2. The Resurrection of Jesus (The Historical Evidence)

As we said in the introduction the resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of Christianity without it all of Christianity is a lie in a false religion but unlike most miracle claims Christians claim there is good historical evidence for the resurrection so what is this evidence and how can we

Use it we already went over the basic underlying philosophy in the introduction and pointed out that we already gave natural theology arguments for God’s existence argued the New Testament documents are reliable and established miracles are not impossible however as we noted in the introduction we will not assume the New Testament

Documents are inspired or even accurate in every detail instead we will only argue from facts that are agreed upon by the majority of New Testament scholars and have good evidence to infer they are true this means even if the rest of the New Testament is a fabrication it will

Not show these facts are false since even many skeptical scholars doubt the historicity of the entire New Testament but at least agree these facts are true so now with this as our underlying foundation we can begin to look at the historical evidence and see if it infers a resurrection first two underlying

Facts about the death of Jesus it is almost unanimously agreed that Jesus died by crucifixion just outside of Jerusalem sceptical scholar John Dominic Crossan says this is as sure as anything historical can ever be sceptical scholar EP Sanders lists this as one of the most indisputable facts about Jesus’s life so

There is no question for historians whether or not Jesus died by crucifixion second it is widely agreed that Jesus was buried in nearby tomb the evidence for this is pretty overwhelming we have multiple attestation from early sources like Paul and mark and Josephus agrees crucified victims were allowed to receive a proper burial

Jewish law demanded that even foreigners and criminals had to be buried we have archaeological evidence for this as well the burial count of Jesus also meets the criteria of embarrassment since they had to admit they could not afford their own tomb to bury Jesus but had to you

Kim of a member of the court who had just executed him there are just too many facts would support the burial of Jesus only a few skeptical scholars in the Jesus Seminar deny this but the majority does not and we’ll come back to this later and discuss it more but both

Of these facts could still be true and Jesus would still be dead in the grave the real question is what happened next what caused the events which followed and led to the rise of Christianity from a small backwater province in Rome there have been a wide variety of theories

That have been proposed in order to explain what took place three days after Jesus was buried and this video will cover the four most popular in general theories to see which best fits the data the first theory is the mythic theory this is probably the most popular among

Laymen sceptics it argues that all the events in miracle claims of Jesus were made up at a later time and were not made up by early eyewitnesses the disciples never claimed Jesus rose from the dead and was only made up by later Christians the second is like the mythic

Theory but it is called the conspiracy theory historical evidence that justices probably the earliest competing theory offered to challenge the resurrection account it says that the disciples made up the story of Jesus rising from the dead and simply lied about it all for their own gain third we’ll look at the hallucination

Theory which comes in many variations and it’s probably the most popular among skeptical New Testament scholars it basically says that after Jesus died the disciples were grief-stricken and had hallucinations or visions that Jesus had arisen from the dead and that propelled them to think he was alive again and

Finally we’ll compare these two the resurrection theory which is that Jesus actually did rise from the dead and the disciples believed it because they witnessed it so let’s look at the facts and see if any of these theories can fully explain the data the first piece is something that is accepted by almost

Unanimous scholarship which is that after Jesus died his disciples said he appeared to them again alive there is not a lot of doubt among scholars that the disciples believed this had happened Bart Ehrman says I don’t doubt at all that some disciples claimed this Paul writing about 25 years later indicates

That this is what they claimed and I don’t think he is making it up EP sander says it is an equally secure fact that Jesus disciples saw him in what sense is not certain after his death thereafter his followers saw him the reason for this is because it has multiple attestation in various

Sources including Josephus and there is no way to explain the rise of Christianity if this did not happen something had to happen which compelled the disciples to begin the world’s largest religion with seemingly nothing well people claim may see all sorts of things so why should we take the claims

Of the disciples seriously how do we know their testimony is reliable and they were not simply making the appearances up well in our previous series we’ve already established a new Testament it’s very early and reliable in what it reports so there is plenty of evidence their testimony is reliable but

Putting that aside we should at least evaluate when eyewitness testimony is unreliable for instance when events happen quickly or over a period of a few seconds it is hard to retain memory of an event or when people go out looking for what they want to find people that are desperately

Desiring to find Bigfoot will sometimes fool themselves into thinking they found something or when the participants are all strangers like during a bank robbery it is hard to retain memory when you were around unfamiliar people and last it is hard to retain memory if there was a weapon involved for the simple reason

