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Thank you for your remarks and your question. Since your question is restricted to the feeding of 5000 as recorded in Matthew and John, I will give the answer basing my argument on the two passages. The first thing I want to point out is the fact that we have to be careful when we deal with the canonical gospels since they were not written by the original disciples of Jesus. Justin Martyr lived from 100 ce to 160 ce and in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew he never made any reference to the gospels of the New Testament even though some passages would have been of great help to him. Justin Martyr made more than 300 quotations from the Old Testament [Greek Septuagint] and many from the apocryphal writings but none whatsoever from the canonical gospels. This can only mean one thing: they were not as yet in existence but were composed later. The Ebionites and the Nazoreans of that time used the Gospel of Matthew which was written in Hebrew. St. Jerome was aware of this gospel and Eusebius Pampilius testified that the Hebrew version was preserved in the library of Caesarea. This gospel was strikingly different from the canonical Matthew.
The next thing I want to point out is the fact that when the Church Father Irenaeus made a reference to the feeding of the 5000 he always only referred to the five loaves of bread and never made any remarks concerning the fishes. This strongly implies that in his day the gospels did not contain any reference to the fishes but that it was added later by an unknown interpolator. If you carefully read the text of Matthew 14 you will see that Jesus only broke the LOAVES and gave ONLY THE LOAVES to the people. Twelve baskets were filled with the broken pieces of BREAD. When Jesus made a remark concerning the feeding of 5000 and 4000 he always only referred to the LOAVES of BREAD AND THE BASKETS which contained the broken pieces of bread. Jesus never made any remarks concerning the fishes. In Johnís version even though reference is indirectly made to Jesusís breaking of the fishes, nevertheless the twelve baskets contained only the broken pieces of FIVE LOAVES. It is therefore evident to me that Jesus used only five loaves to feed the people and the reference to the fishes is a later interpolation.
Go on to: Comments by Luis Santana - 16 Sep 2009
Return to: Did Jesus Eat Fish? (Luke 24:41-43)
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