Mark’s Account of the Cleansing of the Temple: Literary Device or Historical Fact?

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Do the Gospels together comprise an accurate, factual account of what Jesus said and did, so that although they give us different views of the same facts, they are all equally correct? Or, are they only partly a factual account, thus requiring us to tease out the historical facts from the literary glosses of later editors?

The “Desert” of Bethsaida

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The Feeding of the Five Thousand could not have taken place, as some English translations suggest, in a “desert place” because the text tells us there were villages nearby. By analyzing the meaning of the word translated “desert,” the topography at the scene of this miracle can be clarified.