Why Would Jesus’ Family Believe He Had Risen From the Dead Unless They Had Seen His Risen Body?

ST JOSEPH'S WORKSHOP – AnaStpaul

Holy Moly (Christian): You need to show me evidence of someone who had hallucinations, dreams, whatever, and then went on to develop the delusional belief that their deceased loved one has come back to life and left the grave.

Why? Because YOU DO NOT KNOW that the disciples saw hallucinations, had dreams, or whatever. You’re just ASSUMING that. And you (like Ehrman, Ludemann, et all) are ASSUMING it, yet, have NO DATA and NO EVIDENCE to show that anyone has ever had hallucinations (etc) and then came to believe the lost loved one had come back to life and left the grave.

You can think that’s what happened, you can postulate it as does Ehrman and Ludemann. But, you can’t give a single example to give any reason whatsoever to support the idea.

Gary: Is it or is not possible that Jesus’ family came to believe that Jesus had returned from the dead, appeared to them, and left his grave empty without any supernatural involvement?

Millions of Jews, who have rejected this claim ever since the first day Christians started make it and for the last 2,000 years, whose numbers include tens of thousands of brilliant scientists, medical experts, psychologists, and psychiatrists, overwhelmingly say: Yes! It is possible!

So what do you know that they do not?

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End of post.

33 thoughts on “Why Would Jesus’ Family Believe He Had Risen From the Dead Unless They Had Seen His Risen Body?

  1. “Is it or is not possible that Jesus’ family came to believe that Jesus had returned from the dead, appeared to them, and left his grave empty without any supernatural involvement?

    Millions of Jews, who have rejected this claim ever since the first day Christians started make it and for the last 2,000 years, whose numbers include tens of thousands of brilliant scientists, medical experts, psychologists, and psychiatrists, overwhelmingly say: Yes! It is possible!”

    Logical Fallacy – The Bandwagon: This fallacy is based on the idea that if many people agree on the same point, it must be true.

    I expect this kind of logical fallacy from you, Gary. You actually excel at logical fallacies.

    OF COURSE it’s possible that Jesus’ family came to believe that Jesus had returned from the dead, appeared to them, and left his grave empty – without any supernatural involvement. Anything is “possible”.

    But, so what? That’s not the question. The question is whether it’s LIKELY or not. Is it LIKELY that Jesus’ family came to believe that Jesus had returned from the dead, appeared to them, and left his grave empty – without it really having happened?

    The likelihood of that is virtually zero.

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    1. OF COURSE it’s possible that Jesus’ family came to believe that Jesus had returned from the dead, appeared to them, and left his grave empty – without any supernatural involvement. Anything is “possible”.

      Thank you.

      And as I said multiple times, you and I will never agree on what is “likely” (probability). Why? Because in your worldview a never heard of before or since, supernatural, laws-of-physics defying resurrection is more likely than a once in history family believing that their loved one has returned from the dead and that his grave is empty.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. How do we know reliably that Jesus’ family did see him return from the dead? Is it based on the same source from which we are trying to establish that he rose from the dead?

      I’ll be happy to accept the consensus of neutral scholars (those from institutions that don’t have a creedal requirement) that Jesus’ family did think he resurrected.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Let”s start with Paul: he hallucinated that he’d seen Jesus and became convinced he must have risen from the dead. Paul goes on to say that the risen Christ also appeared to James, assumed to be Jesus’s brother, in the precisely the same way, therefore also as a vision. So there’s your evidence that a deluded, superstitious family member can hallucinate and believe their loved one has survived death.
    Christians today have a similar experience; they may not hallucinate but they have an emotional experience at conversion and believe its actually someone who rose from the dead 2000 years ago.
    Maybe Holy Moly did this too. He says his faith doesn’t come from the untrustworthy gospels but won’t tell us how it came about. We can only assume it was through an experience like this; the very one he’s claiming can’t possibly have happened to Jesus’s family.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m sorry, Neil — exactly how do you know Paul hallucinated anything at all?

    As far as I can tell, that’s exactly the issue at hand: did Paul (and others) hallucinate, or did they see an objectively-existent, risen Jesus?

    Evidently, though, neither you nor Gary seem to “get” that you have to provide some basis for postulating that they were hallucinating, and the way to do that is to provide some documented instance in which a person did indeed hallucinate “seeing” a lost loved-one, then went on to develop the delusional belief that the lost loved-one had come back to life and exhumed themself from the grave.

    But, just simply repeating an “idea” doesn’t mean that idea has merit.

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    1. Do you have verifiable, empirical, and objective evidence that Paul and “the others” did not hallucinate? And just because a 2000+ year old book says so doesn’t meet the verifiable qualifications.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Evidently, though, neither you nor Gary seem to “get” that you have to provide some basis for postulating that they were hallucinating

      No. We do not.

