Did Jesus distribute the bread and fishes to 15,000 people in person?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Eliyahu, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Eliyahu

    Eliyahu
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    Did Jesus distribute the bread and fishes to 15,000 people in person?


    John 0611

    TRStephanus 1550

    11ελαβενδετουςαρτουςοιησουςκαιευχαριστησαςδιεδωκεντοιςμαθηταιςοιδεμαθηταιτοιςανακειμενοιςομοιωςκαιεκτωνοψαριωνοσονηθελον


    Westcott Hort

    1ελαβεν ουν τους αρτους ο ιησους και ευχαριστησας διεδωκεν τοις ανακειμενοις ομοιως και εκ των οψαριων οσον ηθελον


    ASV 11 Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down; likewise also of the fishes as much as they would.


    Darby

    11 And Jesus took the loaves, and having given thanks, distributed [them] to those that were set down; and in like manner of the small fishes as much as they would.



    ESV

    11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.

    HCSB

    11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks He distributed them to those who were seated—so also with the fish, as much as they wanted.


    NASB 1 Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.




    NIV

    Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.


    NIV UK

    1 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.


    NLT 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.



    NRSV

    11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.


    RSV

    11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.


    Wycliffe

    11 And Jesus took [the] five loaves, and when he had done thankings, he parted to the men that sat to the meat [he parted to men sitting at the meat], and also of the fishes, as much as they would.


    Geneva

    11 And Jesus took the bread, and gave thanks, and gave to the disciples, and the disciplesto them that were set down: and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.


    KJV

    11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciplesto them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.



    WEB (World English Bible)

    11 Jesus took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributedto the disciples, and the disciplesto those who were sitting down; likewise also of the fish as much as they desired.

    YLT

    11 and Jesus took the loaves, and having given thanks he distributed to the disciples, and the disciplesto those reclining, in like manner, also of the little fishes as much as they wished.


    Manuscripts omitting the Red Letter Portion : p66, p75, Aleph, B, A

    Manuscripts containing < μαθηταιςοιδεμαθηταιτοις > : Majority


    I estimate there were ca. 5,000 men plus 5,000 women plus 5,000 children.

    Then do you think Jesus distributed all the loaves of bread and fishes to 15,000 people in person?

    Another question is whether the miracle of proliferating the bread was performed only by Jesus or by Jesus and disciples?


    Eliyahu
     
  2. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    By Jesus through his disciples.
     
  3. Greektim

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    The textual variant is so unimportant theologically, that this thread borders on silly. Even following the modern versions that do not include the bit about the disciples, it is probably assumed that Jesus did NOT personally hand out every bit of food but delegated to his disciples.
     
  4. TCassidy

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    We do exactly the same thing today. When I retired my wife and I built a new retirement home in Texas.

    Did we do the the building? No. I never poured any concrete, never picked up a saw or a hammer. The home was built by others working under our direction.

    The disciples (and perhaps others) distributed the food, working under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I'm sorry, but this whole thread is much ado about nothing (with my apologies to William Shakespeare).
     
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  5. franklinmonroe

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    In the same book even prior to John 6:11 scripture seems to imply that Jesus baptized people. Notice John 3:22 (KJV) --

    After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

    On the face of it, since "he tarried" obviously refers back to the singular person "Jesus" then it would seem that "and baptized" could easily also be attributed to Jesus. So did Jesus do all the baptizing? But wait! John even more directly states that Jesus baptized again in 4:1 --

    When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,​

    Jesus is given the credit for baptizing (no mention of His disciples). But wait! God's Word clearly declares that Jesus didn't actually do the "hands on" work. (John 4:2) --

    (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,).
    Similar, eh?
     
  6. franklinmonroe

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    By the way this no small task for even for 12 disciples! Let's do the math. First, we'll assume 12,000 people just to make it a bit easier to calculate (although I agree with Eliyahu that it could have been more). So, if the task was evenly distributed each disciple would serve 1,000 people. With me so far?

