22nd century. But it will not change what the New Testament says, it will just comment on its historicity again and again. And those who want to present historicity views need a clean and separate place to present those, e.g. a section in the Historical Jesus article which has no clear portion for miracles. I think the historicity material needs to start out there, then will in time grow to its own article that will continue be edited by the Group of 23 followers, while the Gospel accounts will remain stable since they involve no news any more. History2007 (talk) 07:10, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Now, what happened to the "central discussion?" You alarmed the watchers of the Jesus page to this article to solicit views, then started typing here again. So let us stop typing there and just do it here. History2007 (talk) 07:14, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Citation needed; NPOV[edit]

I placed a citation needed tag on this one: "Critical scholars generally concede that empirical methods are unable to determine if a genuine miracle is historical, considering the issue theological or philosophical."

Also, why does the name scholar only appear for those who doubt the miracles. Christians also have many many scholars, learned men, doctors, philosophers, who see that there are no good explanations for these non-natural phenomena, except divine intervention? Historyprofrd (talk) 04:05, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Bart Ehrman and John Meier go into detail about historical methods and the historicity of miracles. They both argue that history works to determine what "probably" happened in the past, and since miracles, by definition, and improbable events, they cannot be examined by historical methods. I'll dig out my books and make sure the sentence doesn't need to be altered, and then add the citation. As for your second question, that may be a valid point. But there perhaps is a disconnect between theologians and historians that shouldn't be ignored. -Andrew c [talk] 05:06, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I do not see the big deal here: some scholars think one thing, some think another. Just let us say some and be done. History2007 (talk) 08:14, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I believe the current wording "Some scholars contend that empirical methods are unable to determine if a genuine miracle is historical, considering the issue theological or philosophical, while others present arguments for the historicity of miracles." is a bit misleading and creates a false dichotomy. Habermas is basically saying what Meier says, which is: "I do not claim to be able to decide the theological question of whether particular extraordinary deeds done by Jesus were actually miracles, i.e., direct acts of God accomplishing what no ordinary human being could accomplish... Rather, my quest seeks to remain within the realm of what, at least in principle, is verifiable by historical research" v.2 p.617 It's not that Some scholars contend that empirical methods are unable to determine if a genuine miracle is historical, it's that empirical/historical methods are unable to determine if a miracle is genuine. I'd posit that most critical scholars accept that the historical Jesus performed acts that were similar to other contemporary miracle workers/magic men, and that he himself, and his peers, believed these works (exorcisms, healings) to be miraculous, in the context of 1st century Judea. However, historical methods cannot determine whether supernatural events actually occurred, and they cannot determine whether the origin of these powers were divine (or infernal or what have you). It isn't clear to me that Twelftree, nor Habermas are making arguments to the contrary. -Andrew c [talk] 18:03, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I still see as a non-issue. Please suggest an alternative wording. The only issue I see is if we assume we have performed a survey of how many scholars are for or against. The Cath encyclopedia seems to be for, but that is another issue. I don't have a problem if you soften this up, as long as we do not assume a survey of all scholars. I have no problem with what there was before. The mistake here would be to let the intro turn into a debate on teh historicity of Jesus, for which there are other articles. History2007 (talk) 19:31, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I completely agree with the historicity of Jesus bit. I'll give it a crack in the near future. Thanks for working on this.-Andrew c [talk] 19:49, 13 December 2009 (UTC)


Discussion on separation of miracles of fish (pre vs post Resurrection) is taking place at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Christianity#Miraculous_draught_and_catch_of_fish. Please comment there. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 23:33, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

What does the statement on Islam have to do with anything?[edit]

In the opening part of this article, it states:

Islamic beliefs include many miracles of healing and of resurrection of the dead.[9]

