Scott on April 6, 2006 at 9:55 am
I love it when a scientist pops his head up from his scientific foxhole to make a scientific claim that appears to cast doubt on the credibility of some portion of the Bible, but then in the next breath ducks his head back down into the foxhole claiming to NOT be trying to make a statement about the claims and the validity of the Bible.
So what is it this time? The new, scientific version of the New Testament story of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a huge storm has Jesus, instead, walking on ice in the middle of the lake, ice that his disciples couldn’t see.
Professor Doron Nof of Florida State University bases this idea on core samples taken from the bottom of the Sea of Galilee. Nof and his colleagues say that close study of the core samples indicate “that two lengthy periods 2,500 to 1,500 years ago were chilly enough for ice patches to form during cold spells on the Sea of Galilee.”
According to Nof, a patch of ice floating in the Sea of Galilee â€” which is actually a freshwater lake â€” would have been difficult to distinguish from unfrozen water surrounding it. Such a patch of ice would have allowed Jesus to stand and even walk across the frozen water safely. About this theory, Nof said:
“I’m not trying to provide any information that has to do with theology here. All we’ve thought is about the natural process. What theologians or anybody else does with that, it’s their business, so to speak.”
First of all SURE he is dealing with theology here. He is claiming to have information that would prove that this central New Testament miracle was, in fact, a sham perpetrated on a group of poor fishermen by a malicious religious fanatic who tried to use a situation to his advantage. If this miracle wasn’t a miracle and was Jesus lying to and fooling his followers, then wouldn’t that cast doubt on all of his other miracles?
Second Am I the only one to think that this is a RANDOM (as in odd non sequitur) attempt to connect some obscure field of study (PALEOLIMNOLOGY..the study of the history of lakes) to a prominent New Testament miracle? Why go there? Professor Nof can’t even pinpoint the time closer than “two lengthy cold periods between 2500 and 1500 years ago.”
Third Wouldn’t Jesus catching a random ice patch in the middle of a storm be stretching credulity quite a bit? He would have had to know the ice was there and would have then had to have planned/staged this miracle from the start. The problem with that theory is that he was dealing with fisherman who grew up fishing that area. Wouldn’t they be familiar with these mysterious camouflaged ice flows?
I’m thinking this is just a science geek with an axe to grind and a small/short opportunity to jump onto his PALEOLIMNOLOGY soap box and get some attention.