Why the Twelve Minimal Facts do Not Convince Me of Jesus’ Resurrection

Image result for image of the resurrection

Many conservative Christians believe that Gary Habermas’ Twelve Minimal Facts are sufficient evidence to prove the historicity of the bodily resurrection of Jesus.  I say this claim is based on wishful thinking and not rational thinking.  Let take a look at these “facts”:

1. Jesus died by crucifixion.

Ok.

2. He was buried.

Probably.

3.  His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.

Very probably.

4.  The tomb was empty (the most contested).

The evidence is weak, but I will not contest this claim.  An empty tomb only proves that a body is missing.  There are many natural explanations for missing bodies.

5.  The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).

Thousands of people down through history have claimed experiences of their recently departed friend or loved one appearing to them.  Superstitious people make a lot of bizarre claims.  I am not impressed by this “fact”.

6.  The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

I believe that some early Christians became bold proclaimers of the resurrection of Jesus belief.

7.  The resurrection was the central message.

Yes.

8.  They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

Yes, but when this first occurred cannot be proven.  Was it 40 days after Jesus death or two years later?  We don’t know.

9.  The Church was born and grew.

Yes.

10.  Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

Yes, a very, very small percentage of first century Jews believed in Jesus as the Jewish messiah and made Sunday their primary day of worship.

11.  James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).

This is an assumption.  No one knows when James converted.  Maybe he had converted on Palm Sunday when thousands of Jews (allegedly) proclaimed Jesus as the new Jewish king, heir to the throne of David??  We don’t know when or why James converted.   And we have no record of James himself claiming that Jesus had appeared to him.  All we have is the “Early Creed”, quoted by Paul in First Corinthians 15, which states that James too received an appearance of Jesus.  Note that the Early Creed never once mentions what James or anyone else saw.  Did they see a walking, talking body?  We don’t know!  The Creed doesn’t say.  For all we know, James and every other alleged eyewitness to an appearance of Jesus saw a bright light…and believed it to be Jesus…just as what (allegedly) happened in Paul’s conversion on the Damascus Road, at least according to the unknown author of Acts.  Paul himself, in his own writings, never tells us anything about what he allegedly saw in his “Jesus appearance” experience.

12.  Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).

Yes.

Conclusion:  None of these facts would convince me that anyone had come back from the dead, attained a supernatural body with supernatural powers, and forty days later elevated into the clouds, then presumably, outer space.

Eyewitness testimony may be sufficient for auto accidents and murder trials, but for most modern, educated people, eyewitness testimony is not sufficient for alien abductions and dead body reanimations…unless….one of those claims happens to be part of your religion.

Substitute the name of another religion’s founder in place of the name of Jesus in the above twelve facts and see how many Christians will believe that the Buddha, Mohammad, or Joseph Smith came back from the dead with a superhero’s body based on this evidence.  I will bet…not many.  What does that prove?

Answer:  There must be other reasons why Christians believe these fantastical claims about Jesus.  As a former Christian, I assert that the primary reason that most Christians believe this supernatural claim is not due to twelve historical “facts” but due to their personal, subjective, feelings, perceptions, and personal experiences.

 

 

 

End of post.

 

 

 

 

Source of Twelve Facts:  Gary Habermas

42 thoughts on “Why the Twelve Minimal Facts do Not Convince Me of Jesus’ Resurrection

  1. about this point:

    “5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).

    Thousands of people down through history have claimed experiences of their recently departed friend or loved one appearing to them. Superstitious people make a lot of bizarre claims. I am not impressed by this “fact”.”

    Thousands – probably millions, actually (just doing the math) of people through history have claimed “experiences” of their recently departed.

    If that’s all the disciples claimed, then, either (a) it should not have resulted in a “resurrection” tale, or (b) we should have heard LOTS of resurrection tales.

    How do you explain that, in all of known history, we have only one resurrection tale?

