Once Jimmy Akin was asked about what are the best proofs for Jesus and God existing. He mentioned the proofs of God offered by Aquinas. He also said the proofs for the resurrection of Jesus were strong, but didn’t give examples.
What are the best proofs for the resurrection, outside of the Gospel accounts themselves? Did Josephus report on the resurrection?
A possibility could turn to reality, when one sees that there were no witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection with definite names and whreabouts, it is just a general remark or a hearsay by someone that many witnessed, the witnesses have to come on to a witnesses stand and cross examined.
Am I right? I think you agree with me.
It seems to me quite a strong proof that those who were “in the inner circle” at the time of the Resurrection (if it happened) allowed themselves to be brutally killed for their faith. If they had sat around one night and made the whole thing up, would they have allowed themselves to be killed for their little story?
People may die for the lies of others, but who dies for their own lies?
Whenever a witness is produced in a court, all sorts of questions are asked from him, when such and such event took place where were you standing, what did you see; all such sort of questions are [size=]normally asked, why such questions should not be asked in such an important event? Strange!
This proof is even stronger when you think about how few people out there are even willling to die for what they know is true, then how much more unlikely those “in the inner circle” would have died if they knew it was false.
Some of the first Muslims died for what they believed to be true. Unfortuantly this dosen’t actually prove that Islam is acurate.
I think there two points you need to look at. First point is the reliability of the bible. You can’t prove the accuracy of the bible, or even the dates when certain things in it were written. We can’t fully expect to understand or know the life of Jesus or his disiples.
Secondly, and prehaps more importantly, it is a false assumption that the disiples would not have fully believed in what they were doing, even if it was wrong. The culture and situation was very different from our own. Many things may have been considered miraculous. It was a time when the coming of Messiahs and prophets was expected and common place. The disiples would have taken less convincing then you or I, because they already came from a tradtion (Jewish) of total unquestioning belief in God. Remeber, religion was all around them. If they needed proof in the supernatural they meerly need to find a mentally ill person, who, in their limited understanding of such conditions, must have been infected with a demon. There was no other way of explaining it. So in the time of Jesus, religion is much more apparent.
A third point you may wish to consider is that of likelyhood. Whats more likely? That someone actually rose from the dead, and thus convinced people to die for him, or that he didn’t, and yet the belief in his return, an impending second coming, was enough for them to die for him? People have died for less as any Muslim suicide bomber would testify to.
I think NT is accounts of JesusYeshuaIssa written by the scribes, it is neither from the mouth of JesusYeshuaIssa nor from the mouth of GodAllahYHWH, so I think, it should not logically create that much certainty; sorry it is against your belief, but my thinking goes like that.
Shroud of Turin as I know has not been officially recognized by the Catholic Church as genuine.
I think a sold historical case for the truth of Christianity can be made. I believe the case can be built without assuming that the bible is the Word of God and is infallible. There are a handful of facts that the majority of ancient historians and biblical scholars (both conservative and liberal, Christian and non-Christian) agree upon with regards to the historical Jesus and early Christianity.
Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in Jerusalem by the Roman authorities in roughly 30 A.D. This crucifixion resulted in his death.
The earliest disciples of Jesus at least BELIEVED that Jesus had appeared to them after his death. This includes Matthew, John, Peter, James, Paul, and the rest of the disciples.
On Easter morning, Jesus’ tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers. This is very important since this establishes that the location of Jesus’tomb was known. It would have been almost impossible for the disciples to have proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus in Jerusalem, if his corpse had been lying in a tomb in that very city. All the opponents of Christianity would have had to do was simply pull Jesus’ body out of the tomb and drag it through the streets of Jerusalem.
The Apostle Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus) experienced a post-mortum appearance of Jesus that transformed his life so much that he went from being a zealous persecuter of Christians to becoming one of the Christian faiths’ strongest proponents and missionaries. Historians tell us that Paul was martyred for his faith in the mid 60’s A.D.
James, the brother of Jesus, was put to death in roughly 64 A.D. by the Romans for being a bishop of the early Christian Church. This information was obtained from Josephus the Roman historian (a non-Christian).
Christians believe that the best explanation of the disciples belief in the risen Jesus was that Jesus really did rise from the dead. I think that the “Apparent Death Theory”, the “Hallunication Theory”, “The Swoon Theory” (the idea Jesus was taken down from the cross alive) and others do not seem like reasonable explanations for the beginning of the early Christian Church.
Anyway, I feel that those facts along with the existence of a God (which I have been convinced of from the famous Kalam Cosmological arguement)warranted belief in Christianity.
William Lane Craig uses the following type of argument format for defending the resurrection of Jesus, in a book titled, “Jesus Under Fire,” edited by J.P. Moreland.
First he quickly points out that if you reject the possibility of a supernatural event before reviewing the facts then it will be impossible to interpret the evidence in favor of the resurrection. This is typically called Philosophical Naturalism. Once supernaturalism is considered as a possibility then the resurrection can be considered as possible explanation of the facts.
The method of examining and interpreting the facts is a method known as inference to the best explanation. This basically uses a set of criteria to test a proposed theory and see if it best fits all the facts.
Craig then puts forth and examines the following evidence important to the resurrection:
(1) the empty tomb, (2) the postmortem appearances of Jesus, and (3) the origin of the disciples’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection.
Using the method of inference to the best explanation he concludes that the resurrection is best explanation for the facts.
In the book there is also a section on the evidence for Jesus outside the NT. The Josephus quotations are examined, I think fairly. Both these sections I would think would be agreeable to both Catholics and Protestants.
Here is the passage in Josephus that mentions the execution of St. James for his faith in Christ.
*] [LEFT]**Flavius Josephus **(AD 37?-101?) mentions James, the brother of Jesus - Antiquities, Book 20, ch. 19. [/LEFT]
*] [LEFT]“Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done.” [/LEFT]
Here is another non-biblical reference to Jesus. It is from the Babylonian Talmud.
*] [LEFT]The Talmud [/LEFT]
*] [LEFT]“On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.” But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!” [/LEFT]
[LIST] ] [LEFT]Gal. 3:13, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." [/LEFT] ] [LEFT]Luke 22:1, “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. 2And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.” [/LEFT]
*] [LEFT]This quotation was taken from the reading in The Babylonian Talmud, transl. by I. Epstein (London: Soncino, 1935), vol. III, Sanhedrin 43a, p. 281 as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996. [/LEFT]