Why did neither Peter nor Paul mention an Empty Tomb?

Peter preaching to thousands
on Pentecost

Acts chapter 2
 
Peter preaches to the crowds in Jerusalem on Pentecost

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

…“You that are Israelites,<sup class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NRSV-26961a" data-link="[a]”>[a] listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth,<sup class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NRSV-26961b" data-link="[b]”>[b] a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— 23 this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death,<sup class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NRSV-26963c" data-link="[c]”>[c] because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.  

…This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. 

….Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers,<sup class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NRSV-26976i" data-link="[i]”>[i] what should we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Gary:  What’s wrong here?  Why didn’t Peter mention the empty tomb, the “smoking gun” of the Christian Resurrection claim; the principle evidence used by every Christian apologist for 2,000 years to declare as historical fact the resurrection/reanimation of the dead body of Jesus of Nazareth?  Yes, it is true:  Peter talks about a “resurrection”.  Yes, it is true:  Peter says that God has “raised Jesus up from the dead”.  But neither of these statements necessarily infers a resurrection/ a raising up from a hand-hewn rock tomb located on the Mount of Olives, where anyone who chooses could inspect it.  One must assume this.  Both of these statements are perfectly compatible with Jesus’ body being raised by God from an unmarked, unknown-other-than-to-a-couple-of-Roman-guards, hole in the ground.

There are two options here for Peter’s omission of the empty tomb:  1.)  Everyone in Jerusalem knew about the empty tomb, so there was no need for Peter to mention it.  

Every resident and visitor to Jerusalem knew that they could take a short stroll up to the Mount of Olives and inspect the empty tomb, and many of them had likely done just that.  The empty tomb, guarded by professional Roman soldiers, had been found empty on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion.  All Jerusalem had been shell-shocked by the news!  The Sanhedrin had tried to pass it off as a grave robbery by the disciples, but obviously no one, including Pilate, believed this:  tampering with graves was a serious crime; especially the grave of a man executed for high treason against Rome.  Yet the disciples of Jesus were walking around Jerusalem, preaching to crowds of thousands.  If they were thought to be guilty of the most infamous case of grave-robbing in recent Judean history, Pilate would have seized them immediately.  Yet he didn’t.  It is true that the Jews immediately went after Peter and some of the other disciples after Peter’s sermon, but not the Romans.   Obviously the Romans did not suspect the disciples as responsible for the empty tomb.  So who did they think was?

So if well-trained, professional Roman guards had been guarding the tomb of Jesus, and three days later it was found empty, and everyone in Jerusalem knew this, and, the disciples of Jesus were walking around Jerusalem proclaiming to crowds of thousands that Jesus had been raised from the dead by God himself…why on earth didn’t Josephus, Philo, the Romans, or any other first century contemporary of this event say one single word about the disappearance and alleged resurrection, allegedly by the Jewish God, of the man alleged to have been the most serious threat to Roman rule in decades??

Yet every contemporary of Jesus is silent on this most spectacular of alleged events!

2.  Jesus ministry, trial, and crucifixion were not the major news events that the Gospels seem to infer they were.

Some Christian apologists explain the silence from Josephus, Philo and others due to this explanation.  Jesus really wasn’t that big of a deal…at least not to the Jewish authorities or the Romans.  Jesus was just one of many trouble-makers who was quickly disposed of.  His importance did not become apparent until decades or even a century later when mass numbers of Jews and Gentiles began converting to this new faith.

But if that were the case, Peter would have had even more reason to mention the empty tomb; to pronounce the empty tomb as the absolute proof that Jesus had conquered death and risen from the dead just as he had prophesied; any skeptic in Palestine could be taken to the empty tomb…the tomb that had been guarded by highly-trained Roman guards, Roman guards under the threat of execution for allowing anyone to take the body under their guard…to confirm the Christian claim that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God.  Why didn’t Peter mention the empty tomb and offer to take the crowds to see it?