That everyone is focused on the weapon and not anything else however if we examine the resurrection reports none of these seem to be a factor there is certainly not a weapon involved and it is not with strangers the disciples are familiar with each other and who they are witnessing they believe had risen

The disciples were also not expecting Jesus to rise from the dead all the accounts embarrassingly report that the disciples had misunderstood the Scriptures in what Jesus had claimed and they did not expect him to come back and the reports do not seem to happen quickly but over a period of time where

Jesus would eat and drink with him and engage in conversations or give them instructions even if you could write off the Gospels and acts as later myths we still have preserved for us early creeds and oral sermons handed down which report these as well so the reports on the surface level do

Not match circumstances that create unreliable testimony as EP Sanders admits they definitely experienced something which doesn’t bode well for the conspiracy theory so what if these accounts which is made up at a later date well this seems to be rejected by most scholars since Paul preserved for

Us an early Creed in first Corinthians 15 which is a list of witnesses that Jesus was said to have appeared to they include Peter the rest of the disciples a group of five hundred at once then James and then all the Apostles most scholars believe this list of witnesses

In the Creed goes back to within three years of Pentecost the reasons for this are simply overwhelming it is formed in a mnemonic structure and with parallelism and it is less than fifty words and all this seems to meaning was an early Creed for katha sizing new Christians it was something easy to

Learn and memorize Paul also says of the Corinthians I delivered to you when I received this is a rabbinic statement for a teacher passing on something to his students so it had to have come from the disciples themselves very early on before they could teach it to Paul the

Creed also calls Peter Cephas and not by his name Peter Cephas was an early name for him only later on was he called Peter and it has an independent tradition that is not contingent on the Gospels such as the appearance to James in the independent appearance to Peter Geritol Collins says

That he doesn’t know of any New Testament scholar who dates the Creed after the mid 40s so all the evidence suggested is very early and this means the reports of appearances are very early on as well that rules out the mythic theory what about the hallucination theory well the problem is

The appearances happen in group settings even in the early Crete and group hallucinations are exceptionally rare and because of this there was not a lot of scientific literature to explain them in a private email with scholar Michael Kona psychologist dr. Gary sabzi says I have surveyed the professional literature peer-reviewed journal

Articles and books written by psychologists psychiatrists and other relevant health care professionals during the past two decades and have yet to find a single documented case of a group hallucination an event for which there is more than one person purportedly sharing in a vision or other sensory perceptions

Where there was clearly no referent so there is not a lot of scientific evidence group hallucinations can happen peer-reviewed work on hallucinations also reports that they most often manifests in one sensory mode such as auditory or visual and then multimode hallucinations are exceptionally rare yet the appearances of Jesus contain at

Least both of these elements making the hallucination theory exceptionally improbable for an elucidation to explain the appearances you would have to say that the disciples are all each having a rare multi-mode hallucination that they are all agreeing Jesus is doing certain things like eating and drinking and giving them the exact same instructions

And this would need to have happened multiple times not just once even if you could write off the Gospels and acts as later myths we still have the early Creed preserved in 1st Corinthians 15 in other early sermons preserved in acts which report that Jesus ate and drank

With the disciples CH Dodd notes the speeches and acts seem very early because they lack influence from Pauline theology or vocabulary they contain a high degree of Semitism meaning they were likely originally Aramaic and they lack resemblance to the original written elements of Acts and Luke meaning they

Likely predate acts and seemed to be very early Aramaic speeches so the reports are very early and appear in group settings multi-sensory and over a period of time in hallucinations with these elements are so improvable it would have to be a miracle to cause one let alone several but what about the

Power of suggestion sometimes one person can cause others around them to he’ll loosen eight the same thing through the power of suggestion such as people in a lifeboat where one thinks they see a ship in the distance and they all think they see the same ship in anomalistic psychology a study of extraordinary

Phenomenon behavior and experience authors Lucy and Jones are at some of the very little literature on group hallucinations and theorize that if there is an expectation emotional excitement and people having been informed beforehand that a group hallucination may be possible it is also believed they will vary in what is

There’s a and Jones site an event from 1917 where 70,000 people said they witnessed a public miracle however the reports varied although the children reportedly saw the Virgin the crowd at least many of them witnessed a color phenomenon in which the son in the shape of a fiery disc

Began to move and approached the earth however Zeus nee and Jones also had to conclude with the final answer to these questions has yet to be obtained so they still maintain a scientific explanation has yet to explain collective hallucinations however even if they could it is interesting how their