      When crime detectives are evaluating the evidence for a crime, the first step in solving the crime is to make hypotheses about possible causes, with the most likely causes at the top of the list. For instance, for a crime in which money is missing from a bank vault:

      –an employee is embezzling funds.
      –clever thieves broke into the vault.

      And somewhere way, way down on the list:

      –demons did it!

      That is what Neil and I are doing. We are making hypotheses. We are not saying we have solved the crime. We are coming up with a list of the most probable causes. And based on cumulative human experience illusions, delusions, vivid dreams, and cases of mistaken identity are much more probable causes for seeing a dead person than actually seeing a dead person.

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      1. So the next question to you would be:

        Why do you believe a resurrection is more probable than a family coming to believe that their loved one has returned from the dead and his grave is empty?

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Paul himself relates that God revealed Jesus ‘within him’, i.e. in Paul’s own head. For example, Galatians 1.12 & 15: ‘For I did not receive it (the gospel) from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ… God was pleased to reveal his Son in me…’ ‘Revelation, revealed, in me’: there’s no physical man here.
      In fact, nowhere does Paul say he’s seen a physically raised Jesus. Nowhere. Instead, he states explicitly that Jesus was raised as a ‘life giving spirit’ (1 Corinthians 15.45.) He also tells us that James’ experience of the risen Christ was the same as his own (1 Corinthians 15.7 & 8).
      You’ve been told this umpteen times, FT, but still you persist in claiming we can’t know for sure. Yes. We. Can.
      Be as stubbornly ignorant as you want, but quit coming back with this same disingenuous claim that we can’t know what Paul ‘saw’ or said. We do. He imagined it all and concocted an entire theology from his bizarre ‘revelations”.

      Liked by 2 people

    4. Because he tells us he did. See my comment elsewhere in this thread, replete with chapter and verse references from Paul’s letters. You stubbornly refuse to recognise this fact and instead hammer away demanding evidence that those who saw the risen Jesus were hallucinating or imagining it. You have it, but you won’t recognise it so do the decent thing and stop trolling. How Gary puts up with you I don’t know,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gary –

    Let’s be very clear here: it’s YOU that keeps on bringing up “a family”. I don’t. The fact is, the claim of of the 1 Cor Creed – a creedal expression of the core beliefs of the very earliest church – are that Jesus was seen by Peter and by “The Twelve”.

    “Family” gets into the picture only through James, whom most scholars believe was an addition, along with “the 500”, and Paul himself, by Paul.

    So, the QUESTION is “Why do you believe a resurrection is more probable than a dozen individual men coming to believe that their loved one has returned from the dead and his grave is empty? [and note, I’m presuming you mean “without a miracle” or “without the intervention of God”]

    Furthermore, we can say “a dozen individual men”, and later Paul, because Paul himself say in other context (of his own writings) that he saw the risen Jesus.

    THAT’S the question, Gary. You might as well drop this “family” thing.

    Now, do you want to talk about the REAL question?

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    1. “Why do you believe a resurrection is more probable than a dozen individual men coming to believe that their loved one has returned from the dead and his grave is empty? [and note, I’m presuming you mean “without a miracle” or “without the intervention of God”]

      Ok. Please tell us why you believe a resurrection is more probable than 12 different individuals coming to the conclusion that their friend/loved one has returned from the dead and his grave is empty. I personally find the latter much more probable than the former…by a long shot! And I will bet that most modern, educated, non-Christians—theists and non-theists—would agree with me.

      Here is what I would hypothesize happened: One disciple had a vivid dream of Jesus coming back from the dead. He told the rest. Then other disciples had vivid dreams, illusions, and cases of mistaken identity. Then once the hysteria has reached a fever pitch, a group of disciples sees a bright light…and believe it to be the resurrected Jesus. Perfectly explainable and probable because when one looks at less educated, more superstitious branches of Christianity today, one sees this kind of behavior…ALL THE TIME!

      Why in the world would any modern, educated person believe that a resurrection is more probable than 12 people believing a delusional claim unless that person has had some form of mystical Jesus experience him or herself???

      (And once again, we are making many assumptions to even get to this question. One of those assumptions is that 12 individuals made such a claim. For all we know, one or two individuals made the claim and the rest are fictitious inventions.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. re: “One disciple had a vivid dream of Jesus coming back from the dead.”

    OK, so, ummm… you think that when the Creed says “…seen by Peter…”, then, a having a vivid dream is the same as “seeing”?

    And, you think that a vivid dream, which you wake up from, would be enough to convince you that a dead person must have left his grave because he came back to life?

