This was a one page paper for the class Jesus and Hermeneutics at Boston College with Dr. Daniel Harrington S.J. After reading selections from various scholars, the purpose was to answer the question: "Using hermeneutical theory, what would you say about Jesus' miracles today?"
Thesis: Regardless of one’s hermeneutical theory, the miracles in the New Testament convey the message of the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God.
The point of the New Testament miracles (and also those today) were not merely a display of ability to suspend the laws of nature, they were to show the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God. This was certainly the case at the level of the historical Jesus (Mt 12:28; Lk 11:20) and the goal of the evangelists communicating this inbreaking to their various communities. As Wright states, “He never performed mighty works simply to impress. He saw them as part of the inauguration of the sovereign and healing rule of…God.” The burning question remains, however, regarding the historicity of such events. The approach taken by both Meier and Vermes, in line with a Hirschian hermeneutic, both want to put off the philosophical/theological question of divine influence, and merely examine these events as historians, trying to assemble some “core” which does go back to the ministry of Jesus. Meier certainly presents a compelling case using the criteria to support the miracle corpus at large, especially multiple attestation (619-623). Both Meier and Vermes rightly recognize that a person’s worldview will ultimately determine his answer to the philosophical/theological question. Vermes presents interesting parallels to Hanina ben Dosa (115-116), however his theological presuppositions preclude him from seeing the purpose of Jesus miracles as demonstrating the inbreaking of the Kingdom. These presuppositions also lead him to conclude that Jesus was “Galilean hasid” who was inept in halakhic matters (118). While Jesus may have been cognizant of this paradigm and while the idea may have been on the minds of the evangelists, to conclude that Jesus was only this, is to misunderstand his self-proclaimed purposes, namely the Kingdom demonstrated.
Schillebeeckx’s approach is one based more on Gadamer. He is not as concerned with the historical level of Jesus so much as what the evangelists want to communicate by the miracle accounts. This also reaches into our day, “…Jesus…healed…what does that mean for humankind” (181). Schillebeeckx may overstress the dualistic nature of the miracles accounts, but his overarching point is clear, they represent the time of salvation, realized eschatology (185), God’s rule visible on earth (189). The in breaking Kingdom is our take-away point just as it was for the first century audience.
 N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), 165.
 John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew (New York; Doubleday, 1991), 617. (In-text citations from this point on).
 Geza Vermes, “Jesus the Jew” in Jesus’ Jewishness: Exploring the place of Jesus in Early Judaism (New York: Crossroad, 1991), 108-109. (In-text citations from this point on). See also Meier, A Marginal Jew, 509, 514.
 Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus: An Experiment in Christology (New York: Crossroad, 1979), 181. (In-text citations from this point on).