Criteria doesn’t fit the resurrection appearances expectation and excitement were definitely not present the narratives embarrassingly portray the disciples as cowardly running for their lives after Jesus was crucified they even doubted the report of the women and when they first saw Jesus they were frightened which shows they were not

Excited and didn’t understand what was going on second it is interesting that if the appearances of Jesus were hallucinations then they do not for the criteria of varying drastically between reports all report a bodily resurrection of Jesus where he looks sort of like himself but also slightly different and

His body has new powers that do not have before as William Lane Craig says the fact remains that there is not a single instance in the case books exhibiting the diversity involved and the post-mortem appearances of Jesus but the biggest problem with the hallucination theory is this even if you discount the

Gospels is unreliable one still is to account for the early Christians preaching bodily resurrection and not a spiritual appearance the first Christians were very familiar with visions and claim to actually have some in acts 12 when the servant girl finds Peter at the gate she runs a tell

Everyone and they tell her the appearance she had with just an angel so the Christians firmly understood what visions and spiritual experiences were yet they never interpreted the appearances of Christ as just spiritual visions they firmly believed it was a bodily appearance and that is what they preached from the beginning as even

Sceptical scholar curlew Daman agrees so since the appearances were in group settings multi-sensory do not vary or were interpreted to be spiritual but always physical there was no expectation or excitement for them the hallucination theory cannot account for these appearances so what about the conspiracy theory well despite the early facts we

Mentioned about how the resurrection appearances do not match factors that make testimony unreliable it would be hard to explain how the Christians could hold together such a radical conspiracy with over 500 people involved before Christ was crucified they couldn’t even keep Judas from betraying them however

If all we have to go on is the appearances themselves and no other piece of data we have to accept that this theory could at least tentatively account for the reports of appearances even though it seems like a stretch so I don’t see any reason why the conspiracy

Theory could not account for this piece of data if especially there was no more data to go over finally the resurrection theory can account for this since if Jesus did rise from the dead reporting his physical appearance makes perfect sense the next piece of data is appearances to skeptics it is almost

Unanimously accepted that James and the brothers of Jesus were not his followers during his crucifixion it is also unanimously accepted that Paul was an enemy of the church originally in a later convert the reason for this is Paul admits it himself and cites an early Creed in Galatians 1 22

To 23 he who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy if we add the account and acts we have multiple attestation and it meets the criteria of embarrassment since Paul reports it himself that he was once the enemy and was in the wrong

The same goes for the conversion of James it is clear in the early material Paul the leader of the Jerusalem church was none other than James the brother of Jesus however all the evidence suggests that James did not believe his brother was the Christ during jesus’s ministry the Gospels embarrassingly report that

The Brothers of Jesus were skeptical of him no early Christian would dare attack a prominent leader in the church by claiming he was once jesus’s enemy James was also not listed as one present at the cross and Jesus surrendered his mother over to the Beloved Disciple

But why not his own brothers if they were in the Christian ranks this is why most scholars accept James and his brothers or early skeptics and only converted after the crucifixion so what happened that turned these enemies into believers well the mythic theory is a hard time explaining this since Paul was very

Early on writing and quoting a Creed about his own conversion also mentioning the changes in early skeptic would not have been made up as no Christian would dare to dishonor shame her lie about one of their own leaders in such a terrible way so this fact would not have been

Made up later on yet it is clear James was the early leader of the Jerusalem church as Paul and Josephus record could James and Paul of lied the question must be asked why on earth would they have done that the early church was a small persecuted and

Hated minority with a messiah who is just shamefully crucified as a criminal it was too poor to even afford their own tomb Jesus had dishonored the family and James has already opposed to him why would James suddenly feel the need to make up an appearance of Jesus’s resurrection if there was nothing to

Gain and only shame and dishonor to suddenly reverse but claim his brother was Lord after he had already mocked him openly to do such a thing would make no sense Paul also had no reason to try this he was at the top of his game a prominent leader on the rise and making

A name for himself while he persecuted the church he had everything going for him and suddenly he has an urge to leave all that and join the persecuted minority he had already hated such a sudden conversion he knew to be a lie would take a miracle in itself of nothing else

So what have they both hallucinating well adding more hallucinations to this theory begins to multiply its assumptions and causes it to lack parsimony it is even harder to explain since neither them were grieving that Jesus had died especially Paul who hated the church James may have been in grief

For his brother but he didn’t believe he was the Lord and would never have expected or even considered a physical resurrection says a dying rising Messiah was not part of second temple Judaism beliefs as scholar Michael ocona says James and his brothers would have regarded their dead brother as a heretic