But the article is "Miracles attributed to Jesus". I have no idea what that sentence about Islam has to do with anything. It does not relate itself to the article. It doesn't say Islam includes belief in the miracles of Jesus. Either this sentence needs to be reworked or eliminated if it is not relevant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:44, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Given that the goal of Wikipedia is education of readers, that informed me of that fact. I did not know it before, so it is useful to have there. History2007 (talk) 18:40, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
If the source doesn't relate these facts to Jesus, then this material doesn't belong. Leadwind (talk) 02:28, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[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. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: move. — ξxplicit 01:38, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Miracles attributed to JesusMiracles of Jesus — The title of this article should be consistent with other articles about miracles by person, such as Miracles of Muhammad and Miracles of Gautama Buddha. Calling the article "Miracles of Jesus" does not make any claim about the historicity of these miracles, as the title of the Resurrection of Jesus article attests. —Neelix (talk) 14:26, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

  • strong support History2007 (talk) 14:36, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support This seems like a straightfoward matter of consistency. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 19:33, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. Carlaude:Talk 06:56, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 01:55, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support for consistency; this does not amount to any "endorsement". Johnbod (talk) 04:38, 13 February 2010 (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. No further edits should be made to this section.

Consistency and harmony[edit]

I have been looking at tables that list miracles, parables, ministry, and Gospel harmony etc. to make them consistent. Most of the tables have missing items, incorrect links, etc. as would be expected through manual editing. First, please see: List of key episodes in the Canonical Gospels which I generated from the list of all key episodes in these pages by parsing existing pages in Wikipedia. I am planning to automatically regenerate a consistent and less error prone table here from the list of key episodes, just extracting the miracles.

Help will be appreciated in the following form:

  • Please review List of key episodes in the Canonical Gospels that acts as a central repository for Wikipedia links to miracles, parables, etc. If you see errors or inconsistencies there, please correct them based on the format provided on that talk page, and leave a message to that effect on the talk page there.
  • Please comment here on what episodes should be considered miracles. E.g. is Samaritan Woman at the Well a miracle or part of the ministry of Jesus? Most books do not consider that a miracle. Moreover, the "Name of Jesus" acting through the apostles is generally not listed as a "miracle by Jesus", etc. If something is considered a miracle it must be listed in the "Miracle Template" and neither of these two items are. The table has 42 miracles, the template has 35 items and there are 37 pages in Wikipedia classified as miracle. Moreover, there is serious inconsistency in naming, e.g. the table says "turned water into wine" and the template says Marriage at Cana, etc. To to achieve consistency across templates and pages, there must be changes.

After comments have been provided, I will just regenerate this table with consistent links and Bibleverses from the key episodes page. History2007 (talk) 04:35, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

exorcisms in John?[edit]

The table of miracles gives several verses from John for the line in the table called: "Jesus' name exorcises demons and performs many miracles." But there are no exorcisms in John, not even in these verses. These verses belong in another line about Jesus' name, not in a line about Jesus' name being used to drive out demons. Leadwind (talk) 23:20, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

This information doesn't have anything to do with Jesus[edit]

This book is cited twice: '"Islamic beliefs include many miracles of healing and of resurrection of the dead." Heribert Busse, 1998 Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, ISBN 1-55876-144-6 page 114.' This information doesn't have anything to do with Jesus, does it? Or does the source specifically say what Muslims believe about Jesus' miracles. Leadwind (talk) 02:16, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

This sentence is really bad.

Some scholars contend that empirical methods are unable to determine if a given miracle is historical, considering the issue theological or philosophical, while others present arguments for the historicity of miracles.<ref>Graham H. Twelftree, ''Jesus the miracle worker: a historical & theological study'' ISBN 0-8308-1596-1 page 19</ref><ref>Gary R. Habermas, 1996 ''The historical Jesus: ancient evidence for the life of Christ'' ISBN 0-89900-732-5 page 60</ref>{{fact}}

Which author is saying what exactly? Why do they say what they say? It's not enough to say that some people think one thing while other think another. We should summarize the two opposing points of view. I would say, "Historical methods are virtually unable to confirm the miracles of Jesus because history is about what is likely and miracles are, by definition, unlikely. Historians consider it likely that Jesus' miracles can be attributed to exaggeration, pious invention, and some actual healings. Many Christian scholars, however, consider all of Jesus' miracles to be historical events." If someone can help me by explaining the modern Christian argument for the historicity of Jesus' miracles, that would make this section even better. Leadwind (talk) 02:26, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

