The Myth Theory of the Resurrection

In another forum, I am using the Resurrection as proof for the existence of God. My opponents constantly refer to Dale B. Martin, Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University. They present arguments from a purely historical viewpoint. its 26 lectures
Refutations of Dale Martin is hard to find on line. I founds a debate, but the sound is of poor quality at the last 1/3.
The mantra they keep repeating is, “there were no eye witnesses” to just about anything they don’t like. I have been using the following as resources: not really a debate
more would be appreciated. If you would like to join the discussion, message me for the URL as posting outside forums is poor equate.
The Myth Theory is being taught in some universities. The theory hatches in the 1800’s but picks up in the 1900’s, around the time when Pope Pius X said, “Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies.”

Something this huge cannot be made up.

Whether one believes in the Resurrection or not, he MUST acknowledge that the apostles really did believe what they taught. Its the only way it could grow like it did.

I mean, look at their passion. Yeah, Stephen, abandoned his life and was willfully sentenced to death by the authorities of the religion of his parents-for a myth? I think not. :wink:

There were eye witnesses…the 12 apostles & about 500 disciples !

Funny thing is people SLAM their credibility or even existence.

IMAGINE if we used that standard elsewhere other than Christianity? In court rooms, other religions, historical record? No truth would be acknowledged.

epostle #1
The mantra they keep repeating is, “there were no eye witnesses” to just about anything they don’t like.

Such ignorance is not atypical of some “scholars”.

Quadratus writes (circa 123 A.D.) that in his day there were still persons around who had been cured or raised from the dead by Jesus – prime witnesses. [Eusebius, *Church History, 4.3, 1.2; See Free From All Error, Fr W. Most, p 12].

Even Adolf von Harnack, a rationalist historian of high repute among Rationalists and Protestants, wrote that the Synoptic Gospels were written before 70 A.D. – before the fall of Jerusalem, and accepted the tradition that St Luke derived his information on the infancy of Jesus from Mary His Mother. Theologische Quartalsch, Tubingen 1929, IV, p 443-4].
[See *Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, The Saint Austin Press, 2001, Sheehan/Joseph p 89, 93].

The facts of Jesus miracles were recorded by His own Apostles who were present – Saints Matthew and John were companions of Christ, and Saints Mark and Luke lived in constant contact with His contemporaries.

His miracles “were so frequent, the eyewitnesses so numerous, and the evidence so stark, that not even Christ’s enemies disputed the fact of their occurrence. Instead they ascribed them to the power of the devil, or defied Him to perform another one in His own favour.” (See Mt 12:24; 27:39-42; Jn 11:47). Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Sheehan/Joseph, Saint Austin Press, 2001, p 104].

So is Islam the true religion? They give their lives willingly every day for what they believe. It is also a huge religion globally. Does that automatically make it true?

The Bible says that, but it is not fact, and Id be weary that the Bible is heavily biased. There are no other sources to support that claim.

You miss the point – the apostles either saw Christ risen or they didn’t. If they didn’t then they gave their lives for something they knew to be false. They (the apostles) are in a different situation than those who believe on the testimony of witnesses and other evidence–such as the Muslims you reference or Christians such as myself.

The peace of Christ,

You must not believe much history then. How do you know it is not fact–what is your proof for your assertion? Why is your assertion better than the assertion that there were eye witnesses? Do you have any contradictory evidence–other than your opinion?

Given that we have the existence of the New Testament texts and that we have the existence of the Christian religion. The question is which theory about what really happened in Jerusalem on that first Easter Sunday can account for that data and which one does it the best?

The peace of Christ,

Much of real history has multiple sources that support the historical account. You dont get that with the Bible.

How do you know it is not fact–what is your proof for your assertion? Why is your assertion better than the assertion that there were eye witnesses? Do you have any contradictory evidence–other than your opinion?

Lack of any corroborating sources that support what the Bible claims. Not one source. Using the Bible to prove that the Bible is true, is faulty reasoning.

Didnt the first generation of Muslims believe in Jihad and dying for their faith? They witnessed the life of Muhammad.

The bible is a collection of books. In those books we see, collected there, 4 gospels by 4 different authors, the several letters by various authors, all attesting to the resurrection. As you would expect with different witnesses, you get slightly different accounts.

So if we find all the evidence of the existence of George Washington were collected in one history book, that we would only have one source?

The books of the bible were not collected together for 300 years. So in another 50 years we could collect all we have on Washington, and then the only proof of his existence is from one source!!

The beginning of the myth theory began with the Jewish Priesthood:
Mt 28:
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

Written and compiled by the same movement. Id be weary of bias.

Might as well throw this out there: You probably mean wary of bias. I’m weary after a long march, but this thread is not that long :slight_smile: yet.

Of course you can see that such is admitted to in Luke’s recounting the historic events in the book of acts

God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.

They did not witness him rising from the dead.

Thank you for so many thoughtful replies.

Dale Martin, (PhD Yale University): is the Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University. He specializes in the New Testament and Christian Origins. His books include: Slavery as Salvation: The Metaphor of Slavery in Pauline Christianity; The Corinthian Body; Inventing Superstition; and Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation.
His book, Sex and the Single Savior, has received a lot of criticism from his peers. He dismisses everything he doesn’t like as myth, he is very popular with the liberal/modernist left, and I have no business debating him by myself given his academic caliber. What’s scary is his “methods” are poised to shape the future for most Ivy League institutions.

In my correspondence with a certain person in a forum and in my research on articles and email exchanges, its not hard to see they that he and Dale Martin are one and the same person.

I have book-marked a fair list of sites to cast seeds of doubt in his “methods”, and even if unqualified, I just don’t like forum bullies.

SonOfMan #8
The Bible says that, but it is not fact, and Id be weary that the Bible is heavily biased. There are no other sources to support that claim.

False, as usual, even trying to deny eye-witness accounts, as Post #5 shows clearly the eye-witness accounts.

Further such a false feeling – for that is all it is – is ignorant that Christians developed science because they believed it could – and should – be done. Alfred North Whitehead, the great philosopher and mathematician, co-author with Bertrand Russell of the landmark Principia Mathematica, credited “medieval theology” for the rise of science. He pointed to the “insistence on the rationality of God,” which produced the belief that “the search into nature could only result in the vindication of the faith.”

Whitehead ended with the remark that the images of God found in other religions, especially in Asia, are too impersonal or too irrational to have sustained science. A God who is capricious or unknowable gives no incentive for humans to dig deeply into his essence. Moreover, most non-Christian religions don’t posit a creation. If the universe is without beginning or purpose, has no Creator, is an inconsistent, unpredictable, and arbitrary mystery, there is little reason to explore it. Under those religious premises, the path to wisdom is through meditation and mystical insights, and there is no occasion to celebrate reason.
Excerpted from a longer piece, False Conflict: Christianity Is Not Only Compatible with Science—It Created It, which appeared in the October-November 2003 issue of The American Enterprise.

So, did you find any eyewitnesses outside the NT?

By this reasoning, we cannot rely on the Jews who survived the concentration camps to tell us anything factual about the Holocaust because they are clearly biased.

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