I went to the World Trade Centre today, because that’s where Thales is*, and I’m leading a group of NCYCers on a peace experience (we were thinking about vigiling outside Thales, but probably won’t now). Anyway, just over the road, on the steps that lead to the train station, was this lovely piece of graffiti.
* Thales in Australia is ADI Limited, the largest supplier of weapons and military equipment to the Australian Defence Forces.
When will people realise that the Bible isn’t trying to be a literal historical document of events and stop trying to do research like this?
“The New Testament says that Jesus walked on water, but a Florida university professor believes there could be a less miraculous explanation – he walked on a floating piece of ice…
The study found that a period of cooler temperatures in the area between 1,500 and 2,600 years ago could have included the decades in which Jesus lived.
A drop in temperature below freezing could have caused ice thick enough to support a human to form on the surface of the freshwater lake near the western shore, Nof said.” (Full text here.)
Any attempt to demystify stories like this completely destroys the point of them. The point is not that the gospel writers wanted to tell people that Jesus was able to defy the laws of physics. The point was that for the Jews (and other ancient people of that time), the water was a profoundly frightening thing: below it lay the world of the dead, for starters. Telling a story about Jesus walking on it completely calmly is a point about who Jesus is, and the disciples’ reactions are about what discipleship is like (ie a profoundly terrifying thing, humanly speaking).
Just like the feeding of the two crowds in Mark is not about Jesus’ rationing skills, it’s about Jesus’ sufficiency for all people, and John 9 is also not about healing a blind man, it’s about who can and can’t see who Jesus is, and why – etc, etc.
Not that I’m not a fan of the idea of Jesus the original surfie – and on a piece of ice, no less.