Why is the Resurrection of Jesus Not Found in History Textbooks as an Historical Fact?

Image result for image of the resurrection

Gary:  Christians allege that a first century, brain-dead human being came back to life possessing a transformed body with supernatural powers and attributes.  They allege this resurrected body was seen by hundreds of people at the same time and place.  They allege that at least a dozen people saw this resurrected body slowly levitate into space.  And yet, no public university history text book on the planet lists this incident as an historical event. Why?  It can’t be a bias against Jesus, because most of these same historians believe that Jesus was a real historical person. Is it therefore possible that the lack of mention of this event in any public university history text book is due to a lack of good evidence???

Christian: Gary, you KNOW the reason. You read [Bart] Ehrman’s blog, and he’s talked about the “historic methods” extensively.  “History”, as a discipline, doesn’t do the supernatural. It’s about finding “naturalistic” answers, in the same fashion that science, as a discipline, doesn’t do the supernatural, either – for the same reasons.  It’s a pointless argument. The fact that the resurrection doesn’t show up in a “world history” book doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with whether it occurred or not; it has to do with the fact that history, as a discipline, doesn’t delve into the supernatural.  You really ought to know that, with as much reading as you claim to do. Especially if you read Ehrman’s blogs (which I know you do).

Gary:  It is true that neither historians nor scientists can examine the evidence for the supernatural resurrection of a first century body as such a supernatural event defies the methods used by these disciplines to determine facts.  However, historians could provide evidence of the date this event allegedly occurred, a list of persons confirmed to have been there, the location, etc..  We can do this for other alleged supernatural events, such as the alleged sighting of the Virgin Mary in Fatima Portugal in 1917 and her alleged sighting in Knock, Ireland the summer of 2017. We have first hand accounts of these events. We have confirmed eyewitness reports. We have news coverage of these events. Yet, we have ZERO contemporary reports of the greatest (alleged) event ever to happen on planet earth!!! Zip. Nada.

Think about this: The author of the Gospel of Luke states that he carefully evaluated eyewitness testimony to write his gospel. Many Christians take this to mean that Luke interviewed eyewitnesses for his gospel.   Yet, neither Luke nor any other author of the Christian New Testament records the date of the resurrection of Jesus!  No Church Father records the date of this event.  The sad fact is, Christians do not know the date or even the year of Jesus’ resurrection, the greatest day in the history of the Christian religion, and allegedly, the greatest event in the history of the universe!  Why???

Isn’t it obvious?  The reason why the resurrection of Jesus is not listed in history textbooks even as a “probable” event is because the evidence surrounding this alleged event is so very, very poor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of post.

24 thoughts on “Why is the Resurrection of Jesus Not Found in History Textbooks as an Historical Fact?

  1. wow… a part the conversation in “Why Didn’t Jesus Teach the World About Antibiotics, Vaccinations, and Good Personal Hygiene?” shows up here as a Brand New Thread!

    readers – don’t waste your time here… You can already find discussion on this topic in the aforementioned thread…

    🙂

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    1. I will copy and paste the response you gave on the other thread:

      Gary –

      re: “Christians do not know the date or the year of Jesus’ resurrection, the greatest day in the history of the Christian religion, and allegedly the greatest event in the history of the universe!”
      ~and~
      “Get real, ft, the reason why the resurrection of Jesus is not listed in history books even as a “probable” event is because the evidence surrounding this alleged event is so very, very poor.”

      That Christians don’t know the date or year of Jesus’ resurrection is fairly inconsequential. We’re given such info in the gospels, in a fashion that was consistent with that era, often by using other significant events to specify another event, ie, “in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius”. And, we’re given other info that is not as easy to decipher if one does not understand the Jewish calendar or reckoning of days and nights, or, cannot comprend words like “late”. This lack of understanding leads some to believe that the gospel of John shows Jesus to be crucified on one day, while the Synoptics show on another day. But, this is due to failing to either understand or acknowledge other important historical events, such as the change in the day of the Passover celebration.

      So, we get historians disagreeing. Some of them think “late” means “at eight oclock or later”, while others more correctly understand it means 3:00pm or later.

