Healing and History

In a discussion of mythicism and of Maurice Casey’s treatment of a miracle story in the Gospel of Mark, the broader issue of what historians can say about accounts of healings and miracles is bound to come up. A historian can never rightly conclude that a miracle or other supernatural event has occurred. But surely a historian can conclude that it is likely that a historical person recovered from illness, and even that it was believed that that recover was due to divine or other supernatural assistance.

Augustine’s City of God 22:8-10 offers some accounts of people recovering from illness and attributing their recovery to God. I thought it might provide a useful starter for discussion of the relationship between healing and history. A historian must have a certain degree of skepticism. My question is whether a historian would have to have an inordinate degree of skepticism in order to deny that some people whom Augustine knew or knew of genuinely recovered from illnesses in the manner Augustine describes (albeit not in every detail). What do you think, and why? And why, if at all, would the case of Jesus be different, in your opinion?

  • Anonymous

    People in ancient times had no other way to understand illness and disease or healing than to describe it as “Satan” or “God”. Today, we understand that there is a mind body interaction, but we don’t understand how they inter-relate….those that believe in “God”, seem to have recovery at a higher rate, than those that don’t. Is this because they have a sense of being valued, which is directly connected to health? Such has been proven the case with children and how they are nurtured. And healthy has also been proven to be better or with faster recovery, in adults with a strong social network, whether that be family or friends….so, it is not really a matter of whether “God” exists or not, but whether a person feels valued and affirmed…..as to their overal health and well-being….

  • http://historical-jesus.info/ Bernard Muller

    Here is part of an article by Richard Carrier (1997)http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/kooks.html
    “Jesus was not unique in that respect.
    Miracles were also a dime a dozen in this era. The biographer Plutarch, a contemporary of Josephus, engages in a lengthy digression to prove that a statue of Tyche did not really speak in the early Republic (Life of Coriolanus 37.3). He claims it must have been a hallucination inspired by the deep religious faith of the onlookers, since there were, he says, too many reliable witnesses to dismiss the story as an invention (38.1-3). He even digresses further to explain why other miracles such as weeping or bleeding–even moaning–statues could be explained as natural phenomena, showing a modest but refreshing degree of skeptical reasoning that would make the Amazing Randi proud. What is notable is not that Plutarch proves himself to have some good sense, but that he felt it was necessary to make such an argument at all. Clearly, such miracles were still reported and believed in his own time. I find this to be a particularly interesting passage, since we have thousands of believers flocking to weeping and bleeding statues even today. Certainly the pagan gods must also exist if they could make their statues weep and bleed as well!
    Miraculous healings were also commonplace. Suetonius, another biographer writing a generation after Plutarch, reports that even the emperor Vespasian once cured the blind and lame (Life of Vespasian 7.13; this “power” being attributed to the god Serapis–incidentally the Egyptian counterpart to Asclepius; cf. also Tacitus, Histories 4.81). Likewise, statues with healing powers were common attractions for sick people of this era. Lucian mentions the famous healing powers of a statue of Polydamas, an athlete, at Olympia, as well as the statue of Theagenes at Thasos (Council of the Gods 12). Both are again mentioned by Pausanias, in his “tour guide” of the Roman world (6.5.4-9, 11.2-9). Lucian also mentions the curative powers of the statue of a certain General Pellichos (Philopseudes 18-20). And Athenagoras, in his Legatio pro Christianis (26), polemicizes against the commonplace belief in the healing powers of statues, mentioning, in addition to the statue of a certain Neryllinus, the statues of Proteus and Alexander, the same two men I discuss in detail below.
    But above all these, the “pagans” had Asclepius, their own healing savior, centuries before, and after, the ministry of Christ. Surviving testimonies to his influence and healing power throughout the classical age are common enough to fill a two-volume book (Edelstein and Edelstein, Asclepius: A Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies, in two volumes, 1945–entries 423-450 contain the most vivid testimonials). Of greatest interest are the inscriptions set up for those healed at his temples. These give us almost first hand testimony, more reliable evidence than anything we have for the miracles of Jesus, of the blind, the lame, the mute, even the victims of kidney stones, paralytics, and one fellow with a spearhead stuck in his jaw (see the work cited above, p. 232), all being cured by this pagan “savior.” And this testimony goes on for centuries. Inscriptions span from the 4th century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D. and later, all over the Roman Empire. Clearly, the people of this time were quite ready to believe such tales. They were not remarkable tales at all.
    This more general evidence of credulity in the Roman Empire shows the prevalence of belief in divine miracle working of all kinds.”

