Debate: Was Jesus actually resurrected and other arguments


#21

He absolutely existed as a real person and only fringe scholars would argue that point. He is referenced by Pliny the Younger, Josephus (Jewish historian) and Tacitus (A Roman). And to suggest the Gospels themselves are not legitimate sources for the existence of Jesus is simply ignoring the conclusions of scholars both secular and religious.


#22

I’m not suggesting that he was an invention, I rather side with him being more a historical person. I of course need to sadly be open to other possibilities. At least just to say i’m not dogmatically accepting positions but rather siding with them tentatively.


#23

I understand that, I’ve been in your shoes. It was a long, long walk to get me from an agnostic atheist, through Eastern traditions, into Protestantism and finally into the Catholic Church. There’s a lot to consider and weigh. Doubt is better than disbelief, so long as doubt provides the impetus for investigation, and you are investigating!


#24

Well, none of those aspects of the story are what I would object to and I would care less whether they actually happened or not. What interests me more is the mythological or legendary aspects of the story including the resurrection as well as the angel moving the stone, there being a heaven as well as a hell that he then entered to or went to, etc.


#25

It’s historical fact he existed, don’t perpetuate naturalistic conspiracy theories.


#26

so… we’ve gone from

to

I dont mean to Ad Hominem, but you are bouncing around quite a bit here


#27

HEY, i’m not one of those people nor am I saying Jesus was a fabrication, rather i’m leaving that avenue open despite how unlikely It may be. And I do view it as unlikely.


#28

To be fair I think you might be putting your theological horse before it’s cart. You’ll have to consider if the Gospels are reliable documents and whether their authors can be trusted before you ask if what they wrote is true, false or a bit of both.


#29

Ok, I guess we can leave the door open that Julius Caesar didn’t exist, no matter how unlikely that possibility is.


#30

Ultimately to study the history and documents of the early church won’t get you hard and fast proof of the Resurrection in the same way reading a history of the Aztec would convince you, personally, they existed. You would need a time machine to personally validate each historical event and person. So then you have to see what history says, what those on either side of the facts say and ask “what’s reasonable? What’s plausible?” Is it reasonable to deduce that the spread of Christianity in those early centuries can be attributed simply to emotional attachment to the figure of Jesus? You see I’m not arguing that the spread of Christianity or the writings of the Fathers are definitive proof; what I am saying is that the evidence seems to point strongly to an actual Ressurection.

The Jewish mindset is important to consider here as well, as we know the Apostles were largely Jewish as well as a good majority of the early church. They already possessed a strong religious heritage, both oral and written, and to become Christians just for emotive reasons just doesn’t seem to jive well. They had arguments about the necessity of circumcision, amongst other things, which suggests these already highly religious monotheists were convinced of the truth of the Resurrection enough that they had to weigh their heritage and tradition against it. Again, that’s not “proof”, but it seems to point to one conclusion.


#31

Or Alexander the Great.


#32

Would we base the truth or falsity of a claim based on the people who believed the claim or on the claim itself? How strongly anyone believed in the claim, if you do not like emotional attached, or how strongly they had faith is independent of the truth or falsity of the claims as what convinced these people was the purported occurrence of these events as described in the bible and there proselytization. These early christians at the time were convinced the story was true (A possible mythical embellishment of real events), irrespective of whether it was or wasn’t true. A false claim can still be believed if it is unknown whether it was false or true in the first place because beliefs revolve around personal accusations or personal states of mind.

Jesus resurrection, the stone being moved by an angel, him flying up to heaven as well as there being a hell. . .
are claims that need to be assessed on their own viability or falsity independent of what others may think or believe about them.

I know you are merely saying it is more likely that it true based on how many believed it or by how many were martyred for it but this would be similar to: Many people believe in god therefore, it is more likely that god exists. This completely side steps the issue and asserts something (That people believe in it, large amounts of the population) and that this somehow has authority on the whether a god actually exists when this CLAIM is dependent on certain methods to attain a true or false conclusion but not on what may be opinionated on it; i’m not asking how strongly did and do people believe in this claim, i’m asking is it TRUE.

This claim (Jesus Resurrection) would need to be assessed independent of how strongly people purported the claim other wise this would also sidestepping the issue, possibly into another one.

Again, i’m not asserting that what you have given is proof or that i constructed some straw man that would clearly be open to the fallacy of argumentum ad populum but wanted to give an example similar in nature or stretch this proposition to its breaking point.

In conclusion:

Are the claims purported true NOT how strongly did people believe in them at that time and now.


#33

It should be asserted, from my position, I more or less side with these gospels being embellishments of real events. What I mean by embellishment is not that there was some early gospels that were later fabricated with mythical accounts or that the writers lied or made it up but that the events purported may have occurred in a similar fashion or not at all as described, and irrespective of how they played out; right out of the gate the gospels were already describing blindly asserted propositions or stories built around a real set of events.

Something happened and it was far later that these claimed explanations or choice descriptions came about. There’s a difference between any claims or proposed explanations to a set of events probably added on later and what had really happened.

The resurrection story, or a collection of apologists, are proposing that many of these elements to the original incident are what are claimed in the bible itself when we have no knowledge of or independent source upon which to assess these claims at all as the resurrection story is only in and claimed in the bible but not anywhere else.