      The info is there, but there is no lack of clowns with PhD’s who can’t come to a consensus as to what “late” means, and they certainly can’t manage to figure out that the Passover celebration had changed during the Temple period.

      This doesn’t seem terribly significant to most historians, though. Of course, it’s significant to YOU, because you think it is. Most don’t, though.

      re: “Get real, ft, the reason why the resurrection of Jesus is not listed in history books even as a “probable” event is because the evidence surrounding this alleged event is so very, very poor.”

      I’ll just post a bit written by Tabor, who, unlike you (or even Ehrman, for that matter) is an actual, bonafide, trained historian:

      “It is easy to hold that “God” can do anything, and thus argue for the acceptance of a male baby being born without male sperm, or reports of a corpse rising after two or three days and ascending bodily into heaven, but such claims are not the purview of historians …”

      “We can evaluate what people claimed, what they believed, what they reported, and that all becomes part of the data, but to then say, “A miracle happened” or this or that “prophet” was truly hearing from God, as opposed to another who was utterly false prophecy, goes beyond our accessible methods”.

      I think I’ll stick with what Tabor says, and, basically (as I most often do) simply blow off your little rant…

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      1. “That Christians don’t know the date or year of Jesus’ resurrection is fairly inconsequential. We’re given such info in the gospels, in a fashion that was consistent with that era, often by using other significant events to specify another event, ie, “in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius”.”

        This proves my point: If Christians can remember that a particular, less important event, happened in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius, why can’t they remember the date and year of the greatest event in human history??? We know the exact day, month, and year of Julius Caesar’s assassination (March 15, 44 BCE), an event which happened almost 100 years prior to Jesus’ death. Why couldn’t Christians remember the date of the Resurrection of their Lord and Savior, King of the Cosmos???

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        1. “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
          —Luke 3

          First century Christians could remember the year that John the Baptist started his ministry…but they can’t remember the year that the King of Heaven and Earth rose from the dead!!! Christians, to this day, are still debating whether Jesus was crucified in 30 CE, 33 CE or some other year in the third decade of the first century! If the authors of the Gospels were meticulously recording historical events as conservative Christians claim, it is very odd that they knew specific details about the timeline of John the Baptist’s ministry, but not that of Jesus. Isn’t this very good evidence that the Gospels are NOT eyewitness testimony and therefore not reliable sources of historical facts???

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            1. actually, historians don’t “know” that Herod the Great died in 4BC. In fact, there is a very large group of them that assert that he died in 1BC, and with many good reasons.

              The problem arises from understanding Josephus’ dating and his “chronological points” of reference.

              But, the 4BC date IS disputed. Make no mistake about that.

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              1. If so, what about the other events? Surely the date of the resurrection of God the Creator, King of Heaven and Earth, is more important to note than the siege of ancient cities or the assassination of a human king (Julius Caesar).

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                1. Gary, the PROBLEM is NOT that “nobody remembered”. The PROBLEM is that, unlike with great political leaders (for example) – kings, caesars, etc – the only RECORDS we have regarding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus were NOT written down by experienced historians or chronicalists.

                  I would think it wouldn’t take much reflection to figure that one out.

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                  1. Yet the author of Luke is described as an “excellent historian” by many evangelical Christian scholars and theologians. They also claim his sources were actual eyewitnesses. Yet, this excellent historian, who interviewed eyewitnesses, forgot to record the year of Jesus death and resurrection!

                    Give me a break!

                    (The author of Luke was able to determine that John the Baptist started his ministry in the fifteenth year of Tiberius but he couldn’t find out or didn’t bother to note the date of the GREATEST EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!!!!

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                    1. re: “Yet the author of Luke is described as an “excellent historian” by many evangelical Christian scholars and theologians. ”

                      You’re talking about two things of little consequence to me: evangelical Christian scholars and theologians, and, whether Luke was an “excellent historian” (or not).

                      So, I really don’t have a response to this. This is just another of your “anti-fundamentalist” things which don’t apply to me, and for which I never offer a defense.

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          1. We know that Pilate governed Judea from 26-36 CE. Why don’t we know the dates of Jesus’ ministry? It isn’t as if people did not keep records in that time period. The idea that first century Jews would not have bothered to record such an important date is nonsense. I suggest that the reason this event (the resurrection) was not recorded is because it is legend. (Jesus may have been crucified, but his crucifixion was not the big event the Gospels make it out to be. Jesus was a nobody who died a nobody. He became a somebody when the anonymous author of Mark turned him into a great miracle worker and would be king.)

