Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If Jesus wasn't resurrected, then what?

Maybe....


The body was stolen by the disciples to make it look as if Jesus had been resurrected.

The body was buried in one tomb temporarily and then put in the graveyard for criminals. The women found the tomb empty and thought he had been resurrected.

The disciples had experiences of Jesus that were hallucinatory.

Jesus wasn’t quite dead on the cross, and got out of his tomb claiming to be resurrected.

The women went to the wrong tomb.

Jesus had an unknown identical twin brother who began a hoax about the resurrection.

Anybody got a better theory?

73 comments:

Tory said...

Made up story.

Deception.

Body was moved, people involved in the moving were killed thru happenstance (e.g. mugging) and thus the "tomb was empty" and no one knew about it. Hysteria ensues.

The Muslim explanation.

Time travel exists and secret ninjas from the future came, stole the body, cloned it, gave the clone super ninja powers, and perpetuated the greatest hoax in history.

That last one is my favourite.

Anonymous said...

The devil stole it to deceive the faithful Orthodox Jews and tempt them to believe a lie and engage in idolatry.

Mark Frank said...

OK. Imagine a similar scene today. Some famous character with religious claims and a dedicated following is killed and buried. Next day the followers dig up the grave and announce there was no body. Come and see the hole.

What do you conclude?

Anonymous said...

Well, Frank, was he killed in front of witnesses in a hostile setting? Was the hole guarded by those employed by the killers? Is anyone producing the corpse?

If "yes" to the first two and "no" to the last, we've got ourselves one hell of a mystery and should keep our options open. And if more information turns up, well, then that certainly will help.

Steven Carr said...

So evidence damaging to Christianity was allegedly given to an alleged Christian supporter to look after and 3 days letter this evidence mysteriously disappears?

Baffling.


And then Christians claim they cannot produce a resurrected Jesus because he has flown off into the sky.

Steven Carr said...

Not one Christian in the first century ever put his name on a document claiming he had heard of Judas, Mary Magdalene, an empty tomb, Nicodemus, Salome, Joanna, Martha, the other Mary, Simon of Cyrene, Bartimaeus , Lazarus, Jairus etc etc.

What women went to the tomb?

Find one person in history who named himself as ever having seen those people.

I have a debate on the resurrection at Resurrection Debate

This 'resurrection' has less evidence going for it than claims that the Bush administration planned 9/11 and then covered it up.

Just like the authorities covered up the resurrection, and the anonymous author of Matthew managed to report the meetings where this cover up was planned.

About as credible as claims that people know about the secret meetings where the Bush administration discussed the cover up of their involvement in 9/11.

Extraordinary events demand extraordinary coverups.

Alien landings, the second gunman who shot JFK, the faked moon landings, 9/11, the resurrection of Jesus - all covered up by the authorities of the day, and revealed to the world by a small group of people who somehow cannot produce any aliens, any second gunman, any studio where this moon landing was faked or any resurrected Jesus.

Oh I forgot. The resurrected Jesus flew off into the sky.

Anonymous said...

And in comes Carr with the usual demand for a rolodex. Did you know that not a single 1st century christian writer can tell you the type and number of fish Peter caught? Suspicious!

And as we all know, inconvenient bits about 'killed by his enemies', 'guards at his tomb', etc aside, it's always a bad idea to give the bodies of executed men to their "supporters". Because they tend to start appearing alive in various places, and their followers are willing to die rather than deny that fact.

But you heard him, folks. "Extraordinary coverups". Steven Carr, Conspiracy Theorist.

Steven Carr said...

So sceptics demanding evidence?

Sceptics demanding the name of somebody who wrote a document claiming to have seen an empty tomb, or to have seen Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Salome, Joseph of Arimathea?

Sceptics demanding to know the name of a document which mentions the existence of a town called Arimathea?

No wonder these people are non-believers, with their unreasonable demands for so-called 'evidence' and demands for evidence that these women existed.

These women are mentioned in anonymous documents, written 30 years after the events. What more could people want?

Steven Carr said...

'...and their followers are willing to die rather than deny that fact.'


More rubbish.

Paul said in Galatians 6:12 that Christians were persecuted on the issue of circumcision, and that Christians avoided persecution by compromising on the issue of circumcision.

I guess people are willing to go to Guantanomo for their belief that the Bush administration planned 9/11.

So the Bush people did plan it. There are even records of the secret meetings where they covered it up, just like the anonymous author of 'Matthew' records the secret meetings where the authorities covered up the resurrection.

Steven Carr said...

Don't forget that this resurrected Jesus flew off into the sky.

I guess that just seals how silly it all is.

Anonymous said...

So silly you've devoted a sizable chunk of your life to it, despite having horrible arguments?

"Ascending into heaven = Flying off into the sky" and "That's silly"? Oh wow! I'm floored over here! You got me, Carr! I mean, the miracles, prophecies, commitment of the apostles, of Paul, the modern secular scholarship supporting the claim that the apostles and disciples really thought Christ resurrected, the early attestations, the documents, the success of the ministry, all this had me almost hooked. But you got me. "Ascending into heaven? Whatever that means, it's silly." Silly! Of all things!

Your arguments are weak, Carr. Always have been. You're the one pitching the conspiracy theory here. Again, ignore all the other evidence - how many fish did Peter catch, and what species were they? Fish come up a lot in the New Testament, after all, yet a pertinent detail like this is never recorded or attested to by a third party? Suspicious!

SE said...

Well, Frank, was he killed in front of witnesses in a hostile setting? Was the hole guarded by those employed by the killers? Is anyone producing the corpse?

And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Yes, one hell of a mystery as to the identity of those "many" saints that also came out of their graves. Unless, could it be, just maybe, a made up story? Nah, gotta be an accurate historical account, nobody would make that up!

Keep your options open, I always say.

Anonymous said...

Change that subject fast, SE! Remember, the topic is "If Jesus wasn't resurrected, then what?" so this is a great time to criticize the ontological argument.

Steven Carr said...

The Miracles are the frauds and lies that all religions come up with.


No early Christian ever put his name to a document claiming he had ever seen an empty tomb, touched a resurrected Jesus, or ever heard of Judas, Lazarus, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalene.

Arimathea has never been found.

Christian converts were scoffing at the whole idea of their god raising corpses, as 1 Corinthians 15 shows.

And Jesus flew off into the sky.


Acts 1
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky?


No evidence, ludicrous stories, claims of government cover ups, claims to have access to secret meetings where these cover ups were planned - result - Christianity.

Christianity compares badly even with those people who say the moon landings were faked.

bossmanham said...

Yes, one hell of a mystery as to the identity of those "many" saints that also came out of their graves. Unless, could it be, just maybe, a made up story? Nah, gotta be an accurate historical account, nobody would make that up!

Or you could read it in its cultural and textual context and try to figure out what Matthew was talking about. You think the gospel writer was so stupid as to make Christ's resurrection look diminished in light of this? Somebody doesn't know how to read historical texts.

Many explanations abound:

here

here

here

You can search for more. My thoughts are the power of Christ is so great that His death raised many dead in the vicinity, as He had raised Lazarus earlier. Not in their heavenly bodies, but their earthly bodies.