It isn’t like we were really there and actually saw what happened to now match this, through a one to one correspondence, to the claimed reasonably accurate description of the event in the many gospels.

Thusly, we can not assess the claims of the resurrection from the bible via the false dichotomy of whether it is either that they are true or false with a reasonably accurate replacement to on the contrary but that we do not even know if these are correct descriptions of the prime event or even what the original prime event was. It may have been that there was a fantastical event that had occurred but was completely different from what is claimed in the bible and the bible’s claims are incorrect in all categories aside from the fact that maybe he was resurrected (Under some definition of the word). Although, he wasn’t the son of god, there wasn’t an angel that moved the stone, there wasn’t these appearances as purposed, or that he visually floated off into the clouds. AT LEAST, the claim that he resurrected was prominent but it is not wholly apparent that any other explanations or assertions to his godly hood or any other events surrounding the central proposition are accurate or conclusive in anyway. More ad hoc in nature are the bible’s claims than conclusive or accurately descriptive.


#34

In conclusion from the second comment:

The bible itself is not the authority on what events actually occurred. . .the stories present within the text may or may not have occurred or may or may not be accurate descriptions. It cannot be claimed that because the bible itself is the only document that probably discusses this therefore means that it possess greater authority and more probable judgement on what it claims is either taken as true or some alternative is proposed completely to the contrary. The biblical claims being judged as accurate description of the events that took place can not be assessed or even proposed.

Are the biblical events the only events that took place and thus we judge them as a whole or were there elements from them present at the original event but many of the rest of the story was added on (though probably not intentionally).


#35

I just want to be clear on your position so please correct me if I’m misrepresenting anything.

It seems you’re saying that there are, very likely, historical events that occurred as described in the Gospels, but the more “supernatural” occurances are more likely to have been added or embellished.

Is that a fair summation of your viewpoint?


#36

Well kindof, but when it comes to embellished note that I’m meaning that there was a defined event that occurred with a few aspects added on later through various means. An example could be that there was once a UFO spotted by large groups of people, a fantastical event indeed. . .but later on people begin to add onto the narrative that it was created by the government, that it was humans from the future, or that they are aliens from a close solar system. All of these propositions do not have anything going for them and while a part of the narrative was correct in a description of the original prime event. Many of the other later narratives, or maybe just one was spread about, were incorrect in the totality of their written or purposed descriptions even though they were correct on maybe one part of the rare occurrence. Its not they are more likely (How would I test the probability of these events occurring) to have been embellished but support for the resurrection does not necessitate any of the other accusations as they should stand completely on their own. But something most of occurred and these biblical texts either warp the event or fit like a glove.

Also note that using the word Supernatural here is a slippery slope of semantics and would want you as well as myself to avoid using it. As well as natural, both of these words have to defined in very specific ways and will really just muddle up the conversation. Take these as unlikely, strange, or rare events that have never before been interacted with that have occurred in reality.

I will note that i myself am not a metaphysical naturalist, i’m undecided on methodological naturalism.


#37

I see, I think (and hope). There’s a few things to consider- the reliability of the Gospels and, therefore, those who wrote them (can the Apostles, who claim to have witnessed a resurrected Christ first-hand, be trusted?), is there early evidence of High Christology (we see Christ making claims to deity throughout the Gospels but it’s clear not even the Apostles “got it” until after the events of Easter Sunday, whatever those may be. If there is evidence of early High Christology it’s likely Christ was believed to be God- why?)

What we know beyond any shadow of a doubt is that there was a man named Jesus, from Nazareth, who was crucified under/by a Roman official named Pontius Pilate. So let’s go right to the tomb that Easter morning.

Is it empty, or is Jesus still there?

If his body is still there, case closed and we all go home.

If not, what are the logical assumptions? What would you reasonably conclude if the tomb is empty? (This isn’t a rhetorical question. Put yourself there and ask yourself, as a logical and reasonable person who doesn’t believe people come back to life, what are the possible explanations for his body no longer being there. In fact, we can for the moment put the option of “resurrected” off the table.)


#38

It really doesn’t matter how accurate or reliable the Gospels or Bible have been in terms of historical reliability or whether the Apostles were reasonably trust worthy people. These are events that have been claimed to have happened but how do we analyze purely testimonial proclamations with what they had probably saw and was later written down. Does a written testimonial with no way to check their claims mean I should first disprove it when such a possibility has not been even been fully added to the table to warrant consideration.

The tomb is empty, we don’t know what happened. . . end of story, done. Should the lack of any explanation be a testament to the truth of the resurrection or the fact that we have few if any information to actually conclude anything on it.


#39

Well just humor me, if you would. If the tomb is empty, where’s the body? What are the likely possibilities?


#40

I don’t know, with the amount of mystery revolving around this with the only claims regarding this event coming from the bible . . . what am I supposed to conclude? That these are the only claims made about this at the time and thus they are the only explanation because that was the only written response? Or that the stories themselves wrote about something that happened but we cannot analyze any prime, original claims, of the real event to compare and contrast with this one claim? I will not bow to our ignorance of what happened nor exhibit any arrogance for some contrary position to yours aside from, “I don’t hold it”.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.