I think the sentence you object to is poor quality, but you are almost stepping on WP:OR with your own phrases. In the end, the historical debate belongs on the Jesus and history page and not here really. History2007 (talk) 08:07, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
History: "the historical debate belongs on the Jesus and history page and not here really." It might come as a surprise that WP policy doesn't advocate limiting any particular discussion to a single page. In fact, the perfect article guidelines say that an article should explore every aspect of the topic, using reliable sources. Thus, the historical debate belongs both here and elsewhere. As for my suggestion amounting to OR, that's only if I can't cite it to reliable sources. Leadwind (talk) 23:07, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
The citation about Muslims believing in miracles has been moved around, but it still isn't related to Jesus' miracles and still doesn't belong in the article. Leadwind (talk) 23:43, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
  • About the historicity debate, there should be some discussion of the fact that historicity debates are taking place, and will probably take place for another 9,000 years, providing tenure and nice royalty checks to the next generations of Bart Ehrmans to come. But if that becomes the key focus of the article, it will no longer be an article on miracles, but on "historicity of the miracles". I think there are 4 items to teach people here: "what were the miracles reported", then "how are they categorized", "what are the interpretations and motives" and "what are the historicity debates". And the importance decreases along that list. The trap not to fall into is to use this article as a surrogate battleground for the existence of Jesus. The place for that discussion is the Historical Jesus article.
  • About the Muslim reference, I was surprised to learn that fact, hence it is educational, and relates to miracles. I did not add that, someone else did, and I found it educational about miracles. History2007 (talk) 03:42, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

End of May edits[edit]

In general, I like the end of May edits of Leadwind in terms of writing style, etc. I have not checked it all yet, but it looks like a few pieces of referenced text that were deleted can go back. But let us wait and see what other people comment. However, I still think the main problem is "what is the actual list" as mentioned in the harmony comment above. I had in fact almost finished a new list based on List of key episodes in the Canonical Gospels and will add that, but that is independent of the recent edits. History2007 (talk) 06:51, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

New section, "Background"[edit]

I've added a short section putting the Gospel miracles into a cultural context. PiCo (talk) 04:42, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Miracle pages[edit]

Talk:Legion_(demon)#Merger_proposal is discussing a miracle merger. Comments will be appreciated. History2007 (talk) 15:51, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Shouldn't Jesus' miracles be referred to as "alleged?"[edit]

Hi. Since Wikipeida does not adhere to the Christian faith and since miracles are not scientific or proven fact, don't you think it would be better to change the opening sentence from,

"The miracles of Jesus are the supernatural deeds performed by Jesus Christ in the course of his earthly career and recorded in the canonical Gospels." to, "The miracles of Jesus are the supernatural deeds (allegedly) performed by Jesus Christ in the course of his earthly career and recorded in the canonical Gospels."

Also, is it just me, or does this article seem slanted towards believers? For example, the opening paragraph seems to imply science has to prove that an impossibility (a miracle) did not happen, when the onus should really be on those making the fantastical claims in the first place. Really, it's not enough for one Christian group in the 1980s to fudge "plausibility" for the believers' unmistakable (and unprovable) "it really happened." Thanks. (talk) 10:45, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Hello Anonymous User. No, they should not be referred to as alleged in Wikipedia (check your spelling). The third paragraph of the lead makes your point abundantly clear. Thanks for your inquiry. ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 00:10, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Why does this entire article hint the God doesn't exist?[edit]

The article on evolution regards to evolution not by "scientists believe that", it just states that evolution is real. However, this article does not. It seems to contradict the existance of christianity and miracles. This is wikipedia. Provide information with it, don't use it to argue against Christianity. To abide by the rules, my beliefs will remain incognito and neutral. Just think it's only fair that both categories should be referred to as if they are indefinitely real. Both Christianity and Evolution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:06, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Science is about the facts. Religion isn't. The existence of God is not a fact. Nor his nonexistence. There are no facts in respect to God. There are just different claims about him, made by different people, who mean different things. E.g. the Gnostic Christians maintained that orthodox Christians were deluded to believe in the fake god Yaldabaoth. Their God isn't the same as yours: their One God is far above the creator of this world. They claimed that Yaldabaoth (i.e. Yahweh) is a stupid, arrogant and evil god. Historically seen, their claim is just as valid as the orthodox Christian theology. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:29, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Recent misinterpretation[edit]

