I'm not questioning the multiplication of the loaves and fish. My question is the physical breaking and passing out of the food. Twelves guys passing out 5000 (10,000 counting women and kids?) would take a very long time. Imagine 5000 people in a cafeteria line. Since no line-up is mentioned, do we assume the disciples carried the provisions to each person individually?

In any case, the amount of time this would require would have been great. Leaving little time for the sermons, etc.

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    – agarza
    Jul 25 at 22:29

Jesus used the method of divide and conquer in Mark 6:

39Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42They all ate and were satisfied, 43and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

Lower bound: 5000/100/12 = 4.2
Upper bound: 5000/50/12 = 8.3

Each disciple needed only to serve several groups using baskets as containers for delivery.

Do we assume the disciples carried the provisions to each person individually?

No need for such an assumption. People could help themselves once the food had arrived at the group spot. It was all-you-could-eat style.

  • 1
    (Upvoted +1.) We know also, that there were more helpers than just the twelve when Jesus was active in ministry. He also sent out 70 persons as itinerant preachers, supported charitably. This was a very impressive movement and organisation.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 25 at 19:10
  • Yes. No need to hand each person individually. Just place each groups portion within reach and then they divide it among themselves.
    – Bill
    Jul 26 at 22:13
  • Extra helpers would definitely make a difference. Thanks, y'all.
    – Bill
    Jul 26 at 22:15

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