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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. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe that works both ways. The Bible is just as good evidence as any about evolution and better because God knows all things.

    So for the purpose of defining evidence there are more than one type. There is scientific evidence ie put oxygen and hydrogen together one gets water. There is prima facie evidence ie what one can hear, see smell or touch. There is witness evidence ie someone wrote in a book what happens when O is added to H because they performed the test. There is witness evidence of what a person has seen heard, felt. There is material evidence such as DNA left at the scene of a crime. Material evidence is the one that evolution leans on and it is the least dependable although witness evidence is chancy at times as well.
     
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  2. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    What good would it do to say there is an afterlife (What resurrection implies) if there wan't one?

    I believe ones beliefs are not dependable. I have seen Bingo players bring trinkets to bring them luck but there is no evidence that it does. I believe self affirmation comes under the heading of seeing what one wishes to see.
     
  3. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe that is nuts. There is no reference to a third party. The context is that of Jesus being the Lord.
     
  4. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I don't believe that your beliefs are dependable either, as it's based on a book written by people who had a mistaken understanding of God.

    Given communists, Nazi's, suicide bombers, Japanese kamikazees, the Confederates... is it really difficult to believe that people will both kill and die on behalf of wrong deluded beliefs? So zeal is hardly a reliable guide to truth of a belief.
     
  5. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    If you want to claim that "God knows all things" you put an almost impossible burden of proof upon yourself. You must first demonstrate that your God exists, then you must show how he knows all things. The Bible refutes itself since it is filled with self contradictions, bad science, failed prophecies and worse morals. Why give it any credence at all?

    And you have your list of evidence totally screwed up. The least reliable evidence is eyewitness evidence. Don't ask me, ask a lawyer. In courts of law material evidence is king. It is pretty hard to refute Maury Povich when he says "You are[b/b] the father.

    The Bible is not even eyewitness evidence it is almost all hearsay. Evidence that is so poor that it is not allowed in a court of law.

    The good thing about scientific evidence is that it is undeniable. If a person denies it they are only demonstrating either ignorance or dishonesty. Most creationists don't want to be dishonest so most creationists strive not to learn what is and what is not scientific evidence.
     
  6. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    People will always interpret "holy writings" to suit their own beliefs. The same is done by Christians every day with the Bible. That is one of the main reason that there are thousands upon thousands of different Christian sects. The differences may be big or small, but they still exist.

    Since context is important what do you think of the terribly failed Tyre prophecy?
     
  7. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I missed this post. So now you say Baha'is believe in the resurrection story as told in the gospels? No, you believe it is symbolic. And what do you mean about a dead man burying a dead man?

    I think the writers of the gospels meant the resurrection story literally. Whether that's true or not is a different question. Baha'is say that a literal resurrection is not true.
     
  8. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    No, let's not pretend you're being honest. You honestly switch the focus. You said that the writers had no intention of writing literal history. I posted what Luke said his intentions were. He sounds like he intended to write exactly what had happened in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

    So then you question the validity of Luke? You say, "Some scholars suggest that Luke was being revised well into the second century." So that implies other people were adding and subtracting to the gospel and to Acts? And you question whether or not Luke was even the writer? Great, then just say you think the NT is a lot of baloney. But no, Baha'is come right back with all the flowery quotes about how wonderful the NT is.

    But the only thing I'm complaining about is that I think the gospel writers really believed they were telling the truth about the events that transpired. So if they didn't happen, then, we've got a problem. You say, "no problem. It was meant to be symbolic". That is still a problem for me, because they didn't write it in a way to be seen or interpreted as symbolic. They wrote it as if it actually happened. So either they lied about the resurrection, or, just as deceptively bad, they knew it was symbolic but wrote it as if it happened.

    Your other complaints about the resurrection not lining up with science don't work either. But, they didn't have the scientific knowledge we have today. In those days who wouldn't believe that a god/man could rise from the dead and float off into space? So if Baha'is want to be honest, then just say it, the NT is not trustworthy... it is religious mythology... it has some useful spiritual teachings... but Jesus didn't literally do any of the things that are written about him... Except being born without having a human father. You're the doctor, if you say that's possible, then sure. But I don't see it being scientifically plausible.
     
  9. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Ocean Immersion
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    If you believe they wrote that they were writing a literal story, you also believe they think a dead man is just about to bury a dead man, that the dead bury the dead.

    The point is is the Bible is full of Metaphor and Parables and Numerical and Mathematical Truths that need to be unraveled. All this based on events that took place in the time of Jesus the Christ.

