Confronting Contradictions in the Bible: Miracles

candle on bible

How one approaches the Judeo-Christian text matters.  One can not be a follower of the Way of the Cross without being a student of the Scripture for we are called first and foremost to be and to make Disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). 

In today’s American society however there are many who claim to believe in the Jesus of the Bible, but they take exception to the Scripture that reveals Him.  In all fairness however an acceptance of the veracity of the Scriptures is often made difficult by layers of seeming complexities.

We wrestle with apparent contradictions.  We wrestle with commands that are tied to social mores or ritualistic activities.  We wrestle with prophetic passages that make little sense by themselves.  We wrestle with trying to wrap our minds around a God who is at once One but also three.  And the worst of it is that most people don’t help us understand, they just make it more confusing.


For some this has led to an outright rejection of the Faith.  Others have chosen to try to explain away these complexities so as to retain the essence of the Faith without offending rational sensibility.

Along these lines is the demythologization of the miracles in the Judeo-Christian Scripture.  Miracles, it is said, break with natural law and therefore are unreasonable to accept.  However this assessment is based an inherently flawed assumption.

When we first sought to fly we met with disaster, the natural law of gravity kept us grounded time and again.  But when we learned of the greater law of aerodynamics, then this greater law superseded the lesser law of gravity and we finally flew.  Some saw it as a miracle, but in reality it was simply science enabling us to rise above our previous limitations by harnessing a knowledge that was previously unavailable to us.


Similarly, if one accepts that there is a God who created natural order, then it is not too far of a leap to also accept that there are supernatural laws which are greater than the natural laws which Man has knowledge of and that govern reality in ways which we do not yet comprehend.  In fact, while they will not call it supernatural law, modern theoretical physics produces ideas that have far more in common with science-fiction then traditional science and science-fiction is really just mythology in the future instead of the past.

My point is that an awareness of the fact that there are things we do not yet know is what drives science, so why should it not also inform our understanding of miracles?  Thus it is no real stretch to accept that God, acting in accordance with these greater laws, could work in such a way as to supersede the lesser laws of the natural order and accomplish what Man has hitherto thought of as impossible.  From this premise things such as walking on water or separating the Red Sea are no more preposterous then the sustained flight of several tons of steel miles above the earth.

Of course if one rejects the notion that God created natural order then this is all a mute point… which is why one’s assumptions and premises are so important.