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All evidence for the
Resurrection
(Long post)
DISCLAIMER: I will only be using historical facts which are agreed upon by both faithful and skeptical
(atheist) scholars.
If you disagree with any of these facts, please consult the following scholars:
Mike Licona EP Sanders
Gary Habermas Bart Ehrman
Gerd Ludemann RK Siegal
JP Holding David A deSilva
NT Wright Leonard Warren Zusne Jones
Geza Vermes
Richard Bauckham Josephus
Gerald O'Collins Tacitus
J Warner Wallace James Saurin
Andre Aleman Dale Allison
Antony Flew Behan McCullagh
William Lane Craig Egil Forland
CH Dodd (And many more!)
John Dominic Crossing
Section 1: Death of Jesus
+ Jesus was a historical figure who was believed to be a healer at the time of his life.
+ Jesus challenged local authority frequently
Was crucified under rule of Pontius Pilate, crowd made a decision between Him and Barabbas.
+ Died and was buried in a tomb before the Passover, right outiside of Jerusalem.
+ Very soon after the burial, His body was missing, but the burial cloths remained.
Disciples immediately began spreading word of the resurrection within Jerusalem.
Aspects to know about Section 1:
Crucifixion was a shameful method of execution. This would have left all followers of Jesus scattering and not wanting any association in fear of their own lives.
Jesus' own family rejected Him being the Messiah. The crucifixion would have affirmed their beliefs on rejecting
Him, and would have made Jesus shameful to be associated with.
There were several other people around this time who believed they were the Messiah, they were allteitee- and their followers were scattered. None made any historical significance.
Section 2: Witnesses
Women were the first witnesses.
His disciples spread word that He appeared to them alive, shortly after His death
Skeptics, including enemies of the early church, claimed to have witnessed the risen Jesus.
* The claim that Jesus was fully fleshed and not a spirit
(this is an important detail which will be discussed below).
Voluntary suffering and execution of disciples
and witnesses.
Aspects to know about Section 2:
Women's testimony was considered unreliable for the time. Women being the first witnesses was used to attempt to discredit the early Church. If Christianity began as a conspiracy, than the Church fathers would not have made such a detail up.
Jesus' own brothers became pominent leaders of the early Church, which makes no sense since they rejected
Him during his own life. More on skeptics converting later.
Almost all beliefs surrounding death of the time
(including Jewish) were that death was a release of the spirit from the physical self. Spreading the word that someone came back from the dead in a fleshed form is a strange detail, and would likely not have been made up since the concept would have been so alien and contradictory to all other beliefs of the time.
Conversion Break
Section 3: Saul
Saul was an early enemy of the church who hunted down and persecuted Christians.
Was living a rich life, high status. Was firm against
Jesus being the Messiah. Had a promising future.
Something happened to him and people with him; Paul
(then called Saul) claimed to have witnessed the risen
Jesus.
Saul gave up his rich and promising life to join the minority early Church, was beaten and stoned. He maintained his path with Christianity besides losing everything he had. Renamed Paul.
Wrote several letters which are included in the Bible.
Died for his faith.
Aspects to know about Section 3:
Even skeptical scholars agree that "something happened to Paul," and that hallucinations or conspiracies can not account for the events which followed.
Some of Paul's (previously Saul) letters can be found in the New Testament. Letters which are agreed to be authentically Paul's by both faithful and skeptical scholars are Romans, Galations, 1 & 2 Corinthians, 1
Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon.
Section 4: Ruled out Explanations
There are 3 main rival explanations to the resurrection: Mythic, Conspiracy, and Hallucinatory.
The Mythic explanation says that the resurrection and it's details were made up at a later date. Because scholars have so much early documentation which was around at the time of the eyewitnesses and their rivals, this explanation is easily ruled out.
The Conspiracy explanation says that the witnesses created a plot to start a religion. This explanation falls as soon as the motives of involved parties are taken into account. Almost all witnesses to the resurrection had their lifestyles taken from them, and were tortured and killed.
Every eyewitness remained faithful until their end.
Furthermore, a conspiracy can not explain how the eyewitnesses began proclaiming His resurrection within the very city (and towards the same people)
The Hallucinatory explanation falls apart with modern understanding of medicine and biology. All accounts of
Jesus resurrecting were in groups. 1) Group hallucinations are exceptionally rare; so rare that we have very little data on how they function or what triggers them if there are no hallucinatory drugs involved. Furthermore, specific emotions and expectations have to be present for a non-drug induced hallucination. On top of all this, group hallucinations never have all participating individuals report the exact same experience.
None of the expected criteria are met with ANY of the
witness encounters which could induce a hallucination.
