Did the Moon Turn to Blood during the Crucifixion?

Bloody Moon by migtoons

The Apostle Peter (allegedly) said the following to a large crowd in Jerusalem on Pentecost, responding to the accusation by some in the crowd that the reason that the disciples were speaking in (foreign) tongues was because they were drunk:

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:

‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
    and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
        and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
    and signs on the earth below,
        blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
        before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Image result for image of darkness at crucifixion

 

Gary:  The sun turned to darkness and the moon turned to blood on the day of the crucifixion???  Really?

If you do a google search on this topic you will see that most conservative Christian apologists do not believe that the moon turned into blood on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.  They claim that since Peter was quoting the prophet Joel, this is simply “apocalyptic” language.   However, most of these same conservative Christian apologists do believe that there was a real earthquake, a real renting of stones, a real renting of the Temple veil, and a real three hours of darkness over the entire earth (or at least over the Jerusalem area).  They believe so strongly that these latter events were real that they have scoured the texts of Antiquity looking for any hint which supports their historicity.

But seriously folks, an eclipse or other means of blotting out the sun for three hours is just as unprecedented as the moon turning to blood.  Why attempt to prove the historicity of one of these unheard of events but write off the other as symbolic simply because the latter is slightly more fantastical?  Let’s accept the obvious:  the Gospels authors were using fantastical literary symbolism to emphasize to their readers the earth-shattering importance of the death of Jesus.  They weren’t being literal.  But neither were they attempting to lie or deceive anyone.  Modern readers forget that the Gospels were not written for mass publication to a general audience.  The educated patrons for whom these books were written would have understood and found completely appropriate the use of symbolic fiction in any Greco-Roman biography.

So let’s enjoy the beautiful imagery of these ancient texts and stop insisting they every detail within them describes a literal historical event.  Jesus was crucified.  He died.  He was probably buried somewhere in some fashion.  And shortly after his death, some of his followers had “appearance experiences” of some nature.  That’s all we can say for sure.

The rest is great literature.  We will never know if any of the other events described in these stories really happened.

Mainstream NT scholar, Raymond Brown:

As I noted in the beginning of my analysis, there have been few attempts to claim that on Pentecost the moon actually turned to blood, while there have been many attempts to  treat the Matthean eschatological signs (earthquake, darkness, rent rocks, opening of graves) as historical.  …These phenomena represent a theological interpretation of the import of Jesus’ death, an interpretation in the language and imagery of apocalyptic.  To make a matter of major concern their historicity is to fail to understand their nature as symbols and the literary genre in which they are presented.  A comparable example would be for readers ca. AD 4000 to debate the literal historicity of George Orwell’s book 1984.

…apocalyptic imagery was in many ways a more effective medium for communicating such truths that lie beyond ordinary experience than would have been discursive disquisition.  Apocalypticists, with all their vivid images, still write within the limiting sphere of human approximation; they betray an awareness that they have not exhausted the wealth of the otherworldly—an awareness that a more precise and prosaic exposition sometimes obscures.

The Death of the Messiah, pp.  1134, 1139

Image result for image of ghostly jesus appearing to the twelve

Gary:  Very insightful.  But can’t we go one step further?  Isn’t it just as possible that the detailed fantastical Appearance Stories in Matthew, Luke, and John, which are completely absent from Mark and the writings of Paul, were never meant to be understood literally either?  They were included in the stories for poetic imagery.  They are symbolic, not literal.  They are fictitious imagery of what the authors imagined the earliest Christians thought they had seen when they experienced visions, vivid dreams, illusions, trances, hallucinations, and/or false sightings of a “risen” Jesus???

Image result for image of ghostly jesus appearing to the twelve
Jesus?

 

 

23 thoughts on “Did the Moon Turn to Blood during the Crucifixion?

  1. re: “Fictitious imagery of what the earliest Christians may have believed they had seen in their visions, vivid dreams, illusions, trances, hallucinations, and/or false sightings of a “risen” Jesus???”