    Baha'u'llah tells us there is inexhaustible Truths enshrined in all of Gods Words, all the Holy Books.

    CG - To get an idea of this, look at this essay on the Disconnected Letters of the Koran - Disconnected Letters of the Qur'an and the Significance of the Number Nineteen The first couple of pages talks about the Miracle of the Koran compared to the accuracy of the Bible.

    Christ spoke more than stories to us. Each Letter of each word had a meaning, let alone a sentence. Within those words is also a Numerical story being told. We will be gobsmacked when we do know the power of the Word they spoke. With the Bible we must be cautious, it contains the Word of God, but it is not as accurate as the Koran.

    Regards Tony
     
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  10. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Tony that is the most absurd thing you've ever said. The writers are reporting what Jesus said and did. If Jesus told a parable, who's going to the take that literally? However, if the writers said Jesus did something, and he didn't, that's not a metaphor, that's a lie.
     
  11. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Ocean Immersion
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    CG, there is a lot we are yet to consider. Numeical Values and language is ancient and was used in Hebrew well before Christ. The Torah is full of this understanding.

    Here is an independant source. Read this and you will see how the Bible is more then an outward meaning.

    http://www.theomatics.com/struct.html

    This was widley used in Arabic as well. Baha'u'llah was of course a master of its use and did use it.

    Regards Tony
     
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  12. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Ocean Immersion
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    The Loaves and the fishes is another story that outwardly seems to be a literal story, but in reality, it is offering a spiritual insight.

    Depends if you think the reality of Christ is a magic show or a teacher of spiritual concepts.

    Dynamo is who I look towards for magic, with Christ, I look for Sliritual understandings.

    Regards Tony
     
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  13. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    One of the tactics of the fundamentalists is to take a verse out of context and insist that it has a literal meaning. To insist that the author (s) of Luke are trying to present some factual, historic account of the life and Teachings of Christ based on looking at one or two verses out of context simply makes no sense to many bible scholars. Calling those that are prepared to view the gospels in a different manner to the fundamentalists 'dishonest' is yet another 'Christian' approach.

    We know there was collaboration between the synoptic gospels, Mark, Matthew, and Luke because of the shared material. It is most likely that Mark was written first, then Matthew, and then Luke. Most scholars believe there were other sources used. Does this knowledge question the validity of Luke? No, it helps us to better understand Luke. It does provide an alternative view to the conservative Christians which clearly have a major influence in the USA.

    Of course the Baha'is hold the bible in high regards, as do many scholars, and liberal Christians. Are you saying the only people that hold the bible in high regards are the Christian conservatives?

    The value of education and research is that enables us move beyond these two extremes.

    I have no complaints about the bible or science.

    Baha'is believe in an Omnipotent, All-Powerful God that has the capacity to transcend the laws of nature. We also believe in science. There is no contradiction between religion and science for anyone prepared to take the time properly investigate the truth.
     
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  14. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Here's some verses. I don't know what Baha'is say the context is, but it seems like it is in the context of the continuing story about Jesus being killed then buried and soon to be supposedly alive. Since Baha'is don't take the resurrection as literal, what about these verses? How do you make them work into the Baha'i symbolic interpretation, plus the Baha'i view that the body was indeed stolen and buried elsewhere?

    Matthew 27:62-66 62The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63"Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.' 64So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first." 65"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.​
     
  15. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Here's a few other verses from Chapter 27 which would give me serious concerns about taking all of Matthew 27 literally...

    Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
    And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
    And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
    And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

    Matthew 27:50-53

    How about these verses from Chapter 28?
    In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
    And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
    His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
    And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

    Matthew 28:1-4

    Should we take these verses literally?

    It shouldn't be suprising that so much allergory and symbolism are used in the Matthew. Consider Chapters 24 and 25 that constitute the Olivet discourse and a style that is unmistakenly apocalyptic interwoven with actual predictions about the future of the temple and the Jewish peoples.

    So who wrote Matthew? We don't know but most scholars agree its wasn't Matthew the tax collector.

    Matthew contains over 90% of the material in Mark providing evidence that Matthew used Mark as a primary source rather than Mark using Matthew as has previously been presumed.

    [​IMG]
    So if that's the case, what did Mark say about the resurrection? As you are probably aware, most scholars believe that the ending to Mark that includes the resurrection, was added on at a much later stage.

    Mark 16 - Wikipedia

    If we want to go to the earliest references to the resurrection in the NT look no further than Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. Paul as we know never witnessed the resurrected Christ (that is recorded at least) as he converted long after the 40 days of Christ's appearances. It seems likely that Paul's adapted and embellished narrative of the life and Teachings of Christ that resonanted so well with his Greek audience was used and further adapted by the gospel writers.

