Announcement

Collapse

Apologetics 301 Guidelines

If you think this is the area where you tell everyone you are sorry for eating their lunch out of the fridge, it probably isn't the place for you


This forum is open discussion between atheists and all theists to defend and debate their views on religion or non-religion. Please respect that this is a Christian-owned forum and refrain from gratuitous blasphemy. VERY wide leeway is given in range of expression and allowable behavior as compared to other areas of the forum, and moderation is not overly involved unless necessary. Please keep this in mind. Atheists who wish to interact with theists in a way that does not seek to undermine theistic faith may participate in the World Religions Department. Non-debate question and answers and mild and less confrontational discussions can take place in General Theistics.


Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

How to respond to this?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How to respond to this?

    His statement:It's hard though to say that mass hallucinations just don't happen as a reason for justifying belief in the resurrection because one could also say that resurrections just don't happen. What makes a resurrection story more likely than a mass hallucination? To me, a mass hallucination seems perhaps more likely since we can actually conceive how that could happen since individual hallucinations happen all the time. As far as I know, we don't have any strong cases of anyone being resurrected. I definitely don't know how to explain it as both explanations have issues, so to me there isn't a strong case for either event.

    Books like these remind me of the show the x files, except moulder actually saw the unbelievable events with his own eyes. I've read similar books before, and I guess that beside the issues laid out above that would impact any investigation of the event, any examination of the issue has to rely on many second hand sources, many of which are significantly debated with regard to their reliability. What I suppose I should have said was, it would be more helpful to be able to go to the scene of the event itself and be able to talk to all the eyewitnesses in person, but obv we can't do that. Even then though, the case still has the aforementioned issues.

    I definitely understand the resurrection being a starting place for someone to have faith though. It's just not clear that it's without significant contention, which explains why one has to have faith to believe in Christianity, not just reason.


    Which I responded
    :
    ''It's hard though to say that mass hallucinations just don't happen as a reason for justifying belief in the resurrection because one could also say that resurrections just don't happen. What makes a resurrection story more likely than a mass hallucination? To me, a mass hallucination seems perhaps more likely since we can actually conceive how that could happen since individual hallucinations happen all the time. As far as I know, we don't have any strong cases of anyone being resurrected. I definitely don't know how to explain it as both explanations have issues, so to me there isn't a strong case for either event.''

    I agree. Hallucinations are more believable. But Reality doesn't necessarily conforms to believability(The ancients wouldn't consider Quantum Mechanics believable for example). Plus the lack of strong cases for anyone being resurrection is to be expected as it is an event that is impossible under normal circumstances unless a deity does it in the same way an admin can tinker with the server. The nature of the event at the scene leaves only an empty tomb. So unless the unarmed disciples managed to smuggle the body from the tomb even though at the time it was guarded by armed soldiers for 3 days, the resurrection is the most plausible explanation.

    ''Books like these remind me of the show the x files, except moulder actually saw the unbelievable events with his own eyes. I've read similar books before, and I guess that beside the issues laid out above that would impact any investigation of the event, any examination of the issue has to rely on many second hand sources, many of which are significantly debated with regard to their reliability. What I suppose I should have said was, it would be more helpful to be able to go to the scene of the event itself and be able to talk to all the eyewitnesses in person, but obv we can't do that. Even then though, the case still has the aforementioned issues.''

    Worth investigating. I hope you check this particular book out. You might like it.

    ''I definitely understand the resurrection being a starting place for someone to have faith though. It's just not clear that it's without significant contention, which explains why one has to have faith to believe in Christianity, not just reason.''

    The thing is the Resurrection is the one falsifiable fact of Christianity on which it stands or falls, it is a decision based on the fact that other alternative explanations is insufficient. Without it all of Christianity is invalidated and the entire religion is proven false. Even one of the Apostles St Paul said so(1 Corinthians 15:16-19).Reason is the foundation of Faith in my opinion. Otherwise its just blind believism. Even the bible itself doesn't teach this blind believism:

    http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2...nd-evidence-3/

    One cannot have this kind of faith without basis in reason.