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        2. who says they didn’t remember that date?

          the only thing you can actually ask is “why didn’t they communicate that information more clearly in the gospels”? That’s it, Gary. You got no idea who “remembered” what.

          As far as “in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius” – that was the year Jesus was baptized. The dates that guys became Emperor were fairly well known. So, that’s how they did dating: they expressed a lot of dates in relation to some widely-known event.

          But, you don’t study history, so you wouldn’t know that.

          “Along with the crucifixion of Jesus, most biblical scholars view it [the baptism of Jesus] as one of the two historically certain facts about him, and often use it as the starting point for the study of the historical Jesus”

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  2. More simply – the special pleading that has taken place to dismiss the very solid reasons to believe in Jesus’s resurrection as an historical event.

    When I was studying the documents we have from ancient history I was impressed how much better the attestation of the New Testament is than any other text from the ancient world. I’m talking the timeframe in which they were written (even if John and other epistles were written in early second century), how they have been preserved, and extra-biblical attestation (non-christian like Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius and christian like the church fathers) and the archeological corroboration that we see.

    If anything having been assessed in the study of ancient history convinced me even further that we can rely on the New Testament as historically reliable.

    The FACT that these FACTS don’t persuade people means that it’s special pleading. An unbiased assessment of the material will show you that Jesus did rise from the dead. For all of Erhman’s assertion that we can’t study events in history that he disagrees with, it makes the most sense of all of the available facts.

    The fact that you are comparing what is available from 1917 and 2017 with what is available from 2000 years ago shows the ignorance about how to do ancient history that is in the public sphere.

    And let’s see – how do you define textbook? Here are some scholars of the New Testament who do believe Jesus rose from the dead:

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9612356-the-resurrection-of-jesus

    https://robertbowman.net/2018/04/03/top-12-books-on-the-resurrection-of-jesus/

    Anyway, keep denying the facts. It’s the only way to keep Jesus from being alive haha

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    1. -We know the exact year that Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem.
      -We know the exact year that Alexander laid siege to Tyre.
      -We know the exact year that Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon.
      -We know the exact year that Herod the Great died.
      -We know the exact year, month, and day that Julius Caesar was assassinated.

      Yet, we do not know even the year when the alleged King of Kings rose from the dead, appeared to hundreds at one time, and later, slowly levitated into outer space in front of a crowd.

      This event is a legend!!!

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      1. lemme get this straight… You think that because scholars are divided on a crucifixion date of 30CE or 33CE that somehow that means the event was a legend???

        I mean, we know Jesus was crucified “at the Passover” (14th of Nisan), and we know that he rose on the “first day of the week”.

        So, you’re operating under the assumption that back then, people didn’t remember what year it was? How would you know that?

        Just because it is, for us, not clearly communicated in the writings we have, that has nothing to do with what they knew back then.

        Gary, the funny thing about this is that you seem to show so much more enthusiasm for your idea than most of the educated and qualified – and skeptical – scholars out there. It’s only guys like you that try to use something like this to conclude that an event must be “legend”…

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        1. I do not believe that the crucifixion is legend. I just question that it was the big event the Gospels make it out to be. The evidence suggests that Jesus was a nobody who died a nobody and that is why no one remembers the year he died. I believe that the story of his resurrection most likely developed over time and became more elaborate and embellished as time passed. We see this if we read the Gospels in chronological order. I suspect the empty tomb is also historical, but a dead man appearing to great crowds of people most likely developed some time later. This is why the stories of these appearances, as told in the four Gospels, Acts, and First Corinthians are irreconcilable.

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          1. Gary –

            re your post beginning “I do not believe that the crucifixion is legend”

            You say ” I believe that the story of his resurrection most likely developed over time and became more elaborate and embellished as time passed. ”

            I’m guessing you must mean the details surrounding the resurrection event itself. We know there was a creed already going about within 1 to 3 years of the crucifixion of Jesus, claiming resurrection.

