Historical evidence of the resurrection


#1

Is there any? Are there any writings other than the Bible?


#2

peterkreeft.com/topics-more/resurrection-evidence.htm


#3

garyhabermas.com/articles/crj_explainingaway/crj_explainingaway.htm

garyhabermas.com/audio/audio.htm


#4

Depends on what you mean by historical and evidence. :smiley:

Anything that takes place in time is ‘historical’ by nature. If we posit, as we believe, that Jesus Christ was born, lived, was crucified, died, was buried, rose again on the third day, remained 40 days on earth thereafter and then ascended into heaven, then that event took place whether we have a ‘written historical record outside the gospels’ or not. We know that the Romans crucified more than Jesus and the two thieves in the occupation of Palestine and even in the year of Jesus’s death and resurrection. But we do not have the NAMES of those involved. However, their deaths took place despite our ‘not having historical evidence’.

And as for the ‘evidence’; we have eyewitness evidence of many referenced in the gospels, themselves ‘eyewitness testimony’ of the life of Christ. There are snippets of outside ‘testimony’ which may or may not be verifiable; but even if, say, Josephus’ testimony were found to be forged, the only thing that would prove is that somebody ‘forged the testimony’; it does not mean that Christ did not exist or that His death and resurrection were not true. I could write a ‘forged account’ that stated that John F. Kennedy was shot, was smuggled to a hideway where he lived for 8 years, dying in 1971. If the account were found, one could not state that because the second part (smuggled to hideaway etc. was false the first part --Kennedy being shot–was LIKEWISE false).

We have little ‘historical evidence’ of most things, and what we do have is often found (especially lately) by ‘historians’ to flat-out contradict (supposedly) what we were taught was true. Pretty soon we’re going to be told that despite appearances to the contrary, England won the Revolutionary War in 1781 but in order to ‘appease’ the colonies there has been a vast ‘pretence’ on the part of the throne of Britain to make it LOOK as though the Americans won and got to set up their own country. Secretly, though, we send all our tax money to Britain, and secretly after the inauguration the President goes to a secret room where he swears his allegiance to the Queen of England.


#5

The Bible is an anthology of works, including history. The Gospels are history.

Indeed, the Bible has been an extremely useful historical source. We have lost much text from the 1st century and prior eras; without the Bible our knowledge of the ancient world would be far more dubious.

People generally seem to believe that we have far more ancient texts than we do, and seek to rule out the Bible as though it were simply not evidence of anything. This is in contrast to the approach we take with other ancient texts, even fictional ones such as “The Iliad”, where we try to wring as much insight into the ancient world from them as we possibly can in order to form a clearer picture of it.

Not that the OP represents this trend; just noting how odd the question would be if directed toward a classicist and ruling out “The Iliad” as a source.


#6

Actually, there are no stories of the resurrection itself and no reported witnesses to the event. There are only post-resurrection accounts which are a collection of confusing and contradictory second and third hand reports. And, more significantly, the *only *reports we have are third hand and written long after the event by those who were already His followers when He was alive. Not exactly compelling evidence, at least in regards to historicity,

As with most things spiritual, belief in the resurrection is a matter of* faith*, not dependent on or proveable by historical evidence. If the greatest event in human “history” - the return of a dead man to life - was even remotely backed up with any real evidence (the kind historians rely on) then every historian would mention it in every history text ever written. Unfortunately, there has never been a mention of it actually occuring and it remains, as always, a matter of faith.

As stated in the Pontifical Biblical Commission’s Instuction on the Historical Truth of the Gospels, the gospels are not eyewitness accounts of history.


#7

Yet each Gospel and indeed every book of the New Testament suppose an actual resurrection.
Within the Gospels lie ancient traditions that existed long before Mark compiled them. A basic narration of the primitive Cross Gospel involves the discovery of the tomb by a woman, the man/angel thing at the tomb proclaiming that Jesus was alive and would meet them soon. The original passion narrative ended with resurrection.
The Gospels make an explicit claim that Jesus rose from the dead, and that seems to be a claim that can be investigated using the tools of historical inquiry.
The majority of scholars agree that an actual tomb of Jesus was found empty.
Ultimately it is a matter of faith, but that faith can be supported or opposed by evidence.


#8

And when we apply the eyewitness account standard to other ancient events, we are left with…?

It should be noted that we have very little evidence of the ancient world at all, and what we do have is quite often second-, third-, and morehand.