A crucified messiah was a shameful, shameful belief.  The early Christians would have needed some very strong evidence to support their claim that the Jewish expectations about the Jewish Messiah were wrong; the Messiah would not be a conqueror of Rome, but a crucified/resurrected messiah, and not only the messiah, but the Son of God, and in some sense, God himself, Yahweh, the Creator of Heaven and Earth!!  Even if five hundred Christians were running around Jerusalem saying that they had seen the risen Jesus, all at the same time and place, Jewish society would have surely demanded an empty grave as proof of these fantastic claims.

But Peter never mentions an empty tomb.  Neither does Peter mention an empty tomb later in Acts when he preaches to the Gentile house of Cornelius, the Roman centurion.  And neither does Paul mention an empty tomb, either in his own epistles nor as recorded in the Book of Acts…ever.

Face the facts, dear Christians:  the evidence and common sense say that there was no empty tomb.  There was no empty tomb until circa 70 AD when the author of “Mark” writing in Rome or Antioch, made it up.

17 thoughts on “Why did neither Peter nor Paul mention an Empty Tomb?

  1. There was no need to mention an empty tomb! The Great News to the followers of Jesus the Christ was His Resurrection from the dead! And that is what His followers preached wherever they went: Jesus of Nazareth is the Promised Messiah and He lives forever and you will too! Excellent News! We do not want to hear about tombs or graveyards!
    And the message was so great that on Pentecost, 3000 Jews in Jerusalem were baptized. Even the Jewish authorities bribed the soldiers to lie that the body of Jesus had been stolen. They knew and within time, all of Jerusalem knew that there was an empty tomb.
    And by the way, you assume a lot! First off, they were not Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb but they were Jewish soldiers, not Roman. And simply because the empty tomb was not mentioned by the Apostles, in their preaching, you assume what exactly? That there was no Resurrection?! Why not write about the Resurrection that is mentioned in the New Testament? They all wrote about Jesus’ Resurrection! Why go to an empty tomb when they actually literally saw Jesus alive and well, He even asked them to touch Him and to feed Him.

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    1. “They all wrote about Jesus’ Resurrection! Why go to an empty tomb when they actually literally saw Jesus alive and well, He even asked them to touch Him and to feed Him.”

      Who is “they”?

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      1. “They” are His apostles’ Matthew and John; Luke who investigated it all and reported to Theophilus, and Mark who according to tradition wrote the sermons of the Apostle Peter who also writes of the Resurrection of Jesus: 1 Peter 1:3. The Apostle Paul also wrote of Jesus’ Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 and saw the Resurrected and glorified Christ Jesus on the Road to Damascus Acts 9:5. The writer of the book of Hebrews also wrote of the Resurrection of Jesus who is in heaven: Hebrews 4:14. The writer of the Book of Revelation also writes of Jesus Resurrection: Revelation 1:17-18.

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          1. The authorship of 1 Corinthians is not disputed. I stand by the Apostle Paul’s 100 % assertion that Jesus resurrected from the dead, and he devotes chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians to that fact! Paul clearly states that Christ (Jesus of Nazareth) died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried and that He resurrected on the third day again according to the Scriptures, and that He (Jesus the Christ) appeared to Cephas (the Apostle Peter), then to the 12 (apostles), to more than 500 brethren (believers), to James, and last but not least to me (Paul). Verses 3-8.
            Furthermore, Paul says that if Jesus did not resurrect, our (all those who were eyewitnesses including Paul) preaching is in vain and if that is the case, we (all those who saw Jesus alive after His resurrection including Paul) are LIARS!!! Verses 12-17.
            But since this is an undisputed epistle, written by the Apostle Paul, he has not been found to be a Liar of the Resurrection narrative.

            Another undisputed book is Romans written by the Apostle Paul who in Romans 6:4-5, 9 writes very clearly that Christ Jesus resurrected from the dead.

            Paul’s authorship of 1 Thessalonians is also undisputed. He writes in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 that the Father of Jesus, God, resurrected Him from the dead.
            Philippians is another undisputed book by the Apostle Paul and in Philippians 3:10, he writes again about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
            Undisputed Galatians written by Paul the Apostle writes in chapter 1, verse 1, that Jesus was resurrected from the dead by His Father: God.

            When you read what Paul wrote about the others who saw Jesus after His resurrection, including himself, and these above-mentioned books are undisputed, that means that Paul is not lying about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and he is not lying when he states that others also saw a living Jesus after His resurrection.