SE said...

Bossmanham,

The pages you linked to only convince even more how legendary the account in Matthew is, and how credulous Christians can be.

Somebody doesn't know how to read historical texts.

LOL!

Jason Pratt said...

Speaking as an apologist for the Res: I tend to agree with suggestions from other posters, that the most plausible sceptical scenario overall is (in effect) JosArim stole the body somehow, leaving the disciples to think the body had come back to life again.

Not that there aren't some holes with this theory, too. But it leaves a lot in place to arrive at the actual data set.

JRP

bossmanham said...

The pages you linked to only convince even more how legendary the account in Matthew is, and how credulous Christians can be.

This could be because you've already made up your mind and hardened your heart to the work of God. Just a guess, though Jesus Himself predicted as much.

bossmanham said...

JosArim stole the body somehow, leaving the disciples to think the body had come back to life again

Of course that doesn't explain the sightings of Jesus by the disciples and the 500 brethren in 1 Corinthians 15, most of whom were still alive to corroborate their stories. Nor does this explain the newfound faith the disciples had because of their sighting of Jesus and their willingness to die for this belief. Nor does this give a reason why Joseph of Arimathea would do this.

The best explanation remains the resurrection of Christ.

Steven Carr said...

Even the New Testament has the disciples so eager to tell people about their alleged sighting of Jesus that they do nothing for weeks on end, except perhaps go back to their old job of fishing.

And the news was so vital to mankind that apparently they had a lottery to decide who would be allowed to tell it.

I see nobody has even bothered to tell me why Christianity differs from other things covered up by the authorities of their day, such as the Roswell landings, second gunman who shot JFK or Jesus flying into the sky.

By the way, not a single trace of these alleged 500 people can be found.

It's even worse than the people who claim the Bush administration planned 9/11 and covered it up.

bossmanham said...

By the way, not a single trace of these alleged 500 people can be found

The critics of Christianity at the time should have pointed that out...unless they actually existed. These are sad attempts, Carr, really.

The other stuff is sufficiently explained in Acts. Casting lots was an age old technique used by early Jews to determine the will of God. And then all but one apostle was killed, and the last was exiled, for this belief.

Steven Carr said...

The critics of Christianity could have pointed that out?

What critics? Christians were persecuted on the issue of circumcision, not resurrection, see Galatians 6:12


It is sheer mythmaking to claim the disciples were martryed.

And this proves no more than the willingness of frauds like Madoff to be punished for their fraud, or the readiness of people to go to Guantanomo Bay for their beliefs.


The idea that these people could not have been frauds if they were punished is as ludicrous as claiming Bernie Madoff was innocent, because who would go to jail for something he knew to be a lie?

Not , of course, that these alleged disciples were killed.

Nobody even wrote a document claiming he had ever seen Thomas, for example, let alone seen him being killed for his belief that Jesus flew into the sky.

As for these mythical 500, who probably saw Jesus on a piece of toast...

I imagine the people who claim the Bush administration planned 9/11 are busy writing in their tracts that critics claim these Bush adminstration people did not exist.


People who join these ludicrous movements don't listen to critics let alone retract their fantasies.

No Christian wrote a document naming himself as ever having seen any of these 500 people, or gave one name.

As for the idea that this news was so important and these people were bursting to tell the world, provided they won the draw to be named as a witness.....

How could this news be so vital , if there is a lottery to decide who 'must become a witness with us of his resurrection.'

Has anybody ever come up with a stupider story (outside Mormonism)

The greatest news ever and there is a lottery to decide who 'must become a witness with us of his resurrection.'



Not to mention Jesus flying off into the sky.

Honestly, you get more sense from the people who claimed a second gunman shot JFK.


At least they don't claim that people drew lots to see who would get to shoot JFK.

bossmanham said...

And the weakness of your arguments manifests in straw men, red herrings, reductio ad absurdum, etc. In fact, it may be qicker to name the fallacies you didn't use...

Doctor Logic said...


Of course that doesn't explain the sightings of Jesus by the disciples and the 500 brethren in 1 Corinthians 15, most of whom were still alive to corroborate their stories. Nor does this explain the newfound faith the disciples had because of their sighting of Jesus and their willingness to die for this belief. Nor does this give a reason why Joseph of Arimathea would do this.


This kind of thing is utterly ridiculous.

First, the story about the witnesses comes from the people making the resurrection claim. It's not part of a Roman record written by a detractor. It's not news. It's a document created for converting people to a religion.

Second, Christians love to portray the disciples as average Joes who were unlikely to become religious martyrs. That's bollocks, even if we're taking Christian stories at face value. These "average Joes" gave up their jobs and followed Jesus around the country knowing full well that they risked their lives at the hands of the authorities. Moreover, we're talking about a culture in which martyrdom was (and in places, still is) considered a pretty cool thing. Clearly, the disciples were religious zealots, and (failed) revolutionaries before they cooked up this story about Jesus coming back to life. And I'm supposed to take a religious fanatic's story at face value? Please.

Third, it's very difficult to debunk cranks and crackpots today, let alone 2000 years ago. Is the Mormon story debunked? The Scientology story? The vaccine story? If so, why do millions still believe? So let's not pretend that the 500 witnesses story could have been debunked if it were false, especially when the proponents of the story were martyr wannabes. It's hard enough to debunk stories in the minds of mere dreamers and wishful thinkers. (The gospels were written years after the fact, so debunking would have been harder still.)

To sum up, a bunch of religious fanatics and failed revolutionaries come up with a story about a resurrection, the story isn't deemed interesting enough to be reported by opponents, and any attempts to debunk the story would have been ignored (just as they are today). Anyone who believes the resurrection story either hasn't thought about it or is totally gullible.

bossmanham said...

And the wonderful secret kept by you adamant anti-resurrection apologists is no reputable New Testament historian takes your approach. Your criticisms are about 50 years out of date and have been abandoned by mainstream scholarship.

The facts are found in documents written within a generation after his death and they include: 1) On the Sunday after His crucifixion His grave was discovered empty by some of His women followers. 2) On multiple occasions various individuals and groups experienced appearances of Jesus alive after His death. 3) The original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead, despite their presupposed Jewish beliefs (which did not include a bodily resurrection by the messiah).

You simply show your lack of understanding of historical research.

bossmanham said...

First, the story about the witnesses comes from the people making the resurrection claim

1) It comes from someone who initially sought to kill Christians for this claim.

2) To discredit this claim, all one would have had to do was go to these supposed witnesses and show that they either didn't exist, or didn't actually say that. Paul takes it for granted that people in Corinth knew these people.

It's not part of a Roman record written by a detractor

Right, it was written by a former Jewish detractor.

These "average Joes" gave up their jobs and followed Jesus around the country knowing full well that they risked their lives at the hands of the authorities.

The process of Rabbis taking disciples was commonly done, and death was rarely something that happened as a part of being a disciple, mainly because most rabbis weren't making the claims Jesus made. Furthermore, it is inconceivable that people would die for something they knew was false, especially when the guy that died was so visibly shamed (as Jews saw hanging on a tree as a visible sign of God's curse).

