Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrection?

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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by rakovsky »

John,

Here is what the Russian theologian Lopukhin has to say about the possible contradiction between Luke, Matthew, and Acts, wherein it looks like Luke has Jesus show up on Day 1 to give a series of Monologues, thus ruling out Matthew's Galilean appearances by saying to stay in Jerusalem, and wherein it looks like Jesus ascends that same day, thus ruling out the 40 days in Acts before the Ascension:
This appearance [on the first day in Luke], which also is mentioned by the evangelist Mark (Mk. 16 ending), Is the same that John the Evangelist depicted as divided into two parts: first, the ten disciples without Thomas, and the second appearance, which took place 8 days after the first appearance - the second one was seen by Doubting Thomas. Luke connects both appearances at the same time because the appearances are similar in properties and purpose.

[Note how verse 44 partway through the monologues says:] "And he said to them" (verse 44). Many commentators believe (eg. Keighley) that between the 43rd and 44th verses there should be considered a gap in time, and that in the 44th verse one can see that there begins a story about a new appearance of Christ, or else that it is a presentation of all the speeches by Christ spoken after His resurrection. But there is no doubt that the account of Jesus' first resurrection appearance would stop by the 44th verse would end unfinished, if Christ did not give the apostles the statements of clarification that begin with the 44th verse. Therefore, it is more correct to think that in verse 44 the evangelist is still relating shows the appearance that occurred on the first evening of the resurrection.

[Note how verse 49 partway through the monologues says:] "You stay in the city." If the 49th verse is connected to the previous speech of Christ (in Jesus' first appearance after the Resurrection to the apostles gathered there), it would mean that the apostles were instructed not to leave Jerusalem until the descent of the Holy Spirit upon them. Since that interpretation would eliminated all the appearances of Christ that were in Galilee, which were reported by the Evangelists Matthew and John, some commentators saw in this speech (in verse 49) the beginning of a description of the last appearance of Christ to the disciples, which was on the day of the Ascension. Thus, between the 48th and 49th verses, the commentators believed that there was an interval of 40 days. They concluded that if it is read the other way, the Gospel narratives don't agree, and that other ways of reconciling the texts are not credible. So the commentators supposed that starting with the 49th verse, Luke's description of the last manifestation of Christ to the apostles begins. Consequently, the evangelist Luke in his Gospel describes only two appearances of Christ to the Apostles: the first being on the day of resurrection (verses 36-48) and the last being on the day of the ascension (verses 49-51).
In case someone wishes to check my translation, in the original Russian, Lopukhin wrote:
Это явление, о котором упоминает также евангелист Марк (Мк. 16и сл.), есть то же самое, которое евангелист Иоанн изображает как разделенное на два: первое, бывшее десяти ученикам, без Фомы, и второе, имевшее место 8 дней спустя после первого, бывшее для уверения Фомы. Евангелист Лука соединяет оба эти явления в одно, потому что они одинаковы по свойству и цели.

«И сказал им» (стих 44). Многие толкователи полагают (см. например, у Кейля), что между 43-м и 44-м стихами должен быть промежуток во времени, что в 44-м стихе начинается или рассказ о новом явлении Христа, или же изложение всех речей Христовых, сказанных Им по воскресении. Но нет сомнения, что изображенное до 44-го стиха явление Христа остановилось бы, так сказать, незавершенным, если бы Христос тогда не сообщил апостолам тех разъяснений, какие идут именно с 44-го стиха. Поэтому правильнее будет полагать, что пока евангелист изображает еще явление, имевшее место в вечер воскресения.

«Вы же оставайтесь в городе Иерусалиме». Если 49-й стих соединять с предшествующей речью Христа, то выходит, что апостолы не должны были оставлять Иерусалима до сошествия на них Святого Духа. Так как в таком случае вовсе устраняются явления Христа, бывшие в Галилее, о которых сообщают евангелисты Матфей и Иоанн, то некоторые толкователи видели здесь начало описания последнего явления Христа ученикам, бывшего в день вознесения. Таким образом, между 48-м и 49-м стихами полагают промежуток в 40 дней. Ввиду того, что иного способа соглашения евангельских повествований не находится — другие способы примирения не заслуживают доверия, — остается принять именно такое предположение, что с 49-го стиха начинается описание последнего явления Христа апостолам. Значит, евангелист Лука в своем Евангелии описывает только два явления Христа апостолам: первое — в день воскресения (стихи 36—48) и последнее — в день вознесения (стихи 49—51).