Rather than rushed to Jerusalem and be caught up in the group ecstasy it seems more likely that Jesus’s execution as a criminal on a blasphemer would have supported their continual unbelief rather their conversion the plausibility of Paul having hallucination is even far lower than James since hallucinations usually happened for people who are

Expecting them and grieving over the death of the loved one neither of these would have been the case for Paul nor would a mere vision have caused his sudden conversion as we said earlier the early church knew what visions were and if Paul simply had a

Dream he would have called it a dream and moved on a hallucination would be very improbable as the cause of Paul’s sudden conversion however the Christian theory can easily explain the conversion and appearance to skeptics if Jesus really did rise and appear to them that would be enough to

Cause their miraculous conversion now we have surveyed the appearances but that is only half the battle since we cannot interview them personally today or perform a psychoanalysis but what we can do is look at the surrounding facts that accompany these appearances for us today and see which theory is the most

Plausible for them so now it’s time to fill in the gaps first up the expectation of the gospel to the surrounding world the message of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins may sound loving and warm to us but to the ancient world a culture that thrived

On honor and status such a message would be nothing but disgusting and horrendous Walter bear said the enemies of Christianity always refer to this gracefulness of the death of Jesus with great emphasis and malicious pleasure a God or son of God dying on a cross that

Was enough to put paid to the new religion david de silva knows the same thing in his work christianity was founded on a premise that should have failed from the moment it began the christians preach to the Gentiles to worship a man that was shamefully executed on the cross not only that but

A Jew of all people who the Romans looked down upon but even more than that a Jew who was a carpenter which it was also a position that was looked down upon Cicero said that such an occupation was vulgar and compared to slavery on top of that they preach physical

Resurrection to the Roman world which was detested by most pagans who thought the purpose of death was to escape the evil material universe and make it to the spiritual realm yet the Christians taught the Jewish idea that heaven would be the restoration in eternal Kingdom on earth which was not something

Pagans hoped for but even more the Christians place ethical demands on the new converts that would have shocked most pagans no temple prostitution or even extramarital affairs morality was radically challenged by the Christians that flew in the face of most pagans as they Sylvan knows the message about this

Christ was incompatible with the most deeply rooted religious ideology of the Gentile world as well as with the most recent message propagated in the Roman Imperial ideology this is seen in how the Christian opponents like Kelsey’s attacked Christianity he attacked Christians for worshipping a God who

Could not beat the Romans or even escape from the cross Justin Martyr had to respond to these attacks because pagans were calling the Christians mad for putting a crucified man next to the eternal God the Jews also thought the message of Christ was embarrassing they’re supposed Messiah was shamefully

Crucified and murdered by the Roman enemy the Messiah was expected to be a conqueror who would defeat Rome and restore the Kingdom of Israel Jesus was shamed and disgraced to follow him was to give up on the Jewish idealization of a conquering Messiah and a restored Israel on top of that Jesus

Was from Galilee and Nazareth of all places areas were looked down upon by the Jews his father was not known to them so he had a shady family history which the Jews were not keen to forget everything the Christian stood for was working against them they had better

Have good evidence and truly thought Jesus had been raised because the odds were completely against them on every front as NT Wright says Christianity was born into a world where its central claim was known to be false this being so knowing the expectation the gospel would have no group of conspirators

Would ever have made it their core doctrine if you’re going to make up a message the gain of following you want to make up something that is appealing and will work to your advantage not something that was expected to fail so the conspiracy theory could not explain

Why the Christians would make up such a story neither can the hallucination theory as we said before the crucifixion of Jesus is almost unanimously accepted by scholars as well as the fact that Jesus did it advocate lie ethical loads so unless the entire population of Jerusalem hallucinating Jesus’s crucifixion and message this

Would not be something that Christians were fallen to believing hallucinations also usually happen to grieving people as a psychological way to comfort themselves you would not hallucinate things to believe that would cause you more trouble and grief so the hallucination theory cannot explain what the disciples would preach

An utterly embarrassing message in a way to win converts and again as we’ve already noted the disciples and early church knew what visions were yet they preached the physical resurrection as part of the gospel not a spiritual vindication it would have been easier for their Gentile audience and even

Jewish audience who didn’t expect a resurrection to happen until the end of time to preach a spiritual assumption over a physical return and transformation hallucinations would have inferred this not a reanimation of the body since we know crucifixion was preached early the mythic Theory cannot explain