    His response:
    ''If hallucinations are more believable than resurrections, then I'd say that people finding a way to get rid of the body is more believable than a resurrection too under the same logic as our points about mass hallucinations. Again, I don't know what happened, but most any other explanation for how the body disappeared however unlikely, is going to be more probable than a miracle, which is fundamentally impossible under natural circumstances.

    This is the problem with using an empirical approach to this issue. We are always going to run into problems when you use scientific obersevation to argue for supernatural phenomena. A naturalistic explanation is always going to be more prpbable than a supernatural one. I'm afraid the apologists are using a god of the gaps approach that does depend on faith too.

    Here's another example of how the resurrection event necessitates faith. From an empirical approach, even if Jesus did rise from the dead, all that would prove is that Jesus rose from the dead. It does not logically follow that Christianity is true. Maybe some other god exists and could have raised him from the dead - we have no idea.

    And also, while it is true that reality may not conform to probability, that shouldn't change our approach in valuing the most simple and probable explanation. So I feel that is a moot point.

    And I would say that the bible isn't clear about what it says regarding faith and reason. Some passages value reasoned approaches, while others like jesus's encounter with Thomas after the resurrection value faith over skepticism. It feels to me as if different writers of the books of the bible had differing values in mind about this issue.

    As for the resurrection being the only falsifiable claim that grounds all of Christianity, I would say that there are problems with the belief system if any biblical events did not occur as that would throw into question the validity of the bible. So that would mean literally all of jesus's actions plus the actions of every other person in bible are to be examined to see if they occurred. And I would argue that even the resurrection isn't falsifiable anymore because we cannot physically investigate the issue anymore. Since we don't know what happened for sure, people can say it may have happened, but no one can prove it. Therefore its not falsifiable.''



    How should I respond? Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Originally posted by johngalt1 View Post
    As for the resurrection being the only falsifiable claim that grounds all of Christianity, I would say that there are problems with the belief system if any biblical events did not occur as that would throw into question the validity of the bible. So that would mean literally all of jesus's actions plus the actions of every other person in bible are to be examined to see if they occurred. And I would argue that even the resurrection isn't falsifiable anymore because we cannot physically investigate the issue anymore. Since we don't know what happened for sure, people can say it may have happened, but no one can prove it. Therefore its not falsifiable.''
    [/I]


    How should I respond? Any suggestions?
    How do you suppose that the Resurrection could possibly be falsified? Even if we found a First Century tomb in Jerusalem, tomorrow, which had belonged to a relatively wealthy man named Joseph and contained an ossuary labeled "Jesus son of Joseph" holding the bones of a crucified man, would you consider the Resurrection to have been completely falsified?

    Many Christians would simply point to the fact that "Joseph" and "Jesus" were fairly common names, and that there's no way to show that the tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, or the bones to Jesus of Nazareth. Heck, some might even try to argue that such a find provides more evidence for the Resurrection, since it would be evidence that crucified men received honorable burials.

    Even if a Christian believed the relics to have belonged to Jesus, they might come up with a theological justification by which the Resurrection may still have occurred. Paul says that Jesus died from his mortal body and was resurrected in a glorified body-- perhaps some might begin to argue that the glorified body is a wholly different, wholly new body and that the bones of the old, dead body would surely remain.

    So, again, how is it that you think the Resurrection could possibly be falsified?
    Last edited by Boxing Pythagoras; 01-07-2015, 08:25 AM.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by johngalt1 View Post
      The thing is the Resurrection is the one falsifiable fact of Christianity on which it stands or falls, it is a decision based on the fact that other alternative explanations is insufficient. Without it all of Christianity is invalidated and the entire religion is proven false. Even one of the Apostles St Paul said so(1 Corinthians 15:16-19).Reason is the foundation of Faith in my opinion. Otherwise its just blind believism. Even the bible itself doesn't teach this blind believism:
      The resurrection is a long way from being established, and to pin your argument on it may not have been a good move.