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    1. Why did an appearance of Jesus result in a resurrection belief when thousands of alleged appearances by other recently deceased persons have not:

      –Jesus had been telling his family and friends that he was the Jewish messiah; the promised deliverer of Israel. They were expecting him to liberate them from the oppression of the Romans. Many of them had abandoned their jobs and families to follow him. They had bet everything on Jesus!

      –When Jesus was suddenly executed, their high flying dreams were abruptly crushed. How could this happen? How could God have let this happen to his promised messiah? Cognitive dissonance set in. This occurs when people try to reconcile their expectations with a devastating reality.

      –Jesus’ tomb was found empty shortly after his burial and execution. There had been many previous messiah pretenders and there would be more after Jesus, however, Jesus was the only messiah pretender with an empty tomb. A tomb with a dead body in it is proof that the messiah claimant was an imposter. An empty tomb with a missing body, along with appearances of Jesus, was just enough to keep the hopes and dreams of Jesus’ followers alive. Speculation spread like wild fire. Had God raised Jesus back to life so that he could carry out his mission of overthrowing the Romans and setting up the New Kingdom?? If so, where was he?? No, this can’t be the explanation since he has not returned in his physical, earthly body to overthrow the Romans. There must be another explanation. Then someone came up with this idea: The general resurrection of the dead has begun!!! Jesus was simply the first fruits of the general resurrection. He has been resurrected but God has taken him to heaven temporarily. The rest of the righteous dead will soon be resurrected! Then Jesus will come down from heaven and set up the Kingdom!

      Let’s tell everyone to sell everything (and we mean everything, Ananias and Sapphira! ), live in a commune in Jerusalem, praying and fasting until Jesus’ return! THE END IS NEAR!

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      1. this is a statement from mechon-mamre (see https://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/mashiach.htm)

        “It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the mashiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person’s lifetime, then that person will be the mashiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the mashiach, then that person is not the mashiach”

        Would you agree that this is a commonly-held view in Judaism?

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  2. Actually, ft, we have several ‘resurrection’s in the bible. The ‘revelationary’ Jesus that Paul talks about as being in his own head (Galatians 1.16); Matthew & Luke’s ghost-like being who can walk through walls and beam up into the sky; the flesh and blood resurrection of John’s fish-eating Jesus; the supernatural Christ of later Paul; the warrior Christ of Revelation, etc.

    However, even if we were to accept that Jesus really did rise from the dead, what went wrong?

    The early Christians, Paul included, believed that Jesus’ resurrection was to be the first of many; the ‘first fruit’ of a bumper harvest as he puts it in 1 Corinthians 15.20-21. Paul, and others, taught that the consequence of Jesus’ resurrection was that those who believed in it would soon follow suit, at the moment the Kingdom of God was established on the Earth. All the New Testament writers clearly believed that this was going to take place real soon, in their time (see for example, Matthew 25.34; Romans 15.12; Revelation 20.4-6).

    So, if Jesus’ resurrection really happened, why didn’t all these other resurrections follow? Why didn’t the early cult members find themselves brought back to life on a new Earth, in the new kingdom, very soon afterwards? According to the bible, they should’ve done.

    That absolutely none of this happened tells us that the event that was meant to be the catalyst for it all, Jesus’ resurrection, didn’t either.

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    1. Very good point, Neil! For two thousand years Christian apologists have been twisting themselves into pretzels trying to explain why the rest of the righteous dead have not been resurrected “within this generation” as Jesus claimed.

      Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. —Jesus of Nazareth

      A generation has come and gone, but just as with the interpretation of “day” in Genesis meaning “a thousand years” Christians have decided that “generation” in this passage means, at a minimum, (2019-33) 1,986 years!
      Even conservative Christians laugh at modern prophets for their failed predictions. Why does Jesus get a pass???

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      1. re: “Actually, ft, we have several ‘resurrection’s in the bible. The ‘revelationary’ Jesus that Paul talks about as being in his own head (Galatians 1.16); Matthew & Luke’s ghost-like being who can walk through walls and beam up into the sky; the flesh and blood resurrection of John’s fish-eating Jesus; the supernatural Christ of later Paul; the warrior Christ of Revelation, etc.”

        Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….. That’s all one resurrection. One person.

        You’re just talking about the variety of experiences that different people had of that one resurrected person.

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        1. One more point on the conversion of James (and possibly other members of Jesus’ family): First century Jews were not expecting Yahweh to come down to earth in a human body to set up the New Kingdom. Jews believed that the Messiah would be a human being. Many Christians assume that when James converted to Christianity, he immediately believed that Jesus was Yahweh incarnate! I don’t think that they can prove this. I will bet that any family member who converted to Christianity did so believing (at least initially) that Jesus was the human messiah, appointed by God to deliver the nation of Israel. He was not expected to have supernatural powers or to be divine. So why couldn’t heir brother, Jesus, be the Messiah?

          So when James and the rest of the family saw thousands of Jews in the capital city greet Jesus as the Messiah, the King of the Jews, they were caught up in the belief. If the Sanhedrin was quoted correctly (the Gospel of John), the entire world believed that Jesus was the Messiah. So why shouldn’t they believe?? Group hysteria set in and the family of Jesus was not immune to it.

          The claim that James converted to Christianity due to an alleged appearance of Jesus is just one of many Christian assumptions. There is ZERO evidence to support this claim! For all we know, James converted to Christianity on “Palm Sunday” when “all the world went after him [Jesus]”.

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          1. John 12: The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,

            “Hosanna!
            Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—
            the King of Israel!”

            14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:

            15 “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.
            Look, your king is coming,
            sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

            16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. 17 So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify.[d] 18 It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. 19 The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!

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          2. “Many Christians assume that when James converted to Christianity, he immediately believed that Jesus was Yahweh incarnate! I don’t think that they can prove this. ”

            almost ten years ago i asked myself ,how do you get the idea that if x believed in the resurrection, then that means x believed in key christian doctrines? what the hell?

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            1. re: “almost ten years ago i asked myself ,how do you get the idea that if x believed in the resurrection, then that means x believed in key christian doctrines? what the hell?”

              I’m a guy who is convinced that Jesus was bodily resurrected, but I sure as heck don’t buy into a lot of later doctrines – including (for example) the Trinity.

              In fact, I don’t think that the very earliest “resurrection believers” had any idea at all what Jesus’ resurrection meant. I go so far as to say that I don’t think that anybody initially understood (at all) that “Jesus, raised from the dead” was an actual resurrection (as opposed to a resuscitation). There was certainly no precedent for a resurrection.

              So, did James believe Jesus was “Yahweh, incarnate”? I think those kinds of ideas had to develop over time, and my guess would be that there were no real doctrines among the very earliest believers except that Jesus, having been “raised from the dead”, was seen as a signal of the “Beginning of the End”, so to speak…

              But, that’s just my take on it. That, plus about $4.50, will buy you a half-caf mocha latte at Starbucks.

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              1. “But, that’s just my take on it. That, plus about $4.50, will buy you a half-caf mocha latte at Starbucks.”

                the uk prices are cheaper.

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        2. No, ft, they’re all very different experiences: a Christ vision, an allegedly flesh-and-blood man, a ghost-like entity, a monster with swords coming out of its mouth, etc. Those who claim to have witnessed the risen Jesus have wildly different interpretations of what they think they’ve seen. What this tells us is that all of these reports emanate within individuals’ heads, not from any actual walking-talking resurrected dead man.

          I see you’ve nothing to say about my second point, that Jesus’ resurrection is understood in the NT as the catalyst for a multitude of other resurrections. Paul and the gospel writers expected to see these in their own ‘generation’, but of course, they didn’t. Why so quiet on this one, ft? If Jesus’ resurrection didn’t produce the results those who believed in it thought it would, isn’t it reasonable to conclude that it never actually happened?

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  3. Gary the mere fact there are “12” attempts at fact here is proof enough the story is true. 12 apostles, 12 days of christmas (haha) 12 tribes of Israel, 12 sons, and now these 12 attempts? That certainly has to counsel as a divine message. Go!

