A Letter Regarding the Resurrection


#1

I would be grateful for your responses to a letter which was published in an Irish newspaper on Thursday last. The writer undoubtedly holds anti-Christian (indeed anti-religion) views, and I have debated with him last year on the same letters page over the “Jesus’ Tomb” story which emerged last March - I’ve posted that on CAF somewhere!! Anyway his latest letter was a response to a very good article about why Easter is a moveable feast (view the article at www.independent.ie/unsorted/features/why-easter-is-a-moveable-feast-1276304.html ). In fact his letter was not so much a response to the article itself, but rather an opportune moment for the letter-writer to make further attacks on Christianity. I don’t know if I’ll respond to the letter or not, as no proof will ever be enough for him since he does not understand the nature of ‘Faith’, but I would like to see some of your responses- especially in relation claims regarding the Gospel of Mark. Many thanks in advance!
Here is the letter and the link to the original source:

www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/resurrection-of-the-easter-debate-1278076.html

"KUDOS to Gemma O’Doherty for her informative but highly amusing article ‘Why Easter is a moveable feast’ (Irish Independent, January 29).

I haven’t seen gymnastics like that since the last Olympic games.

Whilst trying to convince herself, and others, why “the most important feast in Christianity” moves on the calendar, she seems to have conveniently forgotten that there is no proof whatsoever that the resurrection of Jesus ever took place.

The resurrection is not actually mentioned in the original version of Mark’s Gospel – which Matthew and Luke are largely derived from.

An event of this magnitude should have been front and centre in the New Testament, yet scholars today know the account of the resurrection was not added to Mark’s Gospel until the second century, and are unsure as to its exact origins.

As for “the theological significance” of the equinox which Ms O’Doherty seems to attach special, and mystical, meaning to; the equinox is simply a term used in astronomy to describe the moment when the sun is positioned directly over the Earth’s equator, nothing to do with theology, or the nature or will of any God or gods.

Moreover, Ms O’Doherty conveniently omits any mention of the Pagan festivals and rituals of re-birth and fertility from her article.

In fact, Easter is a classic example of the early Christian church adapting an existing pagan ritual to suit their own purposes, much like Christmas.

The Saxon spring festival of Eostre, was named for their goddess of dawn, and when they came to Britain in the fifth century, the festival came with them along with re-birth and fertility rituals involving eggs, chicks and rabbits.

When the Saxons converted to Christianity and started to celebrate the alleged death and resurrection of Jesus, it coincided with Eostre, which is why the church called the celebration Eostre or Easter, in modern English.

Easter may move on the calendar year by year, but it’s nothing compared to the amount of moving done by religious believers to shoehorn the past into their personal modern-day beliefs. Just because you believe it doesn’t make it true, only evidence can achieve that feat."


#2

There are alot of other people on this forum that can give better responses but here I go. First it is kind of difficult to understand some of what we is relating to for I have not seen the story he is referring to but I will try anyway.

From what I understand is that the reason why Easter moves is due to Passover and the Jew’s lunar calender.

Where does he get that information? I haven’t seen that before so I am taking that he got his info from one of those Anti-Christian Biblical Scholars. Mark 16 discusses the resurrection in every Bible I own.

This is probably true. The Church’s missionary wing tried to relate as much as possible with each region’s standing customs not just eliminate everything the believed. It would make since to use some of the customs from this Pagan festival especially those that the Saxons used to symbolize resurrection and re-birth (baptism), ect.

Of course that doesn’t prove his point though does it?

Hope some of this helps.


#3

I wouldn’t bother doing so. The Resurrection is so prominent in the NT that you can’t miss it - unless you don’t bother to read the book. And a lot of Christians, & lot of atheists, don’t.

Faith is necessary to experience the power of the Resurrection. It is not needed for one to see the prominence the NT gives it.

One thing one cannot do with it is prove it historically. This is not a weakness - it fits the character of faith in Christ extremely well; the Resurrection is above all an action of God, so it is utterly different from events such as battles, treaties, elections, & the like. God does not have a biography or timetable, there are no lives of God as there are of men, for God is not an historical person. So His action/word in raising Jesus, is not historical - to call it that is to diminish it. It is not described, because it cannot be described. It can be proclaimed, but not proved: proofs are for static dead things like mathematics - not for “the only thing that ever really happened”.

BTW - the Resurrection =/= its liturgical commemoration. And neither of those is the power of the Resurrection in a human life. The Raising of Jesus from the dead is the life-giving principle of that power & Presence in our lives, & the pledge of our own resurrection (He is a Whole Christ, not a Head Whose Life is not given to His members, His Body) - but the Resurrection is not the feast of it.

