In the last post, I left you with the thought that a Creator who made beings with the ability to communicate would likely communicate with them through an extraordinary means. Miracles are extraordinary events. Do we have any records of miracles occurring in history? We do. We actually have lots of them, from all sorts of religious and non-religious traditions. I am not suggesting that all claims to the miraculous are legitimate, but could some of them be? I think so. Historical accounts that record a miraculous event without fanciful or highly nuanced features beg us to consider. For the sake of our argument, let’s add the qualification that if any miracles are legitimate, they also would be verifiable. That is, they will have supporting evidence that they occurred.
Let me give you an illustration or a working analogy for this. When you throw a rock into a pond, it makes a splash, right? And from that splash there are ripples. Those ripples continue out until some force causes them to cease, such as the shoreline. Now let’s say that someone threw a rock in the pond while you were not looking. You did not see the splash, but you can see ripples. You can confidently conclude that an object made a splash.
I would like to suggest that the Old Testament is a collection of “ripples” resulting from the “splash” of the Exodus event – the miraculous event of God’s deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt and the formation of a new nation. Of course, the OT is more than that, but not less. Without the “splash” of the Exodus, Israel would not exist, nor would its Law, written by Moses, its historical records of the judges and kings, its poetry and wisdom, or its prophecies calling for a return to Yahweh.
I would also like to propose that the New Testament is a collection of “ripples” resulting from the “splash” of the Jesus event (including everything from his Baptism to his Ascension) with special focus on the miracle of the Resurrection. Without the “splash” of the Resurrection, the church would not exist, nor its Gospels, history, epistles, or prophecy.
In the next post in this series, we will consider the reliability of the testimony of those miraculous events and their effects.