    Or – could it have been imagery of what the earliest Christians actually saw in real life? Granted, unless (for example) Peter himself sat down and wrote one of the gospel accounts, then clearly any account of Peter’s encounters with the risen Christ are going to be second-hand. But, this does not make them fictitious. So, as always, the question is whether they were real-life “viewings” or whether they were visions, dreams, etc…

    What you have to nail down is whether Peter’s (et al) “encounters” were real or whether they were some type of psychotic event.

    Maybe you should get a good psycho-analyst and a time machine and go back & do some serious “couch therapy” with Peter and get the low-down. But, if you can’t do that, I’ve already made a suggestion that you *could* do:

    Next time a close family member or good friend dies, wait a few days, and then tell all the other close family members and/or friends that you’ve seen the deceased person alive again, in real life. Do it absolutely straight-faced, with no “apologies”, nothing like “I sometimes think I’ve seen him again”, or “I could have sworn I saw him”, but rather “I’ve seen him, and he is alive”. Then, have an “accomplice” follow up with those people to find out what their reactions to your story was.

    Granted, this will not tell you that *you’ve* had an hallucination (because, you wouldn’t have had). But it *will* tell you whether anybody else would believe your story.

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    1. I missed you FT! Where have you been???

      What you have to nail down is whether Peter’s (et al) “encounters” were real or whether they were some type of psychotic event.

      In a worldview where anything is possible, yes, the detailed appearance stories of a walking/talking/fish-eating corpse as told in Matthew, Luke, and John (but not the original Mark or in the writings of Paul) are possible. The question that each of us must individually decide is: Which is more probable: They really saw a reanimated corpse, or, they were mistaken. In my worldview where the existence of the supernatural is possible, but highly improbable, I have to go with “they were probably mistaken”.

      No, one does not need to be psychotic to experience a vivid (night) dream (with your eyes closed), a vivid daydream (with your eyes open), an illusion, or a case of mistaken identity. An hallucination is a psychotic event, but as I have mentioned in previous posts, one does not need to be mentally ill to have an hallucination. Mentally healthy people can have hallucinations. An hallucination is one possible explanation, but it was only one of many possible explanations for the early Christian “appearance experiences” that I listed in the post.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Next time a close family member or good friend dies, wait a few days, and then tell all the other close family members and/or friends that you’ve seen the deceased person alive again, in real life. Do it absolutely straight-faced, with no “apologies”, nothing like “I sometimes think I’ve seen him again”, or “I could have sworn I saw him”, but rather “I’ve seen him, and he is alive”. Then, have an “accomplice” follow up with those people to find out what their reactions to your story was.

      No, you are the one making the extra-ordinary claim (that a brain-dead first century corpse came back to life). You then are the one who needs to demonstrate that no first century person would have believed in the resurrection of Jesus without seeing a walking/talking/fish-eating corpse.

      In addition, we have evidence from the Bible itself that some first century people would believe a resurrection claim simply because someone gave them a convincing story that one had occurred: Paul states that many Jews in Asia Minor believed in the resurrection of Jesus simply by his preaching and by reading the Hebrew Scriptures.

      It is entirely irrelevant what people today in 21st century United States would or would not believe if someone claimed that a friend had been raised from the dead. What is relevant is what people believed in first century Palestine/the Mediterranean region, and the Bible itself proves that some people did believe…but most did not.

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      1. re: “No, you are the one making the extra-ordinary claim (that a brain-dead first century corpse came back to life). You then are the one who needs to demonstrate that no first century person would have believed in the resurrection of Jesus without seeing a walking/talking/fish-eating corpse.”

        Ah, no no no… Don’t try to shove *your* need for information on me. And besides, this “scenario” you’re suggesting – “that no first century person would have believed in the resurrection of Jesus without seeing a walking/talking/fish-eating corpse” – is NOT a claim I’m making at all. Not in the slightest. So, you’ve got your whole counter-proposal wrong.

        MY only contention is that maybe it could have been hallucination/vision/dream OR maybe the guys that said they witnessed the resurrected Jesus were telling the truth. But, only ONE of those theories is “falsifiable”, and that’s YOUR theory.

        So, I’m waiting for you to provide evidence that *anybody* would (a) willingly tell their close friends and family that they had seen a recently-deceased person alive and had interacted with them, and (b) that *any* of those close friends and family of the deceased would believe the story. That’s all you’ve got to do.