            I don’t know of any real evidence that points to the size of Jesus’ “following”. Clearly, the gospels talk about “120 disciples”, but, it would be a mistake to think that those disciples represented the whole of his “following”. He might well have had lots of followers – “fans” – that were not “disciples” (ie, those sitting under his teaching as a routine). “Disciples” and “followers” are two different things. Even the gospels make a point of this difference: the disciples handed out the “loaves and fishes” to the followers. And note: it doesn’t matter whether the story is true – what matters, in this context, is that it shows the differentiation between disciples and followers.

            “…and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!”

            Above, you see that differentiation very clearly. And again, it doesn’t matter whether this pericope is true or not; what matters is that one cannot presume that Jesus’ following was limited only to his group of disciples. His following may have been a much larger circle. But, there is no “hard evidence”, one way or the other.

            As far as what is or what is or is not reconcilable in the gospels: I don’t do gospels. It’s irrelevant to me whether they are reconcilable, or even whether they’re entirely factual (or not). Just has no bearing on me whatsoever, nor does it have any bearing whatsoever on my belief that Jesus was, in fact, raised from the dead.

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            1. Yes, Jesus had thousands and thousands of followers in Judea and Galilee…but none of them remembered the year that he died!

              Jesus had thousands and thousands of followers who witnessed greater miracles than all the miracles performed by all of the OT prophets put together…yet none of them remembered the year this greatest of all Jewish prophets died!

              Baloney. He died a nobody. That is the most likely reason why no one remembered the date or even year of his death. He only became famous when some Gentile Christian living in Rome or Antioch, forty or so years later, wrote a block-buster historical fiction about a crucified Jewish messiah.

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  3. re: “Yes, Jesus had thousands and thousands of followers in Judea and Galilee…but none of them remembered the year that he died!”

    Again, you have no idea what was “remembered” by anyone, and it’s foolish and presumptive of you to claim you do.

    All you know is what was put in written communication by writers who were not experienced, professional chronoligists or historians. And, in fact, the only thing about the “date” of his resurrection that is not clear is the year. And one of the many reasons for that is that there is no scholarly consensus as to whether Luke marks the beginning of Tiberius’s reign to when Tiberius was co-regent with Augustus (11 A.D.) or when he takes full possession of power (August of 14 A.D.) So, basically, Luke was not clear on this point (as one might expect from an amateur historian)

    So, I think i’m just going to bow out here. You just keep repeating the same mantra, as if repeating it time and again would make it true. Unfortunately, all it does is makes you appear to be somewhat obsessive.

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      1. How do you get to THAT conclusion? I started out by saying the info is there, and, I still hold to that.

        Besides, once again, you’re doing a typical “Manipulation Attempt by Gary”: NOW, instead of saying what you originally said – that nobody remembered the date – you’ve changed it, to “nobody recorded it”.

        Gary, stop making a joke of yourself. You’re doing the same thing here as you did with fighting about the word “late”.

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        1. And you do not want to acknowledge the obvious.

          If tens of thousands of people remembered the date of the resurrection as you seem to believe, it is very, very odd that no one passed on this information to anyone capable of writing it down.

          The city of Jerusalem simmers with revolt! A Galilean trouble-maker enters Jerusalem during the time of the Passover festival when the city is packed with Jews from all over the world! He is greeted by a great throng of cheering Jews along the streets, who proclaim him the new King of Israel! The Roman prefect cows to the demands of a rabid Jewish mob in the courtyard of his palace! There are mighty earthquakes! There is an unheard of three hour solar eclipse! The temple veil is torn down the middle! Dead people are shaken out of their graves to walk the streets of a major city. And to top it all off, the guy who caused all this commotion makes numerous appearances in a “heavenly body” after his very public execution/death, including one to a group of five hundred people…but no one bothered to record the date of this incredible event for posterity.

          You are seriously brain-washed if this does not present an obvious problem for your resurrection belief.

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          1. Gary, seriously – I’m done with this stoopid argument.

            Real historians don’t give a rip about this, nor do they draw the conclusions that you draw about whether anybody “remembered” the dates or not. They all know how it works.

            So, really – I’m done on this. Just got no more time for this one. This kind of nonsense is like talking to a mythologist. Got no time for that, either…

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