This either it would also fail for the same reasons the conspiracy theory does but all this fits perfectly with the resurrection theory this is what was preached by Christians because this is how it happened and they preached this embarrassing message because it was true the next factor look at is the low

Status of women in the ancient world it is unanimously accepted that in the ancient world the testimony of women was not to be trusted but let not the testimony of women be admitted on account of the levity and boldness of their sex any evidence which a woman

Gives is not valid to offer let the words of the law be burned rather than given to women there is a whole host of other sources we could look at which shows women were believed to be less trustworthy than men the ancient world was very clear the testimony of women

Was not to be trusted now take that and marvel at the fact that in the Gospels the women are the first and primary witnesses to the empty tomb this fact was utterly embarrassing for the early church first they admit they didn’t even trust the testimony of the women then

All the early sermons found in acts and the epistles always skip over the fact of the women were the first to discover the tomb that doesn’t contradict the Gospels but they tend to stay on this matter in order to make their early case because women were not deemed

To be credible witnesses yet when they write down the accounts of how it happened they cannot leave this fact out because they played such a key role discovering the empty tomb this is a serious claim because as Richard baulkham says in these stories women are given priority by God as recipients of

Revelation and thereby the role of mediators of that revelation to men the Gospels claimed the women were an intricate part of the revelation of God and the first key eyewitnesses to the resurrection thereby making their testimony necessary and telling how the empty tomb was found for an ancient

Writer this was not something you would ever make up Cal says even uses to try to discredit Christianity who claimed the entire argument for the empty tomb rested on the testimony of women NT Wright says as historians we are obliged to comment that if these stories have

Been made up five years later let alone thirty forty or fifty years later they would never have had Mary Magdalene in this role put Mary there is from the point of view of Christian apologists wanting to explain to a skeptical audience that Jesus really did rise from

The dead like shooting themselves in the foot but to us as historians this kind of thing is gold dust the early Christians would never never have made this up so the mythic theory or the conspiracy theory lacks any explanatory power with this one as Michael okona says even if the disciples

Had fled Jerusalem Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus may have been better candidates than women for discovering the empty tomb what about the hallucination theory it is difficult to say if the hallucination theory could fit with this one if all we have to go on is this fact I suppose you could say

Someone had a crazy dream and thought women discovered the empty tomb before anyone else but why they weren’t expecting it in multiple sources seem to agree this is how it happened plus it was such an embarrassing fact that everyone involved would have wanted to make sure it actually happened and

That it was not a dream or a subjective vision so will allow this one to pass just to be fair but there was really no reason why one would hallucinate this since it was not comforting or expected to happen but even though it lacks explanatory power will allow to tentatively pass

Until we can evaluate the evidence for the empty tomb and finally the Christian theory has no problem explaining this because the writers were reporting how it happened and of course because God is no respecter of persons and there is neither male nor female for we are all

One in Christ next fact the immediate proclamation in Jerusalem the majority of scholars could not deny that the resurrection was first preached in Jerusalem all the evidence leads to Jerusalem as being the home base and happening very early on such as the development of early Christian Creed’s and how all the sources suggest

Jerusalem is where Christianity began Tacitus mentions off the cuff that Christianity began in Judea and spread from there in one of Paul’s early epistles he mentions off the cuff that the Apostles are still preaching in Jerusalem now why does this matter well when we look at the importance of time

And when you proclaim a miracle that fact can make a serious impact as James siren said the Apostles proclaim the resurrection at Pentecost when Jerusalem expected the spread of the report and endeavored to prevent it well the eyes of their enemies were yet sparkling with rage and madness

While Calvary was yet died with the blood they had spilt there do imposters take such measures would they not have waited till the fury of the Jews had been appeased till judges and public officers had been changed until people had been less attentive to their dispositions if the evidence was not in

Their favor it would have made sense for the early church to go elsewhere as cults often do cult leaders ran up their followers and take them away from civilization or to a different area from the place where you can be disproven even with Mormonism Joseph Smith’s led his people away from New York

But the disciples walked right up to the Sanhedrin and said you crucified your Messiah and he has been raised now these people are either crazy or they are absolutely convinced they are right so the conspiracy theory has no hope of explaining this if you’re an impostor

You go off to Spain or India and proclaim your miracle not in Jerusalem where they have the evidence then motive and the means to debunk you since we know the resurrection was proclaimed early on and it was in Jerusalem it is hard to say that the mythic theory can

