Are there any reliable records for miracles in the Bible?
Well that depends on what you call reliable. It depends on what you regard as evidence. It depends on whether you are inclined to believe God’s Word or not.
Skeptics will always question the Bible for many of the reasons we have discussed in this blog in many posts this past month.
When one looks at the evidence for the miracles, there seems to be some convincing proof that they existed.
Paul Little cites Bernard Ramm from his book Protestant Evidences. Ramm finds five compelling reasons that miracles did actually occur.
First of all, many miracles were done in public. Not all of them were such as Jesus walking on the water in front of his Disciples or Jesus changing water into wine. But Jesus fed the masses with only 2 fish and a few loaves of bread. Many saw Jesus heal the man born blind while they were both at the Pool at Bathesda. The Jewish religious leaders were upset with Jesus because they knew that word of Jesus’ miracles was getting out despite the fact that Jesus did not try to publicize them.
Secondly, one of the best things to do to make a skeptic become a believer is to perform a miracle in front of the skeptic. Think about it. Take someone who is critical and do something in front of them that they disbelieve. It takes strength of will, but the skeptic can add credibility to your actions. They want to pick you apart. They are looking for the sleight of hand. But what if the miracle is real and they have to admit it. That’s powerful evidence.
Thirdly, Ramm states that Jesus performed miracles over a long period of time, involving a great variety of powers. He proved He had power over nature when He calmed the storm. He had power over disease when He healed lepers. He had power over demons when He cast them out. He had power of knowledge when He met Nathanael under a fig tree and He had the power of creation when He fed 5000 from two fish and a few loaves. He even had the power to create sight for a man born blind when sight is the result of many years of human growth. He had the power to conquer death with the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
No disrespect but Jesus was not a “one trick pony.” He had multiple powers.
Fourth, Jesus left people who testified to his powers in the Bible. After healing the man born blind, that man and his parents were questioned by the Pharisees. Read the dialogue from John 9 “Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. ‘He put mud on my eyes,’ the man replied, ‘and I washed, and now I see.’ Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.’ But others asked, ‘How can a sinner perform such signs?’ So they were divided. Then they turned again to the blind man, ‘What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.’ The man replied, ‘He is a prophet.’ They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. ‘Is this your son?’ they asked. ‘Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?’ ‘We know he is our son,’ the parents answered, ‘and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.’ His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, ‘He is of age; ask him.’ A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. ‘Give glory to God by telling the truth,’ they said. ‘We know this man is a sinner.’ He replied, ‘Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!’
Fifth, the method of performing the miracles [as I commented on in yesterday’s post] adds credibility. Jesus did not make his miracles a “carnival side show.” He did not try to draw crowd with “magic displays.” He just saw a need and acted quickly, without fanfare.
Paul Little writes that miracles are very much in the Jewish DNA because the Israeli people were brought about as a nation by a series of miracles in the Old Testament. They did not have the skeptical mind that many people have today. Many just had an anti-Jesus bias. They did not want the carpenter from Galilee to be a miracle performer. They wanted one of their religious leaders to do that.
But He did do the miracles.
We have reliable records to prove it.
Reliable records from our New Testament.