            So, I am now returning the favor and asking you: How reliable is undisputed testimony?
            Sincerely asked.

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            1. Undisputed testimony is a good start. Undisputed, corroborated testimony is much better.

              I do not dispute Paul’s authorship of the books you mention in your previous comment. I do not dispute that Paul sincerely believed that Jesus had been bodily resurrected from the dead.

              However, would you kindly quote Paul’s description of what he allegedly saw?

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  2. Of course you disputed Paul’s authorship by saying what Paul “allegedly saw!”
    Why “allegedly?” Why use that word as if to infer or imply that the Apostle Paul is somehow in error or at the very least lying? First you say “undisputed” and then you add “corroborated.” What is next? And then I address that, and then you add some more, and I address that…vicious cycle!
    My purpose is not to convince you! My purpose is to simply portray an entirely different way of looking at it then yours and addressing your article that I found flawed based on an opinion, not on factual evidence as found in these ancient manuscripts that you appealed to.

    You ask in your article: “Why Did Neither Peter nor Paul mention an Empty Tomb?” I replied and addressed that, but you were not satisfied, so you asked a question of me, and I addressed that, and now you are asking another and that is okay, but you are not fully addressing the points that I raise. You are incessantly throwing barriers and obstacles and yet you are not fully addressing the points that I am making. Simply admit that you do not believe the Bible no matter what!

    “Face the facts, dear Christians: the evidence and common sense say that there was no empty tomb. There was no empty tomb until circa 70 AD when the author of “Mark” writing in Rome or Antioch, made it up.”

    You accept those who believe Mark is not the author of his gospel, you accept those who believe that it was written in AD 70, and you accept all this without question! Why? Why are you convinced that these “scholars” are correct? You do not accept those scholars who dispute your scholars!

    Furthermore, just because the New Testament accounts (as you say) do not mention people visiting the Tomb en masse does not make it as you say. I will address your question a bit more specifically: “Why Did Neither Peter nor Paul mention an Empty Tomb?” First off, Peter did go and visit the Tomb where the dead Jesus had been entombed and he saw it empty, there was another apostle with him who saw it too (my view is that it was the Apostle John). [John 20:1-10] And as I have already stated, why preach about an empty tomb? The empty tomb was not AND is not the center core of Christianity. It is not an empty tomb, a philosophy, an ideology, any -ism, rather it is a Person: Jesus the Christ!
    The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:3 about the Jesus resurrection from the dead, and he writes this because he did see the empty tomb!
    (If you write back, you will say: “1 Peter is a disputed epistle.”) Do you even know why it is disputed by today’s scholars? Will wait for your answer to this question.
    When it comes to the Apostle Paul, there is no record in the New Testament writings that he ever visited the empty tomb. He was not a believer in Jesus at the time of His death on the Cross. Paul converted on the Road to Damascus where the resurrected Jesus spoke to him.

    Be that as it may, Paul is not “allegedly” saying anything, he is being factual and clearly staking his reputation as a Christian and being truthful about his encounters with the Risen Christ Jesus. When you say to me what Paul “allegedly saw” you do not say, what Paul “heard.” Does that matter?
    The Apostle is not speaking to a dead person! Paul (Saul) asks: “Who are you?” And the Person talking to Paul (Saul) says: “I AM Jesus of Nazareth whom you persecute.” Paul describes his encounter with the Resurrected and glorified Jesus as a heavenly vision.

    Galatians 1:20 Now, what I (Paul) write to you, behold, before God, I do not lie.

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    1. Rachel, I am not trying to create a vicious cycle. I am simply encouraging you to use critical thinking skills to evaluate your beliefs.

      Critical thinking skills involve analyzing sources of information. Is the source reliable? Is the claim made by the source corroborated by other sources?

      What is the evidence supporting your belief that Paul literally saw a bodily resurrected Jesus? Well, we have his statement in Galatians “have I not seen the Christ”. The other evidence comes from the Book of Acts in which a non-eyewitness third party quotes Paul as describing events in a “heavenly vision”.