Explain this either this was not something we can say with developed later if the created first Corinthians 15 is roughly dated within three years of Pentecost that means there were Christians right there on Jerusalem developing this which set a foundational belief for Christians to be able to

Memorize so there is no reason to think it was developed later on or far off elsewhere so the mythic theory cannot explain this fact either but what about the hallucination theory well if all we have to go on is this fact I suppose a miraculous hallucination could convince

The disciples to preach the resurrection immediately in Jerusalem but it is still doubtful because hallucinations or visions don’t really imply a physical resurrection or do they fit with group hallucinations as we discussed earlier but it is possible if all we have is this fact alone so just in case we miss

Something we’ll allow this one to pass but the resurrection theory explains this with the most ease because if Jesus was resurrected of course the disciples had the boldness to proclaim the resurrection God would have been on their side and all the evidence would have been in their favor

Next fact the voluntary suffering of disciples and witnesses this is an important fact we cannot ignore multiple attestation from Christian and non-christian sources testifies that the early witnesses of the risen Christ were persecuted martyred for their faith Tacitus and Suetonius mention events and Josephus as well who even tells us how

James was martyred in Jerusalem first belief Jesus was the Risen Messiah Paul also admits to intense persecution early on in fact his scholars like NT right note 2nd Corinthians was written as a response to the Corinthians who asked Paul to provide some evidence of good fortune to show God was on his side

Asian people believed like some still today that if you were suffering persecution it was evidence you were being punished by God and needed to turn from your ways Paul responded with the opposite despite the cultural norms and it was meant to challenge their beliefs of how God worked a later Epistle from

Clement of rome talked of how Paul and Peter were martyred in Rome for their faith and axor course how the early witnesses were persecuted and murdered the evidence for this is multiple attested so what some people may say people die for their faith all the time why are the

Christians any different people will and have often died for things that were false but they don’t tend to die for something they know to be false we’re not talking about Christians who were martyred but the founders of Christianity who were murdered these men and women did not die just for faith but

Something they claim to have seen with their own eyes the root meaning of the word martyr is witness over time we’ve expanded the word to mean anyone who dies for their beliefs but originally they referred to someone who was a witness of an event and died for his

Truth the disciples didn’t just die for their beliefs they died for events they claimed had happened and knew very well they were true are made up fliers make lousy martyrs when you have nothing to gain it doesn’t make sense to make up or hold to a theory that is going to get

You nothing and the Apostles were not getting a whole lot out of their new religion they were constantly facing persecution from the Jews and threats of death nor do they become wealthy from what they were doing they were doing it because they were insane than one of the

Cult following they did some things that didn’t make any sense like establishing churches in other regions which it did not have total control over Paul moved from city to city raising up believers and then moving on you’re trying to establish a cult in a controlled group

Of people you do as cults do you gather your followers remove them from society where there’s a threat they’ll be pulled away by reality and you keep them very close to keep them brainwashed the Apostles didn’t do that they stayed in populated cities and left their new

Churches to go start more churches in other cities which leaves your followers vulnerable to corruption and if we read the epistles that is exactly what happened the Apostles had to revisit them and write letters to correct them constantly so it doesn’t seem like there was anything to gain from starting

Christianity unless it was an elaborate plan to be martyred so the conspiracy theory is hopeless in explaining this one the mythic theory doesn’t work either because the voluntary suffering has multiple attestation and even from secular authors and there is nothing that challenges that the disciples were

Persecuted or that many of them died for the events there port it is true if the disciples hallucinate the whole thing that it is possible they would be willing to take it to the grave but it would have to be a wild miraculous hallucination to utterly convince them of it and as we

Have seen such hallucinations are very improbable but it is slightly slightly slightly possible if the resurrection theory is true then this fact makes perfect sense the disciples were willing to suffer because Jesus was resurrected and it was better to deny men than to deny God who they witnessed with their own eyes

Final fact the existence of the empty tomb Gary Habermas has surveyed the material written by scholars on the resurrection and it’s found that 75% of them accept that tomb was found empty on Easter morning for example skeptical scholar Jacob Cramer says by far most exegetes hold firmly to the reliability of the

Biblical statements concerning the empty tomb the evidence for this is simply overwhelming however some scholars like John Dominic Crossan do not think Jesus was buried in a tomb but thrown in a trench for dogs to eat because the Romans who not have a lot of proper burial for criminals but such a theory

Flies in the face of a mountain of evidence first Dale Alison who is skeptical of physical resurrection points out the word in the cretan 1st Corinthians 15 for bury would rarely be used for dumping of criminals in a trench for dogs to eat so the earliest

