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death of jesus
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Was Jesus Resurrected?
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Was Jesus Resurrected?

Why is this such a critical question? Paul who formerly persecuted this new faith called Christianity stated in his letter to the church in Corinth that if the resurrection of Christ did not happen then the Christian faith is essentially worthless. In fact he said that we are of all men to be pitied. Read the first paragraph or so in 1 Corinthians 15 (one place you can go to read a bible passage on the internet is bible gateway). It's a pretty interesting set of conclusions that he draws. Was Jesus Resurrected? In determining if Christianity is true or not this is the most central question.

Christianity is the only religion that its founder resurrected from the dead. That's a pretty bold claim. Is it just a myth, a legend, an interesting spiritual story but not really a fact. Was Jesus resurrected? Did this happen in space in time? Where does the evidence lead us?

Here are a few thoughts to get you thinking:

1. In the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John women are described as being the first to see the empty tomb. If you are just making this up. In other words, if this a legend or a myth you are trying to get people to believe in you would NOT place women as the first witnesses. Why? This is the first century and you are writing to an audience that does not give women much worth or validity. If you are trying to make up a story you would not include women as the first to see the empty tomb and the risen Christ unless this is what really happened.

2. No better explanation for the empty tomb. Many historians (non-Christian included) have agreed that there the empty tomb after the death of Jesus is a fact. I remember watching a debate about this question, "was Jesus resurrected?" The debate was between two very brilliant men. They both had extensive training. One was an atheist and one was a Christian. It was interesting that they both agreed on the reality of the empty tomb. But obviously had different explanations as to why it ended up empty. I think that it is safe to say that almost everyone (if not everyone) that sincerely looks at the evidence knows that there was an empty tomb after the death of Christ. The question is why? For two thousand years there has not been a better explanation than the tomb was empty because Jesus was resurrected.

I'll write more on "Was Jesus resurrected?" but I just wanted to get this discussion started. What do you think?


Street Talk

John Heim  

Being a theolog (a student of theology) I appreciate you opening up the discussion. However if you are trying to convince someone that the proof that Jesus is the Messiah, Christ, or Son of God I would try giving a lot more evidence. Also, using an atheist argument doesn't do much to promote a non-atheist world view. It only give atheism a more favorable position. Looking forward to the follow-up article.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Yeah... I agree with you that you don´t win an argument with someone on a topic like this (changing a worldview is major shift). But I do think you can point to the evidence for someone that is open to at least think about the evidence and its implications. Here is a great youtube video that present evidence of the christian worldview (more broadly the theistic worldview) before a mixed audience (google employees) .... just realized I can´t post links here but if you go to youtube and type the reason for God, its the second video or so... it says authors@google: tim keller (its 1hr and a few minutes long). It was the most attended (or second most attended) event of this type at Google. You can just watch the first few minutes if you are interested to get a feel for what he says. I think he does a great job.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Great points and I have always (beyond pure faith in what I believe) felt that the stories have remained consistent for all these many years. Even a philosophical debate would have to conclude that what matters is the event as opposed to it actually happening or not. It runs core to a Christian's belief system that it did occur while the same but opposite could be said of an Atheist (which is also a belief system) not believing that it happens. Both sides use the "event" to support their own beliefs. So great article and interesting debates will continue for a long time to come.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks for commenting! I was curious as to what you meant by, "Even a philosophical debate would have to conclude that what matters is the event as opposed to it actually happening or not"... My understanding is that the key issue is if it happened of not. I believe the evidence points to the fact that this actually did happen. What do you think?

Reply
  about 8 years ago

My own belief is that it truly happened. But to argue that with an Atheist, I doubt one could win the argument. The debate should be about what the event itself means to a Christian or an Atheist. Now you can have a discussion and develop some understanding between the two people about why they each believe the way they do.

  
  about 8 years ago
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