      In neither of these accounts do we have any details of what exactly Paul saw, other than possibly a bright light. A bright light, even if it is a talking bright light, is not a body. And seeing a talking bright light in a “vision” is not reality. Therefore by using critical thinking skills we must come to the conclusion that Paul had a fantastical experience in his mind and came to believe that he had seen the resurrected Jesus.

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  3. I do not come to the same conclusion as you. When you say that “we must come to the conclusion that Paul had a fantastical experience in his mind,” by “we” you mean whom?

    Your conclusion is seriously flawed: Is Paul also having a “fantastical experience in his mind” when he says that the resurrected Jesus appeared to Peter, the 12 apostles, to more than 500 brethren, to James? This is found in an undisputed epistle written by Paul: 1 Corinthians. Was all this in his mind?

    When you say “vision” you believe that is in Paul’s mind, but that is not what the Greek word means. It is not a figment of Paul’s imagination. Paul literally saw light; it was not in his mind as you believe.
    To say that this is not Paul’s reality, is your opinion, because simply put that is the reality of Paul’s experience! Is this a miracle? Of course it is!

    By the way, Jesus is in glorified state meaning that Jesus is spirit and does not have a body. Jesus resurrected bodily and His body was glorified — transformed from matter to spirit and is not restricted by anything. However, Jesus does have the ability to appear (manifest) Himself to anyone (as He did with Paul and others) in time and space.

    Peter also made it clear that Jesus died and was made alive in spirit. 1 Peter 3:18

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    1. Hi Rachel,

      Your conclusion is seriously flawed: Is Paul also having a “fantastical experience in his mind” when he says that the resurrected Jesus appeared to Peter, the 12 apostles, to more than 500 brethren, to James? This is found in an undisputed epistle written by Paul: 1 Corinthians. Was all this in his mind?

      In First Corinthians 15, Paul specifically states that he received this information from an unnamed source. We have no idea who this source was. Therefore, without more information, we must conclude that this is simply “hearsay”. Hearsay may be factual but it also may be rumor, legend, or a lie.

      “When you say “vision” you believe that is in Paul’s mind, but that is not what the Greek word means. It is not a figment of Paul’s imagination. Paul literally saw light; it was not in his mind as you believe.”

      Actually, even Christian scholar NT Wright admits that the word used in that passage can mean an internal sighting in the mind, so that issue is disputed. However, even if Paul did literally see a bright light, that is not a (resurrected) body. The fact remains that Christians have ZERO undisputed eyewitness testimony of anyone claiming to have seen a walking, talking, resurrected body.

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    2. “By the way, Jesus is in glorified state meaning that Jesus is spirit and does not have a body.”

      There you go. No one saw a body, they saw a spirit. Another word for spirit is: a ghost. The Christian appearance stories are simply ghost stories. Ghosts are not real, Rachel.

      Regarding Peter, very few scholars believe that the Epistle of First Peter was written by the apostle Peter.

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  4. You most conveniently forget the rest of the statement I presented when you quoted me as saying that “Jesus is in glorified state meaning that Jesus is spirit and does not have a body.” I also said that Jesus has the ability to manifest (appear) in time and space to anyone. When Jesus does this, He can be seen, touched, heard, etc, in that state, Jesus is not a spirit (a ghost). Nowhere in the bible do people see spirits; what they literally see is a human being! A spirit cannot be seen for they are invisible, and they do not have a physical body; however, Jesus along with angels in manifesting themselves in time and space to human beings, do take on bodies and appear as physical beings so that they can be seen and heard.

    Jesus clearly told His followers after His resurrection that He was not a figment, not a spirit or ghost (since you love that word to make a flawed point): “Touch Me for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” (Luke 24:39-40)

    Why are you willing to so eagerly accept the view of those scholars who dispute the authenticity of 1 Peter?
    There are scholars that disagree with “your” scholars. Yet, you do not accept their views, why not?
    “Your” scholars raise issues that are not convincing, but you accept them “hook, line, and sinker!”
    Was 1 Peter literally written by the Apostle Peter? I do not think he did, but does that mean that Peter is not the one with the ideas found in the epistle? Of course not! Is it possible that Peter used a scribe (amanuensis) to write? Or Did Peter use someone in the congregations who was fluent in Greek to write his thoughts on “paper?”
    In 1 Peter 5:12, many scholars believe that Peter identifies his scribe (amanuensis): “By Silvanus, the faithful brother I wrote unto you.” Whether you accept this or not, is a non issue to me. What I see is your lack of “critical thinking skills” in believing that it was impossible for Peter (or Paul) to have used a scribe!

