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The Miraculous in Scripture

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Lesson

Your presuppositions about whether or not the miracles in the Bible took place as they are recorded will affect the way you look at the Bible and at specific events. Three approaches to this question are the supernatural approach, rationalist approach and the mythical approach. 

Outline

The Miraculous in Scripture

I. Three Approaches

A. The Supernatural Approach (Traditional)

1. The events really took place.

2. The events happened as recorded.

3. The text proclaims a divine event.

4. Since God performed this event, search for a natural cause is irrelevant.

5. A closed cause-effect continuum is denied. Openness in history is maintained.

6. The intention of the text (author's meaning) is maintained.

B. The Rationalist Approach

1. The events could not have taken place.

2. The events happened differently than recorded.

3. The text contains a natural event behind it.

4. The natural cause of this event can and should be learned.

5. A closed cause-effect continuum affirmed. Openness in history is denied.

6. The intention of the text (authorial meaning) is not maintained.

C. The Mythical Approach

1. The events could not have taken place.

2. The text proclaims a divine event.

3. The search for natural cause is irrelevant.

4. There is neither a divine nor natural cause, since the text proclaims a myth.

5. A closed cause-effect continuum affirmed. Openness in history denied.

6. The "deeper" intention of the text (authorial meaning) is maintained.

II. Presuppositions

A. Eugene B. Borowitz

B. Rudolph Bultmann