Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrection?

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rakovsky
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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by rakovsky »

Adam wrote:Augustine got it wrong. Luke 24:34 does NOT specify that "Peter" saw Jesus, but that "Simon" did. Simon was the writer of Proto-Luke, the son of Cleopas the other traveler to Emmaus. The minority reading makes this clearer, so Origen was not fooled like Augustine much later was after the Catholic commitment to Peter as the first Pope.
I tend to think that the majority reading is correct now- I tended to change my position on it. The thing that persuaded me was the usage and meaning of the Greek word Legontas in that passage. It suggests that the two travelers came to the apostles and the apostles said to them that Simon (Peter) had seen Jesus.

But there are potential issues with the narrative, I would agree.

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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

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Earlier I found a discrepancy between Luke's claim that the apostles were 11 in number and present when Jesus appeared to them, while John records Thomas was absent. Here is how St Augustine addresses the problem:
Finally, as regards the fact that Jn states that the Apostle Thomas was not present with these others on the occasion under review, whereas, according to Luke, the two disciples, of whom Cleophas was one, returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven assembled and those who were with them, it admits of little doubt that we must suppose Thomas simply to have left the company before the Lord showed Himself to the brethren when they were talking in the terms noticed above.
http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/index.htm

Personally I find this solution logical and possible, but not very realistic-sounding.

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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

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I read Augustine's commentary chapters 24-25, http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/caj.htm#ey, but it feels like slow slogging through, even though he says interesting things.

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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by rakovsky »

So someone can say that if the resurrection was real, the body would disappear.
And if it was a made up story, then they would still be inclined to make up an empty tomb story as part of it, even at the beginning. That would be used to show that the body really resurrected.

So whether the story was real or made up, people would want to include a part about the body disappearing. In fact, even if it were made up, it would be easier to steal the body and to have an actual empty tomb, because that way it would serve as added proof of resurrection.

So in truth, the body probably was missing from the tomb at some point.

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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

Post by Peter Kirby »

rakovsky wrote:So someone can say that if the resurrection was real, the body would disappear.
And if it was a made up story, then they would still be inclined to make up an empty tomb story as part of it, even at the beginning. That would be used to show that the body really resurrected.

So whether the story was real or made up, people would want to include a part about the body disappearing. In fact, even if it were made up, it would be easier to steal the body and to have an actual empty tomb, because that way it would serve as added proof of resurrection.

So in truth, the body probably was missing from the tomb at some point.
... if the assumptions behind that last statement are themselves true.

Bertrand Russell once wrote an essay about the implications embedded in the word "the." For example, that there was "a" body that is "the" body of Jesus, and that there was "a" tomb that was "the" tomb of Jesus.

There are a few other assumptions as well, some of which you've listed explicitly above.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown
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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrectio

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This guy makes the following argument.
Macarius, Apocriticus II: 14:

There is also another argument whereby this corrupt opinion can be refuted. I mean the argument about that Resurrection of His which is such common talk everywhere, as to why Jesus, after His suffering and rising again (according to your story), did not appear to Pilate who punished Him and said He had done nothing worthy of death, or to Herod King of the Jews, or to the High-priest of the Jewish race, or to many men at the same time and to such as were worthy of credit, and more particularly among Romans both in the Senate and among the people. The purpose would be that, by their wonder at "the things concerning Him, they might not pass a vote of death against Him by common consent, which implied the impiety of those who were obedient to Him. But He appeared to Mary Magdalene, a coarse woman who came from some wretched little village, and had once been possessed by seven demons, and with her another utterly obscure Mary, who was herself a peasant woman, and a few other people who were not at all well known. And that, although He said: "Henceforth shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds." For if He had shown Himself to men of note, all would believe through them,and no judge would punish them as fabricating monstrous stories. For surely it is neither pleasing to God nor to anysensible man that many should be subjected on His account to punishments of the gravest kind.
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/porph ... gments.htm
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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrection?

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I have returned to looking at these arguments.

1. Matthew records about Jesus' fourth collective appearance to the apostles, on the mount in Galilee, that "when they saw him, they worshiped him, but they doubted."(Matt 28:17, "προσεκύνησαν, οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν.")
It looks like the Greek phrase oi de has a meaning in Greek of "but others", as in the LXX of psalm 22. So it doesn't mean that the same ones who saw the vision doubted.

2.* If the angels at the tomb were real, like the one that scared away the guards and rolled away the tomb, and like the angel the women saw inside the tomb, why didn't Peter and John see them when they looked inside the tomb?
This appears to be a major issue. It doesn't say that Peter was looking at the place where the women saw the angels at the same moment and saw nothing. But there seems to be a sense from the passages that some people couldn't necessarily see the angels. So why not? Did the angels have a special property of hiddenness and exist only on some heavenly plane?

3.* Were the Corinthians' "tongues" nonsensical babbling?
It's a different issue than whether they saw Jesus, but it seems related as to their mentality.

4.* In Mark 16:8, after hearing the young man's/angel's instructions to tell the apostles about Jesus going to Galilee, "they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid."
It sounds like Mark is suggesting nonetheless that the women eventually told someone - since Mark knew about their encounter. But it still gives a different impression than in Matthew, where the women immediately run to tell the apostles.


5. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus or the angel at the tomb has the myrrhbearers tell the apostles to meet Him in Galilee, where Matthew says they do meet the resurrected Jesus. Luke changes the reference to Galilee to one where Jesus simply told them in Galilee about the resurrection.
You could think that when Jesus said in Luke to stay in Jerusalem, he just meant it as a general instruction as making Jerusalem their HQ, not a ban on visiting Galilee.

6. Paul writes in 1 Cor 15:5 that after Jesus' resurrection, He showed Himself to "the twelve". Luke says that on Day 1 of the resurrection, Jesus appeared to "the eleven".
The twelve could just refer to a general designation for the group, not a specific exact number.

7. Jesus says in Mark 16:17-18, "these signs shall follow them that believe; ...They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them". This brings to mind Jesus' previous instructions to the disciples in Luke 10:19: 'Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
Jesus could be speaking generally, like a teacher saying to a class "You will do great tomorrow on the test", even though some students don't. Also, Jesus could be talking about spiritual harm and steadfastness when he talks about nothing hurting the apostles.

8. Why in Matthew 28 did some of the alleged guards, paralyzed by an angel, spread rumors that the disciples took the body instead of believing?
People react different ways, and only some of the guards spread the rumors. Maybe those guards had recovered from their shock at seeing the angel and decided that the angel was just a human.

9.In John 21, "Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord." Why were they afraid to ask?
Maybe they were simply in a frightened mood because they were in the presence of a resurrected person, and so they did not want to get into probing questions.

10. In Mark 14 and Matthew 26, Jesus tells the Sanhedrin: "And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God's right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven." As in Stephen's vision of Jesus in the clouds, this appears to me to to refer to Jesus being seen by the Sanhedrin members in the clouds. But the canonical gospels don't record them seeing this. So is this a failed prediction of the Second Coming for the apostolic age?
Maybe The Sanhedrin members saw it later, but regarded it as a delusion. Or this could be a prediction about them seeing Jesus in the clouds in the afterlife.

11. The Church tradition portrays things as if miracles, visions, gifts, and healings were common among the Apostolic community, but became lost in the 2nd century. But if the Spirit produces the works, and the Spirit is still around, shouldn't the gifts be also? Could it be that the gifts never really were so common, and the institutional Church in later, less "gifted" centuries was less gullible about individual acts of miracles because the church had brought in more "mainstream" people over that time?
Maybe, but it's not necessarily a disproof of the Resurrection.

12.* John's Book of Revelation narrates how Jesus appeared to John and dictated 7 well written letters, after which John was spiritually taken to heaven and foresaw thee the apocalypse. If the account was delusional or invented, it raises the question of whether previous visions of the resurrected Jesus could have been delusional or invented too. The account sounds fictional and reads like apocalyptic literature that John could have intentionally thought up.
Yes, it sounds like it was deliberately written by a writer instead of being an exact record of a vision, but I don't know how to prove that it was.


13. When Jesus appears to all the disciples in Mark to give them their mission, He says: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." That sounds categorical and would lead some people to think that everything depends on belief alone.
So probrably he is just stating a general rule, like "If you study for the test, you will pass it".

14. In Luke 24, Jesus appears on Day 1, has some monologues, takes the disciples as far as to Bethany (which looks on the map like it is probably beyond the Mount of Olives), and ascends. In Acts 1, Jesus appears to the apostles over the course of 40 days, at the end of which he ascends from the Mount of Olives.
Maybe there were multiple ascensions and descents?

15.Why did Jesus order Mary Magdalene not to grasp on Him in John, yet He let the disciples touch Him in Luke and John and the two Marys held His feet in Matthew?
He could have wanted her to go tell the apostles, not to stay around holding on to him.

16. In Luke 24, the 11 apostles announce to the 2 travelers from Emmaus, "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon", whereupon Jesus appears to those gathered. (It is indeed the apostles who say to the travelers that Simon saw Jesus, because the word for the "speaking" of the announcement, "legontas", is in the accusative. See the discussion here: http://www.monachos.net/conversation/to ... e-to-peter)
But in Mark 16, it says that after appearing to the travelers, "he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen."
St. Augustine's explanation was that some of them still didn't believe, and Jesus was addressing those who didn't.

17. In Matthew 5:22, Jesus says "That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [empty-headed], shall be liable to the judgment: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool ["moron"], shall be liable to the hell of fire."
But in Luke 24:25, the stranger, who is Jesus, says to the two travelers: "O fools,["anoētoi" or "thoughtless ones"] and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken".
Jesus used two different words, so it wasn't necessarily the same thing.

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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrection?

Post by iskander »

Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrection? Answer God does not need corporal resurrection to reward people.And people do not need a body to be happy after death.

In most religions ( all of them?) the destination of every man and every woman after their death is decided as soon as every man and every woman dies.
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Re: Strongest, most direct evidence to doubt the Resurrection?

Post by archibald »

Personally, I'd have to say that the strongest evidence against Jesus' resurrection is that people can't generally come back from the dead.
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