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    1. it’s right at the point where Julius crossed the Rubicon.

      oh, wait. We don’t have any evidence of that, either…

      your ridiculous Avalos-like insistence on forensic evidence has been, like Avalos himself, totally shunned by the far-broader community of scholars.

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      1. Ah … but such scholars are invariably christian as no historian that I am aware of will credit a tomb, and certainly no archaeologist, so, as usual, your pithy whining is like water off a duck’s back ,ft.
        Next?

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  4. re: “…no historian that I am aware of will credit a tomb”

    And, that just shows off your level of ignorance.

    My guess is that Gary could give you a considerable list of scholars and historians – non-Christian ones – that assert the tomb is historical.

    But, [censored] that really keeps me from wanting to talk to you much, Ark.

    And, I hope to keep it that way. So, I’m excusing myself from any further responses to your ignorance.

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    1. I’m sure you know of these historians otherwise you wouldn’t be such a smug dick and make such a claim, so ….be my guest. Name a few. Oh,and donpt forget the archaeologists as well, of course.

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    2. @FT
      Hey … [censored]. This is what Ehrman has to say.

      The discovery of the empty tomb presupposes that there was a tomb in the first place, and that it was known, and of course that it was discovered. But if serious doubt is cast on whether there ever was a tomb, then the accounts of its discovery are similarly thrown into doubt. Christian apologists often argue that the discovery of the empty tomb is one of the most secure historical data from the history of the early Christian movement. I used to think so myself. But it simply isn’t true. Given our suspicions about the burial tradition, there are plenty of reasons to doubt the discovery of an empty tomb.

      He goes on to say ….

      But all of this is beside the point, which is that we don’t know whether the tomb was discovered empty because we don’t know whether there even was a tomb.

      In this connection I should stress that the discovery of the empty tomb appears to be a late tradition. It occurs in Mark for the first time, some 35 or forty years after Jesus died. Our earliest witness, Paul, does not say anything about it.

      While Ehrman is no historian and ‘only’ a scholar I’m am very interested to see your list of historians who disagree with this view.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gary –

    re: “Yes. That is why the Jewish disciples of Jesus were probably emotionally devastated when he was suddenly killed”

    OK. So, Jesus is killed. He’s not the Messiah. Being crucified put an end to that idea. And, of course, this was devastating to those who thought he might be the Messiah. Exceedingly bitter disappointment.

    Then. An empty tomb. And, some sightings, by somebody. Could have been just one guy who was not even one of The Twelve, I guess. So, an empty tomb and a sighting by Joe ben Blow, and even be Blows “sighting” was more of an ephemeral, indistinct thing having no “physicality” to it. OR, just maybe, ben Blows “sighting”, to ben Blow, was a sighting of a “corporeal Jesus”. Either way – as you’ve pointed out – there have been thousands of these kinds of sightings. And, if we simply look up the info on how many people are estimated to have lived between the time of “Homer” (referring to the construction of the poems, which scholars generally agree were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC), and figure 20% of those people had experienced some type of “crisis apparition”, then we come up with at least hundreds of thousands. And, none of those turned into “resurrection stories”, despite the fact that the person(s) who experienced them thought they were very real at the time.

    But – an empty tomb. In your theory, this makes all the difference.

    Clearly, the belief (or, hope) that Jesus was the Messiah can’t make any difference. Jews, even back then, figured that if a Messiah claimant died before achieving the “goals” (as it were) that the Messiah was supposed to achieve, was not the Messiah.

    Heck, back in 1996, the Rabbinical Council of America, the body to which virtually all modern Orthodox or centrist Orthodox rabbis belong, by an overwhelming majority, passed a resolution reading: “In light of disturbing developments which have arisen in the Jewish community, the Rabbinical Council of America in convention assembled declares that there is not and has never been a place in Judaism for the belief that Mashiach ben David [the Messiah, son of David] will begin his messianic mission only to experience death, burial and resurrection before completing it.”

    This underscores that long-held belief: a Messiah claimant who dies before completing his mission is not the Messiah, and, there is not now, nor ever has been, a place in Judaism for the belief in a Messiah who will experience death, burial and resurrection before completing his mission.