Moreover, we're talking about a culture in which martyrdom was (and in places, still is) considered a pretty cool thing

What a silly, unsubstantiated claim.

it's very difficult to debunk cranks and crackpots today, let alone 2000 years ago

Not really. A claim such as this could now, and then, be discredited by showing the body of the one who is supposed to be risen. Christ was buried in a public place and in the knowledge of the public and guarded by Roman guards by order of the Roman prefect. But the best the detractors had was the disciples stole the body. For them to do that they would have had to sneak past the guards, roll away the stone, and take the body, sneaking past the guards again.

Is the Mormon story debunked? The Scientology story?

There's good empirical evidence against both claims. Do a little research before spouting off.

Doctor Logic said...

bossmanham, you are a gullible dupe.

There are no reports about Jesus written by disinterested parties saying "Hey, I don't know what's going on here, but there are reports of people coming back to life." There are no reports by investigating bodies saying "The body of Jesus is missing. Maybe it was stolen or misplaced." Indeed, no such investigating bodies existed. The only reports of any part of this story come from those religious fanatics who want us to believe it.

Right, it was written by a former Jewish detractor.

FORMER!!! Got it? If a fanatical convert to Mormonism or Scientology was previously a detractor, does that mean the relevant stories are more plausible? Hint: No.

The process of Rabbis taking disciples was commonly done, and death was rarely something that happened as a part of being a disciple, mainly because most rabbis weren't making the claims Jesus made.

So the disciples were shocked and surprised? And they were not revolutionaries? Please.

Furthermore, it is inconceivable that people would die for something they knew was false, especially when the guy that died was so visibly shamed

But would they die for something they BELIEVED was true? Do you think the Mormons and Muslims and Scientologists don't believe in their stories? That they would not die for their beliefs?

The shame theory is nonsense. The disciples had a huge investment in Jesus. This was their shot at a comeback.

Me: Moreover, we're talking about a culture in which martyrdom was (and in places, still is) considered a pretty cool thing

You: What a silly, unsubstantiated claim.


Being a Christian, it may have slipped your notice that Jewish culture is an incessant stream of reverence for its martyrs.

Not really. A claim such as this could now, and then, be discredited by showing the body of the one who is supposed to be risen. Christ was buried in a public place and in the knowledge of the public and guarded by Roman guards by order of the Roman prefect.

Says who? Oh yes, the religious fanatics making the claim.

And, no one could dispose of bodies back in the day? That's absurd.

Besides, even if they had CSI: Jerusalem, that would not deconvert believers.

AGAIN, the Mormon and Scientology stories are patently ridiculous, yet millions believe. Vaccines do not cause autism, and science proves it, but the cranks refuse to be swayed. Do you really believe that debunking was MORE effective in first century Jerusalem? A city in which religions and sects thrive on kooky beliefs?

Me: Is the Mormon story debunked? The Scientology story?

You: There's good empirical evidence against both claims. Do a little research before spouting off.


And that's why there are no more Mormons or Scientologists. Haha!

So you agree it HAS been debunked, but obviously NOT in the minds of believers who, like you, will devise any rationalization, just so they can believe that after death they will receive unlimited rice pudding or whatever.

Victor Reppert said...

What I was asking was how successful you think skeptics are at coming up with an alternative story. You may think the Christian story is so unbelievable that any other story is better. If you have a Humean view on miracles I suppose that is what you have to think.

Anonymous said...

Where is radical_logic AKA-Spencer Lo theory? LoL!! Google him, he is arguing everyone and everybody with his "it could've been advanced aliens with technology" bit.

Victor, why don't you google the claims and have him show up.

Steve Carr,

Your set of arguments are weak. Very weak. I can tell that you don't know a lot about "history" or your demands on such a subject would be more modest. History has never ever claimed to have "PROOF" on anything except physical evidence. Most of History is not subject to a Scientific Method. It is an Historical Method one follows. Did you get that Steve. Now, before we can proceed let that idea sit with your mind and heart for about a year and let those ideas "sink in" else its a waiste of time discussing this with someone who brought up 9/11 conspiracies as a comparison!!

Edward T. Babinski said...

The N.T. was written by and for believers. Paul and the earliest Gospel (which was Mark, according to most scholars) say Jesus "appeared" and/or was "seen." At most Paul says something about a "spiritual body" whatever that means.

Paul doesn't say WHERE Jesus appeared. The earliest two Gospels say, "He has gone before you to Galiliee, THERE ye shall see him."

Who knows what happened in Galilee? The earliest Gospel, Mark, ends its earliest known manuscript copies with "the women [left the tomb] and told no one." For that matter, if the women told "no one," when did the empty tomb story eventually arise? We can't answer such questions based on the earliest Gospel itself. Nice of God to leave us with such lacunae and questions in the earliest Gospel itself, a Gospel that early Christians also later augmented with THREE DIFFERENT ENDINGS, apparently to try and make up for such lacunae. That's the best God could do with the earliest Gospel? Either ending it in a way that later Christians felt they were obliged to ADD to it, or maybe God let the final verses of Mark get lost even though they were tucked relatively securely INSIDE the earliest rolled up scrolls of Mark? Who knows? But what a thing to either leave unfinished, or to let get lost.

Furthermore, the raised Jesus is not depicted as SPEAKING in any of Paul's letters, nor in the earliest Gospel, Mark, but only in the next Gospel, Matthew. Even in that next Gospel, the raised Jesus is not wordy at all (just a few sentences that repeat later church doctrines put into the mouth of the raised Jesus, nothing surprising there.)

It's only in the last two Gospels that Jesus gets wordy (in Luke-Acts and John). Score 1 for legendary growth.

Speaking of which, take the two verses tale of the "raising of the [anonymous] many saints" (in Matthew). The tale of the raising of the many is also tucked in between verses repeated verbatim in the Gospel that preceded Matthew, i.e., Mark). Matthew also is peculiar in adding the story of not one but two earthquakes, neither of which are mentioned elsewhere in the other Gospels, one earthquake to open the tombs of the many saints, another that accompanies the opening of Jesus' tomb. The earthquake motif of Matthew seems to have been borrowed from an overly literal interpretation of the dry bones tale in Ezekiel in the Septuagint Greek O.T. (earthquake is not mentioned in the Masoretic Hebrew O.T., only the Septuagint Greek O.T. version of the Ezekiel dry bones story). Matthew is known for drawing phrases and stories literally from the Septuagint Greek O.T. to fill in his Gospel of Jesus. Even more ridiculous is how Matthew has the raised saints be raised when Jesus dies, but not enter the holy city till "after His, Jesus', resurrection," so the literal Greek states that the raised saints were lying around for a day and a half, raised, but not entering the holy city yet.
CONTINUED BELOW

Edward T. Babinski said...

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE
Then in an even later Gospel (Luke-Acts), the tale is added of the "bodily ascension" of a "flesh and bone, fish-eating, not a spirit" Jesus who rises up into the sky.

