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Featured Resurrection of Christ - What's the evidence for and against a literal resurrection

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by adrian009, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Many Christians believe Jesus was crucified and literally rose from the dead. An empty tomb and the appearance of Jesus before many as recorded in the gospels are cited as irrefutable proofs by conservative Christians.

    Dr Bart Ehrhart, Christian and biblical scholar has argued:

    'Even if we want to believe in the resurrection of Jesus, that belief is a theological belief. You can’t prove the resurrection. It’s not susceptible to historical evidence. It’s faith. Believers believe it and take it on faith, and history cannot prove it.'

    Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus? The Craig-Ehrman Debate | Reasonable Faith

    The resurrection as part of an allegorical narrative assists us understand the eternal nature of the soul and the power of Christ's Teachings to bestow new spiritual upon those who follow Him.

    So did Christ really rise from the dead and what's the evidence He did? Is there evidence to support He didn't?

    With all due respect to my Christian brothers and sisters, why is Christ's Resurrection so fundamental to Christian belief?
     
    #1 adrian009, Jan 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  2. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    I think Paul answered that question...

    Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
     
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  3. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Clearly the apostle Paul argues fervently for the importance of the resurrection. However if you consider St Paul's words earlier in the chapter we read:

    After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
    After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
    And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

    1 Corinthians 15:6-8

    This is a problem for a conservative Christian worldview as Paul never witnessed the resurrected Christ, instead he heard the words of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Acts 9:1-9

    And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
    And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
    And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
    And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
    And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
    And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
    And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
    And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
    And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.


    Paul's experience was long after the 40 days of Jesus's alleged appearances after His crucifixion. So Paul did not see the resurrected Jesus, yet he likens his non-resurrection experience to those that supposedly did see their Lord. It therefore makes sense Paul in Corinthians is writing of resurrection experiences that were a mystical experience or part of an allegorical story, don't you think? This allegorical narrative and/or mystical experience still places Christ's resurrection as central to Christian belief. It also emphasises the spiritual over the physical.
     
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  4. Enoch07

    Enoch07 It's all a sick freaking joke.
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    Because we like zombies!


    Next!
     
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  5. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    No reliable evidence for the resurrection that I know of. Since it has never been observed and other gods and demigods claim some sort of resurrection it is not very believable either.
     
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  6. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    Evidence, what is it? In a court of law, does the court accept eye witness accounts?! Or, does this evidence have to be objects such as stones, books, swords, -- physical objects that one can touch and feel?!

    Do you accept Muhammad, Gautama Buddha having existed? Why so? Because of witnesses and their testimony to this fact. When we then see how strong the first century church was in resisting outright murder and persecution, you would have to ask, why did these people go to their deaths for the sake of faith in Christ and God?!

    Here we have a combination of things. The apostles and disciples who first assembled around Christ saw him rise and gave witness about this; they also were witness (many of them) to his miraculous healings, even resurrections by his hand. However, even after his death, the miraculous powers to heal remained for decades by the apostles hands and some of the early disciples. Just remember how one of the apostles resurrected Tabitha:
    36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. 37 And it came to pass in those days, that she fell sick, and died: and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper chamber. 38 And as Lydda was nigh unto Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men unto him, entreating him, Delay not to come on unto us. 39 And Peter arose and went with them. And when he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down and prayed; and turning to the body, he said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand, and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. ​
    So when not only the witnesses told about Christ's rising, but also had with them through several decades miraculous cures, even resurrections, the reason for the power of the early church to motivate its followers is clear. Thus, this early church's very survival is evidence of Christ's existence.

    While these powers died out after the apostles had passed, as promised, nonetheless, the evidence for us still exist in their witness through scripture. We get this confirmed by the power of prayer among some things.
    The teaching is what the Christian hope hinges on. Christ is promised to come and turn earth into a Paradise under one government, one rule, eliminate war, sickness, hunger, mega rich, the wicked ones who think they can commit any crime, white or black, without having to answer for it.

    As Christ promised believers and unbelievers, he shall come back and make all pay as they deserve, some with mercy and others without.
     
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  7. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I think it can be shown that the small close group of Jesus followers who launched the movement did indeed believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. That's no reason to believe them of course.
     
