Friday, July 23, 2010

Habermas replies to naturalistic theories explaining away the resurrection

A redated post.

HT: Andy Daoud.


Steven Carr said...

How different is Habermas from Paul....

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

Jews demanded miraculous signs, but Paul was not as clever as Gary Habermas and didn't respond to taunts for miraculous signs by explaining that somebody had risen from the dead.

You can't imagine Habermas responding to taunts that Christianity had no miraculous signs by explaining that he preaches Christ crucified.

Habermas is cleverer than Paul ever was, and knows perfectly well that he can respond to demands for miraculous signs by explaining that there really had been miraculous signs.

Paul responded to demands for miraculous signs by explaining that he preached Christ crucified.

I can't see Habermas walking into debates and trotting out a line about preaching Christ crucified when asked if Christianity had had any miraculous signs to boast about.

D.J. Lower / KKairos said...

I am wondering if the commenter previous to me could say what the heck his comments are supposed to mean, because I can't tell if he's criticizing Habermas, criticizing Paul or totally joking when he says they're different (because to me, they don't really seem to be too different.)

Steven Carr said...

I was simply pointing out how superior Habermas's apologetics were to Paul, who debated Jews by responding to questions about miraculous signs by saying that Jesus had been crucified.

You would almost think that Paul just never realised that some sort of miraculous sign had happened, some sort of sign that Jews were supposed to have known about, but were covering up.

Steven Carr said...

Critics agree that James was an unbeliever during Jesus’ earthly ministry...

Does Habermas talk to critics?

How could James have been an 'unbeliever' when his brother had allegedly been born of a virgin?

Your brother has been born of a virgin, and you are an 'unbeliever'?

And if James had scoffed at his own brother, who he had known for 30 years?

Would Habermas claim that Mormonism must be true if a brother of Joseph Smith had scoffed at the Golden Plates while Joseph Smith had been alive , but had then converted to Mormonism after his brother's death, becoming the leader?

And then a leading historian of the Mormon church had written a history of the church airbrushing out all indications that this James had ever even had a brother called Jesus?

In fact, not only does the author of Luke/Acts never states James was a brother of Jesus or had ever seen a resurrected Jesus, Acts 1 goes as far as to mention the 'brothers' of Jesus, and then immediately state they were not qualified to be entered for the raffle for the post of 'witness to the resurrection'

Yes, this silly cult not only had a raffle to decide who could be a 'witness to the resurrection', but the brothers of Jesus never even made the draw, let alone won.

If Habermas read a history of the Mormon church which mentioned the brothers of Joseph Smith and then immediately said that other people were witnesses to the Golden Plates, just how hard would Gary laugh at Mormon claims that Smith's brother had seen the Golden Plates?

Gary would take Mormon apologetics as seriously as I take his.

But I'm willing to be corrected.

If Habermas can find one document from the first century written by somebody who claimed to have met James, and who wrote that James had been an unbeliever....

Anonymous said...

Carr, ALL witnesses prior to a resurrection are unbelievers, right?

Steven Carr said...

So the disciples were unbelievers, although they had seen Moses return from the dead?

The return of Moses from the dead would be one of those miraculous signs that Jews demanded and which Paul refused to ever mention.

Please find a first century document which says that James was an 'unbeliever' and was converted by a resurrection.

Anonymous said...

Carr, the witnesses weren't believers in a Jesus resurrection prior to the Jesus resurrection. They were believers in a crucified Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Carr, Moses didn't rise physically from the dead.

Steven Carr said...

Moses didn't rise physically from the dead, according to the Bible?

Where does it say Moses was not in a physical body? The same place as in 1 Corinthians 15 says the resurrected Jesus had a flesh-and-blood body ie nowhere?

Perhaps the disciples hallucinated seeing Moses speak to Jesus?

Perhaps Moses was in a spiritual body when the disciples saw Moses alive again?

I see anonymous, like Habermas, continues to duck finding any first century document which says James was an 'unbeliever' who was converted by seeing Jesus.

And, of course, Luke/Acts excluded any brothers of Jesus even being considered for the title of 'witness to the resurrection'....

And did the disciples hallucinate seeing the resurrected Jesus take off into the sky, and disappear into a cloud on his way to Heaven, in the most stupid story since Jack and the Beanstalk?

Just produce this resurrected Jesus. The first Christians could not, just like Mormons can't produce these Golden Plates.