Can anyone be blamed for questioning such stories? Luke's flesh and bone, fish-eating Jesus story also deletes the message at the empty tomb (found in the two earlier Gospels, Mark and Matthew) which was, "He has gone before you to Galilee for THERE ye shall see him." Instead the Lukan Jesus appears first and foremost to all the apostles in Jerusalem, not in the next province, not out in Galilee. And the Lukan Jesus exits according to Luke-Acts by "leading" the apostles out to Bethany just outside Jerusalem and rising into the sky, seen by the apostles, that's it. That's a relatively quiet goodbye compared with Jesus' oh so public entrance into Jerusalem and his oh so public execution. His eating fish and walk to Bethany and rising into the sky was apparently for "members only." Such is the "truth" of the Gospels. But on the other hand the rising hoarde of zombies from their graves in Matthew (the many raised saints story) is depicted as a highly public event for everyone to see, they "entered the holy city and showed themselves to many." If you can believe it. Looks more to me like Matthew added two verses quite ineffectively to Mark, based perhaps on his belief in various literal interpretations of passages in the Greek Septuagint O.T. and legends he may have heard.

Edward T. Babinski said...

CONTINUED FURTHER
Peter preaches to crowds in Jerusalem, without mentioning the raising of the many saints?

Nobody mentions "many" graves having been opened?

Matthew's story is something ya gotta question. Apparently such a story never reached the writer of Luke-Acts. But he came up with his own whoppers, even changing the message at the tomb and making the raised Jesus "flesh and bone, and not a spirit, but eats fish and leads the apostles through Jerusalem," and nobody noticed the tiny quiet parade of triumphant Christian apostles, nor the rising bodily into the sky to be in heaven at the right hand of God.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Christians may believe what they want, but please don't expect non-believers to "harmonize" along. See above posts and questions.

Trav said...

Doctor Logic, I think you should read some of what NT Wright has written on the Resurrection. His writings thoroughly refute many of your claims with reference to ther culture and times of the first century. Many of your claims or assumptions about Jews and their culture, and the 1st century generally, are way off the mark.

Babinski's criticisms are far more noteworthy, in my view. But I can't help thinking that if the gospels were all perfectly the same in every detail, the skeptics would be claiming it was doctored through collusion.

I'm very impressed with Paul's receipt of the creed within 5 years (and possibly even 2) of the resurrection. To me that eases any doubts about differences with the gospel accounts, who agree on all the most important details anyway.

Doctor Logic said...

Victor,

I wouldn't say I have a Humean view on miracles. Rather, I have a Bayesian view of reality. The odds of a guy being resurrected are on the order of 1 in 10 billion, and this is true whether or not non-physical forces exist. There are many just-so stories that are far more probable than a resurrection.

Here's one. One or more disciples take it upon themselves to liberate the body of Jesus so it can be placed in a more appropriate resting place. Either the body is accidentally lost, left in a secret location or deliberately destroyed. One disciple meets a man on the road who reminds him of Jesus, and claims that he has seen Jesus resurrected. Like teenagers in a haunted house, other disciples start to report similar stories, retelling their tales in an ever-more-certain interpretation. (This happens to superstitious folk all the time.) The cult organically synthesizes its story based on these vivid and heartfelt imaginations, eventually settling on a proto-gospel. Like all religious fanatics, they ignore any evidence contradicting their story. Most people ignore them until, like the Scientologists, they build up a considerable following.

An improbable just-so story? Sure. A 1 in 10 billion story? Not even close. This just-so story is orders of magnitude more probable than the resurrection.

Doctor Logic said...

Trav,

Doctor Logic, I think you should read some of what NT Wright has written on the Resurrection.

I should take the word of the conservative bishops who agree with your interpretation?

And I should ignore, say, the Jesus Seminar?

Whatever. It makes no difference. Suppose that crucifixion really was so shameful. That would mean only 1 in 10 would not be put off by Jesus's cause of death. Suppose only 1 in 10 religious disciples of the day thought martyrdom was a noble idea. Keep going. When you get to 10 independent orders of magnitude, let me know.

Steven Carr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Carr said...

So people here still cannot find a single document in the first century where somebody puts his name to a piece of paper saying he has ever seen an empty tomb, Mary Magdalene, Joanna , Salome, Joseph of Arimathea, Judas, Nicodemus, Lazarus, Martha, the other Mary, Jairus, Bartimaeus, Barabbas, Simon of Cyrene, etc etc.


These people vanish from history as quickly as the Angel Moroni and the Golden Plates.

At least with Mormonism, you have people who went to the tomb demanding that their testimony to the Golden Plates be put on their tombstone.

All Christians have are documents written years later claiming the resurrected body of Jesus could not be found because it had flown off into the sky.

Not to mention anonymous writings claiming to know about secret meetings where official coverups were planned.

This is believed just as sincerely as some people believe they have read reports of secret meetings where the fake moon landings were planned.

And we know from Paul's writings that Christian converts were openly scoffing at the idea of their god choosing to raise corpses.

Christianity has less going for it than the fake moon landings, or claims the Bush administration planned 9/11.

All Christian supporters can do is claim that there religion has early reports.

Just like these reports of the Bush administration planning 9/11 being very early.

Christians also claim their religon has martyrs.

Just like people being willing to kill themselves for revenge against America for planning 9/11 and then blaming Islam for that crime.



I'm not asking you to produce a resurrected Jesus, because Jesus flew off into the sky.

Obviously if your evidence flies off into the sky, a sceptic cannot demand to see something that has flown off into the sky.

Asking Christians to produce a resurrected Jesus would be like asking Mormons to produce their 'Golden Plates'

These 'Golden Plates' flew off into the sky, just like Jesus did, proving only that conmen learn from each other what they can get suckers to buy.

Instead, produce one person who named himself as seeing an empty tomb or as having seen a flesh and blood Jesus.

Produce one person who named himself as ever having seen these alleged women.

After 2000 years , put up or shut up!

Steven Carr said...

TRAV
I'm very impressed with Paul's receipt of the creed within 5 years (and possibly even 2) of the resurrection.

CARR
So find one of these alleged 500 plus people. Name one. These people no more existed than the people in the Bush administration did who plotted 9/11.

Explain what brought 500 plus Christians together in the brief period between Jesus leaving the tomb and him flying into the sky.

That's a big church!

And explain why Christian converts were scoffing at the idea of their god choosing to raise corpses.

And why Paul never claims a corpse left any tomb, and claims Jesus 'became a life-giving spirit' 'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God' 'You do not plant the body that will be'

Even when trying to explain what a resurrected body is like, Paul never uses a single bit of eyewitness testimony, not even the alleged words of his Lord and Saviour about having flesh and bones.

I guess Paul must have scoffed at the idea that Christian converts would listen to what Jesus had to say on the subject of what a resurrected body was like.


All of this and more is in my debate on the Resurrection where my Christian opponent got hammered.

a helmet said...

Dear Dr. Logic!

This kind of thing is utterly ridiculous....First, the story about the witnesses comes from the people making the resurrection claim.

How else could it possibly be?? If it were froma hostile source, from someone who was NOT and eyewitness, who could that serve any better as evidence? Eyewitness reports are by definition reports from thos who make the claim about that which they report of. Either you ask for an eyewitness report and then must be content with a report from those who claimed the resurrection, or you ask for a hostile report and that would be only second hand non-witness literature of much less historical impact.