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  8. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    There is no eyewitness evidence in the Bible. At best all there is is hearsasy. Hearsay is not allowed in courts of law as evidence.
     
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  9. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for your post. I had hoped at least some Christians would respond.

    Did you read the transcript of the debate I posted? No problem if you didn't. Here's an excerpt from Dr Bart Ehrman:

    To sum up, the sources we have are not as good as we would like. They’re written many decades after the fact by people who were not there to see these things happen, who have inherited stories that have been changed in the process of transmission. These accounts that we have of Jesus’ resurrection are not internally consistent; they’re full of discrepancies, including the account of his death and his resurrection.

    Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus? The Craig-Ehrman Debate | Reasonable Faith


    I believe historians, regardless of belief or faith, would be in general agreement about the historic existence of Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad. The existence of the historic Christ is not in question, but His resurrection is. Many of the early followers of the great religions made sacrifices, including my own where thousands were martyred for their faith. This however is not an evidence that any of these great religious teachers literally rose from the dead.

    Luke tells an interesting story of bringing Tabatha back from the dead. I have no doubt that Jesus and His Apostles had the power to perform miracles, but is this story to be taken literally? Perhaps it is. The key difference between the story of Tabitha and Peter compared to Jesus, is the eventual ascension of Jesus where He rises into the literal heavens (through the stratosphere) to be with His Father in Heaven. That presents a challenge to logic and reason, wouldn't you think?

    In regards Tabitha, do we know that Luke was an actual eye witness to this event, as it is widely acknowldeged he was not an eyewitness to the events in regards Jesus. Do we have any corroborative evidence from other sources?

    How many resurrections are we talking about? We have Lazarus as recorded in the gospel of John and Tabitha in Acts. Any others?

    Healing and bring people back from the dead while both miracles, are not necessarily related. For example, the capacity to heal is unlikely to be associated with bringing back people from the dead, as many evangelical Christian groups claim healing miracles, but none to have raised someone from the dead....well, not to my knowledge.

    Thanks again for posting.
     
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  10. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I would presume that none of the actual disciples of Christ believed He literally rose from the death given its improbability. What we have as a record are gospels written by second or third generation Christians based on oral traditions some 35 - 65 years after Jesus was crucified. So no first hand witneses, and a narrative that has embellishments, as the apostles taught to a predominantly Greco-Roman audience.
     
  11. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    There is no reason to emphasize literal resurrection as Greeks and Romans would be fine with a spiritual one. Literal resurrection is important only in the context of Jewish hopes for actual resurrection of all dead at the end times. In this context, I do believe that the early followers did believe in a literal resurrection of Jesus and the saints (as in Mark). The position became a bit more ambiguous and began to incorporate spiritual resurrection elements as Paul tried to make this odd doctrine palatable to Gentile converts.
     
  12. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    That is the opinion of unbelievers for sure. However, we have the Gospel accounts, three that were written by apostles, and we have Paul who himself was given special revelation to which many were witnesses, we also have Peter, James, and Jude, all eye witnesses and some apostles to Jesus; James seem to have been a brother (half) to Jesus, the one perhaps whose coffin was found recently. Jude was most likely a brother (half) of Jesus.

    Most likely you will reject the above as fiction, or something like that. That is your choice and loss. That some of what we have is hearsay is true; however, much is not. Between your belief system and ours there is an insurmountable divide. There can be no agreement on most things, thus debates are useless. Questions may be answered when asked, as with this question. Otherwise, we share nothing, except our time on the planet and the likes or dislikes of food, music, and other such matters depending on personal likes.
     
  13. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    Presently, I do not believe that the power of healing exists any longer. The reason is that the laying on of hands was done by the apostles, and they are dead. You might - if you are blessed - ask to be healed in prayer and get some help. It shall never be what Jesus and the apostles did, to that extent.

    However, God and Christ do what they want irrespective of what I think is done today. Jesus rose not as a human but as a spirit being, in that kind of body. So, that he rose into the heavens is beyond what I have knowledge about. I have no idea what can and cannot be done by spirit beings. If it says he did it, is good enough for me. I go fully by the Bible, but use a harmonious interpretation.

    As you said, healing and resurrection is really not the same thing. Resurrecting a person dead for 4 days where the cells of the brain are dead and gone - is only by the power of God which is what was used. God listened to Jesus, and granted his prayer/request.

