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Although Jesus Himself stated that the feeding of the 4,000 and 5,000 were two different events (Mark 8:18-20), Bible critics have claimed that these two accounts refer to one event. These critics base their assumptions to the points of similarities in the two stories.
But here are the differences between the two accounts that clearly prove that Jesus did indeed feed the multitudes on two separate occasions:
1-Number of counted men fed: one was 5,000, the other, 4,000.
2-Time: one, immediately following the third Galilean tour, the other following a trip into Phoenicia.
3-Circumstances that led Jesus to the region: one to be alone with His disciples, the other was that Jesus already in the region and healing people.
4-One occurred after arrival by sea, the other by land as the context implies.
5-One was near Bethsaida Julias, the other appears to be near Gergesa.
6-One Jesus preached for a duration of one day, the other he taught for three days.
7-One the crowd had not brought provisions, for the other the crowd apparently had provisions for a day or two, implying a prearranged arrangement.
8-In one the disciples introduce the problem and propose sending the crowds home, in the other Jesus introduces the problem, implying that it is the duty of the disciples to do something about it.
9-One mentions the presence of green grass, the other does not give that detail.
10-There was an organized seating effort for one, while the other has no mention of that.
11-Kind of baskets used to gather the surplus: the one kophinoi, the other was spurides.
12-The quantity gathered: one was 12 kophinoi, the other 7 spurides.
13-In one Jesus sends the disciples on ahead across the lake and retires to the hills to pray, the other He accompanies them.
14-Destination: one is Capernaum or Gennesaret, the other is Magdala.
15-One was followed by a storm on the lake, the other has no mention of a stormy crossing.
The points of difference disqualify a common origin for the two narratives.
In His service,