    So, we’ve got an empty tomb and a sighting by Joe ben Blow (and, hey, maybe even by a few others). And, these kinds of sightings are common. Even Joe ben Blows aunt Miriam “saw” her deceased husband Shalom ben Jerusalem after he died. But, that didn’t make S. ben J. a “Messiah”.

    I guess I’m just needing you to “flesh out” your scenario a bit more, because I’m still not seeing how we get from an empty tomb, and a few “sightings”, to “Messiah”.

    And – in particular – to be as specific as possible – I’m not seeing how you get from an empty tomb and a few sightings to a movement that actually grew among the Jewish population. The group of those Jews that believe that Schneerson is the Messiah and that he will be resurrected has, from what I’ve read, shrunk over the years. Yet, it started out with tens of thousands.

    According to your theory, we’ve got Jesus, and I’m guessing around 100-120 followers, his crucifixion, death, and burial – and then, an empty tomb and a few sightings which were no different than the sightings of many others in the community of their own deceased loved-ones.

    UNLESS I’m reading you wrong, or unless you have more info and detail you can illuminate me with, I’m just not seeing how to get from a dead Jesus, an empty tomb, and a few sightings to claims of a Messiah and a movement that actually grows among the Jews, despite serious push-back.

    SO – I’m not “taking issue” with anything you’ve said. I’m ASKING, politely, in the spirit of a civil, scholastic conversation, if you can / will address the concerns I’ve mentioned.

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    1. So, Jesus is killed. He’s not the Messiah. Being crucified put an end to that idea.

      Maybe for most Jews but to assume ALL Jews would consider it the end is a generalization and an assumption.

      if we simply look up the info on how many people are estimated to have lived between the time of “Homer” (referring to the construction of the poems, which scholars generally agree were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC), and figure 20% of those people had experienced some type of “crisis apparition”, then we come up with at least hundreds of thousands. And, none of those turned into “resurrection stories”, despite the fact that the person(s) who experienced them thought they were very real at the time.

      Resurrection was an exclusively Jewish concept. The idea that the physical body could come back to life was not part of the mindset of first century Greeks or Romans. Resurrection was very much a part of the mindset of many Jews.

      People have “visions” and ghost sightings that are consistent with what they are familiar with; primarily with persons, customs, and beliefs in their culture. So it would be remarkable if an ancient Greek or Roman claimed that the BODY of their deceased loved one had appeared to them. Such a claim by a first century Jew would be odd since Jews believed that the resurrection of the dead would happen all at once, but the core resurrection concept was still there.

      By definition a new religious sect is an off-shoot of the mother religion. The sect, which the mother religion labels as “heretics”, borrows some of the mother religion’s teachings but gives them a new twist. I believe that this is what happened with the earliest Christians. They desperately wanted to maintain their Jewish hopes and dreams. A resurrection is what they came up with to keep their hopes and dreams alive.

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    2. Clearly, the belief (or, hope) that Jesus was the Messiah can’t make any difference. Jews, even back then, figured that if a Messiah claimant died before achieving the “goals” (as it were) that the Messiah was supposed to achieve, was not the Messiah.

      You are correct. That is exactly what the overwhelming majority of first century Jews did regarding the messiah pretender Jesus of Nazareth. He was dead. They wrote him off. Only about 120 hardcore zealots held out hope, if we are to believe the author of Acts.

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  6. ” an empty tomb, and a few sightings to claims of a Messiah and a movement that actually grows among the Jews, despite serious push-back.”

    what “serious push backs” for almost 10 years, what “push backs” did the key “apostles” get?

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  7. Gary –

    If all it takes is a “core concept” of bodily resurrection (as, of course, in Judaism), plus a “missing body”, and some type of “experience” (hallucination or other non-veridical vision) to claim “resurrection”, then resurrection claims should have been much more common.

    I suggest the reason they weren’t more common (and, after all, we know of only one such story) is because the “core concept” of resurrection was not simply that “the dead shall rise”, but rather, that “the dead shall rise at the last day”.

