BIBLE miracles once thought to be impossible acts of God could have «natural explanations», a scripture expert has astonishingly claimed.
The Christian Bible is full of miraculous events and seemingly impossible feats from before and after the birth of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament and New Testament alike speak at length about the power of God, such as allowing Jesus to walk on water or feed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. And though Christians accept these as proof of Jesus’s divinity and the might of God, there are some Biblical events may have not defied the laws of physics after all.
According to Professor Tom Meyer, a public speaker and college professor at Shasta Bible College in the US, the are two miracles that stand out to him.
Professor Meyer told Express.co.uk: «There are some miraculous phenomena recorded in Scripture that defy a natural explanation, like
Jesus walking on water — Matthew 14:22-23 — or Jesus feeding 5,000 men with just five loaves of bread and two fish — Matthew 14:13-21.
«But there are instances where a natural explanation can clarify miraculous phenomena, such as the flow of the Jordan River being cut off upstream at flood stage so that the children of Israel could pass over on dry ground — Joshua 3:13 — and such as the Sun and Moon standing still so the nation of Israel had time to defeat its enemies in a surprise attack — Joshua 10:13.»
In the case of the first miracle, the Bible describes the waters of the Jordan River standing still for Joshua and the Israelites.
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Professor Meyer believes an answer to the seemingly impossible can be found in historic accounts of 12th and 13th-century explorers to the Holy Land.
In 1266 AD, for instance, a massive earthquake struck near the fords of Adam, which is only 16 miles northeast of Jericho.
The earthquake triggered landslides that blocked up the Jordan River.
Professor Meyer said: «Similar historical instances of earthquakes causing mudslides which subsequently stemmed the flow of the Jordan River also
occurred in 1906 and 1927.
«The Israelites with Joshua, probably numbering in the millions
— Numbers 26:51 — could have had crossed the dry riverbed of the Jordan River and entered Canaan in half a day.»
The second miracle described in the Book of Joshua describes the Sun and the Moon standing still in the sky.
According to the Old Testament, Joshua and Israelites came upon an enemy camp, upon which Joshua prayed to God.
Professor Meyer said: «Joshua’s prayer that the Sun would stand still and that the Moon would stay in place was a poetical way of asking God that their surprise attack on the five kings of the Amorites wouldn’t be revealed by the rising Sun.
«Joshua asked that darkness would continue throughout the day, that the night would be prolonged for Israel’s surprise attack.
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«The Hebrew word translated for the Sun and Moon ‘standing still’ means to be silent or cease or leave off.
«Another way of saying it is the Sun made no haste to come about a whole day.»
Professor Meyer said the Moon and the Earth did not stop orbiting the Sun.
Instead, he suggested the celestial bodies were obscured from view by a freak weather event.
He said: «Contrary to the popular belief of many Christians, the earth and moon did not cease rotating around the Sun.
«The answer to Joshua’s prayer for continued darkness came in the form of a hailstorm which had the effect of prolonged darkness — Joshua 10:11.»
Whatever the case may be, Professor Meyer argued these possible natural explanations do not disprove the power of God.
He said: «This interpretation of the miraculous phenomena can provide a natural explanation of what happened; to accept that explanation does not detract in any way from the supernatural intervention which God provided for Israel at the exact moment they needed it.»
Professor Meyer, who is known as The Bible Memory Man, has memorised more than 20 books from the Bible.