Wikipedia editors should abide by WP:V and WP:SOURCES. At [1] an user has misinterpreted one reliable source. He also changed the words based upon another reliable source, but since I am unable to read it, I cannot be sure that he has misinterpreted it. Please check that reliable source and tell us if he misinterpreted it. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:34, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Are you referring to the deletion of "Historians are virtually unable to confirm or refute reports of Jesus' miracles or anyone else's because historians report what likely happened and miracles are, by definition, extremely unlikely." If so that is roughly what Ehrman says and I would keep it. It would be better to say that Ehrman says that the historial method can not decide on miracles. Else please clarify which part you meant. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 19:49, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I meant the story with Apollonius of Tyana. The previous reading made more sense than the new one, at least it mentioned why Apollonius was such a threat to the image of Jesus. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:30, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

make Old Testament miracles article and link it to this article at see also?[edit]

Can someone make OT miracles article and link it to this article at see also?

I don't know how to do it. Here's a source that lists a lot of Old testament miracles:

ThePepel-Eterni (talk) 21:55, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Since this is your idea, I would suggest you giving it a try. Making a new page is not hard. Simply do a search for your suggested page title (such as Miracles of the Old Testament). Wiki will then return a search showing the page doesn't exist, but with a link near the top that allows you to create a page with that title. Ckruschke (talk) 19:29, 25 February 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke


There needs to be a clear reference to the fact that these miracles are not held to be true by any historian. Historians may believe they are true, but they do so as people of faith, not as historians. This is an undisputed fact that the historicity of these miracles is not there. This should either have it's own section in the article or be mentioned in the lead. Otherwise, where should people go on wikipedia to find out the historicity of Jesus miracles. Greengrounds (talk) 03:13, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Agreed that the historical evidence for Jesus' miracles is sometimes tenuous, but I'll have to disagree with your statement that any Historian who determines through his study that there is evidence for the miracles is doing so as a Christian and has divorced himself with scholarly work. As I've seen on other Wiki pages, you seem to have a propensity for taking your opinion and turning it into an incontrovertible fact that THE WORLD agrees with - this violates even the thinnest interpretation of Wiki's NPOV guidelines.
However, one suggestion I would be ok with is the insertion of something like this sentence at the end of the lede:
"Certain Christian scholars present arguments for the historicity of miracles.[8][9] "However, there is little if any support for these arguments within secular academic circles."
It would need a reference - I'm not sure your Ehrman ref supports this, but you could use it if it did. This would be an ACTUAL true statement ("I" believe it's true - it might need tweaking though), it would clearly show that secularists disagree that there is any evidence, and it would be in the lede as you requested. Would that be an acceptable middle ground for you (and the rest of the editors)? Ckruschke (talk) 14:45, 29 August 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke
This has to do with the Enlightenment, which led to methodological naturalism in sciences, including history. Mainstream historians can neither validate nor refute miracles as historical facts. They cannot prove that a miracle did not happen, but according to Ehrman is the least probable explanation of all possible explanations and it is thus not enough for establishing it as a historical fact. Fundamentalist historians disagree with methodological naturalism, but we may safely say it is a norm of doing history in respect to every other subject than Christianity, and it would be special pleading to say it does not apply to Christianity. Otherwise he would have peer-reviewed studies aiming to prove that Vespasian became a god after his death, or that Attila the Hun was possessed by evil spirits. Methodological naturalism silences such discussions and while it cannot prove that such theses are wrong, they are relegated to the realm of metaphysics and theology, not to the realm of empirical science. Most Christian historians are happy to say that as historians they don't know if miracles are possible or even that they personally do not believe in miracles (apparently there is more to Christianity than miracles). In order to write for an audience which may not share belief in miracles, arguments about historical events are kept in the realm of methodological naturalism. Otherwise it would lead to separate classes for teaching history to Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists and so on, while in present-day universities it does not matter one's religion for determining if they are allowed to participate in certain courses of empirical science. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:29, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Ckruschke (talk) you removed my edit, which seemed to provied all of your prerequisited that you are asking about. Ehrman can be directly quoted as saying that no historian beleives J was resurrected historically. Can you undo your revert, or please be more specific with what you think needs to be changed. A little more info: the direct quote from Ehrman is What about the resurrection? I'm not claiming it didn't happen...I'm not saying it didn't happen. Some people believe it did, some believe it didn't. But if you do believe it, it is not as a historian... he goes on to outline why no historian can prove or accept miracle claims due to the basic methods and principles of the historic method and the nature of miracle claims.Greengrounds (talk) 21:47, 29 August 2013 (UTC)Greengrounds (talk) 21:55, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

