Some people doubt that the Bible is true.  They think it’s made up, a bunch of stories instead of history and inspiration.

One of the places they point to is the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:43), and possibility that there is just an echo showing up in the feeding of the four thousand (Mark 8:8).  They assert that there was one event, not two.

But in my reading this week, I found out that Jesus knew what He was talking about when He described the two events.  Mark 8:19-20 recounts Jesus going over some recent history with the disciples when they were worried about food.

“When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied. “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.”

Now maybe it’s not obvious here, since English is a funny language.  And because the NIV translation isn’t as precise as it could be.  The NASB translates “basketfuls” differently in the two verses.

“When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” “When I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they said to Him, “Seven.”

Baskets vs. large baskets.  The difference matters.  There were two events, and there were two different Greek words in the original text.  The first is kophinos, translated as baskets in the NASB.  The second is spuris, translated as “large basket” or “large baskets”.

So what makes a large basket?  Easy – it’s large!  In Acts 9:25, Saul/Paul escaped from Damascus by his friends lowering him through an opening in the wall.  He was inside – you guessed it.  A spuris, a large basket.

The Bible wasn’t incorrectly written when it describes two mass feedings.  Jesus was not wrong when He asked about the two feedings.  And the Greek language is more precise in some areas.

Yes, I’d feel safe putting all my eggs in that basket.

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