    Now, if one disciple could serve an individual in about 12 seconds before moving on to the next then one disciple could serve 5 people per minute. That is fast service by any standard! One thousand people dispatched at a rate of 5 per minute would result in 200 minutes to serve them all; that is over 3 hours (3:20:00 to be exact). And remember that the people ate until they were full! That's probably returning for seconds and third portions. Of course, it is possible that the people somewhat served themselves by passing the food around which would reduce the time elapsed from the first person served to the last.

    Since this was a miracle we cannot know the burden that this much food service was for those disciples but it was probably quite a workout. Normally, one thousand 8-ounce servings of bread & fish would weigh 500 pounds. Good thing that many of them were formerly hardy fishermen. And the baskets stayed full even at the end.

    Please tip your waiter!
     
    #6 franklinmonroe, Jun 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  7. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    Speaking of numbers was it the 12 or the 70?
     
  8. Eliyahu

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    Thanks to everyone for the input on this thread.

    Some of the points which still need more attention are:

    - Proliferation of the Bread. - This is the issue different from any jobs or work, because
    if Jesus increased the Bread from 5 loaves to thousands of loaves, and the disciples delivered them to the people sitting on the lawn ground, it means there was no miracles on the part of the Disciples.
    But if Jesus increased the quantity of the bread, and the disciples did the same, then it means the disciples performed the miracle too. This is totally different from Baptizing or Building something.
    It is a matter of miracle by the disciples.

    - There are apparent difference between the manuscripts, texts, and translations.

    For example
    (NIV) Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

    (KJV) 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

    Apparently, KJV states that Jesus didn't distribute the Bread to the crowd in person while NIV said so.

    If we treat KJV and NIV teach the same, what is the point to study the textual differences and variances?

    Again this gives us the lesson that the miracles needed or used the human involvement
     
  9. Eliyahu

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    Thanks to everyone for the comments.

    Some of the key points that we should learn from this passage are :


    1. Creative Proliferation


    Jesus fed the people with 5 loaves of bread. 5 loaves must have increased to thousands of the loaves. This is a kind of another Creation different from Making or Building or Doing. Such Creation is beyond the Law of Conservation of Mass (the Principle of Mass Conservation), which means the miracle. So, the Creative Proliferation cannot be compared to the works of building or baptizing the people.

    That was done not only by Jesus Christ, but also by His Disciples!


    Many people may think that Jesus Himself was doing the miraculous Creation of the Bread out of 5 loaves, then the disciples delivered and served diligently, which is not taught in the genuine Bible here.

    We can read and find that Jesus did the creative proliferation of the bread, and the disciples did the same! Then they served the people.

    Read the passage again from KJV and from TR.

    This Creative Proliferation is different from any human works today.


    This is commensurate to the story in 2 Kings 4

    The woman did the creative proliferation, not Elisha did it.

    In verse 42-44, the man from Baalshalisha (Not the man of God who may be Elisha) performed the Creative Proliferation of the Bread for 200 people. This is very similar to what Jesus has done for 5000 plus.


    2. Variance of Manuscripts, Texts, Translations


    Apparently, as I illustrated in the OP, there are clear differences between Alexandrian manuscripts and Byzantine manuscripts, between W/H text and TR, between MV and KJV. We must discern what is wrong and what is right. In this case, the Alexandrian copies omitted the words which give us the precious lessons.

    TR and KJV are correct, while WH, NA, MV are wrong!

    If anyone think and say the difference is nothing, then he or she can ignore any difference and variance of the Bible texts and translations.

    Compare the above translations.


    3. The Lesson that we can learn from this


    God doesn’t do the miracle without the involvement of human participation.

    We may pray, and wait for the answer from God. It is our participation. We need to be prepared to challenge the reality as well.

    The Creative Proliferation didn’t take place by Jesus alone, but the same process was done by the disciples.