        So, your theory is the one that’s falsifiable. Go be scientific. Go do the experiment.

        Thing is, there is no falsifiable way I can go back in time and somehow determine whether guys like Peter, Jame and John *really* saw what they believed or not. After all, they could have lied. So, there’s no way to test for that.

        Yep – You’re the one who’s needing info, not me. So, it’s YOUR job to go and get it. I can’t help you with your lack of info…

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          1. This always causes me to chuckle. I’ve never found a skeptic yet who was willing to “put their money where their mouth is” and do the Research Project. And, dang, it would be so incredibly easy to do —- IF you could find *anyone* who’s actually willing to do it.

            But, you can’t. You wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it. Not *any* skeptic I’ve run it past would do it. So, I don’t know why on earth you think Peter (presumably) would have done it.

            It just proves my point.

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  2. We could always look at the only eye-witness account we have of the resurrection – Paul’s. Does he claim to have seen a real flesh-and-blood man returned physically from the dead? No, he says he had a vision of light that takes place, by his own admission, ‘in’ his head (the literal meaning of Galatians1.11-12; see also 1 Corinthians 9.1 & 15.45).

    So the only first-hand report of the risen Christ we have is of a ‘psychotic’ episode to use your term, ft. There’s no reason to suppose other ‘encounters’ of the resurrected Jesus, while later embellished, were any different from Paul’s.

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    1. There are “reasons” to think that the other encounters were different, but you don’t consider them persuasive. They are narratives of: the empty tomb, the woman or women holding Jesus’s feet, the guards being scared away by something, Jesus eating food, Jesus claiming to be corporeal, Jesus raising the dead Lazarus bodily, the account of dead people walking Judea during Holy Week, and Jewish belief in a bodily resurrection.

      I think that the story of the empty tomb existed in Paul’s time, because he wrote that Jesus died, was buried, and rose the third day. I think that the point of mentioning the burial is to imply a bodily rising. Otherwise it’s hard for me to see the point in emphasizing the burial.

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      1. An empty tomb may have been part of the original Jesus Story, but there is no proof that the detailed Appearance Stories were. The Early Creed says NOTHING about seeing a body, hearing a body speak, or touching a body. There are many natural explanations for empty tombs.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nowhere in the passage does Peter specify that the blood moon happened during the crucifixion as you interpret it.

    He is talking about apocalyptic signs and is saying that the gift of prophecy , the blood moon, etc. Are apocalyptic signs.

    Personally, I think that the early Christians correctly interpreted the Old Testament prophecies.

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  4. Neil – re: “There’s no reason to suppose other ‘encounters’ of the resurrected Jesus, while later embellished, were any different from Paul’s.”

    Neither you nor I know whether Paul’s experience was psychotic or not, nor do we know a thing in the world about the nature of any of the other disciples experiences. We weren’t there, we didn’t have those experiences.

    But, one thing we could find out, once one of you skeptic guys wants to get serious, is (a) whether anybody would even tell the close friends and family of someone who had died a couple of days earlier that he/she was alive and interacting, and (b) whether those close friends and family would believe that story teller.

    It’s totally “testable”. But not one of you skeptic guys will do the testing.

    So, I call “hogwash” on the whole bunch of you. All you’ve got is suppositions and conjectures.

    The Christian declaration is that there was this actual Moment In History in which a real person who actually stood up and said to other close friends and family members of another person (Jesus) “I have seen him alive again, and have spoken with him, and touched him, and he is very much alive”.

    You can *test* to see if anybody would do that.

    My guess – and it’s only a guess, because none of you skeptic guys will take on the scientific research project to find out – is (a) that *nobody* will do that, and, (b) if they *would* do it, then none of those close friends and family members would believe them.

    You see, if you can’t get the story *started* in that fashion, then – guess what – we’d never have heard the story today. Not unless the Mythicists are right. But, here’s the deal: I can’t get a Mythicist to do the testing, either. NONE of you skeptic guys will.

    So, if you’re not willing to do actual, scientific work to back your claims, then, it’s all just a bunch of hot air, isn’t it?

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    1. “I have seen him alive again, and have spoken with him, and touched him, and he is very much alive”.