Account of the burial of Jesus would be incompatible with Crossing’s argument we also have multiple attestation crucified victims were buried and two different sources say Jesus was buried we also have archaeological evidence a crucified victim received a proper burial and there was no reason to think the Romans

Would not have allowed this practice they were certainly okay with allowing other Jewish practices to go on in Jerusalem that’s just temple worship which they detest it because it meant a rejection of Roman gods they allowed to juice a conductor on trials have their own temple guards keep the Sabbath and so forth

There is no reason they would not have allowed this as well and it fits with archaeological and textual evidence Jesus’s burial not only has multiple attestation but it meets the criteria of embarrassment since they say he was buried in the tomb of a Sanhedrin member which would have been dishonouring for

His followers such a group had just their lorry and now they needed the Bama tune for him from one of its own members to the public this would have looked pretty humiliating and the fact that they mentioned he was in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea means the tomb was

Public knowledge and its whereabouts were known so the public at any time would have known about it and could have readily debunked it if the tomb was not empty but the account of the empty tomb is also embarrassing because it was discovered by women and we have already

Discussed this is not something you would have made up Matthew also mentions the competing theory that the disciples stole the body this is odd because why would Matthew want to mention the competing theory which could possibly start up doubt among the people he was trying to convert Justin Martyr writing

Later has to respond to this theory because it was the official story Jews were telling people which is an interesting admission because it says the body could not be found if the Sanhedrin still at the body they could have had Gentiles bring it out for them

And show the tomb was never empty but the Christians never had to respond to this charge so both sides agreed the body was missing finally we have the Nazareth inscription a stone found in the area and it has written on it an imperial decree from around 41 ad which

Says that the penalty for grave robbing was death which is interesting because it is very severe for how Romans punished thieving the Romans would not normally give such a high penalty for stealing something but this will make sense with the rise of Christianity and what Suetonius tells us in Rome there

Were riots among the Jews on accounts of Christus which was a common Roman mispronunciation of Christ and eventually Claudius expelled all the Jews because of it if some Jews in Rome were preaching Christ was resurrected and riots resulted from it and the tomb was not empty there would be no need for

An imperial decree because they could just produce the body but because the only alternative explanation was the body was missing because it was stolen Rome’s only option would be to issue a decree to try to combat the accounts of a missing body if there was a body then

Rome could have just dispelled the riots with the body and not have to indirectly admit the body when missing so it appears to be that from all sides the body was missing away there’s no evidence the empty tomb was just a fabrication and this is why most scholars today accept that tomb was

Found empty all the evidence simply favours it so if the body was stolen who did it would Rome of course not because they would not have cared how about the Jewish leaders why would they they wanted Jesus crucified shamed buried and forgotten the last thing they wanted was

Suspicion of him coming back to life of course the Sanhedrin claimed it was the disciples but that is unlikely their rabbi had just been crucified and a movement was dispersed in shamed they were in fear the Jewish authorities would come after them as well there is

No reason to think they would have been in the position to steal a body and create a mass hoax second if they had stolen the body there is little reason to think they would have reported the theory that Jewish leaders were spreading if it was true the last thing

They would have wanted would help spread the rumor they had stolen the body and if they had stolen the body they would not have reported to their shame and dishonor that they had not believed the reports of the women when they found the empty tomb nor would they have

Embarrassingly reported that they had not understood that Jesus had predicted his rise these were very embarrassing and shameful things to report later Christians would not have made this up and attack the honor and authority of their leaders nor would have the disciples unless they wanted to shame

Themselves and most of all where would they have taken the body a common overlooked fact is that this was Passover and the city was flooded with pilgrims they would have been seen and they would have been caught it would have been very hard to pull off especially getting the body out of the

Sanhedrin section of town so for the conspiracy theory to work you need to deposit the disciples were in fear for their lives yet somehow decided to steal the body and faked a resurrection even though none of them were expecting that then they managed to get the body out of

The Sanhedrin section of town where the tombs were and hide it in an overcrowded City the entire theory becomes overwhelmingly unlikely the hallucination theory doesn’t work either did the entire population of Jerusalem hallucinate so the theory it was not really discovered empty fails as well what about the mythic theory so I’ve

Tried to claim the empty tomb was made up later because it is not specifically mentioned in the Creed Paul gives us in first Corinthians well this just ignores the amount of evidence we already gave and that the empty tomb and physical resurrection are both mentioned in the early passion