The view that there is evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is indeed marginal in light of mainstream methodology, but nonetheless present among historians. See e.g. Of course, it can be easily put in the same basket with apologetics. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:59, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Greengrounds - The main reason I deleted your edit was because you tossed out this thread about what you thought the article needed to include and then before any of us chimed in, you just went ahead and did it. I clearly state in my revert that it was to allow the Talk thread discussion to actually happen. The main issue I had with the original text was the OPINION that you keep stating that if someone publishes a paper with his evidence of miracles, that it is because he's allowed his Christian faith/bias/POV/whatever to overrule the "actual" evidence that none of it is possible. That person's evidence may be COUNTER to mainstream thought, but to say the author is lying about his finds to support his beliefs is simply an obvious opinion.
This is why I offered up the simplified statement that removes POV and casting negative aspersions. As I said, I think that this would be an equatable middle of the road between your insertion and leaving the original text. Also it would help if you indented so that we can actually read the thought threads in order of precedence and who is referencing who. Ckruschke (talk) 15:22, 30 August 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke
TGeorgescu, thanks for the info, I know there is some evidence for the resurrection. My question, though is where would I go to find out the general scholarly opinion, the mainstream opinion, like you'd get at Harvard on the historicity of the miracles? It should be this page, right, or should there be a new page discussing that?Greengrounds (talk) 02:30, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I have argued the same in Wikipedia talk pages: scientists cannot prove the occurrence of supernatural events. However, an opinion could be notable even if it is not mainstream. Tgeorgescu (talk) 13:23, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Apologetic tone of the article[edit]

This article, as it currently exists, is strongly apologetic in tone. I have made some changes in the lede, which were reverted, and I am going to explain here why I am changing it back.

I see from earlier discussions that there was some suggestion that it should be renamed Miracles of Jesus in the New Testament. That would probably be more accurate, though even then it might be better to call it Christian views of the Miracles of Jesus in the New Testament, because that's what we have here now. On the assumption that that's not what people want to read, I propose a change to a more neutral tone.

I've changed 'recorded' to 'described'. 'Recorded' is usually used of things which have actually happened, and that's controversial, especially since even Christian readers would question some of the accounts in apocryphal literature; plus the next sentence uses the word 'recorded' in exactly this sense. I would like to see a more careful, neutral phrasing: thus, 'described'.

In the lede, we have a reference to the Canonical gospels only. Why? There were many stories told about the miraculous doings of Jesus and they are all relevant to the historical Jesus and what people thought about Jesus in the early centuries of Christianity. The distinction between the New Testament miracles and the rest is a theological, not a historical one: it represents one interpretation. Examples of miracles described in apocryphal texts are given in the body of the article, and therefore should be included in the lede. Of course we can say that these tend not to be given much credence by theologians and are not considered genuine, but that's a point that needs to be made explicitly in the text, not taken for granted in the lede.

