Jesus Walks on Water

“The nature of the lake Asphaltitis [The Dead Sea] is also worth describing. It is, as I have said already, bitter and unfruitful. It is so light that it bears up the heaviest things that are thrown into it; nor is it easy for any one to make things sink therein to the bottom, if he had a mind so to do. Accordingly, when Vespasian went to see it, he commanded that some who could not swim should have their hands tied behind them, and be thrown into the deep, when it so happened that they all swam as if a wind had forced them upwards.”

– The Wars Of The Jews, Book 4 8:4

“And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away… But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the shiphe walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God…”

– Matthew 14:22-33

Notice how Jesus “constrained” his disciples to “go before him”. An interesting choice of words, why didn’t he command them or ask them or something like that. It is the only time Jesus “constrains” someone to do something against their will and it is to “go before him” where he is not going, into the sea. This is clearly mocking the description from Josephus about Vespasian tying Simon (probably just some captured rebels;) up and throwing them in the water and there is this magic “wind” that keeps them on top of the water seems to scare everyone but unexplainedly stops when they get back in the boat. Josephus thinks he is international, hellenistic, well educated, from a good family and the son of the living God of the entire inhabitable Earth, but he was apparently unaware of Archimedes’ work on buoyancy more than three hundred years before him, such a mere rustic was he! Only an ignorant, poor Jew would see this and think it was a miracle and describe it as a “wind forcing them up”. Anyway, that is what the Bible mockingly suggests.

“…He was a man not only unworthy of the high priesthood, but that did not well know what the high priesthood was, such a mere rustic was he! yet did they hail this man, without his own consent, out of the country, as if they were acting a play upon the stage, and adorned him with a counterfeit thee; they also put upon him the sacred garments, and upon every occasion instructed him what he was to do…”

– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 4, 3:7-8

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