      Most Biblical scholars consider Mark to be the first gospel written, and that was about 40 years after the event, and not by an eye witness (even assuming Mark was the author). The others were likely to have been written after all the eye witnesses were dead. The first writing we have is from Paul, and all he saw was a bright light that talked. He offers no indication that anyone else saw anything more substantial than that. A rather more likely scenario than the disciples smuggling out the body is that Mark just made up the empty tomb, and contrived it being found by two women who never told anyone about it to explain why up until then no one had known the tomb was empty (and it is notable that Paul does not mention the empty tomb).

      My advise, then, would be to admit defeat.
      My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

      Comment


      • #4
        I consider mass hallucination to be one of the most unlikely scenarios IF the Resurrection is not a true event. Since we do not have any documented testimonies from the life of Jesus Christ, the miraculous events may have been added, extrapolated and amplified after 50 AD to justify the Messiahship of Jesus as the Christ. This would be the most likely scenario considering this is the case for many famous leaders in ancient history like Caesar. Since Jesus did not fulfill the expected prophecy as the military leader to vanquish the Romans and lead the Hebrews to restore their Kingdom on Earth, an alternate scenario was developed, which evolved into foundation of role of Christianity on earth, the Divine right of Christian kings to rule the Heaven on earth. The establishment of Christian Rome was considered by many to justify this mission of Christ, but unfortunately the Hebrews were left out.

        There also had to be an explanation that the world did not end within one generation of the life of Christ.

        There is no documented historical evidence that would conclusively demonstrate the Resurrection as true. It is justified as part of the necessary foundation of Christian belief as a part of the overall tradition, Doctrine and Dogma of Christianity. Once set in Roman concrete by the Roman Fathers of Christianity, the justification of the literal Resurrection became necessary and a given.
        Last edited by shunyadragon; 01-07-2015, 08:59 AM.
        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

        go with the flow the river knows . . .

        Frank

        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

        Comment


        • #5
          I believe your friend is correct: The resurrection, as a miracle, is the least likely explanation by definition. Also, mass hallucinations do in fact occur. As Bart Ehrman has pointed out, "dozens of Roman senators claimed that King Romulus was snatched up into heaven from their midst," and thousands of Roman Catholics claim the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared to them alive.

          Ehrman also argues in his book "How Jesus Became God," that the burial story of Jesus is highly problematic. It may be that Jesus was left on the cross where his body decomposed and served as food for scavenging animals. This is what usually happened to victims of crucifixion. Within a few days the body would have been unrecognizable, so the idea of the Romans producing it to 'disprove' the resurrection would have been pointless.

          The point your friend made about the resurrection being inadequate to prove the truth of Christianity is also correct. Imagine I could prove to you that a guy named Bob Smith rose from the dead in, say 1742. Would that mean that everything Bob said about himself or reality was therefore true? Would it mean his diaries were infallible? As far as I can see, it would just mean something very strange happened to Bob.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Enjolras View Post
            I believe your friend is correct: The resurrection, as a miracle, is the least likely explanation by definition. Also, mass hallucinations do in fact occur. As Bart Ehrman has pointed out, "dozens of Roman senators claimed that King Romulus was snatched up into heaven from their midst," and thousands of Roman Catholics claim the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared to them alive.
            I think there is a bit of equivocation occurring, here. Generally, when apologists say that "mass hallucinations do not occur," they are saying that masses of people are not known to simultaneously experience precisely the same hallucination; however, when skeptics refer to the idea of a mass hallucination, we tend to mean masses of people simultaneously hallucinating about a certain subject, but not necessarily experiencing precisely the same hallucination as one another.