    I would suggest that this belief about resurrection was the very thing that prohibited others from claiming a lost loved one had been resurrected. Resurrection just didn’t happen that way.

    Practically “everybody” in western culture knows that Santa comes at Christmas. He doesn’t come on birthdays, or when you lose a tooth. A kid, who “believes” in Santa (and is old enough to at least understand the difference between Christmas and Veterans Day) will correct you if you try to say “Santa comes on Veterans Day”. It’s just not part of the story at all.

    So, I’m saying this is the very reason you don’t hear other resurrection tales from first century Judea.

    A Jewish person could lose a loved one, even have the body disappear, but “resurrection” would not enter their mind, any more than it would enter MY mind these days – and for the same reason – resurrection happens at the last day.

    That’s why, when the body of a girl went missing from a funeral home in San Antonio, nobody claimed “resurrection”. Same thing last century, when the body of a person was exhumed, and, the grave was found empty, nobody claimed “resurrection”. In both cases, it had to be something else, because resurrections just don’t happen like that. At least, not in any “normative” Christian or Jewish view. Nope, a resurrection just doesn’t “fit”, and that’s why you don’t hear such stories now among Christians, and I would strongly assert, the very reason you don’t hear such stories from the Jews in the first century.

    What I’m getting at is that there had to have been something more than just a missing body and a few visions….

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    1. What I’m getting at is that there had to have been something more than just a missing body and a few visions….

      Millions of Jews who are very familiar with the concept of bodily resurrection, say you are wrong! Millions of Jews in Jesus’ day, millions of Jews for the last 20 centuries, and millions of Jews today believe that the Jesus Resurrection belief arose due to a cause or combination of causes other than an actual resurrection. So your opinion is in opposition to millions of people who INVENTED the concept of resurrection! That is a question you should ask yourself: Why did so many people who believed in resurrection reject the resurrection of Jesus claim? Why did only a very, very small percentage of resurrection-believing Jews EVER believe this resurrection claim? I think you should focus on that glaring problem to the Resurrection of Jesus Belief than the fact that few if any people have claimed to have seen a resurrected relative.

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      1. I think you’re seeing that entirely wrong.

        those millions of Jews are claiming it couldn’t have been resurrection because resurrection “happens at the last day”. In other words, they are asserting EXACTLY the “prohibition” I talked about: Jesus couldn’t have been resurrected, because resurrection is a general resurrection at the last day

        And THAT’S EXACTLY why I said there HAD to have been something more than just a missing body and a few visions. Because Jesus’ OWN GROUP OF FOLLOWERS would have had the same beliefs that the other Jews had: resurrection is “general resurrection, at the last day”. There is simply no reason at all to believe that somehow, the peasants from Galilee who were generally seen as “religious conservatives” would have ever thought a resurrection could have happened as a “singular event”.

        Sure, you can say “assumption” (as you love to do), but then, so is your view “assumption”. (Which, incidentally, is a ridiculous word to use in a scholarly conversation).

        You can NOT exclude the likes of Peter, John, James, Paul, etc from “those who INVENTED the concept of resurrection!”

        Now, if you want, you can somehow explain how and why Peter, James, John, and whichever other followers of Jesus would be bold enough to say “oh, no, everybody else has it wrong, and resurrection is not just a ‘last day'” thing.

        But, if you can’t give some reason, some support to back up that idea, then all you’re doing is “special pleading”. ” That group of Jews – Jesus’ followers – were different

        I’m saying they weren’t any different than other Jews at all, in regards to believing that resurrection was a “last day” thing. And, I’m saying that for them to come out and claim a “singular resurrection” would have taken something much more than just a missing body and a few visions.

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        1. I’ve answered your question many times. You seem to believe that just because few if any people before or after Jesus have claimed to have seen a resurrected loved one then this one claim must be true. Human beings are superstitious creatures. I am not surprised by anything they come up with it.

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    2. @ (Censored) 😉
      What I’m getting at is that there had to have been something more than just a missing body and a few visions….