And yet despite this, we know some surprising thing, such as the fact that the Sea People circumnavigated Africa. Herodotus’ account, while far from an eyewitness account, is quite detailed and matches the facts of a crossing quite well.

So why should we despise the evidence we do have and elevate utter ignorance in its place?


#9

And these texts, the only ones we have, were all written by only a handful of unknown “insiders”, long after the event, and by those who already believed Jesus was God.

Within the Gospels lie ancient traditions that existed long before Mark compiled them. A basic narration of the primitive Cross Gospel involves the discovery of the tomb by a woman, the man/angel thing at the tomb proclaiming that Jesus was alive and would meet them soon. The original passion narrative ended with resurrection.

Once again, these are all from insiders. I agree that this is evidence of something but it is not the kind of evidence that moves a supernatural event into the realm of human history.

The Gospels make an explicit claim that Jesus rose from the dead, and that seems to be a claim that can be investigated using the tools of historical inquiry.

It does seems that way. But no historian has ever used the scientific tools of historical analysis and included the resurrection in a history text. There is a reason for this.

The majority of scholars agree that an actual tomb of Jesus was found empty.

There are no scholars of history which agree on this, just as there are no history books which mention it.

Ultimately it is a matter of faith, but that faith can be supported or opposed by evidence.

That is true. And in this case, the evidence does neither.


#10

Questions and uncertainly, often. But that is only one of the standards used in the science of history - there are many others, all of which must be considered when researching the probablilty of past events.

It should be noted that we have very little evidence of the ancient world at all, and what we do have is quite often second-, third-, and morehand.

I’m not so sure about that. The Greeks and especially the Romans were quite prolific in their maintenance of historical records.

So why should we despise the evidence we do have and elevate utter ignorance in its place?

Why is there not a single history text which states that a man rose from the dead 2000 years ago? Because there is no evidence outside of a few rather confusing and conflicting reports, all of which came from a small group of insiders who already believed. There is no supporting evidence from anywhere else, other than a faith tradition. I’m not saying that shouldn’t be enough for us to believe as a matter of faith but historians require more.


#11

We should discount then Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” for similar reasons—he was an outsider, writing hundreds of years after the fact, using pagan sources, while infected himself by Enlightenment disdain.

Once again, these are all from insiders. I agree that this is evidence of something but it is not the kind of evidence that moves a supernatural event into the realm of human history.

What a silly argument! History is quite often written by “insiders”. Xenophon’s “Anabasis” has enormous credibility because Xenophon was a general present during the “March to the Sea.” Is your anti-Bible bias blinding you to the fact that history cherishes first-person accounts BECAUSE they’re written by insiders?

It does seems that way. But no historian has ever used the scientific tools of historical analysis and included the resurrection in a history text. There is a reason for this.

I’ve got a history degree, and I have no idea what “scientific tools of historical analysis” is. History isn’t science. It is the art of crafting a narrative account of what happened and why. At best, it gives a useful perspective. It can never give more than window onto reality. At worst, it’s propaganda and counterfactual.

All historians sift available evidence to uncover information. Starting from the premise that something is false and then seeking to critique evidence is not history, but flummery. It is a sad mark of the decline of history as a profession and history education in particular that so many people actually believe as you do.

Put another way, if you honestly believed history WAS science, you would be busy evaluating evidence of the Resurrection as presented to get to the real heart of the matter, rather than simply waving it away. The example I gave of Herodotus’ account of the circumnavigation of Africa is a case in point—for centuries, people accused him of making it up. It wasn’t until they sat down and evaluated his account in light of an actual journey that they realized he was telling the truth.

A similar example comes to us from the Greek world, where it was long thought to be an exaggeration that the Greeks could charge a mile under load. Somebody finally though to test this out and found it was quite possible for the reasonably fit even of our day to do this. Of course, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps do it routinely. And for fun!

There are no scholars of history which agree on this, just as there are no history books which mention it.

Ahh, the appeal to authority. First off, there actually are historians who are —shockingly!----Christians. As for history books which mention it, you place heavy freight on your undefined terms here. Clearly, many history books mention the Resurrection of Jesus. Check any comparitive religious history text. Indeed, much of the histories of the Middle Ages refer to the Resurrection, part and parcel of their many mentions of Christ. Try to explain the Crusades without it.

The Bible simply is a bugbear for you, isn’t it?

That is true. And in this case, the evidence does neither.

lol—thought experiment: can you prove to me that your great-, great-, great-, great-, great-grandfathers existed?