  • Anonymous

    Dr. McGrath, which scholars of Augustine are on record as describing these events as historically accurate?

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    That would make a nice little research topic for you, if you have the time and interest. It shouldn’t take too long, and could make a nice article or blog post, depending on the level of treatment and detail.

  • Anonymous

    My wife once met a woman who said that God had made her invisible.  My wife had been invited by a friend to attend a luncheon at an Assemblies of God church.  After lunch, various women got up to share what God had done in their lives the previous week.

    It seems that one woman had gone to visit a friend in the intensive care unit at the hospital.  The rules of the hospital only allowed family members to visit in the ICU.  Nevertheless, the woman walked right past the nurses’ station without being challenged.  As she sat praying with her friend, nurses came in and out of the room but no one even acknowledged her presence.  She therefore concluded that God had made her invisible in order that she could visit her friend.

    I suspect that many claimed cures at Lourdes or Fatima are well enough documented that a historian would be justified in concluding that it was likely that an extraordinary recovery from illness had taken place and that the recovery had been attributed to supernatural intervention.   However, Augustine’s stories don’t strike me as any more persuasive than the invisible lady’s.   One or more of his stories might have been the product of actual extraordinary recoveries, but they could just as well be (as I suspect most such stories are), the product of some combination of wishful thinking, gullibility, ignorance, exaggeration, and want of critical thinking.  I’m hard pressed to see what would justify a historian in assessing the likelihood of the former as higher than that of the latter. 

  • Howard Mazzaferro

    Maybe we should first explore the meaning of a miracle before we can discuss them historically. I’m not exactly sure how you are using the term here, but one dictionary defines it as “A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature.” According to this definition, an airplane might be thought of as a miracle. But the usual definition is something along the lines of “an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.” The key word here is “known” and leaves the idea of what a miracle is conditional based on man’s growing knowledge of nature. In the Hebrew Scriptures the word mohpheth′, sometimes translated “miracle,” also means “portent,” “wonder,” and “token.” (De 28:46; 1Ch 16:12) It is often used in conjunction with the Hebrew word ʼohth, meaning “sign.” (De 4:34) In the Greek Scriptures the word dy′namis, “power,” is rendered “powerful works,” “ability,” “miracle.”—Mt 25:15; Lu 6:19; 1Co 12:10.

    The real question is, can the body’s immune system and its regenerative powers be considered a miracle? What if the healings attributed to God were merely the body’s own regenerative powers extremely accelerated? Would this be something beyond the power of nature as we know it? If so, and if it would constitute a true miracle if it actually happened, then are the scientist who are attempting to accelerate the body’s immune system and regenerative powers trying to create a true miracle?

  • Howard Mazzaferro

    In other words, if man could reproduce an extraordinary event from the Bible through his knowledge of science, that was once considered a miracle, would it no longer be a miracle? On the other hand, if some act of God as recorded in the Bible was also an act that a man was capable of doing, such as putting someone to death, would this only be considered a miracle because God performed the act? If all this is true, then the historical rejection of miracles is not because they transcend nature, but because God did them. So in reality, this is a denial of God historically interacting with the physical world. So it is either, miracles can’t happen because God doesn’t interact with the world, or miracles can’t happen because the way God is described as interacting with the world transcends nature and is not possible. Which is puzzling to hear people say that they believe in a being that transcends nature, but his actions are not believable because they transcend nature. Which in turn means that any form of communication with God would be transcending nature and would be a miracle. Therefore, if all miracles are rejected, nothing recorded in the Bible is from God.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Wilson/1355591760 Michael Wilson

    It is possible to recover from an illness under mysterious circumstance and not believe it a miracle.  This is the same as not being able to identify a flying object, but not positing it an alien vehicle. This thing is technically a U.F.O., but we need not don aluminum hats and wait for space brother.