    “The fact remains that Christians have ZERO undisputed eyewitness testimony of anyone claiming to have seen a walking, talking, resurrected body.” —

    You made it clear that you would not accept “disputed” books from the New Testament! I gave you 5 undisputed epistles all from the Apostle Paul, and yet you clearly argue against your “how reliable is disputed testimony?” It is clear to me that you have a bias against any book in the New Testament including the undisputed ones. You make Paul out to be a sadly mistaken person who in his 5 undisputed epistles that I presented to you is totally in error! You dispute what Paul writes and believes that even reliable undisputed testimony is NOT RELIABLE!!! (emphasis mine, not screaming)

    Paul in one of his undisputed epistles and testimony writes: I went to Jerusalem to learn from Peter and remained with him for 15 days, I saw no other apostle except James the “brother” of the Lord: Gal.1:18-19.
    Paul learned from Peter. According to Paul’s undisputed testimony, he learned from Peter. What do you supposed they talked about? Golf, fishing, the weather, the empty tomb, the resurrected Christ Jesus, the one they saw, heard, and touched after His resurrection when He told them: “Touch Me, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you (Peter included) see Me have.”

    And then Paul says in verse 20: “And what I write to you behold, before God, I do NOT LIE! (again all caps for emphasis) Paul writes in an undisputed epistle that he does NOT LIE but yet you do not accept this because his writings are “disputed testimony.” No, wait! You accept Paul at face value because his writings are NOT disputed testimony! No, wait! I am confused! Damn if it is and damn if it “aint.” Oh, well, go figure.

    PS: Those followers of Jesus like Paul and Peter took this Resurrection seriously, and they knew that to lie about the Resurrection of Jesus and convince others to follow a LIE was at the very least: blasphemous and they knew they would be judged accordingly: “in the day of wrath and revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God who will recompense to each one according to his (her) works.” (Romans 2:5-6)

    But of course, you do not accept this epistle of Paul even though it is an undisputed testimony.

    *(Please quote me completely when you do quote me.)

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    1. “I also said that Jesus has the ability to manifest (appear) in time and space to anyone. When Jesus does this, He can be seen, touched, heard, etc, in that state, Jesus is not a spirit (a ghost).”

      You are stating this as a fact. Applying the principles of Critical Thinking, who is your source(s) for this claim and how do you know that this source is reliable?

      “Jesus clearly told His followers after His resurrection that He was not a figment, not a spirit or ghost (since you love that word to make a flawed point): “Touch Me for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” (Luke 24:39-40)”

      Who wrote this book (Luke)? How do you know that the author of Luke is a reliable and historically accurate source of information?

      “Why are you willing to so eagerly accept the view of those scholars who dispute the authenticity of 1 Peter? There are scholars that disagree with “your” scholars. Yet, you do not accept their views, why not? “Your” scholars raise issues that are not convincing, but you accept them “hook, line, and sinker!” ”

      I never claimed that my scholars are correct and that your scholars are wrong. Experts can be wrong, even the consensus of experts can be wrong. But the fact remains that the authorship of the Epistles of First and Second Peter are disputed among the experts. So unlike the authorship of the seven genuine epistles of Paul which are not disputed, we must be more cautious about making claims about authorship regarding First and Second Peter than we need to be regarding Galatians, Romans, First Corinthians, etc..

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    2. “Was 1 Peter literally written by the Apostle Peter? I do not think he did, but does that mean that Peter is not the one with the ideas found in the epistle? Of course not! Is it possible that Peter used a scribe (amanuensis) to write? Or Did Peter use someone in the congregations who was fluent in Greek to write his thoughts on “paper?” ”

      All of the possibilities you have mentioned are certainly possible, but bottom line, we don’t know for sure who wrote I Peter nor who were his sources of information. To make a definite statement either way is simply conjecture.