So what's so ridiculous about a reference to other eyewitnesses of which the minority was still alive and could be interviewed? The historical value of 1 Cor 15 can hardly be over-estimated.


It's not part of a Roman record written by a detractor. It's not news. It's a document created for converting people to a religion.

Most ancient texts, especially LETTERS have certain purposes and aren't "newspapers", in any modern sense. You'll hardly find any news magazine like ancient articles where the author doesn't pursue any other goal than doing a good journalist job. Seriously, why should a roman detractor write any such thing? What sort of "news" were common in the ancient world?

Steven Carr said...

'So what's so ridiculous about a reference to other eyewitnesses of which the minority was still alive and could be interviewed?'

Name one of these alleged 500 people.

David Whitmer went to his grave, and demanded his testimony to the Golden Plates be put on his tombstone.

Why couldn't you 'interview' David Whitmer?

All you have is hearsay that 500 unnamed people saw Jesus before he flew off into the sky.

And nobody has ever heard of any of these unknown people in an unknown place at an unknown time who allegedly saw something Paul never specifies.

That is not evidence. That is simply a claim by Christians that they have found a barrel and are scraping the bottom of it.

If only they had somebody who named himself as having seen a flesh and blood Jesus , or seen an empty tomb, or seen these women, or even heard of Joseph of Arimathea - a town which is historically solid as anything in the Book of Mormon.

Trav said...

Steven Carr, I don't see how you've created a massive issue here. You note that I can't name any of the 500. So what? What does this prove? Regardless of whether I can name any of those 500 alleged people or not doesn't particularly matter to me, and nor should it. The key point is that [i]Paul was reporting that the resurrection happened very early[/i] and that historically established fact isn't even touched by whether or not those people can be named.

Also, with respect, I'm not really interested about your resurrection debate website. If you think you're the best resurrection debater then you'll need to do better than what you've said here so far. You'll need to do more than carry on and on and on and on and on and on about relatively minor points. Your comments haven't been particularly striking, which is why I earlier chose to respond to Babinski and Doctor Logic rather than yourself.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Obviously there is room for reasonable doubt. Those likely to take it seriously as history: theists who already have a strong disposition to be Christian, who believes the NT/Hebrew Bible deserve a presumption of historicity rather than skepticism will be more likely to think the resurrection story is literally true.

At the other extreme are those of us that are not theists, who want independent evidence from reliable historical sources for all claims from the Bible (i.e., the Bible saying X is not evidence that X), and desire even more evidence when the claims from this ancient religious text are especially extraordinary, and we will obviously not take seriously as conclusive evidence the claims from the book under question!

Sure, a few such people might convert, but the most likely are those that already have sympathies (for instance, those raised Christian, who left the fold for silly reasons, and still believe at some level), or people who are blank slates as in tribespeople in a remote tribe in Africa (imagine a white person coming all the way from America to tell us this story, how could it be false!).

At any rate, there is more than enough room for reasonable doubt, or reasonable incredulity in my case.

mattghg said...

The odds of a guy being resurrected are on the order of 1 in 10 billion

Where has this number come from?

Steven Carr said...

Trav seems to think hearsay reports of 500 unnamed people at an unknown place and an unknown time seeing something unspecified, that they might not even have agreed on , is evidence.

And look! There is a grassy knoll in Dallas!

At least the Mormons had real people who went to their graves testifying to the Golden Plates.

Nobody has ever heard of these 500 people and what sort of gathering brought 500+ Christians together in the short time between Jesus being crucified and Jesus flying into the sky?


Paul, of course, uses not one single piece of eyewitness testimony when trying to describe a resurrected body.

How could he? There were no stories of resurrected corpses for at least another 20 years.

Steven Carr said...

I see no Christian ever produces a single person who names himself as ever having seen any of these women, or seen an empty tomb or seen a flesh-and-blood resurrected Jesus.

There is less evidence for sightings of Jesus after his death than there are for sightings of Elvis.


Paul even scoffs at Jews for demanding that Christianity be accompanied by miracles.

1 Corinthians 1
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God...

Jews demanded miraculous signs, as though Christianity was in the business of having people leave their tombs. What idiots those Jews were to demand miracles from Christianity! Paul preached Christ crucified, not some miracle working Christ.

Doctor Logic said...

a_helmet,

Either you ask for an eyewitness report and then must be content with a report from those who claimed the resurrection, or you ask for a hostile report and that would be only second hand non-witness literature of much less historical impact.

No, this isn't true, for at least two reasons.

First, there are people who deny the moon landings. They see but do not believe and conjure up an alternative story. How come the thousands of undead folk walking around town weren't reported by other factions giving competing explanations? I think the Romans might have mentioned this in a communique, no?

Second, a witness to events doesn't have to be a witness to all the events. No one else mentioned the undead. No one else mentioned the missing body. No one else mentioned the walking on water. No one else mentioned Jesus's twin brother roaming around the place. No mention of a second manhunt to capture a man who is escaping justice.

All you have to go on are the rantings of a bunch of religious fanatics. Now, these rantings may contain some truths. We may believe that some parts of the gospels are probably true. Perhaps we might believe that the gospels are far more reliable than other historical accounts. In that case, we might assign scriptural accounts as being reliable to 1 part in 1000, or even 1 part in 10000. Even if scripture were that reliable (and I have no reason to think it is), that won't cut it when the claims are extraordinary (1 in 10 billion).

Media reports today are more reliable than ancient texts, and I wouldn't believe the New York Times if they reported a resurrection. I wouldn't believe the the Pope if he claimed that someone was resurrected yesterday (before vanishing), even if the Pope was willing to die for his beliefs. It just doesn't cut it. It would be more likely the Pope were psychotic than that his report was true.

Doctor Logic said...

mattghg,

Me: The odds of a guy being resurrected are on the order of 1 in 10 billion

You: Where has this number come from?


About 10 billion people have ever lived. Not including vampires, between zero and 1 resurrections have ever occurred. No physicalist assumptions are going into this estimate. Even if God does resurrect people, he does it at a rate lower than 1 in 10 billion.

Now, you might argue that Jesus was not an ordinary person, and was, therefore, more likely to have been resurrected. However, the reason you think Jesus is so special is because he was resurrected. Barring circularity, you would be right back where you started from.

a helmet said...

Dear Dr. Logic,

How come the thousands of undead folk walking around town weren't reported by other factions giving competing explanations?

Are you referring to Matthew 27:53? Well, of course that has not the same historical value as the first epistle to the corinthians! The situation of the 500 eyewitnesses of 1st Cor. is vastly different with regard to the historical avail.

It would be more likely the Pope were psychotic than that his report was true.

But what if not only the Pope alone, but hundreds of people pronounced such a miracle also? You cannot reply with a mass psychosis or mass hypnosis, for such a phenomenon isn't plausible either.

Sincerely,
-a helmet

J said...

Jeezuss was a Neo--to the skies, holy dewd!

Gordon Knight said...

There is little or no evidence that the disciples expected a resurection.

So the question to be explained is why did they believe it happened? Indeed, why did they believe it so much that they went out of their way (to put it mildly) to spread the word?