    unlike the moder counterparts we don’t have the ability to examine the cases Augustine puts forward. It is certainly plausible that some of these would be unexplainable by modern science. I wouldn’t suggest they are miracles, just unusual cases. In most cases of supposed healing, we are dealing with the normal progression of disease but attributed to supernatural cause, some are exaggerations and urban legend (as is likely the case in the treasure in the fish tale, it does happen, but reports exceed the expected occurrence) and hoax, as is possibly the case of the healing Augustine witnessed.

    this will probably hold true for the cases attributed to Jesus, though as with Augustine’s hearsay accounts, we cannot expect give accurate diagnosis from our position and i think we can only confidently say, people reported miracles in association with Jesus.

  • Stevencarrwork

    On page 262 of ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ , Professor Casey writes ‘There should be no doubt that Jesus cured this paralyzed man.’

    If people of today have no doubt that Jesus could cure paralysis, surely people of 2000 years ago would have believed in miracles.

    Of course, the man had not been stretching out his arm, and so naturally had not been using it properly. I think this is what Casey means to write on page 263. 

    It is very unclear whether or not Casey thinks a miracle had happened, or whether he thinks there was a man who had forgotten that he should extend his arm out and back, until Jesus reminded him to do so.

    • http://historical-jesus.info/ Bernard Muller

      Correct me if I am wrong, but some who think they cannot stand up  and walk (with or without crutches), actually can. Of course, by sitting too long, their legs are considerably weakened. But with a bit of motivation, they can get up on their own and move around. That would explain the many crutches hanging on the pillars of pilgrimage churches, like the one I visited in Ste Anne de Beaupre (Quebec).

      Another factors is that some either fake or exaggerate a physical handicap, allowing them not to work and be nurtured by others. I do not know if such faking can go undetected in our western society, but certainly it would in poor countries and in the past, like in antiquity. But those, in fear to be discovered or revealed, would fake a miraculous recovery with a holy man or in a sanctuary.

      I think the healings performed by Vespasian in Alexandria (Tacitus ‘Histories’, Book IV, 81) and Peter & John in the temple (Ac3:1-10), and Paul in Lystra (Ac14:8-10) may fall in that category. And Jesus’ reputation as a healer could have benefitted by running into this kind of cases.

  • Randall Morrison90

    I had a relative cured of a tumour the doctors said was inoperable…although I found out later that the best  doctor for this kind of operation at a major hospital in Kansas City who would not do the surgery had actually declined because Medicare would not pay enough.

    For various reasons, no one would operate.

    Six months later, at a follow up exam the doctor who finally said he would try found that the tumour was gone.  He said that he would classify it as a “spontaneous remission” in the Medical Records but that he considered it a miracle.  The problem was that he could not put that in the Medical Reports.

    So, I am in the position of knowing what happend, but I could not prove it to an atheists satisfaction…because their atheistic belief in mindless processes being about to account for all existence ultimately is UNFALSIFIABLE.

    Cures will be called “spontaneous remissions”…no matter how unlikely, as in my relatives case, or delusions, or whatever is at hand.

    • Anonymous

      It seems to me that “spontaneous remission” conveys the exact same information as “miracle,” i.e., “I don’t know why this happened.”  I would go with “crazy shit that I can’t explain.”

  • Anonymous

    Craig Keener has a book on Miracles about to come out from Baker Academic Press actually, that looks to be an interesting, if innovative, look at the topic.

  • Anonymous

    I really do think that this issue is a side-issue. The primary issue is whether we have any resurrection stories from antiquity that scholars in the field are comfortable announcing as literally true in any sense.

    And the answer is … no. There are not.

    There are no resurrection stories from antiquity that scholars believe are true, not the ones from Apuleius, Achilles Tatius, Phlostratus, Ovid or any other such tales. All are regarded as stories, not histories.