Conclusion
The only explanation which accounts for all historical data, is not Ad Hoc, and maintains attestation from multiple historical sources, is the resurrection of
Jesus Christ.
All evidence for the Resurrection (Long post) DISCLAIMER: I will only be using historical facts which are agreed upon by both faithful and skeptical (atheist) scholars. If you disagree with any of these facts, please consult the following scholars: Mike Licona EP Sanders Gary Habermas Bart Ehrman Gerd Ludemann RK Siegal JP Holding David A deSilva NT Wright Leonard Warren Zusne Jones Geza Vermes Richard Bauckham Josephus Gerald O'Collins Tacitus J Warner Wallace James Saurin Andre Aleman Dale Allison Antony Flew Behan McCullagh William Lane Craig Egil Forland CH Dodd (And many more!) John Dominic Crossing Section 1: Death of Jesus + Jesus was a historical figure who was believed to be a healer at the time of his life. + Jesus challenged local authority frequently Was crucified under rule of Pontius Pilate, crowd made a decision between Him and Barabbas. + Died and was buried in a tomb before the Passover, right outiside of Jerusalem. + Very soon after the burial, His body was missing, but the burial cloths remained. Disciples immediately began spreading word of the resurrection within Jerusalem. Aspects to know about Section 1: Crucifixion was a shameful method of execution. This would have left all followers of Jesus scattering and not wanting any association in fear of their own lives. Jesus' own family rejected Him being the Messiah. The crucifixion would have affirmed their beliefs on rejecting Him, and would have made Jesus shameful to be associated with. There were several other people around this time who believed they were the Messiah, they were allteitee- and their followers were scattered. None made any historical significance. Section 2: Witnesses Women were the first witnesses. His disciples spread word that He appeared to them alive, shortly after His death Skeptics, including enemies of the early church, claimed to have witnessed the risen Jesus. * The claim that Jesus was fully fleshed and not a spirit (this is an important detail which will be discussed below). Voluntary suffering and execution of disciples and witnesses. Aspects to know about Section 2: Women's testimony was considered unreliable for the time. Women being the first witnesses was used to attempt to discredit the early Church. If Christianity began as a conspiracy, than the Church fathers would not have made such a detail up. Jesus' own brothers became pominent leaders of the early Church, which makes no sense since they rejected Him during his own life. More on skeptics converting later. Almost all beliefs surrounding death of the time (including Jewish) were that death was a release of the spirit from the physical self. Spreading the word that someone came back from the dead in a fleshed form is a strange detail, and would likely not have been made up since the concept would have been so alien and contradictory to all other beliefs of the time. Conversion Break Section 3: Saul Saul was an early enemy of the church who hunted down and persecuted Christians. Was living a rich life, high status. Was firm against Jesus being the Messiah. Had a promising future. Something happened to him and people with him; Paul (then called Saul) claimed to have witnessed the risen Jesus. Saul gave up his rich and promising life to join the minority early Church, was beaten and stoned. He maintained his path with Christianity besides losing everything he had. Renamed Paul. Wrote several letters which are included in the Bible. Died for his faith. Aspects to know about Section 3: Even skeptical scholars agree that "something happened to Paul," and that hallucinations or conspiracies can not account for the events which followed. Some of Paul's (previously Saul) letters can be found in the New Testament. Letters which are agreed to be authentically Paul's by both faithful and skeptical scholars are Romans, Galations, 1 & 2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon. Section 4: Ruled out Explanations There are 3 main rival explanations to the resurrection: Mythic, Conspiracy, and Hallucinatory. The Mythic explanation says that the resurrection and it's details were made up at a later date. Because scholars have so much early documentation which was around at the time of the eyewitnesses and their rivals, this explanation is easily ruled out. The Conspiracy explanation says that the witnesses created a plot to start a religion. This explanation falls as soon as the motives of involved parties are taken into account. Almost all witnesses to the resurrection had their lifestyles taken from them, and were tortured and killed. Every eyewitness remained faithful until their end. Furthermore, a conspiracy can not explain how the eyewitnesses began proclaiming His resurrection within the very city (and towards the same people) The Hallucinatory explanation falls apart with modern understanding of medicine and biology. All accounts of Jesus resurrecting were in groups. 1) Group hallucinations are exceptionally rare; so rare that we have very little data on how they function or what triggers them if there are no hallucinatory drugs involved. Furthermore, specific emotions and expectations have to be present for a non-drug induced hallucination. On top of all this, group hallucinations never have all participating individuals report the exact same experience. None of the expected criteria are met with ANY of the witness encounters which could induce a hallucination. Conclusion The only explanation which accounts for all historical data, is not Ad Hoc, and maintains attestation from multiple historical sources, is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.