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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by arnoldo »

In addition, the Russian theologian Lopukhin states the following.
The apostles from personal experience ought to have known, that faith in the Risen Christ - it is not easy: they have twice found his lack of faith in this fact. Therefore, the Lord promises in the third, sending believers special miraculous signs that will strengthen them in the faith. These miracles will do the apostles, and ordinary believers. The latter, seeing how they work wonders preachers thereby become convinced of the truth of their message of God. - My Name, that is, By my power (cp. VI, 79, 38, etc. Place). - New languages ​​(Wed Acts X, 46; XIX, 6; 1 Corinthians XII, 10), ie, language, which they previously did not know. - Take up serpents. An example of this, see. Acts (XXVIII, 3-6) and the story of Moses (Exodus IV, 2-4). - Drink any deadly thing ... As a tradition in Ephesus, on the other - in Rome Up. John the Evangelist was forced to drink a cup of persecutors of Christianity from the poison that does not harm the child's health ... - lay hands on the sick - Wed. Acts XXVIII, 8 et seq. ; Eur VI, 2; 1 Corinthians XII, 9; James V, 14.


19-20 After he had spoken to them ... Not immediately after the conversation at table (v. 14), and after 40 days was risen, the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven (see. Acts I, 2-11), and is set down at the right hand of God, that is, .e. and His ascension received power equal to the power of God the Father. But after this he became a source of miraculous powers to his apostles, who went under the command of Christ to preach the gospel throughout the world, making, where necessary, miraculous signs (cf.. II, 4; 1 Corinthians I, 6; II, 4).
http://ibt.org.ru/ru/text?m=Lopukhin&l=Mark.16.1.1&g=0
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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by rakovsky »

Bernard,

1. Could you please clarify what makes modern scholars think that Mark's gospel preceded Matthew's? I understand that Matthew's reads like an expansion of Mark's and that Luke and Matthew generally hold Mark's narrative as a common base. However, could it be that Mark's gospel is in fact an edited down version of Matthew? I have heard that Mark "corrects" Matthew's Greek grammar or ideas in different places where they basically intend to refer to the same exact thing. I am starting to think that this is what happened.

2. We discussed the issue of "after three days" below. There is however another reason why "after three days" should be understood as "in three days": In Matthew, the priests tell Pilate that Jesus said that he would rise after three days, but they only ask for guards for three days. If they understood "after three days" in the way that we hear it in English today, they would more logically have asked for guards for more than three days.
Bernard Muller wrote:
First of all, Mark actually does suggest twice that the Resurrection was in three days:
No contest here. Also Mark had Jesus 3 times predicting he will resurrect after three days.
I cannot see your point here.
The point is that the website you pointed me to has a mistake.
The website stated: "A) The earliest gospel (Mark's) does not have "the third day" but "after three days" (Mk 8:31, 9:31, 10:34),"
In fact, it both has "after three days" in Mk 8:31 and in two other places clearly suggests, as you agree, that the Resurrection was "in three days", which you noted as a contradiction.
Second of all, in Mark's own account it appears that the resurrection would occur on the third day (Sunday).
But "on the third day" is not the same than "after three days" (= (at least) "on the fourth day"). I provided many examples in ancient Greek literature demonstrating that on my blog post previously indicated. There is a huge discontinuity here between the empty tomb passage and the rest of the gospel.
Bernard, you can check how in scripture "meta" means often "with" or "after": http://biblehub.com/greek/meta_3326.htm
In English, "with three days" is a bit ambiguous. If I tell you to set sail on Sunday and that "with three days' time you will reach the next port", it is not clear whether that will mean exactly on Tuesday or Wednesday. To be absolutely precise, we would say that if you left on Sunday at 3 AM you would arrive at Wednesday on 3 AM, exactly 3 X 24 hours later. But the ancient Jews, according to the Talmud, counted part of a day as a whole day. So in truth, "with three days" could mean with Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and thus arrival on Tuesday would mean making good time, but it would not be a contradiction.

