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The Story-Line of Christian Miracle Rhetorolect LESSON 1: MIRACLE BEGINNINGS WITH ELIJAH AND ELISHA: FOOD The story-line of Christian miracle rhetorolect could begin with the emphasis in the New Testament on Moses’ performance of “wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years” (Acts 7:36). Except for the manna from heaven, however, these “wonders and signs” are internal to Christian apocalyptic, rather than miracle, rhetorolect (see “Apocalyptic Story-Line Power Points”). The story-line of Christian miracle rhetorolect focuses on “human bodies,” primarily with a concern for nourishing, healing, restoring, and protecting them. It also includes ascension of the miracle worker into heaven. This story-line begins with Elijah and Elisha. Click to read about food miracles by Elijah and his disciple Elisha.
Hebrew Bible Resource: ELIJAH AND ELISHA MULTIPLY BREAD AND OIL While Moses fed the people of Israel in the wilderness with manna from heaven (Exodus 16; Numbers 11), Elijah and Elisha multiply bread and oil. Exodus 16 Numbers 11Exodus 16 Numbers 11 Aspects of all of these stories blend together as Christian miracle rhetorolect presents Jesus miraculously multiplying food for large numbers of people. Click for multiplication of food by Elijah.
Hebrew Bible Resource: GOD’S WORD IN ELIJAH MULTIPLIES MEAL AND OIL 1 Kings 17:8 The word of Adonai came to Elijah, saying, 17:9 “Arise go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to sustain you.” … 17:12 She said, “As the Lord your God lives, I don’t have a cake, but a handful of meal in the jar, and a little oil in the jar. Behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Click for continuation of Elijah’s miracle with meal and oil.
Hebrew Bible Resource: GOD’S WORD IN ELIJAH MULTIPLIES MEAL AND OIL cont. (1) 1 Kings 17:13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go and do as you have said; but make me of it a little cake, and bring it out to me, and afterward make something for you and for your son. 17:14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of meal shall not empty and the jug of oil shall not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.’” Click for continuation of Elijah’s miracle with meal and oil.
Hebrew Bible Resource: GOD’S WORD IN ELIJAH MULTIPLIES MEAL AND OIL cont. (2) 1 Kings 17:15 She went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, at many days. 17:16 The jar of meal didn’t empty, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Elijah. Cf. Elijah’s disciple Elisha multiplying oil: 2 Kings 4:1-7 2 Kings 4:1-72 Kings 4:1-7 Click for Elijah’s disciple Elisha multiplying bread.
Hebrew Bible Resource: ELIJAH’S DISCIPLE ELISHA FEEDS 100 MEN WITH 20 LOAVES AND SOME EARS OF GRAIN 2 Kings 4:42 A man from Baal-shalishah came, and brought the man of God bread of the first fruits, twenty loaves of barley, and fresh ears of grain in his sack. He said, “Give to the people, that they may eat.” 4:43 His servant said, “What, should I set this before a hundred men?” But he said, “Give the people, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” 4:44 So he set it before them, and they ate, and had some of it left, according to the word of the Lord. Click for related Christian miracle rhetorolect.
CHRISTIAN MIRACLE RHETOROLECT IN ALL NEW TESTAMENT GOSPELS PRESENTS JESUS FEEDING 5,000 PEOPLE WITH FIVE LOAVES AND TWO FISH Click for next slide.
Christian Miracle Rhetorolect: JESUS FEEDS 5,000 PEOPLE WITH FIVE LOAVES AND TWO FISH Luke 9:12 The day began to wear away; and the twelve came, and said to him, “Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and farms, and lodge, and get food, for we are here in a deserted place.” 9:13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we should go and buy food for all these people.” 14a: For they were about five thousand men. Click for continuation of Jesus’ feeding of 5,000.
Christian Miracle Rhetorolect: JESUS FEEDS 5,000 PEOPLE WITH FIVE LOAVES AND TWO FISH cont. Luke 9:14b He said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 9:15 They did so and made them all sit down. 9:16 He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to the sky, he blessed them, and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 9:17 They ate, and were all filled. They gathered up twelve baskets of broken pieces that were left over. Click for Jesus’ feeding of 4,000.
IN ADDITION, CHRISTIAN MIRACLE RHETOROLECT IN MATTHEW AND MARK PRESENTS JESUS FEEDING 4,000 PEOPLE WITH SEVEN LOAVES AND A FEW FISH Click for next slide.
Christian Miracle Rhetorolect: JESUS FEEDS 4,000 PEOPLE IN MATTHEW AND MARK Matthew 15:32 Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away fasting, for they might faint on the way.” 15:33 The disciples said to him, “Where should we get so many loaves in a deserted place to satisfy so great a multitude?” 15:34 Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” Click for continuation of Jesus’ feeding of 4,000.
Christian Miracle Rhetorolect: JESUS FEEDS 4,000 PEOPLE IN MATTHEW AND MARK cont. Matthew 15:35 He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground; 15:36 and he took the seven loaves and the fish. He gave thanks and broke them, and gave to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the multitudes. 15:37 They all ate, and were filled. They took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over. 15:38 Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. Cf. Mark 8:1-10 Mark 8:1-10Mark 8:1-10 Click for Jesus’ changing of water into wine.
CHRISTIAN MIRACLE RHETOROLECT IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN PRESENTS JESUS CHANGING WATER INTO WINE, CALLING THE TRANSFORMATION A “SIGN” Click for next slide.
Christian Miracle Rhetorolect: JESUS CHANGES WATER INTO WINE IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN John 2:1 The third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. 2:2 Jesus was also invited, with his disciples, to the marriage. 2:3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine.” 2:4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.” Click for continuation of Jesus’ changing of water into wine.
Christian Miracle Rhetorolect: JESUS CHANGES WATER INTO WINE IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN cont. (1) John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever he says to you, do it.” 2:6 Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews’ way of purifying, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 2:7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 2:8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast.” So they took it. Click for continuation of Jesus’ changing of water into wine.
Christian Miracle Rhetorolect: JESUS CHANGES WATER INTO WINE IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN cont. (2) John 2:9 When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn’t know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom 2:10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!” 2:11 This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. Click for a summary of this lesson.
Good Work! In this lesson you have learned that: One of the focuses of Christian miracle rhetorolect is on multiplication of food. In the Gospel of John, this also features the changing of water into wine. Moses’ feeding of the people of Israel in the wilderness, and Elijah’s and Elisha’s multiplication of meal, bread, and oil blend together as early Christian rhetorolect reconfigures Hebrew Bible stories that focus on the miraculous production of food for people in need. Click to continue.
Congratulations!!!! THIS WAS THE FIRST LESSON on the Christian Miracle Story-Line. Every good wish as you continue with Lesson 2.
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