The most plausible explanation is that something dramatic happened. It could be a veridical experience, it could be collective hallucination, it could be something in the water. But SOMETHING happened.

Doctor Logic said...

a_helmet,

It's really pretty straightforward.

People are biased and easily influenced. When a group of teens wanders into an allegedly-haunted house at Halloween, and one teen reports seeing a ghost, the others will often re-interpret their experiences to see the ghost also. Why? Because they want to have seen the ghost, too. It raises their social standing and bonds them with their friends.

Of course, if you follow them into the haunted house with a skeptical mind, you're not going to be reinterpreting the wind in the rafters for whispering spirits. You won't see any ghosts.

So, we can easily see how a group of people with common sympathies can come to re-interpret mundane experiences as a paranormal event. They play off each other.

YET! When the teens report these events, they will try to report them to be as believable as possible. They will try to make it seem that their reports are independent eyewitness accounts. They will probably profess to have been initially skeptical that ghosts exist.

Your suggestion that there are many independent witnesses to the Resurrection is totally unsubstantiated. What you have is multiple people playing off each other's experiences, communicating over a period of weeks, and then claiming to have independent sightings.

Is there any suggestion in the gospels that people were re-interpreting mundane experiences? Why, yes there is. IIRC, Jesus was not initially recognized by his closest associates. It was as if Jesus appeared to them as a strangers on the street.

Consider our group of radicalized teens in religious hysterics, re-entering the haunted house every day for a month. Do you think it's possible they might come to some shared beliefs about the ghosts? Now, just imagine what the disciples would have come up with given their shared purpose and their shared history of staking their lives on their shared religious beliefs.

There's a reason psychologists do blind and double-blind testing. Humans are extremely biased, especially when they have a strong emotional investment.

Were the disciples emotionally invested? You bet they were! As I said, these were religious fanatics and revolutionaries who had been risking their lives following a faith healer (and self-described king) across the country. The disciples were precisely the type of folk who are susceptible to shared delusions.

Doctor Logic said...

Gordon,

What I said to a_helmet.

Trav said...

Doctor Logic, your whole argument (2 posts above this) would have some kind of persuasive power if it weren't for the fact that neither James nor Paul were Christians during Jesus' earthly ministry- and thus, had no sympathy towards his cause, and no real reason to want to continue his legacy.

In fact, the opposite is true. For Paul at least, he would've had every disposition AGAINST sharing in some kind of delusion and carrying on his life based on this delusional experience...

So no, contra to your closing comment the claimed witnesses were not entirely made up of people who would be susceptible to shared delusions at all.

Other than that, your argument seems reasonably sound. If it weren't for James and Paul, it might be a good argument. Unfortunatly for you, the ramification of their conversions for your argument, is that your argument is destroyed.

Steven Carr said...

Let me see.

Your brother was born of a virgin, and you don't believe in him.

Huh?

Moses returns from the grave to speak to Jesus, and the disciples are silent about this.

This is as crazy as claims that Muslims saw Muhammad return from the grave and keep silent about it.


The disciples see Jesus resurrected from the grave and go back to their day job of fishing.

They wait weeks to tell people this amazing news and actually have a lottery to decide who is qualified to be a witness to the resurrection.

And Jesus flies into the sky.

The anonymous author of Matthew learns about secret meetings where the authorities plan their cover up.

Who can believe this?

Meanwhile, not one Christian puts his name on a document saying he saw an empty tomb, Mary Magdalene, a flesh and blood Jesus, Joanna , Salome, Judas, Thomas, Joseph of Arimathea.

Even the whole town of Arimathea is never mentioned by anybody.

And Paul chides Jews for demanding miraculous signs, something that Christianity was no more in the business of supplying than it was in the business of supplying Greeks with worldly wisdom.

1 Corinthians 1
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God...

Jews demanded miraculous signs, as though Christianity was in the business of having people leave their tombs. What idiots those Jews were to demand miracles from Christianity!

Daniel Gracely said...

Re: the Resurrection: I was a Ph.D. student in art history at SUNY-Binghamton in 1988, when news of the results of the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin hit the AP. The conclusion of the testers?:—The Shroud was a Medieval fake. Typical of the tone of most of the ‘just-the-facts’ newspapers who reported the fake, if a little less veiled, was Time Magazine’s (I could have told you so) article, Debunking the Shroud, which portrayed hardly anything but arrogant relief. Missing, of course, was anything of a truly damaging critique. And this, art historians could have easily provided.

Indeed, as a Christian in a very socialistic art history program (and university), I watched with dismay at all these goings on. Where now, I wondered, was our particular discipline—the global Academy of art historians—finally able, now, to show their relevance to newspaper interests? For we had, it seemed, cataclysmic news—no depiction in medieval art showed the wounds of Christ through the wrists, as on the Shroud. (All showed the wounds through the middle of the hand.) Why, then, would a medieval forger depict Christ’s wounds in a way that would cause his contemporaries to immediately reject the image? Today, we know, because of a modern archeological dig in Palestine which turned up a first century Palestinian crucified victim named Jacobed, that Romans did, in fact, crucify victims through the wrist area, not the middle of the hand. So then, also, how could a medieval forger know the manner of Roman crucifixion, when none of his contemporaries did? (Incidentally, for any who might be troubled why Psalm 22 would say “they pierced my hands and my feet”, it should be noted that the Hebrew word for hand in the Old Testament includes the portion up to the forearm, hence the explanation for the Englished reference to Eliazer, servant of Abraham, who gave to Rebekah (future wife of Isaac) bracelets for her hands.

But art historians stayed quiet, and finally I realized why. It was because otherwise the whole foundation for their post-modern art criticism might crumble beneath them. So, like a child, they went over the knee of Science to receive their spanking (along with History), lest the Academy and its agenda of ideological relativity be threatened. Science hath spoken; who art thou, o art historian, to repliest against Carbon-14? Indeed, art history was glad to undergo the whipping, for then students could continue, as one such art history syllabus at SUNY-Binghamton demonstrated, the discussion of “visual culture” at the expense of art connoisseurship. For of the fifteen weeks listed on the syllabus of one particular class, only the first week indicated this syllabus might even belong to an art history course, instead of one, say, in Women’s studies, or anthropology, or sociology, etc. One would learn of Foucault but hardly Rembrandt. Admittedly, not all syllabi were as bad, but the perspective of connoisseurship had so altered art history, at least at SUNY-Binghamton (a department once founded on connoisseurship principles by a world class Kandinsky scholar), that I found myself doing the ridiculous—a paper on the Third World housing situation in Kingston Jamaica. This was because one particular (and rather ingenious) professor was able to make a tenuous connection between architecture (via land allotment) to the structures built on these apportioned lands, so that the discussion now centered on how British capital investments had made their colonializing structures the envy of exploited, overcrowded Jamaicans.
(continued)

Daniel Gracely said...

(part 2)
But as a recent PBS documentary has showed, art history is finally addressing the issue of the Shroud. For now there is an art historian who realizes that photography was really invented in the 14th, not 19th, century, hence the forgery, and so (phew!) art history can once again be thought as a co-equal with Science in the quest for true knowledge.