Finally, there is the mention of the 'ministry of Jesus'. This phrase crops up in many articles, in good faith I'm sure, but it is Christian jargon. It one way of looking at the life of Jesus, as part of an overarching religious narrative that sees the life of Jesus as a conscious part of the story of Christianity. The term 'ministry' is probably true of Peter, say, or Paul, or any other of the early Christian movement who consciously attempted to create a church. But the question of whether Jesus had any conscious intention of creating a church, and whether his view of his mission can fairly be described as 'ministry' is a theological one. I have yet to see a serious work which uses the term 'ministry of Jesus' which is not written from a Christian perspective. Muslims do not talk of the 'ministry of Mohammed', nor Jews of the 'ministry of Moses', and nobody uses the term 'ministry of L. Ron Hubbard' with a straight face. I can see no reason to have it in this paragraph, anyway.

And I'm removing some very old references. Interpretations from two centuries ago rarely have much value in describing modern views.--Rbreen (talk) 21:26, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Well, according to WP:RNPOV, theology should not get deleted, but simply attributed: most Christians think that..., according to official Catholic theology... and so on. RNPOV says neither that theology trumps history, nor that history trumps theology. While I am not a Christian and I do not like apologetics being included in Wikipedia articles, I have no problem with rendering the views of theologians, provided that they are properly attributed, i.e. made clear who believes them to be true. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:21, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for outlining your logic, Rbreen and well said, Tgeorgescu. Readers, very often, will come here precisely to find out Christian beliefs and conceptions of Jesus, and provided these are attributed as such there shouldn't be a problem. Ozhistory (talk) 00:36, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, yes, I agree - there's a difference between apologetics and other Christian views, and I'm not in favour of ghettoising any particular set of views. What readers should have is a reflection of the diversity of views that exist between traditions, and within them. Come to think of it, even within Christian belief I feel there is a far wider range of opinions and intepretations than are currently expressed here and it would be interesting to see that.--Rbreen (talk) 14:57, 1 September 2013 (UTC)


Does the Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible use the word "supernatural"? Note 1 quotes and paraphrases Baker, then concludes So the term supernatural applies quite accurately. There are at least two things wrong with this. First, if Baker doesn't use the word "supernatural", it's clearcut synth to take a definition from one source, and apply it to another source that doesn't use the term in order to draw a conclusion. That a conclusion is being drawn is signaled by the word "so" (= "therefore"), one usage of which is to introduce a concluding statement. I can't imagine it would be hard to find RS that characterize the miracles of Jesus as "supernatural"[2] [3] [4] [5] so this can be avoided.

Second, having synthesized your own conclusion, it's surely editorializing to praise yourself for it. Even if Baker uses the word (and I can't seem to find this resource anywhere online), it's editorializing to declare So the term supernatural applies quite accurately, unless the source itself has stated that "supernatural" is a "quite accurate" label. Again, there are plenty of RS, including those with Christian sympathies, that contrast historically plausible elements in stories about Jesus with supernatural elements.

So it's no big deal to reframe this, but since any article with the name "Jesus" in the title will no doubt be contentious, I leave the comment here, merely for what it's worth. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:51, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Wolfe - are you referring to any specific edit, issue, or person in the above? I'm having trouble following what's going on unless its simply "a shot being fired over the bow" against future disagreements. Thanks - Ckruschke (talk) 17:33, 11 September 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke

Unsourced and incorrect edit reverted[edit]

User recently inserted the following text into the lead section:

However, all four Gospels record many miracles of Jesus, all of which were performed in response to the seeker's faith in Jesus. This campaign of miracles finally culminates in the bodily resurrection of Jesus three days after his crucifixion.

Apart from being unsourced, it contains the erroneous claim that "all" the many miracles of Jesus were performed in response to the seeker's faith" Among recorded miracles "the cursing of the fig tree" (Mark 11:12-14) and the "walking on the water" (Matthew 14:22-23) and the "turning of water into wine" (Jn 2:1-11) have no obvious seeker to say the least, (nor does the great miracle of the resurrection: the disciples certainly don't qualify for that). Jpacobb (talk) 15:43, 9 September 2014 (UTC)