    Was the phrase the Body of Christ used by Paul?

    How is the church the Body of Christ?

    Of course and on many occasions. The phrase was used symbolically to refer to the early Church.

    How's that for context?
     
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  16. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    If the stories aren't literal, then they are fiction, correct?
     
  17. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    In regards the resurrection I prefer the words religious mythology.

    Fiction is technically correct but its definition is broad and to apply the word to sacred texts has too many negative connotations.
     
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  18. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Ocean Immersion
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    The way a Baha'i looks at this has been recorded as follows;

    "Concerning the resurrection of Christ, he wishes to call your attention to the fact that in this as well as in practically all the so-called miraculous events recorded in the Gospel we should, as Bahá’ís, seek to find a spiritual meaning and to entirely discard the physical interpretation attached to them by many of the Christian sects. The resurrection of Christ was, indeed, not physical but essentially spiritual, and is symbolic of the truth that the reality of man is to be found not in his physical constitution, but in his soul. A careful perusal of the 'Íqán' and of the 'Some Answered Questions' makes this indubitably clear." (From a letter written to an individual believer on behalf of the Guardian, August 14, 1934)

    Regards Tony
     
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  19. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    The ‘original’ ending of Mark (Mark 16:1-8) does include reference to the resurrection. None of the canonical NT has anyone witness the resurrection event itself. The other Gospels have witnesses to the risen Jesus but not Mark. In Mark, the tomb is found empty and a young man says that Jesus rose from the dead and went to Galilee.

    Mark 16:9-20 is clearly a later add on. It s totally different from Mark’s normal writing style. It is a collage of re to events in later Gospels. Early manuscripts do not contain this section. And it is not the only ‘add-on’ to exist.

    It seems to me that there are two possibilities concerning why Mark would end his Gospel that way. One is that this was an early tradition turned up by him while researching the subject as appears to be the case with several other passages. If this is the case it just might be the literal truth and a possible origin of the resurrection story. Alternatively, it might be the case that when Mark wrote sometime after 70 AD a resurrected Jesus was so much an accepted part of Christian belief that it did not need to be repeated. If this is the case, the point of Mark ending his Gospel there might be yet another lesson in the need for faith, a major point of Mark.

    Matthew sought to enhance Mark’s story to avoid the obvious skeptic’s interpretation: that there was no resurrection, the body was stolen and a shill said Jesus rose from the dead and went away. (Matthew even mentions that exactly these stories were going around.) Towards this end, Matthew turns Mark’s young man into a super-dramatic angel descending from heaven to open the tomb. He has a guard placed on the tomb to prevent body snatching. He has witnesses to the risen Jesus both near the tomb and in Galilee.

    The curious passage in Matthew 27:50-53 where graves open when Jesus dies but the occupants do not come out until after the resurrection of Jesus, which does not happen until Sunday. I am imagining Matthew making the death of Jesus more dramatic than Mark did, as he did with the resurrection, then remembering that Jesus has to be the ‘first fruits’ in Paul’s phrase, resurrected before anyone else. He then stuck in ‘after his resurrection’ to cover up that slip. By adding the phrase, Matthew now dramatizes the resurrection as well but without interfering with his main resurrection story in Matthew 28.

    Matthew’s goal in all this was to cover up the credibility defects in Mark’s story. Although Matthew’s additions are obviously purposeful fiction, it is nonetheless clear that he intended them to be taken literally. Otherwise the additions would not serve their purpose of supplanting Mark’s suspicious account. After all, what could Matthew’s account of the guards being bribed be symbolic of? The real purpose of that was to counter the stolen body story being told.

    The Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 is a close copy of Mark 13. Nothing in either place is meant symbolically. Mark’s main purpose in writing his Gospel was to strengthen faith in a swift return of Jesus as implied by Paul. The material in Mark suggests the death of Jesus to have been around 30 AD or so. Now it was after 70 AD and still no Jesus. In addition, the Messiah was to have defeated the enemies of Israel, which in that era meant Rome. But in the recent Jewish Revolt, Rome had come close to annihilating Israel, with Jerusalem and the Temple destroyed, the countryside ravaged and a million dead. If Jesus did not return as expected, the whole Christian message of a resurrection, judgment and reward for the righteous was in danger.