    To posit otherwise is simply unwissenschaftlich.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Wilson/1355591760 Michael Wilson

      Evan, I don’t think you are making your point clear. It seems you are the one pursuing an irrelevant side issue.  You are giving the impression that you think people in antiquity would not believe that they witnessed a physical resurrection or at least never did, based on the fact that the records of such actions are legendary and hearsay and that the conditions of peoples belief systems in the present is no guide to similar conditions in the past. Is that true? If not, try to clarify.  If so, you will need to provide more evidence to convince me ancient peoples would not truthfully report being a witness to a resurrection. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Evan, before tackling other issues, perhaps it would be best for you to first address what leads you to view this as a “resurrection story.” Surely it is much more straightforward to treat it as a story about recovery from illness. Whether the girl in the story, from our perspective, should be viewed as having lapsed into a coma or simply having very weak vital signs, surely it matters whether this is viewed by us as a story about restoration to life or recovery from serious illness, does it not?

    • http://historical-jesus.info/ Bernard Muller

      To James,
      But “Mark” is emphatic about the girl being dead. That’s quite a contrast with the epilectic boy in Mk9, where the boy is said to be dead by some in attendance, but for the author, he just looked dead. And after Jesus, with some physical cohersion, put the boy back on his feet, Jesus does not ask the witnesses to shut up about what he just accomplished.
      The point is, if the girl just looked dead, the author (as heard from the eyewitness) would have say so (as for the epilectic). And getting the girl to stand up did not have to be a secret (as for the boy). The alleged (stupid) gag order is because the revival was not heard by “Mark” and his community, but “Mark”, for religious reason, felt he had to conclude the story by a resurrection. 

  • Anonymous

    No, not really. It doesn’t matter that the stories in Apuleius or in Chariton aren’t real resurrections either. They’re not seriously considered to have happened. By anyone.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Evan, that is why it is important to consider the literary genre of works, and not just the similarities of particular episodes.

    Bernard, I think you are attributing to the ancients an ability to distinguish death from near-death at a level they were not able to.

    • http://historical-jesus.info/ Bernard Muller

      To James,
      So we should believe Jesus said ‘get up’ & touched a near-death (but very dead for “Mark”!) girl and then she stood up & walked around!
      And how do you explain the gag order?

      As far as Jesus saying she is just asleep, not dead, let’s notice that was before he sees the girl, and therefore not after observing her.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. McGrath, I completely agree. Obviously the genre is important. What genre do you place the book of 2 Kings in?

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    2 Kings and the whole of the Deuteronomistic History seems to be, for the most part, a combination of history and legend, with some etiology, aimed at persuading Jews in the exilic period that the exile was due to the failure of their people/nation to worship Yahweh exclusively. It clearly has significant amounts of historical information included in it, but the further back it goes the more it seems that reliable written sources may not have been available to the author. Source critical considerations are also relevant.

    • Anonymous

      So 2 Kings 4 reads as a sober historical account to you. I’m sure that many apologists read it the same way.

      • http://historical-jesus.info/ Bernard Muller

        To Evan,
        The key for 2 Kings 4 would be to research if someone has a particular condition where he/she seems dead (ancients would confuse death with looking dead up to modern time) and hours after, could be revived by strong physical contact and tranfer of body heat (as Elisha is described to do). Do we know of some illness, condition where somebody is deadish (but not dead) and can be revived a la Elisha? That’s the question.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Before I will have any more discussion with you, Evan, having found you in the past unwilling to engage in intelligent and respectful conversation, and having given you a second chance, I will kindly ask you to answer the following question: Where did I say what you just claimed that I did?

  • Anonymous

    You stated that 2 Kings has “significant historical information” in it in the context of a discussion about the historicity of resurrection accounts. Were you unaware that this was the pericope of 2 Kings 4 I was asking about in my penultimate post? If this is so, my apologies. But 2 Kings has two resurrections in it so I can see your confusion and I do apologize for presumption. Are you aware of any scholars who view either of the resurrections in 2 Kings as historically true in any sense?