      Wrong. We have zero proof that any of the original recipients of a “Jesus appearance” believed (or told others) that they had seen a body, spoken to a body, or touched a body. All we know is that the Early Creed states that a number of people claimed that Jesus “appeared” to them. It is possible that all they saw was a bright light and perceived this to have been an appearance of the risen Jesus.

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  5. No, Neil, it’s not wrong.

    What I SAID was “The Christian declaration is that there was this actual Moment In History in which a real person who actually stood up and said to other close friends and family members of another person (Jesus) “I have seen him alive again, and have spoken with him, and touched him, and he is very much alive”.

    That is quite true. That IS the “declaration”. I didn’t say whether the declaration was true or not.

    That this *declaration* was being made, within 3 years (and of course, quite possibly sooner) after the crucifixion of Jesus, is hardly in dispute by any historians (although, Mythicists don’t think so).

    So, again, my challenge stands: Go do the Research Project and get back with me on it. See if you can find anyone that is willing to go tell close mutual friends, and the family of a deceased loved-one that you’ve seen that deceased person alive again, and spoken with and touched that again-living person. And then, see if any of those people you’ve told that story to actually *believe* your story.

    It doesn’t matter if the story – the claim, the “declaration” – is true or not. What matters is whether you can even find anybody that is willing to *attempt* to be that “storyteller” who delivers the news to close friends and family of a recently-deceased person, that you’ve seen him alive, speaking, touchable.

    If you can get that done, then you will have successfully demonstrated, scientifically, that such a story could have started in the first place.

    so, get to work. Go get those volunteers – people who have very recently lost a loved one. Tell them to go tell friends & family of the deceased that they’ve seen him alive again, spoken with him, touched him.

    That was, after all, the “declaration”, according to the creed which Paul cites: Jesus died, was buried, rose again, and was seen by Peter, then by “the twelve”.

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    1. “The Christian declaration is that there was this actual Moment In History in which a real person who actually stood up and said to other close friends and family members of another person (Jesus) “I have seen him alive again, and have spoken with him, and touched him, and he is very much alive”.

      False!!! No one knows what the first claims about a risen Jesus were. For all we know every last one of them was, “I saw a bright light. It was Jesus!” And that is why the Early Creed has ZERO physical details about these alleged appearances. It is therefore entirely possible that the detailed Appearance Stories in the Gospels of a visible body are literary fiction.

      That was, after all, the “declaration”, according to the creed which Paul cites: Jesus died, was buried, rose again, and was seen by Peter, then by “the twelve”.

      Yes, but in actuality it is possible that what they meant was: “Jesus died, was buried, rose again, and was then seen in the form of a bright light by Peter, then by “The Twelve”, etc.”

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      1. Once Again, Gary – I said that this is the Christian declaration.

        I didn’t say a thing about whether it was true or not. But, it is quite true that it is the Christian declaration.

        So – to your post, I say “False” — or, perhaps, I should just say “Bad Reading Comprehension Skills”… either way works just fine…

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        1. You are missing the point!

          I agree with you that very shortly (weeks, months, one year?) after Jesus’ death, some of the followers of Jesus claimed that Jesus appeared to them. But what did they claim that they saw? A “heavenly”/ghost-like body? A cloud formation? A shadow? A bright light? A walking/talking/flesh and bones body?

          Answer: We don’t know because the Early Creed gives ZERO physical descriptions about these alleged appearances!

          You are assuming that the bodily appearances in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John are historical when it is possible they are literary embellishments of the bare bones Early Creed appearance claims, perfectly acceptable in Greco-Roman biographies.

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  6. I’m not at all missing your point. You’re missing mine: Right Now, In This Present Time, It Is, In Fact, The Christian Declaration (whether true or not) That The First “Sightings” Of Jesus Were Bodily Sightings Of A Walking, Talking, Fish-Eating Resurrected Jesus.

    I’m not, and have not been talking about what they may, or may not have seen “back then”. I’m talking about what Christians say NOW.

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    1. What difference does it make what the majority of lay Christians today think? I’m confused what point you are trying to make.

      The majority of lay Christians today probably believe that “Christ” was Jesus’ last name!