Where's the beef?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Carr expects that 1st century document to explicitly show that James was a believer prior to the resurrection?

Carr, you're within your epistemic rights to interpret scripture as you've done. Your conclusions, however, aren't obvious to me.

Steven Carr said...

So not a single first century document supports Habermas's claims.

At least we have documented claims that there was a second gunman who shot JFK.

Habermas can't even get as good evidence as the Kennedy conspiracists have.

Habermas can find not one person who put his name on a document saying there was an empty tomb.

Nor can he find one person who put his name on a document saying he had seen a flesh and blood Jesus risen from the grave.

Habermas has nothing to offer.

Anonymous said...

Is these an ignore function on blogs so I can ignore the inane ramblings of the above?

Edward T. Babinski said...

Paul said that just looking at "creation" nobody had "any excuse." Does Vic believe that?

Edward T. Babinski said...

All of Habermas' objections to the contrary concerning visionary explanations, there certainly might have been visions. Just look at what state the apostles were in after their leader had been brutally executed.

The earliest writing concerning the resurrection is in Paul's letters and it mentions not a whit about anything but "appearances," nothing about any sayings coming from the resurrected Jesus. And certainly neither Paul nor even Mark or Matthew mention anything about the recurrected Jesus denying he is a "spirit" which denial only appears in a later writing (Luke-Acts).

Secondly, the high priest Ciaphas who condemned Jesus probably couldn't care less what happened to his body, so long as the disciples left town, and got out of his jurisdiction. And to make sure, he could (for all anyone knows) have had the body moved, and had a man in white wait at the empty the tomb to tell the scared ladies that morning, "He has gone before you to Galilee, for THERE ye shall see him." BECAUSE THEN THE JESUS MOVEMENT WOULD BE THE PROBLEM OF THE RULER OF GALILEE.

Charels Freeman argues the probability of just such an hypothesis in his new book, A NEW HISTORY OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY.

Interestingly, the priests did have white garments, and interestingly the earliest Gospel does mention a young man in white at the tomb telling the women to tell the apostles to go elsewhere to see Jesus (get out of town). And in Galilee they probably had "appearances" as Paul says, and even the ones who didn't actually "see" anything probably said they did because otherwise they would lose status and feel left out. And stories of a physical bodily resurrection with Jesus saying he has "flesh and bone" and "eating," and denying he was a "SPIRIT" at all came LAST in such late works as Luke-Acts, and the Gospel of John.

Interestingly, the earliest Gospel, Mark, has a young man in white at the tomb, and also has a young man following after Jesus at his arrest whom the soldiers try to capture, but who flees away naked into the night. Then a young man appears dressed at the tomb, the first to arrive. This young man thus is the last to leave Jesus at his arrest, leaves naked, then is the first at the tomb, dressed in white. He is probably employed as a sort of ideal follower, an example to Mark's readers. But if Freeman is correct, he's a real person, and the body was moved, and for a reason, to get the apostles and Jesus' followers out of Ciaphas' hair and so others would have to deal with them way off in Galilee.

Note that the later Gospels, the ones composed after Mark all change the young man at the tomb into an angel and even TWO angels! And they also drop the story about the young man following Jesus on the night of his arrest and then fleeing away naked. They drop that story of the young man, and change the young man at the tomb into an angel.

Bilbo said...

Caiaphas et al deliberately start the resurrection story of Jesus in order to get rid of his followers? You think that once Jesus was dead the movement would come to a grinding halt on its own. Was there any indication that the disciples would continue causing trouble? Did they mount an uprising to save Jesus either at his trial or crucifixion? No. Why give them new hope? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose? There's no guarantee that they would stay in Galilee. If Acts reflects actual history, the movement becomes centered in Jerusalem. In Galatians Paul goes to Jerusalem to confer with the apostles. I believe Josephus said that James was killed there.

I'm finding Freeman's hypothesis to be initially implausible.

Tim said...

I'm finding Freeman's hypothesis to be initially implausible.

You're not the only one. And that's putting it mildly.

Victor Reppert said...

The case for the resurrection must be strong indeed if skeptics are reduced to such desperate measures.

Or is the passion for the sensational at work here. The Da Vinci Syndrome.

But, I suppose someone will say "At least he's not saying that the Sky Daddy revived a corpse. I mean, how do you know it wasn't the Flying Spaghetti Monster."

Of course, skeptics are too sophisticated to say that. No?

Bilbo said...

It was during Passover. Is there unleavened pasta?