“Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course, or that a man should tell a lie? We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course; but we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time; it is, therefore, at least millions to one, that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.”
(Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, 1794)
Cults that had existed for hundreds or thousands of years before Jesus had miracle performing prodigies. Isis, an Egyptian goddess, healed the sick. Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, walked on water, as did Horus, an Egyptian deity. Dionysus, the Greek god of the grape harvest, turned water into wine. Aesclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing, raised the dead. Buddha fed five hundred men with one loaf of bread, cured lepers, and helped the blind to see. Most of Jesus’ miracles were rather “old hat” by the time the Gospel authors wrote about them.
It could be claimed it was just coincidence that Jesus shared similar miracles with others, or that he mimicked them to raise his own status. Both are weak arguments, as it’s obvious the authors thought they could borrow attractive accounts from other cults.
The Old Testament had hundreds of miracles. Jesus, portrayed as the next prophet of Israel, was made to work miracles, just like Moses and Elijah.
If Jesus was really God, he should’ve pulled off some pioneering pranks, like conducted a concerto, turned on a television with a remote control, or water-skied on the Sea of Galilee. If he’d cured the world of smallpox, leprosy, or cancer, he would’ve made a convincing case for his divinity.
The gospels, written many years after the fact by we don’t know who, tell of cures, exorcisms, and risings from the dead. Those with paraplegia, leprosy, insanity, cerebral palsy, blindness, or had just given up breathing were fixed in a flash. The Jewish social security system must have saved a stack of sheckels, and Jesus would have been seriously popular if he’d done all this.
Consider how today’s faith healers can attract crowds of thousands with only the hope of heaven’s help. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BchBmA5Dukw).
If Jesus really did miracles, news of him would have spread like wildfire. There would’ve been no doubt he was divine, someone special, much more than a “dime a dozen” preacher pushing parables. He would’ve been exalted above sectarian squabbles with Romans, Sadducees, and Pharisees, not someone who was crucified as a zealot. The fact he was executed means that the Romans thought he was a trouble causer. No one laid their life on the line to prevent his arrest, and the Jewish crowds in Jerusalem made no attempt to rescue him. It’s obvious that he was no superstar in his own time, so he didn’t do miracles.
Paul, who probably met the original disciples about ten to fifteen years after Jesus passed on, didn’t document that Christ did a single miracle. This astonishing fact is incontrovertible evidence that Jesus was no magician. The reason is obvious once one understands the sequence of events. Paul’s writings predated the gospels, and it was only when the over-imaginative authors wrote the gospels that Jesus became a wonder worker.
What’s more, a scrutiny of all the other first-century Epistles in the Bible – those of James, Jude, 1 and 2 Peter, and 1, 2, and 3 John – reveals no mention of miracles. These epistles were clearly written by believers who hadn’t read the gospels. The only place miracles are mentioned is in the Gospels. Evangelical authors invented Jesus’ miracles, a fact easily deduced from an objective appraisal of the Bible! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6e17TflrHY), (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umRRCkspaQU).
When one considers the fact that modern scholars have worked out that Jesus’ basic biography was created by the author(s) of Mark, and the author(s) of Matthew and Luke (and to a lesser extent John,) copied and added to Mark to create their own accounts, we’re left with a rather embarrassing conclusion. The miracles of Jesus, give or take one or three, were originally documented by only one author; Mark.
Who was Mark the miracle-maker? No one knows. The name “Mark” was only first mentioned in the annals of church history by a church father, Irenaeus, in the 180’s CE. Later church authorities tried to explain who Mark was, but most modern scholars aren’t convinced they’re truthful accounts. “Mark” is nothing more than an authoritative sounding name attached as the title of a gospel.
This “Mark” has no historically verifiable connection with Jesus, yet he’s the only original source in the bible of Jesus’ miracle stories.
Jesus didn’t do miracles. If he ever even existed, he was too busy trying to liberate Israel from the Roman occupation to be bothered with pulling rabbits out of hats.