Lastly, while I understand the spirit of argument in which the blogger, BK, states on ChristianCadre.blogspot.com:—“The New Testament doesn't say, "believe in Jesus because we have his burial shroud,"—I think in one sense it may be implied. For as my brother once pointed out to me, Jesus said, the only sign an adulterous generation would receive would be the sign of Jonah, i.e., of resurrection. And what do we have in the image of the Shroud, if not the very photograph of resurrection, the sign of Jonah, on display for today’s adulterous generation?

These days, I’m a picture framer, and one might think I was finally away from the fray of these kind of Shroud issues within my vocation. But No, a young woman writes an article in a framing magazine which I subscribe to, of the work of some noted research scientist who, besides having done other things more relatable to our field, has debunked the Shroud by showing paint was on it. (Voila!) “There is no doubt the image is paint,” he says. No, none at all. Nada. Zippo. Once again Science has spoken, and History, which notes at least two occasions when certain paintings were held to the Shroud to sanctify them, thus explaining how remnants of paint could have been transferred to the Shroud, was conveniently absent in the article, along with the whole history of medieval art depictions of wounds through the middle of the hands, and along with no explanation of how paint, if that were also what was the “stained” image on the cloth, could affect only the top surface of the initial threads, without ever penetrating further even one of the thousands of threads. Hmmm. I should think such paint is something to look at more closely. It certainly has something of the miraculous about it.

Doctor Logic said...

Trav,

First of all, what we know of these figures comes from their own accounts. Another typical case of the alleged paranormal witness asserting his independence, objectivity and general predisposition to be a doubter.

Second, if the formula for having a vision of the risen Jesus is hanging out with a bunch of Jesus radicals in a smoky room, praying, fasting, and desperately wishing to see, etc., there's no reason why it can't happen to anyone at any time. Paul claimed he was temporarily blinded after his vision. Maybe the smoke got in his eyes.

To sum up, you're basically saying that the Jesus account of the NT authors is true because the NT authors themselves wrote that they were independent, objective, and not the kind of people to write such a story if it weren't true. Can't you see why that's problematic?

My just-so story is perfectly plausible. Certainly, nowhere near the billion-to-one odds one needs to rationally believe a resurrection occurred.

bossmanham said...

bossmanham, you are a gullible dupe

And you're an ad hominem slinging baby.

There are no reports about Jesus written by disinterested parties

Yes there are.

There are no reports by investigating bodies saying "The body of Jesus is missing. Maybe it was stolen or misplaced."

So what? There aren't many reports about Alexander the Great, and the ones we have come hundreds of years after the fact. Are the events of Alexander's life reliable? You don't seem to understand how historical investigation goes.

FORMER!!! Got it?

Yeah. Which gives Christianity more credence. Paul hated Christians and then for some reason BECAME ONE.

If a fanatical convert to Mormonism or Scientology was previously a detractor, does that mean the relevant stories are more plausible?

I'm not aware of any who assisted in killing people of said religions and then converted, telling a fantastic story about being struck blind etc. Hint: irrelevant hand waving.

So the disciples were shocked and surprised? And they were not revolutionaries? Please.

What are you talking about? You're making claims with no historical evidence. Pure speculation.

But would they die for something they BELIEVED was true?

People do it every day.

Do you think the Mormons and Muslims and Scientologists don't believe in their stories? That they would not die for their beliefs?

It's irrelevant because those religions don't share the historical support Christianity does and are not making the claims the disciples made. Furthermore, the reaction by the detractors was painfully ad hoc (like most of your argument).

The disciples had a huge investment in Jesus. This was their shot at a comeback.

More unsubstantiated baloney.

Being a Christian, it may have slipped your notice that Jewish culture is an incessant stream of reverence for its martyrs

Christianity being a continuation of Judaism I revere the same martyrs (from the OT at least).

Says who? Oh yes, the religious fanatics making the claim.

Says the historical data. If it were public knowledge, people wouldn't have been swayed by such arguments. All the Jews needed to do was say, "These guys are full of it."

And, no one could dispose of bodies back in the day?

Historians agree Christ's body was buried in a rich man's tomb and guarded by ROMAN CENTURIONS whose lives depended on

The hearers of the oral tradition and the readers of the gospels would have been familiar with the events and would have known the truth from the embellishment.

Besides, even if they had CSI: Jerusalem, that would not deconvert believers.

Irrelevant. It would have stifled the growth of the religion if the events were known to be bunk.

Mark said...

Hey, don't forget about the disjunctions of all those possible secular explanations. Even if "Jesus rose from the dead" is more plausible than both secular explanation A and secular explanation B individually, it doesn't follow that it's more plausible than the secular explanation "Either A or B."

I think, based on dearth of detail, it's impossible to gauge which particular scenario best explains the existence of the resurrection stories. Nevertheless, I find the catchall hypothesis "Something naturalistic happened" to be much more likely than the "Jesus rose from the dead" hypothesis.

Steven Carr said...

Of course we have not one single piece of good historical evidence for this alleged 'empty tomb', which does not appear for 30 years after the alleged events.

What we do have historical evidence for is Paul not using a single piece of testimony as to what a resurrected body is like, claiming Jesus 'became a life-giving spirit', early Christian converts scoffing at the idea of their god choosing to raise corpses, and Paul claiming he preached Christ crucified, even though Jews demanded miraculous signs.

Steven Carr said...

BOSSMANHAM
It would have stifled the growth of the religion if the events were known to be bunk.

CARR
What events? For 30 years, nobody claimed to have seen an empty tomb, any women, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus.

They never existed.

These people are less well documented than the Angel Moroni and the Golden Plates, where people went to their graves demanding that their testimony be put on their grave stones.

And Christians were converting despite scoffing at the idea of their god choosing to raise corpses.

Doctor Logic said...

bossmanham,

Me: There are no reports about Jesus written by disinterested parties

You: Yes there are.


The authors of the NT are not disinterested. So you must be referring to the fact that the NT authors claim that there were independent reports. You must fall for every marketing scam there is. It's DOCTOR APPROVED!

So what? There aren't many reports about Alexander the Great, and the ones we have come hundreds of years after the fact. Are the events of Alexander's life reliable? You don't seem to understand how historical investigation goes.

Evidence of Alexander's conquests are obvious, e.g., cities named Alexandria along the course of his campaigns. He destroyed some states and spared others who wrote about the events. He also spread Greek culture all the way to India. Furthermore, nothing in the Alexander story is particularly improbable. Finally, while primary sources no longer exist, there were obviously so many sources that there are more secondary sources for his life story than there are for Jesus.

Consider this episode (excerpted from the Wikipedia page):

During the wedding banquet, a drunken Attalus made a speech praying to the gods that the union would produce a legitimate heir to the Macedonian throne. Alexander shouted to Attalus, "What, am I then a bastard?" and he threw his goblet at him.[23] Philip, who was also drunk, drew his sword and advanced towards Alexander before collapsing, leading Alexander to say, "See there," said he, "the man who makes preparations to pass out of Europe into Asia, overturned in passing from one seat to another."[23]

How sure are we that this story is true? I think historians would rate their certainty in the story anywhere from 50% to 98%. No problem. But the story doesn't say anything physically impossible took place. It does not say that Alexander used telekinesis to move the goblet. Suppose that it did say telekinesis was used. How likely is telekinesis? We're talking billions to one. The 50-98% ratings we just ascribed to the stories are just not good enough to convince us that Alexander had powers of telekinesis.