Show me the documentary evidence—otherwise I will not accept your proof.


#12

It ain’t a science. It’s storytelling extrapolated from evidence.

I’m not so sure about that. The Greeks and especially the Romans were quite prolific in their maintenance of historical records.

You would be mistaken. The extant sources are very few; why not do some research?

We have a tiny fraction of the written records of the ancient world, and of these, the written records were a tiny fraction of the oral traditions, writing being new.

Why is there not a single history text which states that a man rose from the dead 2000 years ago? Because there is no evidence outside of a few rather confusing and conflicting reports, all of which came from a small group of insiders who already believed. There is no supporting evidence from anywhere else, other than a faith tradition. I’m not saying that shouldn’t be enough for us to believe as a matter of faith but historians require more.

  1. The Bible is a history text. It is an anthology of genres, including history. Its historical accuracy is quite remarkable, given how many people turn their noses up at it because of its religious content. If you consider Livy to be history, you must consider the Bible to be as well. I presume you’ve read Livy?

  2. Since the faith tradition consists of large numbers of people willing to sacrifice their lives for this “odd” belief, that counts for something, no? Or do you think the Romans were really so dumb and unworldly as to adopt Christianity for the sake of something to do? Was Constantine really so stupid as to choose a religion which the vast majority of his subjects disdained, especially one which never played nice as was Roman religious tradition?

  3. As noted, plenty of texts reference core tenets of Christianity; you simply exclude them from consideration. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Augustine of Hippo, all of the Early Church Fathers not only wrote prolifically but because their writings were treasured we have them. The ECF library is about 38 volumes. That’s not a lot when measured over 500 years, but compared to the rest of our ancient sources is a veritable treasure trove. And yet you toss them aside.

Your definition of history is an odd one. You start from a conclusion, exclude extant evidence which does not lead to your conclusion, and then claim, lacking any positive evidence, to have proven your point.

My instructors would have sent you back to take the course over, I’m afraid.


#13

Ok, I will assume that you do.

What a silly argument! History is quite often written by “insiders”. Xenophon’s “Anabasis” has enormous credibility because Xenophon was a general present during the “March to the Sea.” Is your anti-Bible bias blinding you to the fact that history cherishes first-person accounts BECAUSE they’re written by insiders?

I have no anti-bible bias at all. I do, however, understand the study of history and what makes something a highly probable historical event.

I’ve got a history degree, and I have no idea what “scientific tools of historical analysis” is. History isn’t science. It is the art of crafting a narrative account of what happened and why. At best, it gives a useful perspective. It can never give more than window onto reality. At worst, it’s propaganda and counterfactual.

So, you are happy to ignore considerations of multiple independent attestation and other rules of evidence? You will point out to us the history texts which state that a man once rose from the dead?

All historians sift available evidence to uncover information.

That is true.

Starting from the premise that something is false and then seeking to critique evidence is not history, but flummery.

I don’t see anyone here doing that so I’m not sure who you are attempting to insult. Our faith tells us that it is a real event and I am merely stating that there is almost no critical historic evidence that supports it.

It is a sad mark of the decline of history as a profession and history education in particular that so many people actually believe as you do.

I would say the opposite is true if you believe in such incredible stories with no evidence.

Put another way, if you honestly believed history WAS science, you would be busy evaluating evidence of the Resurrection as presented to get to the real heart of the matter, rather than simply waving it away. The example I gave of Herodotus’ account of the circumnavigation of Africa is a case in point—for centuries, people accused him of making it up. It wasn’t until they sat down and evaluated his account in light of an actual journey that they realized he was telling the truth.

A similar example comes to us from the Greek world, where it was long thought to be an exaggeration that the Greeks could charge a mile under load. Somebody finally though to test this out and found it was quite possible for the reasonably fit even of our day to do this. Of course, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps do it routinely. And for fun!

Ahh, the appeal to authority. First off, there actually are historians who are —shockingly!----Christians. As for history books which mention it, you place heavy freight on your undefined terms here. Clearly, many history books mention the Resurrection of Jesus. Check any comparitive religious history text. Indeed, much of the histories of the Middle Ages refer to the Resurrection, part and parcel of their many mentions of Christ. Try to explain the Crusades without it.

I hope you are joking - it would be fun to live in a world with no rules for analysis. I assume that if you wanted to know if it was safe to smoke, you would read the studies released by the tobacco companies and assume it was just fine, if not even healthy, to light up.