      “And upon hearing the intentions of Herod, the Christ family left Bethlehem in the middle of the night and fled to Egypt.”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Gary – apologies for the multiple posts – I don’t mean to flood you. But I’ve got to scoot in just a moment & won’t be back for a while.

    As far as what was said “back then” – I don’t think there can be any doubt that, regardless of whatever was “seen” by Peter (et al), they were talking about a “bodily” resurrection.

    Why? Well, partly because of the empty tomb. But, MAINLY because a non-bodily resurrection (which actually makes no sense, but thats another matter) – a “spiritual” resurrection – this would have been entirely acceptable in Judaism. Judaism did not, and does not have any hardcore stance on the afterlife. It’s still acceptable to not believe in an afterlife, or to believe in a “spiritual” afterlife, or to believe in a resurrection afterlife, or even in reincarnation, in Judaism.

    What was being strongly opposed to was the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and that was due to many factors, but the main factors were all “theological”: it didn’t fit the pre-conceived paradigm. And that, of course, is what present-day Jews still argue. It’s not how the resurrection is “supposed” to happen.

    So, again – regardless of what Peter (et al) “saw” – that is, what “form” it took – the thing they were talking about was a *bodily* resurrection.

    Ultimately, then, it still gets down to this: *Somebody* (presumably, Peter?) had to come out and make that first claim of “resurrection”, and if what Paul says is correct, somebody had to make that claim to (at least) James, the brother of Jesus. *Somebody* had to be willing to say “I’ve seen him, and he’s been resurrected”. Doesn’t matter one bit if that “seeing” was a light, a vision, or whatever. It was *still* a bodily resurrection they were talking about. Otherwise, there wouldn’t have been the “pushback” from the Jews (as still happens even today). A “spiritual” resurrection would have been just fine, “…if that’s what you guys wanna believe”… Nobody would have cared.

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    1. As far as what was said “back then” – I don’t think there can be any doubt that, regardless of whatever was “seen” by Peter (et al), they were talking about a “bodily” resurrection.

      Most scholars believe that very early on, some Christians did believe that Jesus had been bodily resurrected, but this majority of scholars also says that there is evidence that not all early Christians believed this. It is true that by the time of the Council of Nicea in 325 CE, the majority of Christians believed that Jesus had been bodily resurrected.

      So the big question is: How early did some early Christians come to believe that Jesus had been bodily resurrected? Did this belief begin immediately at the time of the alleged appearances or did it develop later as a reinterpretation of a previously claimed “bright light” appearance? Answer: We will never know.

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    2. What was being strongly opposed to was the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and that was due to many factors, but the main factors were all “theological”: it didn’t fit the pre-conceived paradigm. And that, of course, is what present-day Jews still argue. It’s not how the resurrection is “supposed” to happen.

      Most scholars, including Bart Ehrman, believe that Paul believed in a bodily resurrection, not simply a spiritual resurrection. Yet if we believe the author of the Book of Acts, all Paul said that he had seen on the Damascus Road was a bright light, proving that one can see a bright light and believe that one has seen a bodily resurrected corpse.

      It is true that the Jews of Jesus day who did believe in a bodily resurrection (primarily the Pharisees) would have scoffed at the early Christian claim (made by some Christians, not all) that Jesus had been bodily resurrected as an individual. Jews would have scoffed because in the Pharisees’ view of “resurrection”, all the righteous dead would rise bodily from the dead together, not just one individual.

      What was the Christian response: “Yes, it is true that all the righteous dead will rise in the Resurrection, but Jesus is the first to be raised; everyone else will be raised at any moment. The Resurrection is like a harvest. Harvest doesn’t occur in one day, but over a period of time. Jesus was the “first fruits” of this harvest and the remainder of the “harvest” will be collected in the coming days!” And that is why, at least in the very beginning of the Church, everyone was selling everything they had, living together in communes, and praying. Why? The “End” was coming at any minute. The writings of Paul clearly indicate that even Paul believed that the resurrection of the righteous was just around the corner.

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  8. Gary –

    re: “Did this belief begin immediately at the time of the alleged appearances or did it develop later as a reinterpretation of a previously claimed “bright light” appearance? Answer: We will never know.”

