Five Hundred People Today Claim to See a Resurrected Corpse. What Evidence Would You Require to Believe Them?

Why Didn't Josephus Mention Jesus' Resurrection Appearance to Five Hundred  People? – Escaping Christian Fundamentalism

Many conservative Christians are shocked and appalled that the alleged eyewitness testimony of over 500 people in first century Palestine is not sufficient evidence for skeptics to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Yet, would these same Christians believe the claim of five hundred mostly poor and uneducated people today who claim that they had seen a resurrected corpse? I doubt it.

Why do most modern, educated Christians scoff at the fantastical supernatural claims and eyewitness testimony of poor, uneducated villagers in India and Africa, not bothering to spend even five seconds investigating these claims, but expect the world to accept as fact the alleged eyewitness testimony of five hundred mostly poor and uneducated first century Middle Eastern peasants?

It just does not make sense.

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End of post.

7 thoughts on “Five Hundred People Today Claim to See a Resurrected Corpse. What Evidence Would You Require to Believe Them?

    1. Very good point.

      However, Christians ignore that fact, assuming that since Paul states in I Corinthians 15 that most of these 500 eyewitnesses were still alive at the time of his writing of that epistle, he must have met and interviewed some of them.

      Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions: the glue that holds together the Christian Resurrection (tall) tale.

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  1. What most evangelical Christians don’t want to admit is that their belief in the Resurrection is not based primarily on historical evidence. The primary reason most evangelical Christians believe in the Resurrection is their subjective perception of a spirit (ghost) living inside their bodies, giving them secret wisdom and life guidance. And who is this ghost/spirit? Answer: the guy whose corpse allegedly came back to life 2,000 years ago in the “Resurrection”!

    Seriously?? Yes, educated people in the 21st century still believe that a ghost can “dwell within” them.

    For non-evangelical Christians, I have found that the belief that Jesus fulfilled Old Testament fortune-telling (prophecy) is a major reason why they believe in the Resurrection. Yet, when one takes a look at these prophecies, every single one of them is contested. They are contested because they are vague. How about giving us a GOOD prophecy, Christians. How about this one engraved on a stone in Babylon during the Babylonian captivity:

    “On April 5, 6 BCE a virgin named Mary will give birth to God in human form in the city of Bethlehem, due to a census of the entire world, mandated by a great empire centered in Rome. The child will be named Jesus.”

    Nope. The Christian god doesn’t like being so specific. He enjoys communicating with human beings in parables and vague fortune-telling. But it’s not like their eternal destiny is at stake, for Pete’s sake! 🙂

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  2. Hector Avalos gives an example of a sighting of Mary that meets many of the criteria Protestant apologists use to try to convince people of the resurrection in his book “The End Of Biblical Studies.” Yet, of course, they don’t give the Mary sighting any credence, because it goes against their theology. So as you point out, it’s not really about evidence.

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  3. I know your point is about why people today don’t believe miracles outside their own tradition, but I thought I’d make this observation about the 500 story.

    I recently rewatched the movie Agora, where a lame attempt to walk across some hot coals at the beginning of the story gets embellished to the point of being called a miracle by the end. This is probably another way a few people “seeing” Jesus could get embellished into 500 ( of course go to a big charismatic church today and you can get 500 or more experiencing a mass delusion at the same time). Paul may have just heard the story and then repeated it without ever knowing any one of these probably non existent 500. And if they happened to be at the other end of the Levant – in an age before phones or email or quick travel – no one could call Paul on it. Plus, we’ve seen in the Trump era how a false story people want to believe will continue to be retold no matter how often it is refuted.

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    1. Very true but Christians make up all kinds of rationalizations for why the early Christians were different:

      –devout, Torah-observant Jews are better at maintaining their oral histories than anyone else.
      –Mediterranean cultures were oral cultures; they would never let their traditions and histories be tainted by exaggeration and legend.
      –legends take hundreds of years to develop, not a couple of years or decades.

      Again: Assumptions are the glue that holds together the Christian superstition.

      Liked by 1 person

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