In those days [immediately following Jesus’ ascension to heaven] Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons)…
Think about this, dear Reader: If the authors of the Gospels are telling us the truth, Jesus performed some of the greatest miracles ever described in the annals of human history; many of them performed in front of hundreds and even thousands of eyewitnesses, in both Judea and Galilee, all over a period of three years…yet at the end of his life, he had only 120 followers!
Did the “five thousand” people whom he fed with five loaves of bread and a few fishes refuse to believe in his resurrection? Did the hundreds at the marriage feast in Cana who witnessed great jugs of water turned into wine refuse to believe in his resurrection? Did the hundreds who witnessed Jesus heal leprosy, cast out demons into 2,000 pigs, heal the blind, and raise three people from the dead all refuse to believe his greatest miracle, raising himself from the dead???
Thousands of people personally witnessed his many incredible miracles…but in the end, did not believe that Jesus was the messiah, the Son of god, that he was resurrected.
Answer: Poor evidence??? Isn’t it highly probable that the reason why the overwhelming majority of people in Judea and Galilee rejected Jesus’ claim as the messiah was that the evidence for his claim was so very, very poor? Doesn’t the lack of significant numbers of believers immediately after Jesus’ death strongly indicate that these stories are not true; that these great miracles did not occur; that they are literary fiction written for theological purposes, not accurate accounts of historical events? And what does this say for the evidence for Jesus’ alleged resurrection? Jesus was allegedly the greatest miracle worker in the history of Israel and the world…yet only 120 people believed his ability to raise himself from the dead!
Dear Reader. Isn’t it obvious? These stories, including the Resurrection story, are not historical!
“But the 120 refers to the number of believers only in Jerusalem/Judea.” That is certainly possible, but think about this: There is no mention in Acts, the writings of Paul, or in history books of any great churches in Galilee or other parts of Judea. We only hear about Jerusalem. If thousands of people were already followers of Jesus in Galilee where Jesus’ allegedly performed most of his miracles, why no mention of the great church in Capernum, or Cana, or Nazareth, or any other city in Galilee???
“But Josephus says that Jesus did have a reputation as a miracle worker and a healer.” Yes, the writings of Josephus do say this, however, we need to consider two issues. One, we cannot be sure that this statement in the writings of Josephus is not a Christian interpolation. Second, think about it: If Jesus really had raised three people from the dead, a greater feat than the combined miracles of Elijah and Elisha, why didn’t Josephus mention these events???
Josephus did not mention these fantastical miracle claims most likely because he knew they had never happened!
End of post.