            Either way, though, the friend's objection remains: it is ludicrous to assert that mass hallucinations are a poor explanation for Resurrection appearances because they are not known to occur while at the same time asserting that actual resurrection from the dead is a good explanation despite the fact that it is not known to occur.
            "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
            --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
              I think there is a bit of equivocation occurring, here. Generally, when apologists say that "mass hallucinations do not occur," they are saying that masses of people are not known to simultaneously experience precisely the same hallucination; however, when skeptics refer to the idea of a mass hallucination, we tend to mean masses of people simultaneously hallucinating about a certain subject, but not necessarily experiencing precisely the same hallucination as one another.
              The argument is that mass hallucinations are not viable because the resurrection accounts are not that diverse, whether the argument is one mass hallucination of the same event or different hallucinations of a similar event. In an ancient world, we would expect the earlier accounts to be much more fantastically varied than they are, especially if they were based on different hallucinations of a similar event (i.e. Jesus rises from the dead like an angelic being with glowing apparel in one account, rising as a flame of fire in another, charging out of the heavens back to earth in yet another, etc). You would also have even more of a diversity of views on what was actually the "true" vision of the rising Christ and who had the authority to sanctify the "true" vision.
              "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by seanD View Post
                The argument is that mass hallucinations are not viable because the resurrection accounts are not that diverse
                I would wholly disagree with this sentiment. The Resurrection accounts seem extremely diverse.

                It seems that the original text of the Gospel of Mark had no account of Jesus' Resurrection appearances, at all. Matthew says that the resurrected Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary," then immediately went to Galilee where Jesus appeared to all eleven disciples at the same time. According to Luke, the resurrected Jesus first appeared to Cleopas and another man on the way to Emmaus, then appeared to the eleven disciples all at once in Jerusalem, and then he flew off into the sky. In John's Gospel, Jesus first appears to Mary Magdalene alone, then to all of the disciples in Jerusalem where Jesus infuses them with the Holy Spirit, then again a week later where he proves he's not a ghost by showing off his wounds, and at least once more to seven disciples by the Sea of Tiberias where Jesus miracled an enormous catch of fish. Paul tells the Corinthians that Jesus appeared first to Peter, then to the Twelve, then to 500 people at once, then to James, then to all of the apostles, and finally to Paul. Finally, the interpolated Longer Ending of Mark says that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene, then to two disciples walking into the country, then to all eleven disciples where he claims that belief in him will give people superpowers, after which he flew off into the sky.

                So, here we have five different documents which give five entirely different accounts of Jesus resurrection appearances. No two of them say the same thing. How could you possibly justify the claim that they are not that diverse?

                In an ancient world, we would expect the earlier accounts to be much more fantastically varied than they are, especially if they were based on different hallucinations of a similar event (i.e. Jesus rises from the dead like an angelic being with glowing apparel in one account, rising as a flame of fire in another, charging out of the heavens back to earth in yet another, etc).
                Why would you expect that? Which other ancient accounts of seemingly miraculous events lead you to believe that all ancient accounts based on mass hallucinations would vary so widely and bear such grandiose special effects?
                "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by seanD View Post
                  The argument is that mass hallucinations are not viable because the resurrection accounts are not that diverse, whether the argument is one mass hallucination of the same event or different hallucinations of a similar event. In an ancient world, we would expect the earlier accounts to be much more fantastically varied than they are, especially if they were based on different hallucinations of a similar event (i.e. Jesus rises from the dead like an angelic being with glowing apparel in one account, rising as a flame of fire in another, charging out of the heavens back to earth in yet another, etc). You would also have even more of a diversity of views on what was actually the "true" vision of the rising Christ and who had the authority to sanctify the "true" vision.
                  1 Peter 3:19-20

                  "After being made alive he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water."

                  I'd say that's a tad divergent from the other accounts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by johngalt1 View Post
                    How should I respond? Any suggestions?
                    I would have to agree with the majority that you lost this argument. Your friend seems like a very reasonable person, and quite courteous in dismissal of your apologia. Your response should be: "You are right. There is no proof in the resurrection. However, as a Christian, I believe in it simply because the Bible and Church tradition says it is so. I believe it by blind faith."

                    However, I think that you should try to answer (for yourself, if not here on this Forum) why you think your faith is in vain if there is no truth in the resurrection. I mean, besides the fact that Paul said so.

                    NORM
                    Last edited by NormATive; 01-07-2015, 10:44 PM. Reason: forgot a phrase
                    When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by whag View Post
                      1 Peter 3:19-20

                      "After being made alive he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water."

