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  • The resurrection (or not) of Jesus

    The different Gospels vary. It seems Mathew and Luke based their accounts on that of Mark. From the four official accounts (and the many unofficial accounts) what are we to make of the historical truth of the event?

    Mark

    Mark's Gospel was the first canonical gospel, written approximately 70 CE. The earliest known manuscripts of Mark do not even have a resurrection narrative, beyond the young man telling the women that Jesus had risen. Later texts included resurrection appearances which bring this gospel more or less into line with the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. However, the answer in respect to Mark must be that the earliest known gospel text did not mention the women speaking to the risen Jesus.

    Matthew


    Matthew's Gospel reports an earthquake that rolled away the stone. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw the angel who caused the earthquake sitting on the stone. The women saw Jesus later while on the way to tell the disciples of their experience. Finally, the eleven disciples went to a mountain in Galilee and saw Jesus.

    Luke


    In Luke's Gospel, the stone had already been moved when a group of women arrived, but there is no mention of an earthquake. This time, two men appeared to the women in shining garments, apparently angels. Later, Jesus appeared to two men, Cleopas and (possibly) Peter, but they did not recognise him, even after conversing with him, inviting him home, and eating dinner with him. They suddenly realised that he was Jesus, ("their eyes were opened and they knew him") but then he vanished out of their sight. At his next appearance, Jesus went to some lengths to assure them that he really was Jesus, showing the disciples his wounds, and finally being drawn up into heaven. All this happened in and near Jerusalem, not in Galilee.

    John

    In John's Gospel, only Mary Magdalene is mentioned going to the sepulchre and saw the stone moved. Then came 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' and Peter, who went in and saw only the linen clothes and the napkin. Next 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' went in, saw and believed. Only after they left did Mary see two angels in the sepulchre. Mary afterwards saw Jesus standing and knew not that it was Jesus, supposing that he was the gardener. The next two appearances are quite similar to a single appearance in Luke's Gospel except, as Elaine Pagels points out in Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (2003), the account seems intended to disadvantage the disciple Thomas, by causing him to miss the blessing of the Holy Spirit and then appear to doubt that it was Jesus that he saw [Pagels identifies a thread of anti-Thomas narrative in John's Gospel.]. Finally, Jesus appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberius but, although 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' quickly identified him, none of them dared to ask who he was, "knowing that it was the Lord."
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."— Bertrand Russell

  • #2
    Hey Phil. Having breakfast and getting ready for church. I'll send you a reply later today or tomorrow.
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PhilipLaos View Post
      The different Gospels vary. It seems Mathew and Luke based their accounts on that of Mark. From the four official accounts (and the many unofficial accounts) what are we to make of the historical truth of the event?
      Okay Phil.

      I've mentioned before how minor discrepencies actually don't present a credibility problem. When police officers quiz eyewitnesses about a car accident or crime - even mere minutes after the event - they get a variance in the story because everyone was looking from different angles and being distracted by different things. It's actually when accounts are totally in sync that you suspect some kind of funny business.

      The gospels were written at different times by different people using different sources. It's only natural that there will be discrepancies, this is nothing that challenges the validity of the text. No two eyewitnesses give the exact same story. The only way this creates a sore spot is if you believe that the Bible is THE unerring totally divinely inspired absolute word of God. Then discrepancies become an itch. But if you, like me, consider the Bible to be a historical document written by man CONTAINING the word of God, it's really not so distressing. Analyzing the Bible as any other historical document will reveal imperfections as exist in EVERY historical document. But these imperfections do not detract from the message.

      Some additional thoughts:

      1. My belief in the ressurrection is actually based less on the gospel and more on the Acts and analyzing the disciples conduct post crucifixion. It is rooted in psychological analysis as well as a dose of extra Biblical record.

      2. I actually don't believe the empty tomb of Jesus is the most critical point of evidence as some do. If an empty tomb means a ressurrection then you might want to sleep with a garlic necklace because Vald Dracula's grave is also empty.....

      3. Believing the Bible to be a man made historical document containing the word of God, I break out my brush and try to sleuth out exaclty what happened using analysis instead of approaching from faith and trying to squash the pieces into place until I can say "boom, absolute word of God".



