There are some out there who say that the Bible is filled with myths. To them, all of Christ’s miracles are easily dismissed by attributing them to “the fact” that people in Christ day were more easily swayed by the so-called supernatural. The argument is that people in ancient times were more naïve and could be easily convinced that Christ and his apostles were doing many wondrous things from God because this was a common thing. They believe a norm in that day (because of all the pagan religions) was to believe that miracles were happening everywhere and that you could believe them without any substantial proof. This, according to these liberals, is why the story of Christ was so easily adapted in the first century.

Most of the time this is just assumed for the sake of their argument. But it is certainly not what we find when we study ancient cultures of the time of Christ. One passage that I think illustrates this very well is in John 9, a story of a man born blind healed by Jesus.

Besides the fact that this miracle was seen as an extraordinary miracle (extra-ordinary meaning not ordinary) and besides the fact that the Jewish leaders could not believe it (because it was not ordinary!), the man says something that is quite incedental to the main story, but incredibly important for our current subject. Listen to what he says about the miracle he experienced as he defends Christ to those who would not believe:

John 9:32

Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.

This goes against the grain of liberal scholarship that wants to write off belief in miracles as easy and common to the people in biblical times, as if we have graduated to a more thoughtful approach to life.

Why then would this man say no one has ever heard of something like this? He doesn’t say they’ve never saw something like this. Of course THAT is assumed by this man. He says that they haven’t even HEARD of something like this. This goes against every theory that poses a superstitious world of fake miracles easily accepted the Gospel. No one had even HEARD of someone like Christ doing what he did!

I think it’s best that we look for the evidence of such naivety in the Bible itself instead of assuming it before we approach the Bible. People in Christ day were no more naive than we are today, maybe even a little less!


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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