    I mean… lemme get this straight. True Story: I had a dream of my dearly-loved and deceased Mom. Very vivid. And, I wouldn’t know how to “quantify” this, but for me (at any rate) it’s difficult to imagine tht Peter missed Jesus any more than I miss my Mom. BUT — I didn’t have even the slightest urge to get on the phone and call my brothers and say “guess what – Mom’s alive! She’s not buried over there next to our brother any more! She has left the grave, and she is alive!”.

    Nope. That thought never crossed my mind.

    So, you’re going to have to “flesh this out” a bit more for me, ’cause I just don’t see it.

    And, it BEGS the question: Exactly why did Peter figure that Jesus “ranked” high enough to come back from the dead, when nobody else does???? I mean, MLK ranked awful high – but nobody has claimed he was resurrected. Rebbe Schneerson ranked really REALLY high – and people even believed he would be resurrected. But nobody has claimed that he has been resurrected. I mean, dang, history is FULL of incredible people that have done incredible and wonderful things, but none of them got ranked high enough such that one of their former “followers” thought “oh, yeh, he/she MUST have been resurrected – cause I Had a Dream!!!!”

    So, you need to flesh this out a bit for me. Cause it looks pretty durn flimsy right now.

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    1. Human beings have come up with thousands of really nutty ideas and claims throughout human history. Check your history books.

      So again, why do you believe that a never heard of before or since, laws of physics defying, resurrection is more probable than that an illiterate, superstitious, first century religious zealot had a vivid dream that his leader and friend had come back from the dead and continued to believe his friend had come back from the dead after he woke up?

      In my worldview, no matter how unlikely it is that a person would believe that his loved one had come back from the dead based on a vivid dream, it is a billion times more unlikely that a laws-of-physics event, in particular a resurrection, would occur.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. And, it BEGS the question: Exactly why did Peter figure that Jesus “ranked” high enough to come back from the dead, when nobody else does????

      Because Peter believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the greatest of all prophet-kings God would ever send to Israel, and he [Jesus] therefore had to be alive to fulfill his destiny???

      There are a lot of reasons why ignorant superstitious people come up with cockimammy ideas!

      Now, “Why do you believe a resurrection is more probable than a dozen individual men coming to believe that their loved one has returned from the dead and his grave is empty?

      I answered your question. Now you answer mine.

      Like

    3. In Matthew 1:20, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. There is no need to posit that anyone mistook a vivid dream for reality when people accepted that supernatural appearances in dreams were part of reality.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If this story in Matthew 1:20 has any truth at all to it, it shows just how superstitious and gullible Jesus’ family was. So no one should be surprised that they accepted as fact the claims by a few of Jesus’ disciples that they had seen him back from the dead and that his grave was empty.

        Superstitious people are prone to believe ANYTHING.

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  6. By the way…

    Explain to me how YOU know all the laws of physics, and thus, what is probable or improbable based on those laws?

    I know you buy into the ancient Hume argument, and yeh, his argument almost made sense back when he came up with it. It was something like “miracles are impossible because miracles aren’t possible”. (I think that’s a safe paraphrase)

    But then, Hume believed in a static universe. And, that’s pretty much NOT the case.

    So, just figuring that you must have learned a great deal about physics, could you affirm for me that you actually do know ALL the laws of physics? And do you know if they necessarily work the same across the whole of the universe?

    I mean, modern physicists KNOW that the laws are descriptive, not prescriptive. Nothing has ever once occurred because of a law of physics. They aren’t laws that govern anything. They just describe things – primarily, how things work – as far as we know.

    So, expound on this a bit for me. I’m all ears. Tell me exactly how a miracle somehow “breaks” any laws of physics – and, of course, tell me how that particular “broken” law – one which isn’t prescriptive – was actually “broken”, as opposed to simply acting exactly as it should in the presence of another force?

    Really, I’m all ears. Tell me your Ultimate Knowledge of the Universe. I’ll be taking notes.

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    1. I mean, modern physicists KNOW that the laws are descriptive, not prescriptive. Nothing has ever once occurred because of a law of physics. They aren’t laws that govern anything. They just describe things – primarily, how things work – as far as we know

      You are exactly correct. Unlike the “laws” of your religion, the laws of science/physics are descriptive, meaning that they can be changed at any time that new evidence comes to light that warrants their revision. But as of this moment, no event has ever occurred in the history of the human race, which scientists have verified as having defied the descriptive laws of science. For instance, scientists have never documented the levitation of tables, cows, or people. The Law of Gravity still holds firm. Now, of course, one could say that such an event has happened, but science has not witnessed it. That is certainly possible. But until scientists actually document the Law of Gravity being broken, scientists and those who respect science like myself will continue to believe in the inviolability of the Law of Gravity.

