There’s a part in one of the Gospels when it refers to many dead coming back to life. I’ve heard many opponents of the ressurection saying that this would have been a huge event, though no one wrote about it.
What’s a good response to this and why should they expect such writings?
You don’t think it would have been a huge event?
Seeing people who have been dead for years suddenly come out of their graves and tombs–now alive–and walk into into Jerusalem in public, among the crowds??
You don’t think others would have talked about such an event enough to inspire someone at the time or later, like Josephus, to make note of it in writing?
It 'aint like dozens or hundreds of dead people come out of their graves every day and walk around and hang out .
The earthquake could have opened the crowd, doing little more than exposing the bodies, which might have been meant…and like others have indicated, if this event was not significant enough to go into deeper detail or report in other gospels, the breaking open of graves by earthquake and the exposing the bodies makes sense as the “resurrection” of these people.
The verse says that after Jesus’ resurrection, these dead arose and went into the Holy City (I presume Jerusalem) and appeared to many…the impression is that they walked around, perhaps even spoke to others, etc.
I have no answer as to ‘Why’ the other Gospels don’t speak of this, or ‘Why’ there aren’t more details, other writings, etc. but it IS in Matthew, so we shouldn’t discount it as a small event or downplay it to a simple grave cracking open…the isn’t an indication in the context that this should be taken as symbolic or allegorical at all. The entire context revolves around the facts if Christ’s crucifixion, death, burial, etc.
The doubter referred to in the OP is searching for ‘proof’ that this happened or didn’t and is clearly not satisfied with the account from Matthew. One line from the Bible isn’t good enough for him/her. I doubt if there were records from the Roman Empire, that those would convince them either. Remember, there are those who discredit what Jesus Himself says in John 6. And Jesus repeats Himself in that section of Scripture what? 9 times?
There are some who will never change their minds, no matter how much evidence they are shown.
That just the point – there’s lots of presumption and ‘impressions’ of what this means.
Does ‘the holy city’ mean the earthly Jerusalem, or the heavenly Jerusalem? Does it mean that they ‘walked around’ or ‘spoke to people’?
In fact, the interpolation – 'cause that’s what this is, an interruption of the narrative by the evangelist, talking not about what happened on Good Friday, but rather, at some (unspecified!) point in time ‘after his resurrection’ – this interruption only says that they appeared to many. If we’re talking about a mass resurrection, ‘appearance’ is a weird way to put it, isn’t it? After all, if I were to raise from my grave and go say ‘hi’ to you, you wouldn’t say I ‘appeared’, would you? Isn’t it more likely, then, that by virtue of the fact that it’s called an ‘appearance’, we’re talking about something other than a Lazarus-style resuscitation of dead bodies?
Those who would suggest that the account is false, because such an event would have been recorded somewhere by someone, is making a huge assumption, and asking you to buy into it wholesale, without any kind of discussion of why it has to be interpreted in the way they’re implying. That, I think, is where the discussion can take place. Why must we hold to that one particular interpretation (which gives rise to their objection)? Why can’t we interpret this (rather oddly-phrased) verse in other ways – ways that don’t imply that the Scriptures are false?
it IS in Matthew, so we shouldn’t discount it as a small event or downplay it to a simple grave cracking open…the isn’t an indication in the context that this should be taken as symbolic or allegorical at all.
The problem is that this verse plops itself down in a totally different context than what it speaks about, and therefore, it really has no context. At best, v. 52 places itself on Good Friday, but that’s just a description of what happened at the earthquake on Good Friday: tombs were opened, and bodies were raised. The rest – that is, v. 53 – happens completely outside of that context. Then, in v. 54, we’re back at Golgotha. So, I would argue that we can’t assert anything about the context of v. 53, since it’s so outside the context of its preceding and following verses!
The entire context revolves around the facts if Christ’s crucifixion, death, burial, etc.
Exactly. And v. 53 is not part of that context, but rather, simply some time “after his resurrection.”