Narrative found in mark but most of all it overlooks what the Korean first Corinthians says it says that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures he was buried and raised it is pretty obvious that what was buried

Is what was raised and therefore the tomb would have been empty as NT Wright says the fact that the empty tomb itself so prominent the Gospel accounts does not appear to be specifically mentioned in this passage is not significant the mention here of buried and raised no

More need to be amplified in that way then one would need to amplify the statement I walk down the street with the qualification on my feet so the mythic theory fails here as well but there is one theory they can’t account for all the data it is the theory that

Jesus was raised and vindicated by God no other Theory out there can account for all the data the mythic theory fails because we only argued from facts that we know are early and could not have been made up the conspiracy theory could not account for the quality of the

Testimonies of the disciples the empty tomb herwise skeptics would join a small persecuted minority the hallucination theory could only work if you posit some pretty miraculous hallucinations to cause the disciples to change their idea skeptics to convert and posit crazy ideas no one was expecting or looking

For it has to posit such a wild hallucination it would take a miracle itself only the theory that was reported can account for all the data because of that it has explanatory scope because they can explain all the data with the least amount of effort it has explanatory power it provides

Illumination as well which means it can explain other areas of history like the rise of Christianity and the belief in physical resurrection in fact this means three pieces of the criteria are filled that historians use when judging an historical hypothesis behan mccullough who has outlined the criterion for weighing historical theories accepts the

Resurrection hypothesis meets these three things better than any other hypothesis but claims it fails the other two pieces of criteria this Christian hypothesis is of greater explanatory scope and power than other hypotheses which try to account for the relevant evidence but it is less plausible and more ad hoc than

They are so McCullough accepts the resurrection meets three out of five of the criteria for historical investigation but fails the other two however there have been replies to challenge this dr. Travis Campbell has why is the resurrection theory ad-hoc to be ad hoc according to McCullough means a number

Of new suppositions are made by hypothesis that are not already implied in existing knowledge so the hypothesis adds extra assumptions in order to explain the data that is not already present but dr. Campbell points out the resurrection theory only adds one extra assumption not multiple it is difficult

To see why the resurrection hypothesis is extraordinarily ad hoc it requires only one new supposition that God exists surely rival hypotheses require many new suppositions the hallucination theory requires we say group hallucinations plus multi-sensory experiences happened on multiple occasions and that they were so powerful that the disciples took it

To their death preaching something that only brought in poverty and turmoil as well as a crazy Mass City hallucination that there was an empty tomb the conspiracy theory wants us to believe a bunch of frightened followers of Jesus stole a body in secret in an overcrowded

City to makeup up the story they were not expecting or was not in line with Jewish messianic expectations in order to get themselves murdered and that some of the skeptics decided to join their poor persecuted movement for no reason at all the mythic theory expects us to believe an extra assumption for each

Fact that it was actually made up later in spite of hard evidence these facts were very early and unlikely made up the resurrection theory only wants us to add the assumption that God exists which is not @ha if we combine the resurrection argument with other arguments we’ve already presented which infer theism

Since we’ve already argued for theism the resurrection hypothesis would hardly be ad hoc as dr. Campbell says moreover for the person who is already a theist the resurrection hypothesis does not even introduced a new supposition of God’s existence since that is already implied by existing knowledge so the resurrection hypothesis cannot be said

To be ad ha simply by a virtue of the number of suppositions it introduces what about plausibility a historical theory is plausible if other areas are known with confidence and suggests the same theory yours is suggesting so if other things suggests the same conclusion is your theory that would make your theory

Plausible and in line with other beliefs but as we’ve already suggested why would the resurrection theory not be plausible if we have other arguments to infer theism as William Lane Craig says only if the naturalist has good reasons to think that God’s existence is implausible or is intervention in the

World implausible could he justifiably regard the resurrection hypothesis as implausible so if one insists on assuming naturalism is true and leaves no reason for theism as a possibility then they can say the resurrection theory is implausible but that is arguing from a presupposition and not being open to evidence regardless of how

One feels about it and we can say that in conjunction with other arguments the resurrection hypothesis is not ad hoc nor is it implausible has already been shown God exists thus we can see why Anthony flue was bold enough to say the resurrection has more evidence than any

Other miracle claim the resurrection is the only theory that can explain all the data and it can do it while not being at hawk or implausible the evidence infers that God has acted in the world to raise Jesus from the dead as Paulo Frederickson admitted they must have

Seen something in all the evidence favors that what they saw was the risen Savior

#Resurrection #Jesus #Historical #Evidence