                      I'd say that's a tad divergent from the other accounts.
                      And yet it isn't in any of the four gospels that illustrate the resurrection scene. Why is that?
                      "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by seanD View Post
                        The argument is that mass hallucinations are not viable because the resurrection accounts are not that diverse, whether the argument is one mass hallucination of the same event or different hallucinations of a similar event. In an ancient world, we would expect the earlier accounts to be much more fantastically varied than they are, especially if they were based on different hallucinations of a similar event (i.e. Jesus rises from the dead like an angelic being with glowing apparel in one account, rising as a flame of fire in another, charging out of the heavens back to earth in yet another, etc). You would also have even more of a diversity of views on what was actually the "true" vision of the rising Christ and who had the authority to sanctify the "true" vision.
                        I think the best explanation is the mass hallucination was the original vision of a risen Jesus, which Mark alludes to in chapter 16:

                        6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

                        All the rest of the gospel accounts are embellishment and mythology, contrived some fifty or so years later, when all the original witnesses were dead (and given they have Jesus walking around Jerusalem, they are in contradiction with these verses, which state Jesus will appear in Galilee). The only other account we have that was written when witnesses were still alive is from 1 Corinthians 15:

                        3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

                        Both these accounts are singularly lacking in detail. Did they see the physical body of Christ, as later envisaged by John, complete with crucifixion wounds? Or merely a bright light, comparable to what Paul saw on the road to Damascus? What reason do we have to think everyone saw the same thing?
                        My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                          I think the best explanation is the mass hallucination was the original vision of a risen Jesus, which Mark alludes to in chapter 16:

                          6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

                          All the rest of the gospel accounts are embellishment and mythology, contrived some fifty or so years later, when all the original witnesses were dead (and given they have Jesus walking around Jerusalem, they are in contradiction with these verses, which state Jesus will appear in Galilee). The only other account we have that was written when witnesses were still alive is from 1 Corinthians 15:

                          3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

                          Both these accounts are singularly lacking in detail. Did they see the physical body of Christ, as later envisaged by John, complete with crucifixion wounds? Or merely a bright light, comparable to what Paul saw on the road to Damascus? What reason do we have to think everyone saw the same thing?
                          Then why don't the resurrection accounts of Jesus reflect the fantastic "mythology" we would expect of an ancient world?
                          "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by seanD View Post
                            Then why don't the resurrection accounts of Jesus reflect the fantastic "mythology" we would expect of an ancient world?
                            Because that would not fit with the rest of Jesus' life. Jesus did ride dragons or throw fireballs around, so no one would expect that after the resurrection.

                            The purpose of the embellishments was apologetic. We can see that clearly in Matthew where he invents the guards on the tomb, and even mentions that opponents of Christianity were saying the body had been stolen. More specifically about the resurrection we see in John where Jesus goes to some length to show that he is not merely ghost. Both incidents are missing from the account written when witnesses were still alive.

                            Furthermore, fantastic mythology does not necessarily accompany resurrection accounts. From here (slightly adapted):

                            During the cremation of Augustus Caesar, Suetonius also relates that 'an ex-praetor actually swore that he had seen Augustus' spirit soaring up to Heaven through the flames'.
                            - Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, translated by Robert Graves (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1957), II.100.

                            With regard to historical persons for whom a resurrection is claimed, five such cases will be briefly mentioned. Rabbi Judah I was a major Jewish teacher who was instrumental in completing the compilation of the Mishnah about A.D. 200. It is reported in the Gemaras that, after his death in A.D. 220, 'He used to come home again at twilight every Sabbath Eve'. On one such occasion, a neighbour came to the Rabbi's door but was turned away by his maid. When Rabbi Judah heard of this incident, he stopped coming back to his home so that he did not upstage other righteous persons who did not return to their homes after death.
                            - Israel W. Slotki, editor, The Babylonian Talmud (Seder Nashim, Kethuboth), translated by S. Daiches (n.p.: The Rebecca Bennett Publications Inc., 1959), Vol. III, XII.103A.