    • http://historical-jesus.info/ Bernard Muller

      Evan,
      I found that from this website:
      http://www.varchive.org/ce/shamir/mtm.html
      Does that make any sense?
      (caution: the author has many unconventional/controversial ideas)

      “The description of the child’s sudden illness makes it appear that he suffered from sun-stroke when in the field with the reapers. A strong headache preceded the lapse into unconsciousness.
      The mouth-to-mouth breathing accompanied by rhythmic movements of the body of the healer stretched out on the child’s body, who kept his hands on the child’s hands, and also warmed him by his own body warmth (and the flesh of the child vexed warm”), is an even better method than mouth-to-mouth breathing alone, and should be recommended in emergencies.”

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    One last time, Evan: is the following correct? You asked me about the genre of a piece of literature (2 Kings as a whole), and I replied about that literary work as a whole, indicating that it has varied contents and may well incorporate earlier sources the genres of which are different. Then you extrapolated from one phrase and one sort of content I mentioned, to a statement with significantly different wording, and moreover, you alleged I made that claim about a specific portion of the work.

    Do you acknowledge that this is what you did, and if so, what do you have to say for yourself?

  • Anonymous

    Sure, I acknowledge that what you give as a narrative of what happened is literally true. I have already apologized for the misunderstanding and I hope you will accept my apology.

    From the context of the discussion, it is clear that someone would understand what I was asking about, as Bernard has shown in his post above yours.

    But this is all distraction from the primary argument. Maurice Casey regards the raising of Jairus’ daughter as “literally true” in some sense. 

    I have requested repeatedly for any narrative of resurrection from antiquity that any scholars regard as literally true and the only thing that was brought up were some stories of miraculous healing from Augustine, with no scholarly invocation of them as literally true.

    So if you are going to defend Professor Casey, you are welcome to do so. I am simply looking for some reasoned argument that supports doing so that draws from the generally accepted practices of other historians and scholars.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Wilson/1355591760 Michael Wilson

    I’m afraid your not making any sense Evan. Your just barking around in circles.

  • Anonymous

    Bernard, no, this is not a scholar pronouncing a resurrection story from antiquity to be literally true, unless you think scholars date a “historical Elisha” to the 13th century BCE. Mike, I’ll make as much sense as I can. Nobody seems able to find any stories of miracles, much less resurrections from antiquity that are considered “literally true” in any sense of the term by reasonable, scientific arguments. There is no scholarly consensus that any of them rise to that level.

    Dr. McGrath argued against Neil Godfrey for his highlighting of Maurice Casey’s description of the raising of Jairus’ daughter as “literally true.” Nobody forced him to do this. He chose to. I’m requesting backup for that position from other historians or scholars.

    So far we’ve turned up Bernard’s link to someone who dates Elisha to the Amarna period. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Wilson/1355591760 Michael Wilson

      Evan, Immanuel Velikovsky was published in some psychiatric and medical journals, but he was never recognized as a historian of any sort. I have seen papers published outside the authors field of expertise but I think Velikovsky’s historical work was published completely outside of academic circles and for that reason I wouldn’t accept him as a scholar on this issue.  “unless you think scholars date a “historical Elisha” to the 13th century BCE” isn’t meaningful unless you think everyone who disagree with scholarly consensus is not a real scholar. Let me assure you that is not so. I would think this would be disqualified from your scavenger hunt due to it being a Biblical miracle, but you have changed your mind so often on what you are looking for, you may not even know any more what you want.
       
      “Nobody seems able to find any stories of miracles, much less resurrections from antiquity that are considered “literally true” in any sense of the term by reasonable, scientific arguments.” Who cares? I can’t find any stories from Stone Age China that would be considered literally true any sense of the term by reasonable, scientific arguments that panda’s shit in the groves, but I bet they did. And now you will take any miracle? Nancy Demand in the text book, “A History of Ancient Greece” passes on (p,297) the oracle of Delphi’s prophecy concerning Phillip of Macedon’s Persian expedition without comment.  Perhaps you may now think that Classical historians are believers in the prophetic powers of Greek gods, but you would be wrong.  The prophecy from the oracle of Delphi is what it is. If you think the gods gave or it came from human imagination is not a question Demand has the resources to answer.
       