The Bible simply is a bugbear for you, isn’t it?

No, I understand the bible and I understand history.

lol—thought experiment: can you prove to me that your great-, great-, great-, great-, great-grandfathers existed?

Show me the documentary evidence—otherwise I will not accept your proof.

No, I can’t. However, I can make a case which shows it is highly likely he did exist. All history is reconstruction - reconstruction based on evidence, objective sources, independent attestation, etc… We have none of that for the resurrection (or any other miracles). I am perfectly content that it is purely a matter of faith.


#14

Yes. And I am merely stating that there is very little critical evidence.

You would be mistaken. The extant sources are very few; why not do some research?

I have - there are no independent historical sources for the resurrection.

  1. The Bible is a history text.

Even the church doesn’t teach that.

Since the faith tradition consists of large numbers of people willing to sacrifice their lives for this “odd” belief, that counts for something, no? Or do you think the Romans were really so dumb and unworldly as to adopt Christianity for the sake of something to do? Was Constantine really so stupid as to choose a religion which the vast majority of his subjects disdained, especially one which never played nice as was Roman religious tradition?

That is all very nice but it has nothing to do with historical evidence for the resurrection. There is no evidence that anyone died because of their belief in the resurrection or that the Romans adopted it because the resurrection was proveable or that Constantine used it because of the resurrection. Contrary to what you are implying, Jesus did spend most of his time teaching us how to live and most Christians don’t ignore that.

  1. As noted, plenty of texts reference core tenets of Christianity; you simply exclude them from consideration. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Augustine of Hippo, all of the Early Church Fathers not only wrote prolifically but because their writings were treasured we have them. The ECF library is about 38 volumes. That’s not a lot when measured over 500 years, but compared to the rest of our ancient sources is a veritable treasure trove. And yet you toss them aside.

Again, with the tobacco company argument…

Your definition of history is an odd one. You start from a conclusion, exclude extant evidence which does not lead to your conclusion, and then claim, lacking any positive evidence, to have proven your point.

Your definition of history is an odd one. You start from my conclusion, exclude the lack of evidence and rules of analysis, and then claim, lacking any positive evidence, to have proven your point.

My instructors would have sent you back to take the course over, I’m afraid.

And which of those instructors has written an academic history text which states that a man rose from the dead in about 33AD? It would be incredibly foolish to ignore such an overwhelmingly important event which has sooo much evidence to support it. Why take a course from anyone who leaves this out???


#15

I must, given your criteria.

I have no anti-bible bias at all. I do, however, understand the study of history and what makes something a highly probable historical event.

Okay, now you don’t understand probability either. A past event happened or did not happen; there is no probability there. It’s 100% or it’s 0%. Future events have probability. For example, I threw a die 10 times last Tuesday. I threw 3 threes. What’s the probability I threw 3 threes? 100%. What’s the probability I throw 3 threes out of 10 throws next Tuesday? <100%, right?

The Resurrection either happened, or did not happen. There is no “40% chance of Resurrection”.

So, you are happy to ignore considerations of multiple independent attestation and other rules of evidence? You will point out to us the history texts which state that a man once rose from the dead?

In throwing out the Bible, you’ve ignored multiple witnesses. The Bible attests to hundreds of witnesses. In what sense is this now not considered multiple independent attestation? It’s like saying a police report which refers to the statements of multiple witnesses is a single source.

When I point you to a history which states that a man rose from the dead what will your response be? Will you acknowledge your error?

I don’t see anyone here doing that so I’m not sure who you are attempting to insult. Our faith tells us that it is a real event and I am merely stating that there is almost no critical historic evidence that supports it.

I am pointing out the silliness of your position; if you find that insulting it is regrettable. You have an odd definition of “critical historic evidence”—does it not matter that within a single generation Christianity, built upon the Resurrection, had spread throughout the Roman world, and that the Emperor himself converted by the Fourth Century? This was done without conquest, a remarkable feat. Do you think the lie was just so appealing that such devotion to it was inevitable?

I would say the opposite is true if you believe in such incredible stories with no evidence.

Wow, sounds like you’ve either stretched regarding holding Catholic faith or in the statement above. You’ve certainly distorted the “with no evidence” line. There’s plenty of evidence for the Resurrection—there’s Scripture, there’re the writings of the ECFs, there are the traditions of the Church, etc. You simply claim none of this is “evidence”. Would you do this with any other ancient sources? Would you reject Livy because he includes Romulus and Remus in his account?