    If Jesus alone created the bread for 15,000, that spot must have been full of bread and the disciples would have been busy in delivering the bread. But the actual happening must have been that even in the hands of the disciples, the creative proliferation took place. If you cannot believe this, read 2 Kings 4 thoroughly.

    We may be missing many opportunities because we try to stay away from the miraculous work when we pray God to do miraculous work for us.

    It is a matter of the shortage of our faith.



    Eliyahu



    2 Kings 4

    1. Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.

    2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

    3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

    4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.

    5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.

    6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.

    7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.

    42 And there came a man from Baalshalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.

    43 And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the Lord, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof.

    44 So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the Lord.
     
  10. franklinmonroe

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    The miracle of the feeding of this multitude has the distinction of being the only miracle recorded by all four evangelists. John's account at 6:11 has been displayed already. Lets take a quick look at the other Gospels.

    Matthew 14:19 --
    And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to hisdisciples, and the disciples to the multitude. (KJV)

    And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. (NIV)
    Mark 6:41 --
    And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. (KJV)

    Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. (NIV)
    Luke 9:16 --
    Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. (KJV)

    Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. (NIV)
    And so, all three of the other Gospels have Jesus giving the food to his disciples in both the KJV and the NIV.
     
  11. Eliyahu

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    Only in Gospel John of TR and of KJV(YLT etc) it is implied that the Creative Proliferation was done also by Disciples. Other gospels didn't mention the details about it.

    he distributed to the disciples, and the disciplesto them that were set down


    Eliyahu
     
  12. franklinmonroe

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    Lets take a look at the miracles associated with the disciples during the life of Christ.

    First, Jesus did specifically grant the powers of: 1) healing the sick and 2) the casting out demons to the disciples (see Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:14-15, Mark 6:7). The disciples then indeed exercized these power with success (see Mark 6:13). But note that these miracles: 1) were performed apart from the presence of Jesus and 2) we get no details or fuller accounts about these events in the Gospels.

    Second, it does seem that the disciples knew that they could excercize other miraculous feats. John asked Jesus about calling down fire from heaven upon a city (see Luke 9:54). Although this particlar act was not carried out at that time, it seems that the disciples indeed held the power to do so.

    Third, we do have the account of Peter’s walking upon water. However, this was accomplished with the supervision of Jesus.

    Of course, the apostles performed many miracles (recorded in Acts) after the Ascention of Christ. But in the Gospels the focus is upon miracles done by Jesus. If the feeding of the multitude is a miracle done by the disciples or a shared miracle between the disciples and Jesus, it is the only one. We haven’t any other record of the disciples performing a miracle themselves with Jesus.

    Knowing that there is no precedent for a shared miracle, I would not be inclined to push the interpretation of the text to support that there was a shared mircale at the feeding of the multitude.
     
  13. Eliyahu

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    Throughout the Bible, no one could perform the miracle without the Holy Spirit.
    Therefore we can believe that Disciples must have performed the miracle by the Spirit of Christ in any case.
    It must be absurd if one thinks that Jesus alone performed the Creative Proliferation when He fed 15,000 people.
    If Jesus performed the miracle alone and distributed to the multitude ( as stated in NIV, etc),
    6 seconds per person, 10 person per minute, 600 per hour, 25 hours for 15,000, or 20 hours for 12,000. Without considering the distribution service, just Creative Proliferation would have taken several hours at least. There must be the participation of the disciples in the Creative Proliferation as we read the case of 2 Kings 4.
    Away from Jesus or in the presence of Jesus, Disciples must have exercised the Believing in Jesus, Following and Obeying Him.
    This portion may not be the lesson for the beginners, but for the grown-up Believers who believe the Teachings, especially the Teaching in Mt 10:8 ( Heal the Sick, Cleanse the Lepers, Raise the Dead, Cast out the Devils was true ).


    I think I explained enough.


    Eliyahu
     

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