Further, it's true that skeptics make alot of hay over the issue of the prediction of "after three days", but this was also understood as a reference to "in three days" even in the ancient Jewish world:

"Come again unto me after three days. ... So ... all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day.” 2 Chronicles 10:5, 12.

Nor did the people misunderstand what the king had said, because verse 12 states that they did as the the king had ordered, ie. "Come back to me the third day
This by the way is from the rabbis' Masoretic Hebrew version, so it isn't a Christian corruption of the Bible.

I understand that it's a normal part of the inquiry process to look into these kinds of issues. But you have to look a lot into possible explanations and the Christian counterarguments like I did in my first post. I am inclined to think that the miracle stories were delusional or fabricated, but on the other hand some of the material the skeptic community puts out is not really convincing, to put it mildly. Sometimes they make theories that totally contradict other skeptics' theories. It's normal, I know, but for someone who takes it pretty seriously and doesn't know what happened like I don't, it's a little discouraging.
Third, the website quotes Mark 9:31 as saying that the resurrection would be after three days. But in fact, that verse says: ((For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.” ))
The Alexandrian retention, deemed the most faithful to the original text, has "after three days" for Mk 9:31 (see translation of the NIV & RSV). I would not trust the KJV or any other bibles based on the Textus Receptus, itself largely based on the much later Byzantine retention with some harmonizations and other misleading stuff.
What do you mean?
"For the Gospels, Sinaiticus is generally considered among scholars as the second most reliable witness of the text (after Vaticanus)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus

So if he is killed on Friday, Friday is the "First Day" of the count, and Sunday is the third day.
Yes, but "on the third day" is not the same than "after three days".
I suppose you would have to consider why Mark would have needlessly included what would have been an obvious contradiction to him - and one easy to "rectify" (censor) - between the narrated third day resurrection and the prediction of "after three days".
Fourth, maybe there is a linguistic explanation. In Greek, it says "meta", which can mean "after" or "with", according to Strong's. I know that normally it means "after", but perhaps "with" could be taken more loosely? For example, Matthew 5:41 says: "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with (meta) him two". It is not translated to mean to go three miles total.

I do not think "with three days" would make any sense. In Mk 1:14, 9:2, 13:24, 14:28, 14:70, 16:2, "Mark" used 'meta' when an action is after another one or a certain amount of time. Cordially. Bernard
Sure, but then you have to consider the instances when make uses meta when one action is "with" something.
Mark 14:62 says "And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in (meta) the clouds of heaven."

He rises (an action) "meta" after/with three days (an event) thus has the same elements as his coming (an action) "meta" (with) the clouds of heaven, which our translators put into English as "with/in the clouds of heaven".
Last edited by rakovsky on Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by rakovsky »

arnoldo wrote:In addition, the Russian theologian Lopukhin states the following.
The apostles from personal experience ought to have known, that faith in the Risen Christ - it is not easy: they have twice found his lack of faith in this fact. Therefore, the Lord promises in the third, sending believers special miraculous signs that will strengthen them in the faith. These miracles will do the apostles, and ordinary believers. The latter, seeing how they work wonders preachers thereby become convinced of the truth of their message of God. - My Name, that is, By my power (cp. VI, 79, 38, etc. Place). - New languages ​​(Wed Acts X, 46; XIX, 6; 1 Corinthians XII, 10), ie, language, which they previously did not know. - Take up serpents. An example of this, see. Acts (XXVIII, 3-6) and the story of Moses (Exodus IV, 2-4). - Drink any deadly thing ... As a tradition in Ephesus, on the other - in Rome Up. John the Evangelist was forced to drink a cup of persecutors of Christianity from the poison that does not harm the child's health ... - lay hands on the sick - Wed. Acts XXVIII, 8 et seq. ; Eur VI, 2; 1 Corinthians XII, 9; James V, 14.


19-20 After he had spoken to them ... Not immediately after the conversation at table (v. 14), and after 40 days was risen, the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven (see. Acts I, 2-11), and is set down at the right hand of God, that is, .e. and His ascension received power equal to the power of God the Father. But after this he became a source of miraculous powers to his apostles, who went under the command of Christ to preach the gospel throughout the world, making, where necessary, miraculous signs (cf.. II, 4; 1 Corinthians I, 6; II, 4).
http://ibt.org.ru/ru/text?m=Lopukhin&l=Mark.16.1.1&g=0
A bit weak a translation. What are you getting at?