Here is the letter and the link to the original source:

www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/resurrection-of-the-easter-debate-1278076.html

"KUDOS to Gemma O’Doherty for her informative but highly amusing article ‘Why Easter is a moveable feast’ (Irish Independent, January 29).

I haven’t seen gymnastics like that since the last Olympic games.

Whilst trying to convince herself, and others, why “the most important feast in Christianity” moves on the calendar, she seems to have conveniently forgotten that there is no proof whatsoever that the resurrection of Jesus ever took place.

The resurrection is not actually mentioned in the original version of Mark’s Gospel – which Matthew and Luke are largely derived from.

An event of this magnitude should have been front and centre in the New Testament, yet scholars today know the account of the resurrection was not added to Mark’s Gospel until the second century, and are unsure as to its exact origins.

As for “the theological significance” of the equinox which Ms O’Doherty seems to attach special, and mystical, meaning to; the equinox is simply a term used in astronomy to describe the moment when the sun is positioned directly over the Earth’s equator, nothing to do with theology, or the nature or will of any God or gods.

Moreover, Ms O’Doherty conveniently omits any mention of the Pagan festivals and rituals of re-birth and fertility from her article.

In fact, Easter is a classic example of the early Christian church adapting an existing pagan ritual to suit their own purposes, much like Christmas.

Wrong :slight_smile: That’s back-to-front, and inside-out.

Christ is Lord of time & space - they are His, & for Him. Paganism is a form of theft, because it steals His seconds, minutes, hours,days, weeks, months, seasons, years, & times of every kind, & turns them to purposes that glorify not Him but no-gods. He alone has any right to time & space, for He made them, for the Glory of His Name, so that all His creatures might know Him as their only God & Lord. We have no rights before God - no time, no space, no anything: Christians own nothing as their own, not their minds or wills or bodies: Christ is the Creator & Master of all these things. And the Church is one way by which He has taken back what is His. Eostre is a no-god, so she cannot own anything, so He, Who is God, takes back what her worshippers have stolen from Him. What could be fairer than that ?

Whom did Eostre save from sin, or redeem, or raise from death, or fill with the Life of God, or shed her blood for ? Not only is Jesus Christ Our Sovereign Lord, He is above all Our Most Holy Redeemer. The Real God is great enough to become one of His own handiwork, & to reddem it by dying for it - false gods either don’t, or can’t, or won’t.

more…


#4

BTW: why are Darwinianism & market forces not applicable to gods ? A decent Darwinist wouldn’t finance paganism, but would leave it to sink or swim. Paganism cannot survive, because it is false. This God has guaranteed His survival, by dying.

Jesus is not only “the bright star of morning”, as Rev. 22 calls Him:
[LIST]
*]Rev 22:16 “I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”[/LIST]He is also the dawning itself, as Luk 1:78 says, He is the anatolé. Dawn belongs to Him, & is for Him & from Him - there is nothing for Eostre to do, or be goddess of.

The Saxon spring festival of Eostre, was named for their goddess of dawn, and when they came to Britain in the fifth century, the festival came with them along with re-birth and fertility rituals involving eggs, chicks and rabbits.

When the Saxons converted to Christianity and started to celebrate the alleged death and resurrection of Jesus, it coincided with Eostre, which is why the church called the celebration Eostre or Easter, in modern English.

Easter may move on the calendar year by year, but it’s nothing compared to the amount of moving done by religious believers to shoehorn the past into their personal modern-day beliefs. Just because you believe it doesn’t make it true, only evidence can achieve that feat."


#5

Many thanks for answers so far… Does anyone have any information regarding the writer’s claims that the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are largely derived from Mark’s Gospel, and more importantly the claim that the account of the Resurrection was not added to Mark’s Gospel until the Second Century - although, given that ‘second century’ could mean the year 100, I suppose it could be possible, but this guy is really claiming that that part of his Gospel is a forged addition - not by Mark at all.


#6

It matters not a bit that the Resurrection may or may not have been originally mentioned in Mark’s Gospel - it was well and truly mentioned in Paul’s letters which were written probably earlier. So we KNOW early Christians had the same firm belief in the Resurrection then that they do now.


#7

This is recent “scholarship” among “enlightened” scholars. Some, not all or even most, scholars assert these claims.

This is a long, but worthy read. Then, if you scroll back up to the top, you can go to the homepage and read the rest of the document. Very interesting.

churchinhistory.org/pages/booklets/authors-gospels-1.htm


#8

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