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How likely is it that guards were posted at the tomb of Jesus?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Agnostic75, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Agnostic75

    Agnostic75 New Member

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    Only Matthew mentions the guards. In my opinion, one testimony is not enough to establish evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
     
  2. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    How many is enough?

    Would that number create less skepticism?

    Last I checked, every single early christian writer is chucked into the trash for having a bias. :rolleyes:

    Not sure it would make a difference.
     
  3. Agnostic75

    Agnostic75 New Member

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    Is one witness enough for you regarding the guards at the tomb of Jesus? Obviously, it depends upon who is doing the evaluating. Well-known Christian apologist William Lane Craig, Ph.D., philosophy, Th.D., religion, sometimes makes a big deal out of what he calls "multiple, independent attestations" regarding certain issues in the Gospels. In court trials, the more supposed eyewitnesses the better.

    However many witnesses is enough for an individual, one witness is usually less convincing than two or more witnesses unless a person automatically accepts everything in a religious book entirely by faith, in which case if faith is all that matters, one worldview is as good as another.
     
  4. Agnostic75

    Agnostic75 New Member

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    Please provide your definition for the word "biased".

    Are you implying that you are not biased? Are you implying that all non-Christians are biased?



     
  5. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    That is quite a leap from such a tiny circumstance.

    Not that simple. One doesn't have faith and walla!......all future inquiries are met with complete submission whereby we leave our brain outside when stepping into our respective churches. Most conversions take time and are as complicated as why someone decides to become an atheist or agnostic.

    Not all of us have demascus road conversions.
     
  6. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    I'm implying that we are all biased and it's a silly thing to dismiss things because of it.

    It is however an excellent conversation stopper.
     
  7. Agnostic75

    Agnostic75 New Member

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    Millions of Americans believe that God inspired and preserved all of the Bible free of errors except for obvious copyist and scribal errors. Over 40 million Americans believe that the biblical creation story is literally true.

    Anyway, for purposes of this thread, I would like to limit discussions to the issue of the guards at the tomb of Jesus.
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    How likely is that that Jesus was placed in a tomb?
     
  9. City_Hunter

    City_Hunter New Member

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    Doesn't matter to me how many or how few eyewitnesses to something there are.

    It's shocking to me that eye witness testimony is one of the highest pieces of "evidence" in a court of law.
     
  10. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    Most likely, there were no guards. One of the reasons it is unlikely is that we only have one attestation to it. That does make it some what suspicious. It is also from a later date. If we could see that it was from an earlier time, then that would give it more credence, but since the earliest record we have states otherwise, it makes the account more suspicious.

    Just examining the account though, we can see a logical reason as to why the detail would be added. We are told by Matthew that the reason for the guard was because some were afraid that the disciples of Jesus would steal the body of Jesus. This suggests that there were rumors going around that the disciples had in fact stolen the body of Jesus. In order to dispel those rumors, the story of a guard being present was fabricated.

    As sojourner asked though, how likely is it that Jesus was even put in a tomb? It would have been quite rare. Unless Jesus truly had someone of considerable importance looking out for him, there is no way that he would have been put in a tomb. The most likely outcome is that he spent some time after he was dead on the cross as a warning to others. In addition, it was in order to humiliate the victim. Being left to be devoured by dogs would have added to that.
     
  11. Zadok

    Zadok Zadok

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    Is there anyone from that time period that disputes Mathew?

    Zadok
     
  12. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    I suppose it's as likely as any other nth-hand account of something which supposedly happened two thousand years ago.
     
  13. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey Staff Member Premium Member

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    This passage makes me lean towards accepting that he was:

    Matthew 28:13-17 (New International Version)

    13telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.


    The reason I see this as a clue is that the author of Matthew is mentioning something akin to an urban legend that's supposed to have been circulating among the Jews of his own time. Since the Jewish people are the target audience of the G of Matthew, it seems unlikely to me that the gospel's author would jeopardize his credibility by mentioning a story and claiming that it "has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day" if the story didn't already exist.


    If we accept the idea that the story did exist and was as well known to the Jews as Matthew claims, the next question that presents itself is: why would the Jews go to the trouble of isolating one aspect of the Gospel narrative and offering an alternative explanation for the event unless it actually happened?


    I mean if they dismissed, ignored, or denied the story whole cloth why would they feel obligated to select and explain away any one particular portion of it?


    To my mind, if the story did exist, and was circulating among the Jews of Matthew's time, this suggests all sorts of important points:

    • that Jesus existed
    • that the crucifixion actually happened
    • that the tomb actually was discovered to be empty
    • that all of the above was more widely known (and noticed) among 1st. century Judeans than is usually supposed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  14. dogsgod

    dogsgod New Member

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    Fiction is like that.
     
  15. dogsgod

    dogsgod New Member

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    How likely is it that Jesus was?
     
  16. Agnostic75

    Agnostic75 New Member

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    I do not accept the existence of the story at the time that Jesus died. Why do you accept it?
     
  17. angellous_evangellous

    angellous_evangellous Pater Familias Staff Member Premium Member

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    It seems to me that if Jesus was crucified by the Romans because they feared Jewish riots - which they did fear - placing guards at the tomb is perfectly likely. The Gospel of Matthew takes advantage of this likelihood and expands it in the story of the resurrection, saying that these guards were bribed.
     
  18. tarasan

    tarasan New Member

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    Roman soldiers who were found sleeping at their post were likely executed I dont they would have accepted any bribes
     
  19. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    Well, in the case of Matthew we're not even talking about one witness. The author is anonymous, so any suggestion that he was a witness is just baseless speculation.

    John Dominic Crossan, for one, thinks it's extremely unlikely.
     
  20. angellous_evangellous

    angellous_evangellous Pater Familias Staff Member Premium Member

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    That's why I said that the Gospel of Matthew added the story of bribery. It's not likely to have happend, but sort of believable.

    Matt 28
    We could say that the guards assigned to the tomb were executed, but other soldiers around who saw the women go into the tomb were bribed. :shrug:
     
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