Even if the NT were as reliable as our stories of Alexander, that wouldn't convince us that Jesus was resurrected.

Doctor Logic said...

bossmanham,

Yeah. Which gives Christianity more credence. Paul hated Christians and then for some reason BECAME ONE.

Paul was a self-described Christian-hater.

People sometimes go from hating an ethnic group to joining them. It happens. Get over it.

[Mormons and Scientologists are] irrelevant because those religions don't share the historical support Christianity does and are not making the claims the disciples made.

You don't get it. It doesn't matter how preposterous claims are, you'll get adherents willing to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs. The fact that these obvious fakes lack historical support only helps my point. Even if the claims of the NT were outright lies, Christianity's founders could still get followers, find martyrs and grow their religion.

Me: Says who? Oh yes, the religious fanatics making the claim.

You: Says the historical data. If it were public knowledge, people wouldn't have been swayed by such arguments. All the Jews needed to do was say, "These guys are full of it."


Like the Mormons and Scientologists of today! We both agree that they're full of it. How's that working out for us? How many Mormons and Scientologists are being deconverted by common sense facts? Just look at how Christians resist the facts of evolution. Religion makes people invulnerable to facts.

The hearers of the oral tradition and the readers of the gospels would have been familiar with the events and would have known the truth from the embellishment.

No, they wouldn't. Suppose there had been no newspapers nor TV footage for the last 100 years. If you're 25, and I tell you fictional stories about JFK or Nixon or even Reagan, are you really gonna be able to tell truth from fiction? If you're 50 or 60, maybe you'll call me on my fictions, but if you're 25, you'll be far more interested in the philosophical and spiritual implications of my story than the historical facts. While I may have few followers over the age of 35, I might have many under 30.

Call this inability to attract older folk "stifling" if you must, but it doesn't affect my argument. People don't join new religious groups because of the historical accuracy of their claims. People join new religious groups because the converts are socially isolated or because the converts find the morality or the aesthetics of the group attractive.

Steven Carr said...

Dr. LOGIC
People don't join new religious groups because of the historical accuracy of their claims. People join new religious groups because the converts are socially isolated or because the converts find the morality or the aesthetics of the group attractive.

CARR
And they don't convert and then scoff at the stories which converted them.

As Christian converts in Corinth were scoffing at the idea of their god choosing to raise corpses, they had not been told any stories of corpses leaving tombs.

Nor does Paul ever mention any tombs, or ever say that the body which went into the (alleged) tomb was the body which left the tomb.

dvd said...

Steve Carr

I don't know if you had your coffee yet, but the majority of scholars including the secular ones (atheists) admit the historical evidence of Jesus being buried in a tomb.

Your arguments from silence is moot. Paul said he was "buried" he was "raised"

There is nothing contradictory with what Paul said and the early tradition that Mark included in his story.

You have forgotten that there are "Explicit" statments and there are "Implicit" statmenents.

You can look those words up when you get a chance, it might help.

Steven Carr said...

I don't know if you had your coffee yet, but the majority of scholars including the secular ones (atheists) admit the historical evidence of Jesus being buried in a tomb.

CARR
So there is no evidence of an empty tomb. Please produce one person who ever named himself as seeing an empty tomb, or seeing these alleged women.

As for raising, 'raising the dead' is not a concept that means that a body must leave a grave - something that Paul never claims happened.



Even the Biblical writers knew that 'raising' does not necessarily mean a body being raised.

1 Samuel 28

13 The king said to her, "Don't be afraid. What do you see?"
The woman said, "I see a spirit coming up out of the ground."


Paul says flat-out that Jesus 'became a life-giving spirit'

Paul says flat-out that the body which went into the ground is not the body which is raised.


But Christians won't listen to Paul even when he mocks the idea that resurrected beings are made from the dust that corpses become.

1 Corinthians 15
The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.

And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God....


The Christian converts in Corinth mocked the idea of resurrection for themselves because they had never heard of a corpse being raised.

Paul chastises them for thinking God is going to raise up the dust that corpses become.

Jesus 'became a life-giving spirit'


In fact, Paul writes a second letter to them telling them the earthly body is destroyed, not raised.

2 Corinthians 5
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands...

What part of 'destroyed' means 'raised whole'?

Anonymous said...

Steve Carr

Your all over the place.

Its simple, an argument from silence your making is rather moot. There is circumstantial evidence that "implies" he as buried in a tomb. The standard you think has to be met, is wrong.

Next, in context of what Paul was saying, *it* is sown a natural body, *it* is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

So what is "sown" is "raised" completely defeating your misguided interpetation.

Steven Carr said...

ANONYMOUS
Next, in context of what Paul was saying, *it* is sown a natural body, *it* is raised a spiritual body.

CARR
I see anonymous emphasises the English words which do not exist in the Greek.

No wonder his argument fails if he has to put in words which do not exist, and then emphasise the words which are not in the Bible.

Steven Carr said...

ANONYMOUS
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

CARR
I make that 2 bodies, not one. How is your counting?

dvd said...

Steve Carr

pneumatikos soma

Paul doesn't use "spirit body"

The natural body has a different set of attributes then does the "spiritual body"

If Paul was anywhere near the ridiculous and ludicrous explanations that atheists have tried, he would have used another set of greek words.

In the context of Paul your idea is refuted decisively:

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body (soma), that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body (soma)” (Phil. 3.20-21).

We as natural bodies are "sown" into Christ's body, hence we are the body of Christ, then we are "raised" to "conform" to his body hence the "Spiritual Body"

Steven Carr said...

Paul says Jesus became a spirit.

As for your use of Phil. 3:21, it is vague and undetailed as to how this will happen.

Paul is more explicit in 2 Corinthians 5 when he says the earthly body is destroyed.

But it is standard Christian apologetics to ignore the clear and concentrate on the ambiguous.

Paul uses the word (metaschematizo) in Philippians 3:21 that is used for changing clothes, adopting a disguise.

He does it when he says Satan is 'changed' into an angel of light.

He doesn't mean there is a real transformation, just that Satan is wearing a disguise.

A change of clothing is two things. Dropping the old clothing, and puttin on new clothing.

And Paul says flat-out that Jesus became a spirit.

Pedro Amaral Couto said...

On their epistles, did Paul and the other apostles tell the corpse disappeared? How did they see Jesus?

According to the tradition, most of them were dead in the 70's, the heresies were being prolific - at least the gnosticism and gnostics did not believe in a physical ressurrection -, the synoptics aren't independent (that's why they're called synoptics), the gospel attributed to the apostle John was written at least 60 years after the ressurrection and there were more gospels and apocalipses attributed to the apostles (James, Thomas, Mathias, Peter, ...). That's why I'm asking if they say the body of Jesus was in a tomb and if the body disappeared from there.