      “You dispute what Paul writes and believes that even reliable undisputed testimony is NOT RELIABLE!!!”

      Please provide a statement by Paul, in any one of his seven undisputed epistles, in which he describes the body of the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth or states that he saw any part of the resurrected body of Jesus (such as his face).

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    3. “Paul learned from Peter. According to Paul’s undisputed testimony he learned from Peter. What do you suppose.”

      Where did Paul say that he “learned” from Peter???

      This is what Paul says in his undisputed letter of Galatians: “Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; 19 but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. 20 In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!”

      You nor I have any idea what these two men discussed. You are making assumptions. For all we know, they discussed the fact that they each had a “heavenly vision” in which they each saw a bright light on a dark desert highway!

      “Those followers of Jesus like Paul and Peter took this Resurrection seriously, and they knew that to lie about the Resurrection of Jesus and convince others to follow a LIE was at the very least: blasphemous and they knew they would be judged accordingly: “in the day of wrath and revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God who will recompense to each one according to his (her) works.” (Romans 2:5-6)”

      Tens of thousands of sincere, devout people, of many different religions have endured persecution, torture, and death for their beliefs. That doesn’t mean their beliefs are correct. I do not believe that the early Christians lied. I believe that the early Christians were highly religious, gullible, superstitious people who intensely wanted to believe that Jesus was the “Savior”; a Savior who would either improve their lot in this life or in the next. When he was suddenly and unexpectedly killed, cognitive dissonance set in and convinced them to create an alternative explanation for his tragic death. That cognitive dissonance, a desperate attempt to reconcile their hopes and dreams with reality, led to the development of the “Christian resurrection concept”, a modification of a teaching in the mother religion (Judaism). Instead of a general resurrection occurring all at once as taught by Judaism, Christians began to believe that the general resurrection would occur in stages, with Jesus’ resurrection being the “first fruits” and the resurrection of the righteous dead occurring sometime later as the conclusion to the general resurrection.

      This is what happens with many new religious sects. They take teachings from the mother religion and distort them just enough to retain some connection with the original teaching, but just different enough that the mother religion expels them as heretics.

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  5. “Yes, it is true: Peter talks about a “resurrection”. Yes, it is true: Peter says that God has “raised Jesus up from the dead”. But neither of these statements necessarily infers a resurrection/ a raising up from a hand-hewn rock tomb located on the Mount of Olives, where anyone who chooses could inspect it. One must assume this.”

    It is very interesting to me that you who cares not for “disputed testimony” is using “disputed testimony” to make your case. You decry assumptions and yet you make many of them, again to make your case. You assume they were Roman guards, you assume no believer in Christ went to visit the tomb (arguing from silence). Your premise is an assumption, and you argue from “disputed testimony.” And based on this, your case is moot and based without evidence and yet you deceive yourself into believing that your case is solid filled with undisputed testimony (facts and evidence). Why the self delusion? (asking rhetorically)

    And yet you use the word “infers.” Correct me if I am incorrect, but infer is to “deduce or conclude based on evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements.” And as I have already stated, you are using “disputed testimony” to make deductions, conclusions, assumptions, inferences!

    “But the fact remains that the authorship of the Epistles of First and Second Peter are disputed among the experts. So unlike the authorship of the seven genuine epistles of Paul which are not disputed, we must be more cautious about making claims about authorship regarding First and Second Peter than we need to be regarding Galatians, Romans, First Corinthians, etc..”

    Again, you are making my case (thanking you in advance). Your use of the word “fact” tells me in no uncertain terms that you accept “hook, line, and sinker” those “experts” who dispute the authorship of some of the New Testament books. Is it a “fact” that some of the New Testament writings are disputed? A resounding yes! What you refuse to see is that you think and believe that you are applying “critical thinking skills” in making a case from “disputed testimony.” Is that not an amazing “prestidigitation!” (sleight of hand)

    And as I have already stated, you are using “disputed testimony” to make deductions, conclusions, assumptions, inferences! And then you say: “we must be more cautious about making claims about authorship regarding First and Second Peter.” (disputed testimony) But you willfully ignore your own advice by using “disputed testimony” to make a point as well as viewing undisputed testimony (Galatians, Romans, First Corinthians, etc..) as “disputed testimony.” You cannot have it both ways but you are trying extremely hard to have it both ways.