I hope you are joking - it would be fun to live in a world with no rules for analysis. I assume that if you wanted to know if it was safe to smoke, you would read the studies released by the tobacco companies and assume it was just fine, if not even healthy, to light up.

I presume that you would simply exclude all evidence on one side of an argument which didn’t support your preexisting conclusion?

Facts are facts, regardless of who points to them.

You’re a software engineer. Shall we discount your opinions on software coding simply because you’ve a vested interest in the industry? Should we rather ask only English lit professors whether a test script failed, since they’re “unbiased”?

No, I understand the bible and I understand history.

So you claim, but evidence, man, evidence!

No, I can’t. However, I can make a case which shows it is highly likely he did exist. All history is reconstruction - reconstruction based on evidence, objective sources, independent attestation, etc… We have none of that for the resurrection (or any other miracles). I am perfectly content that it is purely a matter of faith.

lol!

Okay, let me make it really simple for you:

Your ancestors clearly existed because you are here. This is a 100% probability. It is a fact.

This is why I’m doubtful that you understand history or historiography as well as you think you do.

History itself came along very late in civilization and no wonder—it required both writing and literature to be developed first. Beyond that, it required a level of civilization and culture which didn’t appear until quite late in human development. Our very earliest historical artifacts are lists of goods which happened to be preserved by the media which was employed. It wasn’t until Herodotus that anything approaching our modern Western notion of history—constructing a narrative of the past from sources—existed; it was he who coined the term. Mind you that the Bible predates Herodotus in large part. While the Bible does contain much historical evidence, and indeed has many books which have the aim of recounting historical events (the Gospels being among these), people such as yourself treat it as though it were a LESS trustworthy source than Livy or Herodotus, despite the fact that many an ancient historian included a healthy dose of the untruth in order to tell a better story, as both Herodotus (“The Father of Lies”) and Livy did.

I happen to be an engineer with a history degree, so I sympathize with the quest for precision in history. The more you inquire into ancient history and ancient historians, though, I think you’ll be shocked at the sloppiness of their work, at least initially, jaded as we are by the ease of information collection in the Information Age.

Then we get to the gaps in evidence. Do you know that there are kings and emperors whom we know about chiefly through coins? Isn’t that remarkable?

Unlike your ancestors, these are people who ruled vast territories, who were famous in their age, and yet we can’t read their autobiography or find much of an account of them. This goes for many a Pope, btw.

So to look at the ancient world and read evidence of absence into absence of evidence is to rather miss the point. Sure, faith is always required, but just because Tiberius didn’t pen an account of the Resurrection doesn’t mean there isn’t evidence it happened available to us.


#16

Well, there’s some progress. You admit now that history isn’t science.

You’ll need to work on the “critical evidence” definition.

I have - there are no independent historical sources for the resurrection.

It depends on what you mean by “independent”. If you saw a man come back from the dead with your own eyes, would you discount your own evidence as not being “independent”?

Even the church doesn’t teach that.

Really? The Catechism:

110 In order to discover the sacred authors’ intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression."76

That is all very nice but it has nothing to do with historical evidence for the resurrection. There is no evidence that anyone died because of their belief in the resurrection or that the Romans adopted it because the resurrection was proveable or that Constantine used it because of the resurrection. Contrary to what you are implying, Jesus did spend most of his time teaching us how to live and most Christians don’t ignore that.

I am implying nothing regarding Christ’s dayplanner. As for your contention that no one died for their belief in the Resurrection, read Butler’s Lives of the Saints.

Again, with the tobacco company argument…

Why do you compare the Church to the tobacco companies?

Are you really a Catholic or did you misstate your profile?

Your definition of history is an odd one. You start from my conclusion, exclude the lack of evidence and rules of analysis, and then claim, lacking any positive evidence, to have proven your point.

I see you’ve discoverd CRTL-C and CTRL-V, although there is no evidence you didn’t retype the passage.

And which of those instructors has written an academic history text which states that a man rose from the dead in about 33AD? It would be incredibly foolish to ignore such an overwhelmingly important event which has sooo much evidence to support it. Why take a course from anyone who leaves this out???

Gee, I don’t know, perhaps because the Bible doesn’t really have all that much to say about the application of airpower to win wars.

I’m going to provide you a reference. Read it, and take note of the sources. Then come back and post your take on it.

amazon.com/Resurrection-Christian-Origins-Question-Vol/dp/0800626796/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216145915&sr=8-2


#17

Sigh.