      Not to put words in anyone’s mouth, but I recall James saying that he thought Casey was too confident in his claim. The disagreement is over the notion of whether the description of a miracle is grounds for dismissing a report.  No historian does, otherwise they would have to figure out why so many people invented stories of oracles speaking prophecies.  Your concept of this discussion is flawed.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    I think I need to go back to my earlier policy and not respond to Evan. Either he has read Casey and is misrepesenting him, or he has read only Godfrey’s description of Casey, in which case I was right in pointing out that Godfrey’s summary would lead people to misunderstand Casey in precisely this way.

    Neither Casey nor I are claiming that this is a story of a resurrection. Casey’s point is that it is probably a true story about how belief that a prophet or healer can raise the dead. Jesus told a young girl to get up, a girl that at least some onlookers believed to be dead. She was not dead, although in ancient times as today in places where medical equipment is not available, that would have been impossible to tell. At some point – whether immediately or significantly later – the girl awoke and got up. This was attributed to Jesus’ power and words. We have contemporary accounts of the same sort of thing happening, primarily from precisely those parts of the world where weak vital signs might lead someone to be thought dead when they weren’t. This is not, from a historian’s perspective, a literally true account of an actual miracle, but there may be good reason to think that it is an account, that is literally true in its main details, of an incident that is the sort that gives rise to the belief that Jesus and others can perform miracles. And so while Evan is either missing or deliberately ignoring this distinction, I have clarified this in the hope that others will not do the same.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Wilson/1355591760 Michael Wilson

      You think Evan thinks Casey concluded Jesus really brought someone back from the dead? I didn’t want to stoop that low. That would be a terrible waste of all our time if that is what he was shopping around for. Say it ain’t so Evan, I know you don’t grasp what scholars do, but this would be a new low.

  • Anonymous

    I have consistently stated that I am happy to accept a discussion by a scholar of a story that is literally true in exactly the way Casey means it and have pointed to stories of resurrections that did not involve the literal death of the person (within the context of the story) that are not regarded as true by scholars. All I want is a story that is regarded by scholars as a true account in the same way Casey regards this healing as true and there is no such thing. 

    Dr. McGrath, you seem to be asserting that the story of Jairus’ daughter being raised is historical in the sense that Jesus actually went to someone’s house and awoke their sleeping/ill/comatose daughter by speaking some Aramaic words. What factors keep this or any other miracle from appearing on EP Sanders list of things that the historical Jesus actually did? What factors kept it off the list of verified acts by the Jesus Seminar? Are there other historical/critical scholars who have subscribed to its historicity?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Wilson/1355591760 Michael Wilson

      I think you mean that is what Casey is asserting, James says, “but there may be good reason to think that it is an account, that is literally true in its main details,” “may be good reason to think” hardy gets a red marble.

      Have you thought about having debates with yourself? that way your opponents would take the positions you wish them to have, and the rest of us wouldn’t have to read your silly post.

  • http://historical-jesus.info/ Bernard Muller

    Dr. McGrath wrote: “Casey’s point is that it is probably a true story about how belief that a prophet or healer can raise the dead.”

    BM: Casey wrote: In Chapter 7, I give reasons why there should be no doubt that the whole of this healing narrative [the raising of the daughter of Jairus in Mark 5] is literally true, and that it is dependent ultimately on an eyewitness account by one of the inner circle of the three of the Twelve, who were present throughout, and who accordingly heard and transmitted exactly what Jesus said.”
    (p. 109 of Jesus of Nazareth by Maurice Casey)

    BM: From the above, I do not see how it can be concluded that Casey’s point in 2 Kings 4 is probably “a true story about how belief that a prophet or healer can raise the dead”
    And how can the story be true if it is about healing and not a resurrection, and if the revival occurs later after Jesus touched and spoke to the girl?

    So what is the meaning of “literally true”? 

    Dr. McGrath wrote: “a girl that at least some onlookers believed to be dead”
    BM: But in gMark, all onlookers, the mourners and the parents, think the girl is dead. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    In a section that Neil Godfrey mentions but doesn’t cite or summarize, Casey explains in what sense a historian can discuss the truthfulness or historical accuracy of a miracle account, and it is not in terms of a miracle having occurred. That’s why I felt so concerned that Godfrey’s quotation of Casey excerpted from the book’s wider context would give the wrong impression.


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