    Unless you believe Acts 2 is undisputed testimony. Do you?

    When you use Acts 2 to say the following: “Yes, it is true: Peter talks about a “resurrection”. Yes, it is true: Peter says that God has “raised Jesus up from the dead”. But neither of these statements necessarily infers a resurrection/ a raising up from a hand-hewn rock tomb located on the Mount of Olives, where anyone who chooses could inspect it.”

    Are you saying that “raised from the dead” means: “a raising up from a hand-hewn rock tomb located on the Mount of Olives, where anyone who chooses could inspect it” ???
    Peter’s audience clearly understood what it meant to “raise someone from the dead.” It literally means to come back to life as a human being (resurrection), not the modern-day view of the “walking dead.”
    But just as you have done, I will continue using “disputed testimony” to make my case:
    Acts 3:15 “God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead. We are witnesses of this (event).”
    Now to be a witness means to literally be there and give a first hand account of something seen, heard or experienced. So when Peter says “we are witnesses,” he and others saw Jesus, heard Jesus speak, and literally experienced this.
    Acts 5:30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead whom you killed by hanging Him on a Cross.
    Acts 10:40 (Jesus) Whom God raised on the third day and caused Him (Jesus) to be seen.

    You asked me to “Where did Paul say that he “learned” from Peter???”
    And here it is: “I (Paul) went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and I stayed with him 15 days.” Gal 1:18.
    The word “see” in Greek is “historesai” and this Greek word means: to visit and consider and observe attentively so as to acquire knowledge. Paul went to “see” Peter to learn from him and acquire first-hand data about Jesus.

    And then you make this assumption: “You nor I have any idea what these two men discussed. You are making assumptions. For all we know, they discussed the fact that they each had a “heavenly vision” in which they each saw a bright light on a dark desert highway!”

    I have an idea what these 2 great Apostles discussed! Just because you do not, does not mean that I do not have “any idea.” Is that not an assumption on your part? Of course it is but you willfully blind yourself and all to make your case which is based on “disputed testimony” and assumptions (according to you)

    The Apostle Paul in his undisputed testimony found in the book of Galatians 1:1 says: God the Father who raised Him (Jesus Christ) from the dead. (Literal Resurrection which they all understood meant when the Greek phrase says: theou patros egeirantos auton ek nekron.
    Paul in another undisputed testimony says in 1 Corinthians 9:1: Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?
    The word “seen” in the Greek is “heoraka” meaning to see literally with the eyes (not with the mind as in a figment of the imagination). Paul says I do not lie and he says that he literally saw Jesus.

    Here is another assumption on your part: “This is what happens with many new religious sects. They take teachings from the mother religion and distort them just enough to retain some connection with the original teaching, but just different enough that the mother religion expels them as heretics.”

    You call it “distort” and I say that the OT (which is not Judaism, nor was Judaism the religion of Moses) foreshadowed Jesus the true Messiah, and the Christian followers of Jesus especially His inner circle the 12 (minus Judas Iscariot) and the Apostle Paul all saw that in Jesus (the anti-type) all the prophecies pointed to Him. That is not a distortion, that is an understanding that Jesus Himself gave them: a New Adam, a New Moses, a New Heaven and Earth, a New Man, a New Israel, etc)

    Another assumption on your part: “cognitive dissonance.” The believers in Christ once the Resurrection occurred and their principal leaders —the Apostles — saw literally Jesus their Lord and Master and Savior and Christ alive and well after His Resurrection, had no “cognitive dissonance” as you assume, they quickly had a paradigm shift and asked Peter: What do we do? And he replies:Change your view, accept Jesus as the One promised in the Law and Prophets and Writings and be baptized. That is exactly what they did and the Church multiplied. That included Paul who as Saul persecuted the Christian Church until his conversion on the Road to Damascus. You can read this and follow this in the book of Acts, the “disputed” book you use to make your case.

    Anyway enough for today. Let’s see what you come up with.

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