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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by rakovsky »

Bernard Muller wrote:
"FWIW, 2 Peter 1:16 is direct admission that the miracle stories about Jesus weren't fabricated." ~ Bernard

The passage is relevant in that it suggests that the early Christian community took the stories as intended to be factual, rather than allegorical. Whether it was written by Peter or not, it does not objectively, logically prove that the accounts were factually true, just as an analogous statement by the Sanhedrin to the opposite effect would not prove the Sanhedrin's opposing viewpoint correct.
I cannot understand what you are trying to say.

Cordially, Bernard
Bernard,

The Christian community claimed that Jesus' resurrection was a real physical event, while the rabbinical community rejected this.
So if Peter tells you that he didn't make it up, this does not stand as strong evidence beyond Peter's own authority as an eyewitness. It's not an "admission" of anything that goes against his narrative.

For example, if two people are arguing about whether a third person is lying, and the third person enters as a witness and says that he is not lying, it does not count as an "admission". It is just his own statement, and obviously he is personally biased to tell people that he is only honest. So if he just tells you that he is honest, then it hasn't "proved" anything. You would still be arguing over whether your friend was telling you the truth.

But if your friend privately admits to you that all along he was really lying, it would strongly impeach his credibility. It means that you probably can't trust what he says because he admitted to lying about the subject of discussion. You are able to prove that he was lying because he admitted himself that he was lying.

If the Sanhedrin and the apostles both say that they are each telling the truth, then maybe a bystander would not know who to believe. But if one day the Sanhedrin or the apostles privately admitted to the bystander that they were themselves lying, the bystander would probably not believe them anymore.

Verstehen Sie? Did I explain it well enough?

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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by Adam »

John Kesler wrote: There's no end to the how-it-could-have-been "explanations" one can posit, and in nearly two decades of discussing the Bible on the Internet, I have seen many. To argue that Matthew's Jesus, and an angel, said on resurrection morning to go to Galilee, and that there is where the apostles would meet Jesus, but that Jesus changed his mind and made two Jerusalem appearances a week apart, plus an appearance by the Sea of Tiberias in Galilee before the predicted appearance on a mountain in Galilee, strains credibility.
John K., your own understanding of the gospels would seem to lead to understanding the conundrum here. You acknowledge (as I do) politics here, that Peter and his followers wrote gMark and gMatthew--so Matthew 28, John 21, and Mark 16:1-8 represent this version, lacking any appearances to the apostles in Jerusalem. The Johannine party is behind Luke 24, Mark 16:9-20 (later), and John 20. They seemed to talk right past each other. Yet in my presentation of it both derive from the same (but separately evolving) Proto-Gospel.
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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by Bernard Muller »

1. Could you please clarify what makes modern scholars think that Mark's gospel preceded Matthew's? I understand that Matthew's reads like an expansion of Mark's and that Luke and Matthew generally hold Mark's narrative as a common base. However, could it be that Mark's gospel is in fact an edited down version of Matthew? I have heard that Mark "corrects" Matthew's Greek grammar or ideas in different places where they basically intend to refer to the same exact thing. I am starting to think that this is what happened.
The vast majority of critical scholars considers gMark as the first written gospel. That "Mark" corrected "Matthew"' grammar is news to me. But I read the opposite and that's what I found studying these two gospels.
About the dating of gMark: http://historical-jesus.info/41.html
About the dating of gMatthew: http://historical-jesus.info/57.html
2. We discussed the issue of "after three days" below. There is however another reason why "after three days" should be understood as "in three days": In Matthew, the priests tell Pilate that Jesus said that he would rise after three days, but they only ask for guards for three days. If they understood "after three days" in the way that we hear it in English today, they would more logically have asked for guards for more than three days.
Matthew's tried his best to harmonize with gMark, but most often made the correction from "after three days" to "on the third day". I noted here (http://historical-jesus.info/77.html):

a) "Matthew" pretended that 'after three days' and 'until the third day' have the same meaning:
Mt27:63-64a "Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, `After three days I will rise again.' So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day ...""
And "Matthew" tried to equate the alleged period of Jesus' death (about forty hours, a bit more than one daytime and two nights), from Friday afternoon (Mt27:46) to Sunday at dawn (Mt28:1), with seventy-two hours (strange math!):
Mt12:40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man [Jesus] will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
[Hades (Mt16:18), into which dead people's souls were thought to inhabit (Hellenistic belief)]"
b) Carefully avoiding the issue, "Luke" removed all "after three days" and replaced them with "on the third day" (9:22,13:32,18:33).

Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by Bernard Muller »

"Come again unto me after three days. ... So ... all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day.” 2 Chronicles 10:5, 12.
Yes, that's the only exception I found. In http://historical-jesus.info/77.html, I noted:

Note: in the O.T., the only clear-cut exception of that rule is in 1 Kings (and copied in 2 Chronicles)
After Jeroboam says "Depart for three days, then come back to me." (12:5c)
we have
1 Ki 12:12 "So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had directed, saying, "Come back to me the third day."" (12:12)
Let's notice the words in italics are not what the king says in 12:5 and appear to be an attempt to cover a mistake in the narration at 12:12a. In other words, it looks 12:12b says emphatically "no, this is not an error" and may have been added by an interpolator. The same verses got copied in 2 Ch 10:5,12.

Very awkward and suspect wording! "as the king had directed, saying, "Come back to me the third day." seems to be an interpolation.
But do not ignore in the same blog post the thirteen examples, from the OT & Josephus' works, showing that "on the third day" and "after three days" are not compatible.
"A) The earliest gospel (Mark's) does not have "the third day" but "after three days" (Mk 8:31, 9:31, 10:34),"
Mark's gospel does not have "on the third day" anywhere. I do not see anything wrong with my statement.
This by the way is from the rabbis' Masoretic Hebrew version, so it isn't a Christian corruption of the Bible.
The interpolator in question was likely Jewish and the interpolation (as described above) would be made very early on because the same text was copied in 2 Ch.
"For the Gospels, Sinaiticus is generally considered among scholars as the second most reliable witness of the text (after Vaticanus)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus
"After three days' in Mk 9:31" appears as early as in a late 2nd or early 3rd century manuscript.
BTW, the codex Vaticanus has "after three days" at Mk 9:31 (http://greeknewtestament.net/mk9-31),
as also the codex Sinaiticus: http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/manuscrip ... omSlider=0
About Alexandrian text-type: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandrian_text-type
About variants on Mk 9:31: MT/ TR: the third day – CT: after three days
Legend: Byzantine Majority Text (MT), the Textus Receptus (TR), and the Critical Text (CT)
From http://www.dtl.org/alt/variants/mark.htm and http://www.dtl.org/alt/variants/intro.htm
I suppose you would have to consider why Mark would have needlessly included what would have been an obvious contradiction to him - and one easy to "rectify" (censor) - between the narrated third day resurrection and the prediction of "after three days".
That's the whole point: "Mark" did not write the empty tomb passage and here is why:
http://historical-jesus.info/77.html
Sure, but then you have to consider the instances when make uses meta when one action is "with" something.
Mark 14:62 says "And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in (meta) the clouds of heaven."

He rises (an action) "meta" after/with three days (an event) thus has the same elements as his coming (an action) "meta" (with) the clouds of heaven, which our translators put into English as "with/in the clouds of heaven".
Are you saying "Mark" had Jesus predicting his resurrection with three days?

Cordially, Bernard
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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by Diogenes the Cynic »

The strongest reason to doubt a literal resurrection is that it's physically impossible for dead bodies to come back to life. This is a tough one to get past and no evidence has ever been presented as to why anyone should believe that the laws of physics were violated in this case or that they have ever been violated at all.

Moreover, the claims are inconsistent, contradictory and incoherent made by anonymous non-witnesses without any provenance starting at least 40 years after the fact (Paul does not claim a physical resurrection and actually says they're impossible and that Jesus turned into a ghost). Three of the authors are cannibalizing from the first one, so they are not independent. The authors can also be shown to be using literary invention, parabolic stories, altered history and fabricated history elsewhere.

In short, the claims are:

1.) Prima facie impossible.
2) Made by unknown, unreliable sources decades after fact.
3) Cannot even agree upon what exactly is being claimed.
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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by arnoldo »

Diogenes the Cynic wrote:The strongest reason to doubt a literal resurrection is that it's physically impossible for dead bodies to come back to life.
Et sepultus resurrexit; certum est, quia impossibile
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