Thursday, March 31, 2011

12 baskets?

Don't know where this (minor) doubt came from, but I was listening to someone talking about the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 yesterday and it occurred to me just how fictional the story sounds.

Leaving aside the central miracle, the other details just don't ring true.

Matthew 14:
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
The disciples and crowds didn't have any food with them but they did have 12 baskets? That sounds a bit funny. Beyond that, in a remote place, having distributed food to 5000 people, the disciples felt the need to collect the rubbish from the ground? It was just bread and bits of fish - the birds would have dealt with all that soon enough, and its not as if they needed it, they've just seen Jesus multiply food.

So even allowing the miracle as a possibility, it still seems pretty unlikely. More like a 'just so' story than a recollection of a real event.


Linda Reynertson said...

That's why it's called FAITH.

Rosemary said...

Another point, since we are discussing "miracles" as defined by the Christian faith, if Christ could multiply 5 loaves and 2 fishes into thousands, a matter of questioning where the baskets came from is ridiculous.

Ricky Carvel said...

But its that crucial 'if' in there that is so important. And I'm sure that if the miracle had been the miraculous duplication of baskets, then that would have been mentioned!

As I said, if you scrutinise the story it comes out looking like a 'just so' story, not a historical event.

Rosemary said...

So you're saying it's a hypothesis... Well, I don't see where baskets should come into it anyway. I can rephrase it for anyone interested: Christians believe in Christ and that Christ worked miracles. Multiplying fish and loaves and baskets or napkins or knives and forks or whatever other superfluous items want to be added is a miracle. We also believe He did it. I should think the food was more important to be mentioned than the baskets anyway. And I must agree with the first comment of "That IS why it's called FAITH." I won't continue pointless preaching and it is a blog with freedom of speech. Thanks for the conversation.