      Consequently you won't find me trying to defend every shred of text as God's mouth to man's ear 100% truth but neither will you find me exceedingly skeptical. I take each little piece one at a time and try to assemble the puzzle. Thus far though, I am confident in the puzzle.
      A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
        3. Believing the Bible to be a man made historical document containing the word of God, I break out my brush and try to sleuth out exaclty what happened using analysis instead of approaching from faith and trying to squash the pieces into place until I can say "boom, absolute word of God".
        There's the problem.
        Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
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        • #5
          Believing the Bible to be a man made historical document containing the word of God,......
          Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
          There's the problem.
          Why?

          Well yes, it's a problem. But we're discussing some kind of actual, reported, historical event (the resurrection or whatever it was) that was recorded in various ways, at different times, by different recorders. You are an Atheist (I'm an Agnostic, BTW), so I don't see how you can object to the fact that the words written about the supposed event were written from the minds of men rather than the mind of God.

          All of human history has been written by men. Hopefully, we are discussing history here - not faith.

          Something was going on there. Wouldn't it be good to try to find out what? If you believe nothing was going on, how do you explain the genesis and development of the reports that detail something that, in the minds of the recorders, was clearly going on at the time.


          Philip
          Last edited by PhilipLaos; 09 Jan 13, 06:21.
          "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."— Bertrand Russell

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by PhilipLaos View Post
            Why?

            Well yes, it's a problem. But we're discussing some kind of actual, reported, historical event (whatever it was) that was recorded in various ways, at different times, by different recorders. You are an Atheist (I'm an Agnostic, BTW), so I don't see how you can object to the fact that the words written about the supposed event were written from the minds of men rather than the mind of God.

            All of human history has been written by men. Hopefully, we are discussing history here - not faith.

            Something was going on there. Wouldn't it be good to try to find out what? If you believe nothing was going on, I'd suggest it is incumbent on you to explain away the genesis and development of the reports that detail something that, in the minds of the recorders, was clearly going on at the time.


            Philip
            I'll second that. I ,too ,would regard myself as a agnostic. (but a hopeful one, perhaps).

            Regardless if whether you accept literally that the resurrection happened -or not-and whichever biblical account you endorse- if any-it's quite obvious that something of great significance happened.

            If the resurrection -or something like it- did not take place then the life of Jesus would have to be deemed a complete failure, culminating in his ignominious execution and the scattering of his followers in humiliating defeat.

            Yet the Christian Faith undeniably exists today.

            How come ?
            "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
            Samuel Johnson.

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            • #7
              As well as examining the Gospels, the Old Testament prophecies that the New Testament claims are fulfilled should be examined.

              The only thing coming close to the timing of the resurrection is Hosea 6:1-2
              6 “Come, let us return to the Lord.
              He has torn us to pieces
              but he will heal us;
              he has injured us
              but he will bind up our wounds.
              2 After two days he will revive us;
              on the third day he will restore us,
              that we may live in his presence.

              There is no definite death involved in this and it is not about the Messiah.

              Resurrection stories are rare in the Old Testament. Examples include Job's family (this seems to be a happy ending added to a borrowed story) and the CPR performed by Elijah & Elisha.
              The idea that Jesus died for the sins of the world is from Isaiah 52-53. The only similar story is of the goat led to Azazel (the scapegoat). Isaiah 52-53 does not appear to be about the Messiah. It has been suggested that this is borrowed from a Zoroastrian condemnation of the Babylonian practice of annually putting the sins of the people onto a man who is tortured to death as a sacrifice to Marduk, with a Jewish introduction and ending added. Tacked on to this is a happy ending where the man is resurrected and sees his descendants.
              If this is a prophecy (which it does not appear to be) that Jesus fulfills, then he must have had a child in order to have descendants.

              It is more likely that after Jesus' plan to lure and ambush temple officials at Gethsemane ended with his own execution, his followers searched the old testament in order to make this into a victory, and this is the best they could come up with.

              Druzhina
              Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
              Janissaries Moghul Urs Graf Shahnama Diginis Akritas Chroniques de France ou de St Denis Renaissance Warfare

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              • #8
                As well as Mark, Matthew, Luke and John there is Paul's letter to the Romans that claims that Cephas (Peter) was the 1st to see the risen Jesus.

                Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                Yet the Christian Faith undeniably exists today.

                How come ?
                Some people will believe things they want to be true, no matter how illogical.