                            Kabir was a religious teacher of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries who attempted to combine certain facets of both the Hindu and Moslem religions. After his death, usually placed at 1518, it was reported that Kabir's followers were arguing over whether to cremate his body according to Hindu customs or to bury his body in keeping with Moslem habits. To stop the controversy, Kabir himself is said to have appeared to his followers and directed them to draw back the cloth placed over his body. When this was done, flowers were found instead of the body of Kabir. The Hindus burned half of these flowers while the Moslems buried the other half.
                            - James Hastings, editor, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, s.v. 'Kabir, Kabirpanthis', pp. 632-4.
                            My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                              Because that would not fit with the rest of Jesus' life. Jesus did ride dragons or throw fireballs around, so no one would expect that after the resurrection.

                              The purpose of the embellishments was apologetic. We can see that clearly in Matthew where he invents the guards on the tomb, and even mentions that opponents of Christianity were saying the body had been stolen. More specifically about the resurrection we see in John where Jesus goes to some length to show that he is not merely ghost. Both incidents are missing from the account written when witnesses were still alive.

                              Furthermore, fantastic mythology does not necessarily accompany resurrection accounts. From here (slightly adapted):

                              During the cremation of Augustus Caesar, Suetonius also relates that 'an ex-praetor actually swore that he had seen Augustus' spirit soaring up to Heaven through the flames'.
                              - Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, translated by Robert Graves (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1957), II.100.

                              With regard to historical persons for whom a resurrection is claimed, five such cases will be briefly mentioned. Rabbi Judah I was a major Jewish teacher who was instrumental in completing the compilation of the Mishnah about A.D. 200. It is reported in the Gemaras that, after his death in A.D. 220, 'He used to come home again at twilight every Sabbath Eve'. On one such occasion, a neighbour came to the Rabbi's door but was turned away by his maid. When Rabbi Judah heard of this incident, he stopped coming back to his home so that he did not upstage other righteous persons who did not return to their homes after death.
                              - Israel W. Slotki, editor, The Babylonian Talmud (Seder Nashim, Kethuboth), translated by S. Daiches (n.p.: The Rebecca Bennett Publications Inc., 1959), Vol. III, XII.103A.

                              Kabir was a religious teacher of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries who attempted to combine certain facets of both the Hindu and Moslem religions. After his death, usually placed at 1518, it was reported that Kabir's followers were arguing over whether to cremate his body according to Hindu customs or to bury his body in keeping with Moslem habits. To stop the controversy, Kabir himself is said to have appeared to his followers and directed them to draw back the cloth placed over his body. When this was done, flowers were found instead of the body of Kabir. The Hindus burned half of these flowers while the Moslems buried the other half.
                              - James Hastings, editor, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, s.v. 'Kabir, Kabirpanthis', pp. 632-4.
                              Would not fit with the rest of Jesus' life? Sure it would. Throwing fireballs and riding dragons? No, but we have Jesus walking on water in one work, sweating blood and ascending into heaven in another work, divine proclamations about Jesus from heaven, glowing like an angelic being and surrounded by past prophets in all three works. The spectacle of Jesus' majesty and divinity is illustrated throughout the works. We also see at least the theology of spectacle in 1 Peter 3:19-20. The later Christian apocryphal works, like the gospel of Peter and the gospel of Bartholomew, also understood the necessity of the resurrection spectacle and followed patterns we would expect of Christian fictional works. And this is even more so if these were based off of hallucinations, as mentioned earlier. Proving he was resurrected flesh didn't negate the spectacle we see in Luke, or the angel ascending out of heaven and terrifying the guards that we see in Matthew.
                              "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by lee_merrill, 10-30-2020, 09:01 PM
                              28 responses
                              120 views
                              2 likes
                              Last Post thormas
                              by thormas
                               
                              Started by Whateverman, 07-26-2020, 11:01 AM
                              330 responses
                              6,602 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Electric Skeptic  
                              Started by shunyadragon, 09-09-2016, 03:27 PM
                              1,250 responses
                              55,010 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post thormas
                              by thormas
                               
                              Working...
                              X