      Yes, (censored) they lied!
      In fact the whole thing is a work of fiction.
      Now THAT is the most plausible explanation of them all.

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  8. re: “You seem to believe that just because few if any people before or after Jesus have claimed to have seen a resurrected loved one then this one claim must be true.”

    Oh, goodness. If that’s how it “seems”, then either I am not communicating well or you are not reading with great clarity. I, for one, do not claim to know which of those is the problem.

    You’ve completely agreed with me, though, that Jews (that held to a notion of resurrection) would have recoiled “back then” in the first century as they do now at the idea of a “singular resurrection” – MILLIONS of them, in fact.

    Yet you have not given any reason to support the notion that Jesus’ followers would have somehow been “different”, and had real reason to believe that Jesus was indeed resurrected in a “singular” fashion.

    Your idea that a “missing body” and a few “experiences” (ie, hallucinations, non-veridical visions) would have been sufficient cause for them to claim a “singular resurrection” must therefore mean that any Jew who had lost a loved one, and could not account for the body, and had such aforementioned experiences could also have claimed “resurrection” – and yet, we have no such accounts. None. And, the very reason is just as I’ve said – and, as YOU’VE said – resurrection was a “general resurrection at the last day”, and not a “singular” thing.

    So, to put it plainly, your theory doesn’t hold water. On one hand, you’re arguing that Jews believed in a general resurrection at the last day, and therefore, would reject the idea of a singular resurrection, and on the other hand, you’re arguing that certain Jews were claiming a “singular resurrection” based on nothing more than experiences that many would have had, and yet, never claimed singular resurrection.

    It would be really interesting if you could give some actual reasons why Peter, John, et al, were “different” than the majority of resurrection-believing Jews, yet, you haven’t.

    So, your theory is quite unsatisfactory to me.

    And, this has nothing whatsoever to do with whether I believe Jesus were resurrected or not. I’m saying this solely on the basis of what we know about Judaism, resurrection beliefs, and the commonality of “crisis apparitions” and even un-accounted-for bodies of deceased loved-ones.

    Your case remains one of special pleading.

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    1. Yet you have not given any reason to support the notion that Jesus’ followers would have somehow been “different”, and had real reason to believe that Jesus was indeed resurrected in a “singular” fashion.

      It is called: the emergence of a minority religious sect, a religious group similar is some respects to the mother religion but different enough from the mother religion to be considered “heretics”.

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  9. “And THAT’S EXACTLY why I said there HAD to have been something more than just a missing body and a few visions. Because Jesus’ OWN GROUP OF FOLLOWERS would have had the same beliefs that the other Jews had: resurrection is “general resurrection, at the last day”

    jesus’ own group would have had the same view that other jews had? Then they (the 12) went around telling the jews that dead saints appeared to many , but “we couldnt get jesus to ride on a donkey again, he gone to heaven” ?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Gary, on a slight side-note and for the sake of broader perspective and historical clarity of Hellenistic tampering, distorting, defacing, diverting, and hijacking of Judaism’s Messianism:

    Before there becomes any debate about an empty tomb and a floating body (filled with helium?) up into the sky somehow demonstrates God’s Son and Lamb, it can be reasonably (or overwhelmingly) shown that Yeshua bar Yosef (Jesus) was NOT the retro-graded Greco-Roman version of a Jewish Messiah. Period.

    The legendary mythical tales of Yeshua bar Yosef’s birth and lineage MORE THAN ADEQUATELY disqualify Greek Jesus as any pseudo-Messiah, much less the Messiah that fulfills perfectly Judaism’s six (6) clear-cut requisites to be a Messiah!

    Christendom has a warehouse of multiple problematic, contradictory, and bogus claims by 1st- thru 5th-century Greco-Roman theologians that reflect so very little of who and what 1st-century Naziri/Nazirites/Nasoraeans actually were. Why? Because they choose to read only ONE genre/source of bad history: Greco-Roman (Hellenic) New Testament books and Patristic commentaries. Nothing else.

    Like

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