    I’d agree. Historically, we will never know. “Plausibility” is the key word when discussing this kind of stuff. (More on that in just a moment….)

    re: “Yet if we believe the author of the Book of Acts, all Paul said that he had seen on the Damascus Road was a bright light, proving that one can see a bright light and believe that one has seen a bodily resurrected corpse.”

    As I’ve oft-repeated, nobody knew what a resurrected body would *look* like, or, even if it would always look the same from one moment to the next. Clearly, a resurrected body could not be the “same old body” that lived in this temporal existence, because the resurrected body would have to be one that was fit for an eternity.

    Paul saw a light, but concluded Jesus had been bodily raised from the dead. How did that occur?

    I suspect that it had to do with him already knowing the “message” that had been going around – the “bodily resurrection of Jesus”, which he was, of course, opposed to.

    But, I’d take it a step further. Let’s say that Peter had just seen a “talking light”. Why would *he* conclude, from that, a “bodily resurrection”?

    In both cases, I’d suggest it was because of the reality of the “empty tomb”.

    In other words, if there really *was* an empty tomb – a body missing, which nobody could account for – then the experience of a “talking light”, introducing itself as Jesus, then becomes the explanation for that otherwise-unexplained empty tomb.

    But, it always gets down to the same problem: Paul’s experience might be seen as some kind of “confirmation” of whatever experience Peter might have had. But, when Peter had *his* experience, the question still remains as to why anyone else would have thought Peter had experienced anything other than a “ghost” or an illusion or hallucination?

    My humble thought on it is that it simply doesn’t *matter* what Peter actually *saw*. *Apart* from a tomb that was empty, a body that was gone (and couldn’t be accounted for), there was no more reason for anyone to believe what Peter “saw” than there was for people to believe Herod when he ranted about John the Baptist having come back from the dead to haunt him. Nobody thought Herods rants were anything but the rants of a madman; it certainly didn’t turn into a tale of a resurrection of John the Baptist.

    The only reason a resurrection claim could be made – that is, one that anyone else would have an inkling to believe – was because of that body missing from that tomb.
    (That, at least, is how I see it. We can use all the “historian-sounding” verbage, like “I assert”, “I would stipulate”, “plausible”, etc – but, in any case, this is why I believe there was indeed an empty tomb).

    So, it really doesn’t matter what, specifically, Peter, John, the other disciples, James or Paul saw. Whatever it was, they *understood* it to have been a resurrected Jesus, and the reason they understood it as such is because the body of Jesus was indeed gone from the tomb.

    Historically, we know Pauls claim of a story that had preceeded his own conversion: Jesus was crucified, he died, he rose up, he was seen by Peter then by the others. And, we know Paul taught a bodily resurrection.

    So – if our dates for the crucifixion and Pauls conversion are historically justifiable as being AD 33 and AD 36 (respectively), then we know that story of Jesus’ resurrection was already “out and about” during an approximate 2 1/2 year period of time. It was that story, of a bodily resurrection, that Paul was opposed to in the first place.

    Historically, we may never know what happened during that 2 1/2 year period of time. But, whatever it was, it was enough for someone like Paul to rise up in opposition to the “resurrection story”. But, unless there was a known empty tomb, and unless it were known that Jesus’ body had indeed gone missing (and could not be accounted for), then I don’t think it’s plausible that the story would have continued in Jerusalem, in particular. In fact, without the empty tomb, I don’t think the story would have lasted more than a few hours in Jerusalem.

    To Sum Up: Given an empty tomb, I’m not at all sure that it matters one bit what the specific nature of the “sightings” of Peter and others were. If there were an empty tomb, then Jesus could presumably appear however he wanted, and yet it would still be *understood* that Jesus’ body had indeed been resurrected, because as I’ve pointed out, nobody *knew* what a resurrected body was supposed to look like or would be capable of.

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    1. I think this is a very reasonable explanation for the early Christian resurrection belief. I am not “married” to the non-historicity of the Empty Tomb. Most scholars, including Raymond Brown, believe that the Arimathea empty tomb story is historical. I have no problem accepting that part of the Jesus Story as historical. See my new post on that very theme:

      https://lutherwasnotbornagaincom.wordpress.com/2018/03/23/was-jesus-burial-in-arimatheas-tomb-temporary/

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