No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Tag Archives: resurrection

Easter is a Myth?


Easter is fast approaching.  So now we get the fine pleasure of hearing a ton about a magical

Hollywood's real version of what easter is ALL about!

 Easter bunny who runs around getting people fat(ter).  Movies like “Hop” are coming out but strangely there are no movies about the resurrection of Christ coming out this Easter.  So, I thought it would be good to tackle the resurrection from a historical perspective.

To sum up where we are thus far…

  1. We can prove that the time span of the writings of the gospels and the rest of the New Testament took place within an acceptable time frame from the crucifixion.
  2. We can also demonstrate that the manuscript evidence for the New Testament is far superior and in fact the most documented event in history.

This post is going to take a look at the most critical event in the New Testament, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:14-19)

The resurrection is the lynch pin of the Christian faith.  Without it, there is no arisen God, and thus Jesus was not who he said he was.  So the question then becomes, are the events depicted in the Gospel historically accurate?

Here are the facts that are relatively agreed to by most New Testament Scholars

  1. On the Sunday morning after the crucifixion the tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers.
  2. On multiple occasions many people and groups interacted with a live  Jesus after his death.
  3. The original disciples suddenly and sincerely changed directions and passionately argued for a resurrected Christ.

Those that dispute the above three facts are on the fringe.  Many New Testament skeptics will accept the above facts.  The support for this evidence is the documents within the New Testament. 

Quick Note….Most atheists immediately dismiss the use of the New Testament because it is part of the Bible.  I would argue against this.  You cannot, at least from a true scholarly perspective, dismiss the documents of the New Testament.  While it is presented in a single book, the New Testament must be viewed as a collection of documents which were recorded by several different men.  Thus the New Testament provides an opportunity for skeptics to corroborate evidence from one author to another.  Again, historical evidence shows that the New Testament was written within an acceptable amount of time from the crucifixion.  The manuscript evidence is 99% accurate.  So we can say with comfort, what we read in the New Testament, was in fact written within 20-60 years of the crucifixion.  Let’s look at each fact.

1.       The Empty tomb

There are multiple sources besides Mark that testify to the empty tomb.  Matthew and John are independent sources about the empty tomb.  It is also mentioned in the sermons in Acts (2:29; 13:36) and implied by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:4.  These are independent sources attesting to the fact of an empty tomb. 

Another thing to consider is the fact that women discovered the tomb first.  This is most definitely note worthy for one simple fact: women were not highly regarded in Jewish society.  Josephus says that women weren’t even permitted to serve as witnesses in a Jewish court of law! If the empty tomb was legend and not fact, the writers of this legend  most certainly would have put men at the tomb for the discovery, rather than women.  The fact that it is women who discover the tomb empty can only mean one thing…they were in fact the chief witnesses to this event. 

2.       On multiple occasions many people and groups interacted with a live  Jesus after his death.

The list of eyewitnesses to have Jesus after his death is numerous.  Paul provides a list of those who have seen him in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8.  In this list Paul includes the name of Peter, the Twelve, and James.  These are people that Paul personally knew.  These appearances cannot be dismissed as mere legends.

Additionally, narratives of the appearances are multiple and independently attested to.  Consider for example this, the appearance to Peter is attested by Luke and Paul; the appearance to the Twelve is attested by Luke, John and Paul; and the appearance to the women is attested by Matthew and John.  The testimony of the appearances is so broad that it cannot be reasonably argued that the earliest disciples did have such experience.

3.      The original disciples suddenly and sincerely changed directions and passionately argued for a resurrected Christ.

This is a topic we have covered before by asking you “Would you die for a lie?”

Here is the reality of the situation for the disciples.

  1. Their leader was dead.  Messianic expectations of their Messiah were one of the Messiah defeating Israel’s enemies not being shamefully executed as a criminal.
  2. The Jewish belief system did not have/did not allow for anyone being arisen from the dead before the general resurrection of the dead at the end of the world.

Despite these two realities the original disciples came to believe so strongly that Jesus had arisen from the grave and began preaching it throughout the world.  The simple fact here is that these Jewish men went about the world preaching something that ultimately was un-Jewish and outlandish according to their own faith.  Acts 5:33-39 illustrates these points of contention. 

So now the question becomes…what is the best explanation of these facts?

First some common attempts to explain the above facts:

  1. The body was stolen.

This would explain the empty tomb, but not the appearances, and most definitely not the change of the disciples, even if they stole the body.

  1. The appearances were hallucinations.

This is highly improbable (if not absolutely impossible) considering that the ENTIRE list provided by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8 would have had to have the same hallucination.  That is 500+ people all having a hallucination of Jesus returning from the dead.

The only plausible and absolute explanation of the three facts mentioned above is that Jesus in fact rose from the dead.  No other event or explanation could cover all three facts.

We hope we have answered some of your questions regarding the historicity of Jesus and His resurrection… If you have further objections you would like us to answer, please let us know… If not, would you consider trusting in Him today?

