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THE MIRACULOUS

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2007

INTRODUCTION

 This study series is the result of a detailed analysis of the occurrence of the miraculous in the ministry of Jesus and the New Testament apostles, and in the life of the New Testament church. 

These studies were written, and posted on this site, to identify the role of the miraculous in the New Testament era, and to determine on the basis of New Testament teaching what role can be validly given to the miraculous today, and what biblical boundaries are in place to define what our expectations and understanding of the miraculous ought to be.

 It is not the intention of the author to give the reader the impression that God does not work miracles today.  

God can and does still work miracles. The question that has to be asked and answered is not ‘Does God work miracles today?’ but ‘Are those manifestations that are claimed to be God working miracles in contemporary Christianity, actually what they are claimed to be?’ It is not a question about God’s ability and action, but about the validity of contemporary claims, perceptions and expectations. These studies do not address this question by investigating these individual contemporary claims, perceptions and expectations, but by looking at the New Testament evidence and teaching regarding the occurrence of the miraculous. Where appropriate the difference between the New Testament evidence and the contemporary claims is identified.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE STUDIES

 These studies on the miraculous are divided into two distinct sections: 

  

TOPICAL STUDIES

These studies aim to present the New Testament evidence and teaching on specific topics related to and/or involving the miraculous. Generally, the information in these studies is included in more detailed form in the Analytical Studies section.  

ANALYTICAL STUDIES

 

This section includes detailed analyses of the occurrence in the New Testament of references to miracles, signs, wonders and other miraculous events or abilities.  It contains the scriptural references, the content [either direct quotes, or summaries of the content of verses or passages], and comments and conclusions based on these detailed analyses. It is from these conclusions that most of the content of the topical studies is sourced. Please note the word ‘analytical’. Don’t be surprised when these studies sometimes take you into rather intricate analysis of the New Testament text. 

It does not contain references to the miraculous events surrounding the birth of Christ, or his miraculous resurrection appearances. These are obviously one-off events unique to the incarnation, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.