I believe in the Resurrection, but I have to be honest - if I were still an atheist, the responses in this thread so far would simply confirm everything that atheists claim about Christians: that when asked for solid evidence to prove their claims, they resort to sarcasm and ad hominem attacks, rather than simply admit that they don’t know something for sure.

I’m not embarrassed to state that it’s my opinion there is simply no solid historical evidence to prove that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred (such as? well, how about written affidavits from each of those 500 witnesses Paul says saw the risen Christ? After all, just because Paul said 500 people saw Him, how do we know what they thought they saw - or even that there were 500 people? I’m not saying it’s not true, but saying “500 people saw this” is not the same as adding, “and here are their names, addresses, and where you can locate them now”).

Conversely, there is no solid historical evidence (such as? well, such as the Roman or Jewish authorities producing a body and declaring, “This is the man Jesus we crucified last Friday! See, he is indeed dead, and not risen as his followers claim!” Shouldn’t have been too complicated. Even if Jesus’ Body hadn’t been available, they could easily - and cynically - have found one similar enough. Why didn’t they even try this?).

If it could be proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, one way or the other - then why would we need faith? :confused:


#18

There is very strong evidence for the Resurrection. One of the big pieces is that Jesus’ disciples were all martyred except John (exiled) and Judas (suicide). We know from the documents of the Early Church that they all taught and died for their belief in the resurrection of the Christ. Eleven eyewitness testimonies to an event is usually considered to be very good evidence. Eleven eyewitnesses willing to die for their testimony is extremely good evidence. Lots of people die for lies, believing them to be true, but no one dies for what they know to be lies. The disciples knew whether what they were dying for was lies or truth, as they claimed to have spoken with and interacted for 40 days with the resurrected Christ. Therefore we can be very sure that they were telling the truth. It is actually pretty absurd to suggest otherwise, in view of that evidence.


#19

Having faith does not require embracing ignorance and eschewing reason.

The Bible isn’t a collection of “just-so” stories. There are many facts put forth which are verifiable based on other records and nondocumentary evidence.

How many of you would entertain the notion that Jesus didn’t exist at all but for the mention in Josephus?

My issue is not that historical evidence is REQUIRED for the Resurrection, but rather so many discount all evidence we have as though it were somehow tainted.

The notion that the ECFs are automatically unreliable because they were faithful Christians is completely anachronistic. We do not rely on statements against interest to accept historical evidence, if we did, we’d have to throw away the Anabasis (since Xenophon was a Greek general and therefore a biased witness), Livy (since he included Roman mythology in his history of Rome), Herodotus (since he recounted stories which he’d heard second and thirdhand), Thucydides (since he was hardly an unbiased observer of the Pelopponesian War), Plutarch (since his aim was moral instruction and not historical documentation), Suetonius (that muckracker!), etc. History tends to be written by interested parties; indeed, these are often the best-placed to record it.

Moreover, I think it diminishes the faith considerably to ignore that Christ walked on Earth at a very specific time and place. We retain a piece of that time and place in the Mass, but there was a real wooden cross, there were real iron nails, there was real blood and real pain. There were real artifacts of Christ, whatever you might think of the provenance of relics extant today. These are things which happened, not probabilities which are contemplated.

Now, we can apply whatever ridiculous evidentiary standard as can be dreamed up to Scripture. If we do, we must apply the same standard to every other ancient work, and so modify our view of that lost era it describes. Standards are objective, right?

Now, Schliemann didn’t apply such a standard to “The Iliad”, which is how he found Troy. But no matter; if our standard obscures reality rather than uncovers it, what’s another unexcavated dirt mound in Turkey?


#20

Where did you get this expression, “The Bible isn’t ‘just-so’ stories”? I keep seeing that, all over the Internet, from people making similar statements. That’s one of the things that irritated me about online Christian apologists, back when I was not a Christian myself - the amount of cutting and pasting, and imitation of more successful Christian writers, rather than attempting to come up with something original.

Now, Schliemann didn’t apply such a standard to “The Iliad”, which is how he found Troy. But no matter; if our standard obscures reality rather than uncovers it, what’s another unexcavated dirt mound in Turkey?

Our eternal salvation does not depend on whether or not Troy is a real city. However, it does depend on whether or not Christ is risen. That makes it a lot more important, IMHO. :thumbsup:


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