Would you die for a lie?


So….I have been out exploring on Google, and decided to Google “die for a lie”.  Of course the first two posts are negative responses to the disciples.  So I decided to peruse the blog posts, and came to the conclusion that they missed the mark on their analysis.  The same analysis is basically being used by any number of atheists and includes the following arguments:

1.      That there is no historical evidence that those listed in The Gospels as having seen the resurrected Christ even saw the resurrected Christ.

2.     If they were not given the option to recant, then they did not die for a lie.

These two points are what a number of Atheists will use to try to define the argument in a way that is not based in truth.

That there is no historical evidence that those listed in Acts as having seen the resurrected Christ even saw the resurrected Christ.

As always, I will be operating under the fact that every word in the Gospel’s and Acts is 100% reliable, historical, fact (because it is).

I have always looked at Acts as the sequel to the Gospels (metaphorically speaking, not the literal sequal).  The Empire Strikes Back to the Star Wars.  The Spiderman 2 to Spiderman 1. The….well you get the idea.

Towards the end of the Gospels, Christ has been crucified.  The Disciples have fled.  Peter has denied Jesus three times and fled.  The disciples were on the verge of giving up, they were hopeless.  Any number of descriptions can be used here.  The key is that the disciples thought that Christ was a King.  No matter how Jesus tried to emphasize it wasn’t what they thought, they believed him to be an earthly King.  When he died… they did in fact wonder… So what happened?  Basically this same group who were despondent upon the death of Christ turn around and begin preaching that he was in fact God and had been resurrected as the book of Acts gets going.

So let’s put this into context.  These men had witnessed His arrest.  Some of them scattered after that.  At least one of them witnessed his actual crucifixion.  All of them knew about his death.  So what would convince these men to go preach the deity and resurrection of Jesus?  Not only that, but what would convince them that they needed to preach this in the face of beating’s, flogging’s, imprisonment, and ultimately… death?

The actions of individuals are always motivated by events.  That is human nature.  So the more appropriate question… what event took place that caused these men to go and spread the word?  Acts says it is one event.  Not just the resurrection of Jesus, not the empty tomb, but Jesus appearing before them in the flesh.

Now, in some of these posts I saw online there were comparisons to the people who died for Heaven’s Gate.  You remember… the cult that committed mass suicide?!  David Koresh is another popular tie-in here for Atheists.  The Atheist wants you to believe that these people died for a lie.  They would be correct in their observation.  But their observation is under the auspice that the Gospel accounts and Acts are not 100% truth.

Here is the primary difference between the disciples and Heaven’s Gate.  The disciples would have known that the whole thing was a lie.  Think about this for just a second.  Jesus had said that he would die and be resurrected three days later… If Jesus had NOT revealed himself to them… would they have gone and preached the resurrection?  NO! They would have known that the whole thing was a hoax.  Would they have perpetuated this hoax to become famous or rich?  History (Acts specifically) shows that this most certainly was not the case.  As a matter of fact only death, beatings, and imprisonment awaited these men. For the atheists’ analogy to hold true either the cult members would have had to have foreknowledge that allowed them to know definitively whether or not their leaders were who and what they claimed. The facts are that these unfortunate souls were not afforded the opportunity to see the claims of their belief system crumble.

On the other hand, the Disciples’ actions are the definitive proof that something happened to turn them from cowards to the very definition of courage.  That event was documented in the Gospels, and in Acts.  It could only be one thing, Christ himself in the flesh.

If they were not given the option to recant, then they did not die for a lie.

An Atheist will use this as the foundation to say that the Disciples did not die for a lie.  Instead they say that there is no historical proof that ANY of the martyrs were given the opportunity to recant prior to being martyred.  I say, that they absolutely were.

The presumption of the Atheist is that a Christian must be brought in, questioned and THEN be afforded an opportunity to back out on their previous claims – recant the story of Christ.  I would ask… why were they arrested in the first place?

To illustrate look at the persecution of Christians by Saul.

That persecution was more like a man hunt.  How do they avoid the man hunt… simply stop preaching the word!  Think about it.  These people were dying horrible deaths for being associated and accepting the label of Christ.  If it was a lie all they would have had to do would be to stop preaching, stop associating with other Christians, etc… THAT ALONE is an outright recant of Jesus and His resurrection.  But that did not happen- Which makes this all the more incredible!!!  At any given time these people could have said… I am tired of ALL of this, I don’t want to die… and simply walked away.

So what can we take from this… A very real event occurred that spurred these men into action.  That took them from despair to screaming about Jesus in the streets of Jerusalem.  That event had to have been real, and not some conjured up story that a group of men made up.  Remember most of the original disciples died a horrible death because of this event.  In addition… at any time they could have simply avoided it by denying they were Christians.  These men did not die for a lie.  They were perhaps some of the most courageous men in the history of the world.

Here’s what one of those very men wrote just before he died for his faith: “I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.  We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

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