                Druzhina
                Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
                Last edited by Druzhina; 09 May 13, 01:06.
                Janissaries Moghul Urs Graf Shahnama Diginis Akritas Chroniques de France ou de St Denis Renaissance Warfare

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Druzhina View Post
                  As well as examining the Gospels, the Old Testament prophecies that the New Testament claims are fulfilled should be examined.

                  The only thing coming close to the timing of the resurrection is Hosea 6:1-2
                  6 “Come, let us return to the Lord.
                  He has torn us to pieces
                  but he will heal us;
                  he has injured us
                  but he will bind up our wounds.
                  2 After two days he will revive us;
                  on the third day he will restore us,
                  that we may live in his presence.

                  There is no definite death involved in this and it is not about the Messiah.

                  Resurrection stories are rare in the Old Testament. Examples include Job's family (this seems to be a happy ending added to a borrowed story) and the CPR performed by Elijah & Elisha.
                  The idea that Jesus died for the sins of the world is from Isaiah 52-53. The only similar story is of the goat led to Azazel (the scapegoat). Isaiah 52-53 does not appear to be about the Messiah. It has been suggested that this is borrowed from a Zoroastrian condemnation of the Babylonian practice of annually putting the sins of the people onto a man who is tortured to death as a sacrifice to Marduk, with a Jewish introduction and ending added. Tacked on to this is a happy ending where the man is resurrected and sees his descendants.
                  If this is a prophecy (which it does not appear to be) that Jesus fulfills, then he must have had a child in order to have descendants.

                  It is more likely that after Jesus' plan to lure and ambush temple officials at Gethsemane ended with his own execution, his followers searched the old testament in order to make this into a victory, and this is the best they could come up with.

                  Druzhina
                  Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
                  The only problem with that is they died proclaiming it. I'm sketchy on prophecy too. I think a lot of it gets reverse engineered into messianic status. But those fellas proclaimed Jesus' life death and ressurection under penalty of death. I've never known a man to die for a lie. It is my belief that either he rose or some manner of event did a spectacular job of convincing them he did. They were not being deceitful, whether they be right or wrong.
                  A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hmmm:
                    Resurrection from the Dead - Mithras was born and buried in a cave. After his supposed resurrection in 208 B.C.E., 64 years after his birth, he emerged from the cave reborn and ascended to heaven. All who are initiated into Mithraism and are faithful will also be physically resurrected from the dead.
                    http://www.holierthanthou.info/mithras.html
                    BoRG
                    "... and that was the last time they called me Freakboy Moses"

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                    • #11
                      Interesting link. Provides a number of commentaries, including this one:

                      http://carm.org/christianity/bible/d...stianity-false

                      Some good points there too.
                      A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Druzhina View Post
                        As well as Mark, Matthew, Luke and John there is Paul's letter to the Romans that claims that Cephas (Peter) was the 1st to see the risen Jesus.



                        Some people will believe things they want to be true, no matter how illogical.

                        Druzhina
                        Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
                        You might think so, however, some of the smartest, switched-on people I have ever known are committed Christians.
                        "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                        Samuel Johnson.

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                        • #13
                          More food for thought:

                          http://www.reasonablefaith.org/old-t...s-resurrection
                          A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                            You might think so, however, some of the smartest, switched-on people I have ever known are committed Christians.
                            Truth isn't a popularity contest. If it was then Christianity would still be a looser behind other religions

                            Druzhina
                            Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
                            Janissaries Moghul Urs Graf Shahnama Diginis Akritas Chroniques de France ou de St Denis Renaissance Warfare

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Druzhina View Post
                              Truth isn't a popularity contest. If it was then Christianity would still be a looser behind other religions

                              Druzhina
                              Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
                              Which religions out of curiosity? The cult of Moloch? Aphrodite? Dagon?

                              Only a handful of religions have an international membership roll. Fewer still that go back to the Iron Age. Christianity is one. Islam, and Judaism (which has been in business since the Bronze Age and is "the parent company of this network") and Buddhism round out the list. (Hinduism is huge but mostly regional and ethnic). Quite a gathering. And while truth is not a popularity contest, the perception of philosophy often is. You believe Christianity is illogical. That is your opinion. Over a billion people living and many more dead from here to the Empire don't share it. Convincing these billion plus to renounce this view that provides for them so well to embrace yours will take a smidge more than "you're illogical". I find my Christian family to be quite logical. Love, fellowship, moral support, potato salad infested potlucks. Tough time beating that.
                              A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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