    Here is an image that is interesting. What it means is beyond me:

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Nope, you are completely unaware of the history of the Gospels. They are all anonymous. The names given to them are mere tradition and do not reflect who wrote them. And Paul by his own writings was not an eyewitness. Have you even read the Bible?

    All I ask for is reliable evidence. You do not even have eyewitness evidence, the leas reliable evidence that is allowed in a court of law.

    For the same reasons that you do not believe the Muslims and the Hindus I do not believe your account. Once again, what reliable evidence is there for the Bible?
     
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  15. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Simon and Paul from the start of Acts based their whole belief of Christianity on his death and resurrection; Paul even gives allocation if the resurrection wasn't, then their belief would falter... Thus Christians put most emphasis on it.

    This is where dissecting the texts into their different beliefs makes it easier to discern...

    Yeshua in the Synoptic Gospels does say he will be killed and raised the third day; yet not as a proof, as the proof is the 2nd temple destruction, the diaspora, the words he spoke, instead they've made it into some death cult after, which was also prophesied.

    Which suppose should discuss, Yeshua comes to set a snare to catch out all the Ravenous beings, and so when he said "where the body is, there the vultures gather", is a reference to Isaiah 34 which list all those Ravenous beings to be put into the Lake of Fire.
    The proof is fulfillment of prophecies, Yeshua Elohim sits at the right hand of God Most High (EL Elyon)...

    Yet to most this would still be clinically classed as dead, as he is no longer in a physical body.

    In my opinion. :innocent:
     
  16. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    You're debating. I don't debate with atheists. If you have a question about Biblical things, I may answer. I have studied the Bible extensively since small, been a missionary, with its education, etc.. Now I am non denominational and just go by the Bible. Even in Jewish scripture, there were at least two resurrections, but my memory is faulty, so perhaps there could have been more, but two is what I remember.

    Don't you have a Jewish background?! I know according to my studies when each book was written and by whom; this is beyond what atheists and higher Bible criticism claims. Your claims are yours, mine are ours.

    Enjoy your gospel of a chaos god, and I shall enjoy my Gospel of Christ. Go have a beer or something, and keep your faith, and let me have mine.
     
  17. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Yes, losing debates is disheartening. I understand. But modern scholars do not think that any of the Gospels were written be eyewitnesses.


    Can you support your claims? I can support mine.

    I do not have your weakness. I do not need a god. And faith is also your weakness. You are breaking the rules of the forum, though not severely, when you make these false claims about others.
     
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  18. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    You have to goad people all the time, either using this or your more popular use of the word 'ignorance' in its various forms.

    You are going to be so piissed when the end prophecies begin and you are left out in the cold because of your unbelief.

    Atheists believe in chaos, non id, having been the creating power, thus I name it aptly, the chaos god, your god whether you like it or not. Now, get off my back. You always push like a small child, in so many ways. Never just let the thing rest. Go away now. My last post to you on this subject. Report whatever you like.
     
  19. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Please, when you goad first you are in no position to complain. And you have no idea what atheists believe.

    Try again.
     
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  20. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Although Jesus taught an almost exclusively Jewish audience, He was largely rejected by His own people, and it was the Gentiles, not the Jews that became the champions of Christianity. The Greeks certainly had Gods that resurrected from the dead. It is hard to put ourselves in a cultural mindset of peoples living two thousand years ago, who were part of an empire, male dominanted, heirachical with slavery, poor levels of literacy and education, and no doubt much more superstitious compared to the peoples of today. So on the balance of probabilities, teaching about a God that was resurrected from both a literal and spiritual perspective makes sense. I'm open to hearing more specifically about why they would have accepted the message as solely a spiritual resurrection. What is apparent though, is by the end of the first century of Christianity a belief in a literal, not just spiritual resurection was the norm. The Jews countered this norm with narratives of their own (eg the body of Christ was stolen).

    Reading the gospels, certainly provides a sense of a literal resurrection, but there are inconsistencies in accounts between the four gospels, coupled with Jesus not being recognosed initially by His nearest and dearest, and being able to move through solid objects. Paul was cetainly pivitol in successfully communicating the gospel of Christ to the gentiles as you say.
     
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