      Now, stop the stone-walling and answer my question: “Why do you believe a resurrection is more probable than a dozen individual men coming to believe that their loved one has returned from the dead and his grave is empty?

      If you refuse to answer the question this time, we will all know that you are backed into a corner.

      Like

      1. Good grief, Gary – you already KNOW the answer to that question.

        I don’t think a dozen – or even a half-dozen – men would tell the family of a deceased loved-one the patently absurd story that the deceased had come back to life and managed to get themselves out of a tomb or grave – unless – as patently absurd as it seems – it were verifiably and objectively true. And furthermore, I don’t believe any of the “alternative versions” can explain HOW you’d get a dozen – or even a half-dozen – men to tell such a patently absurd story to the grieving family who lost a loved one.

        Are we to start from ground zero again??? If we do, will you pay attention this time?

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        1. I don’t believe any of the “alternative versions” can explain HOW you’d get a dozen – or even a half-dozen – men to tell such a patently absurd story to the grieving family who lost a loved one.”

          Like I said several times before, in your world a never heard of before or since supernatural resurrection is more probable than 12 dudes believing that their friend/loved one had come back from the dead, paid them a visit, and left an empty grave all due to vivid dreams, illusions, and cases of mistaken identity. But in my world, and in the world of most non-Christians, theist and non-theists, the latter is a billion times more probable than the former.

          We’re done.

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          1. Yet again, you missed the point.

            I said “I don’t think a dozen – or even a half-dozen – men would TELL the family….”

            That’s the point you REFUSE to address. It’s not the “believing” part. It’s the TELLING part. You could maybe find a dozen guys that might BELIEVE that somebody had been raised from the dead and left their grave. But you couldn’t get them to actually SAY that to the family. They might sit around with their tinfoil hats on, telling each other how they each believe that the dead guy came back to life and left his grave, but it’s a totally different game when they’d find themselves having to say that to the family of the deceased. Coming face to face with reality has a remarkable effect on bullshit stories. And I think a totally absurd story like “your son/daughter has come back to life and left their grave, and darn it we’ve seen them” is about as utterly bogus it gets….. unless it’s true.

            So, you keep on thinking this is about whether 12 guys would believe something, but, nope, it’s not. Never has been. But, you’ve never been one to pay much attention.

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            1. @ Holy Moly
              How about we suggest it is all a tall-tale made from whole cloth?
              When considered with what we do know about the bible accounts, (gospels and Saul/Paul,) this is much more likely. Especially as there is no evidence for any of it outside of the bible,

              For some reason while reading this particular thread I had the thought that perhaps your belief stems from an encounter that may have been similar to the character Saul/Paul?
              Would <I be way off the mark I wonder?

              Like

                1. Sometimes I find Gary’s posts somewhat frustrating. He is an atheist for heaven’s God’s … dammit, goodness’ sake so why not simply focus on evidence rather than argue with an indoctrinated ”faither” like FT, Holy Moly or whatever current Douleur dans le cul name he is using who is slipperier than a greased-up eel.

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                  1. Maybe it keeps Gary from getting bored???

                    I think I understand where Gary is coming from but IMO, it’s a fruitless endeavor. “He who goes by many names” is super indoctrinated and has no desire or capacity to look outside his deeply embedded “faith.”

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                    1. Hey, it’s Gary’s blog and he does a fine job but sometimes it gets too ”involved” and with a slippery eel like FT it’s like playing tennis without a net, especially as FT simply refuses to divulge any specifics of his ”conversion’ (encounter with the Lake Tiberius Pedestrian).

                      But, all the same it’s fun to ponder how seemingly intelligent people like Holy Moly are able to leave critical thought at the door and somehow still expect to be taken seriously.

                      Liked by 1 person

            2. But you couldn’t get them to actually SAY that to the family.

              Your incredulity regarding the capability of human beings to believe and say the stupidest of things is amazing.

              Once again…in my world view it is much more probable that ONE THOUSAND individuals told the family of Jesus that their loved one had risen from the dead and his grave is empty than a resurrection.

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              1. re: “Your incredulity regarding the capability of human beings to believe and say the stupidest of things is amazing.”

                Oh, my incredulity isn’t that amazing. I mean, I’ve seen that capability of human beings to believe and say the stupidest of things just by reading some of what you say. 🙂

                (what can I say? you leave yourself wide open for that kind of response…)

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                1. Yes, typical cultist. If backed into a corner on your superstitions, you personally attack the skeptic. Are you EVER going to answer this question:

                  Why do you believe that a resurrection is more probable than that a few illiterate, superstitious peasants told Jesus’ family that they had seen him back from the dead and that his grave was empty?

                  From now on, every time you comment I am going to ask you this question, and if you continue to avoid it, we will all see how irrational your thinking really is.

                  Liked by 1 person

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