A Brusque on the Resurrection of Christ.

* I had completed a short discussion on the resurrection if Christ and I wanted to share. Some of the information I had knew, but there was some I had come across that made valid points that I never knew. This is a very short piece, and prayerfully someone can draw some knowledge from it. Thank you and God bless. *

 

The resurrection of Jesus Christ happens to be my favorite topic. Its value to Christianity is of the upmost importance, which is an understatement. It is the spindle where Christianity spins freely. Without the resurrection, Christianity is no more than what every other religion claims. Furthermore, if one takes away or disproves the resurrection it portrays Christ as a false teacher which leaves the New Testament to be picked apart and perceived as a fairy tale. Paul states the significance of the resurrection as “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Corinthians 15:14). Following this further, any important piece of knowledge or direction is often repeated in various ways and the resurrection is mentioned, “Directly one hundred and four or more times in the New Testament”.[1] Certainly, something that is not considered so important would not be mentioned so many times.

Defending the resurrection is very important to Christianity. If the claims and resurrection of Christ is proven, it greatly improves the chances of the existence of God and His Word as being truth. The defense of Christ’s resurrection is broken into four important factors, Christ’s death, His empty tomb, His resurrection, and the disciple’s transformation.

Historical evidence proves Christ was indeed crucified. Outside the biblical evidence, Michael Gleghorn quotes, a Roman historian by the name of Tacitus who wrote, “Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of . . . Pontius Pilatus.”[2] Josephus, a Jewish historian in the first century wrote,

“About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him.  On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”[3]

 

Due to space constraints I will only mention the Babylonian Talmud and Lucian as reputable documentation to support the evidence of Christ’s death.

The empty tomb is another piece of evidence to examine. Several factors to remember according to Groothuis is that the story was not exaggerated and in fact women, who was considered with low reputation, found the empty tomb. Furthermore, the recorded Jewish story concocted to suggest the disciples stole Jesus’ body (Matthew 28:11-15), proves that the tomb was empty.[4]

Regarding the postmortem appearances, the New Testament records twelve separate appearances over a period of forty days including, Mary Magdalene, Mary and other women, Peter, two disciples, ten apostles, eleven apostles, seven apostles, all of the apostles, five hundred disciples, James, all the apostles again, and Paul (John 20:10-18; 24-31;21; Matthew 28:1-10;16-20, Luke 24:34;13-35;36-49, Acts 1:4-8;9:1-9, 1 Corinthians 15:5;6;7;8;9:1).

Naturalistic explanations have been offered to suggest something other than what Jesus claimed which include hallucination, conspiracy, or simply someone stole the body of Christ. The hallucination theory seems to be the furthest one out there since there were so many witnesses and each would have to have the same hallucination. For the Christian conspiracy theory to work, every Christian would have to hold to the secret that Christ did not die and be willing to die for that cause seems nonsensical and without motive. The stolen body theory may have been the closest theory to even be considered until one discovers that grave robbers would not have touched Jesus’s body since Jesus was not rich or would have had expensive adornments on Him. Not to mention anyone thinking of stealing Jesus’ body would have gotten past skilled and trained guards and since the Jews developed a cover story to implement the disciple’s leaves this theory very suspicious.[5]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Gleghorn, Michael. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from non Christian Sources. 2001. http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.4223639/k.567/Ancient_Evidence_for_Jesus_from_NonChristian_Sources.htm (accessed April 29, 2014).

 

Groothuis, Douglas. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. Downers Grove, IL: APOLLOS, 2011.

 

Torrey, R. A. Chapter XIV: The Certainy and Importnace of the Bodily Ressurection of Jesus Christ from the Dead. Vol. 2. Bellingham, WA: LOGOS Bible Software, 2005.

 

Yamauchi, Edwin. “Jesus Outside the New Testament: What is the Evidence.” Edited by Michael Wilkins, J. P. Moreland, & John P. Meier. Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholorship Reinvents the Historical Jesus (Zondervan) 52 (1990): 76-103.

 

 

 

 

 

[1] R. A. Torrey, Chapter XIV: The Cerainty and Importance of the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005), 298.

[2] Michael Gleghorn. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from non Christian Sources. 2001. http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.4223639/k.567/Ancient_Evidence_for_Jesus_from_NonChristian_Sources.htm (accessed April 29, 2014).

 

[3] Edwin Yamauchi, “Jesus Outside the New Testament: What is the Evidence?” in Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus, edited by Michael J. Wilkins and J. P. Moreland, Zondervan, 1995, 212-14 and John P. Meier, “Jesus in Josephus: A Modest Proposal,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 52 (1990): 76-103.

 

[4] Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. (Downers Grove, IL: APOLLOS, 2011), 544-45.

[5] Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. (Downers Grove, IL: APOLLOS, 2011), 556-60.

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About Ohm Punisher

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