    Here is where the cleverness of Mark comes into play. He re-imagines the destruction of the Temple not as a catastrophic defeat but as the foreshadowing of ultimate victory. This is to be the first sign of the beginning of the end of days, followed quickly by the return of Jesus and the gathering of the righteous to their eternal reward. That theme is straight out of Paul but Mark goes beyond Paul in linking all of this to the prophecies of Daniel. This includes the Son of Man appellation that Mark uses frequently and is the first to use (Paul knows nothing of it). It comes from Daniel 7:13-14. Mark also explicitly refers to the ’abomination of the desolation’ from Daniel 9:27.

    By having the destruction of the Temple be prophesied by Jesus over 40 years before and have this be labeled as a sign of the beginning of the end, readers of Mark would understand that the end of days was just around the corner and that they should keep their faith. Mark makes the timing clear when he says in Mark 8:38Mark 9:1 that some of his listeners will still be alive when it all goes down. This is reiterated in Mark 13:30.

    None of this was intended to be taken as symbolic. It was meant to be taken literally, that Jesus was really coming back very soon and the prophesied destruction of the Temple, already happened for Mark’s readers, was the sign of it. Otherwise it would have no value in restoring or bolstering faith. It is not that apocalyptic images are interwoven with the destruction of the Temple. They are all of a piece. It is all meant literally.

    Matthew incorporated Mark’s Olivet Discourse virtually unchanged but it being now five or ten years later Matthew distances himself somewhat from just how soon Jesus is coming back, saying that ‘the master may be gone a long time’ Matthew 25, which immediately follows his Olivet discourse, has three sections. The first section is a parable. The five wise virgins took extra oil for their lamps. The foolish ones did not. The oil is faith. Be ready for the return of Jesus even if he is ‘a long time coming’. The second section is another parable. Its message is to not just wait around for Jesus but to do something that he will be pleased with.

    Although the first two sections are parables, using the word ‘like’ to indicate they are not to be taken literally, the third section is not a parable. The word ‘like’ is not used. It is a straightforward prophecy of what will happen at the judgment when the Son of Man returns. It is about what he will be pleased with as the second parable foreshadows. And what is that? Charitable works done for their own sake and not just because of rules saying you have to. This behavior can be seen to arise from having the right attitude. In Mark 10:17-19, Jesus is asked how to obtain eternal life and replies with a set of action-oriented commandments. Matthew’s version in Matthew 19:16-19 has Jesus add ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. The third section of Matthew 25 is plainly meant literally. Charity is essential. Failure to practice charity condemns one to eternal punishment. No reason to take this as other than literal.

    Other than the parables in Matthew 25, plainly identified as such by Matthew, there is no reason to think any of this was not meant to be taken literally.

    Concerning who wrote Matthew: Mark names the tax collector who followed Jesus Levi, with Matthew being a different Apostle. Luke follows suit. It has been speculated that the (anonymous) Gospel of Matthew was given that name because of this difference. I wonder if whoever wrote that Gospel might really have been named Matthew and did the switch from Mark’s version to put his name ‘up in lights’. :)
     
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  20. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    Paul tell us extremely little about the life and teachings of Jesus. That he was born Jewish, that he instituted a certain bread and wine ritual and that he was crucified.is about all there is. Paul claimed that he received special knowledge from Jesus in visions, knowledge that apparently Jesus never told to the Apostles, for example about Jewish Law being no longer in effect. Reading Paul’s letters, it becomes clear that his readers already knew some things about Jesus, such as that he was crucified and supposedly rose from the dead although not everyone bought into the last one.

    In seeking to convince his readers at Corinth of the fact of resurrection, Paul introduces 500+ eyewitnesses to the risen Jesus. That none of the Gospel writers saw fit to include anything so grandiose gives a hint as to how they felt about Paul’s story. Keep in mind that Mark includes the bread and wine ritual from 1 Corinthians but not the alleged resurrection witnesses shows that this omission was no accident.

    Mark’s Gospel includes a number of stories about Jesus that definitely do not come from Paul. Nor do they really make much sense to a Christian contemporary to Mark. A prime example of that is the argument over the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. Um … what? :) That plus Mark’s strong grasp of the political, social and religious environment ca. 30 AD points to Mark having had access to early traditions about Jesus independent of Paul.

    Major elements introduced into the Jesus story by Paul (e.g., Son of God) do get incorporated into the Gospels. But much of that story appears to be from other sources. Also keep in mind that in the Gospels Jesus is unmistakably a (written) Torah observant Jew. Saying that Paul started it all does not wash.


    An additional reference to the body of Christ by Paul. In Catholicism, it is the taking of Communion (root word ‘community’) and the Mass in which that is done that unites the Church. The host is taken to be literally supernaturally the body and blood of Christ.

     
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