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Source: (consider it) Thread: The historicity of the resurrection
Sipech
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"A quarter of people who describe themselves as Christians in Great Britain do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus, a survey commissioned by the BBC suggests."

There are lots of potential points of discussion here, not least the open questions about what one means by "word-for-word" or "active Christians".

I thought it might be good to focus on the central issue: what do Shipmates understand by term "resurrection of Jesus"?

On this matter, I veer towards the more orthodox view, looking primarily around the resurrection and seeing some pretty clear evidence that something happened that caused a sea-change between the contemporary Jewish views of resurrection and the proclamation of the early church.

So what was that something? Trying to understand resurrection as some kind of "spiritual experience" is a neat way of avoiding the question of historicity, yet I can't find myself persuaded by it. It seems like an easy kop out that avoids the very difficult conclusion that Jesus, who was dead, became alive again, walking and talking with various people for a few weeks afterwards.

It's a conclusion that I'm not convinced people should jump to with great ease. The ramifications are certainly profound and the evidence is, admittedly, far from clear cut.

If Jesus didn't physically rise from the dead, then Jesus is still dead and has been for two millenia. If that is the case, then where is the source of Christian hope?

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I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheAlethiophile

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Sipech:


I thought it might be good to focus on the central issue: what do Shipmates understand by term "resurrection of Jesus"?


Pretty straightforward for me - for us men and for our salvation he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again, in accordance with the scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

I believe all of that to be literally true.

Otherwise, what's the point?

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And is it true? For if it is....

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mousethief

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A man was dead and buried. Then some 40-48 hours later he was alive again. If Christ is not risen then we are of all men most to be pitied.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Baptist Trainfan
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The late Marcus Borg, for whom I usually have some time, is unconvincing on the Resurrection. While saying that many of the resurrection appearances were merely visions, he then agrees that there were indeed “non-visionary experiences – of the same presence and power that his followers had known in Jesus during his historical life”, experiences which convinced his followers that Jesus was Lord: “a divine reality, one with God and having the qualities of God”.

So far so good; but Borg then asks whether Jesus had a physical or bodily resurrection. In his opinion, the NT “makes it clear” that Jesus was not “restored to his previous life as a physical being” – in Borg’s view, this would resuscitation rather than resurrection.

Borg then turns to a “mystical/spiritual” approach, which he also rejects because, he feels, it makes the resurrection sound unimportant, something which needn’t be taken seriously. He feels this is due to the modern meanings attached to the words “mystical” and “spiritual”; in older times, he avers, they suggested “a reality that is more important, more significant, than the space-time world of our ordinary everyday experience”.

Borg concludes that “the central meaning of Easter is not about whether something happened to the corpse of Jesus [but] that Jesus continues to be known and that he is Lord, ... loose in the world [and] still recruiting for the kingdom of God".

Now I’m sorry, but this seems to be a prime example of trying to have one’s cake and eating it, a play on words that fails to convince, a “fudge” of monstrous proportions. Surely there can only be two ways of considering the Resurrection: either by subjecting it to the tools of rationalism and thus denying its very possibility, or by saying that Jesus, as God, was not subject to these constraints.

To me, the whole point of the literal Resurrection is that it was a unique and active intervention by God into the affairs of this world.

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bib
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'And if Christ is not risen then our preaching is in vain and our faith is also in vain'. This I believe sincerely and it is a cornerstone of my faith. People have become so sceptical, partly because so much emphasis is put on scientific proof. However, we can't prove everything and must take some things on trust. I cannot see the wind,but I acknowledge its existence. I cannot see God, but I know He is present.

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"My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring"

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Snags
Utterly socially unrealistic
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What They Said.

I think if you take a literal, physical, resurrection out of the equation then what you're left with isn't much more than some nice ideas and wishful thinking. At which point, there's nothing much to elevate Christ/Christianity above any other moral philosophy.

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Vain witterings :-: Vain pretentions :-: The Dog's Blog(locks)

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Doc Tor
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He died, he rose, he ascended. Without that, there's no Christ.

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Lost in Space

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I'm agnostic. I really don't know. I'd like to think so.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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lilBuddha
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If you are going to believe in a God who is the creator of the universe, then it is silly to deny the resurrection.
Like going into Greggs and denying pastry.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Like going into Greggs and denying pastry.

Perhaps not the best pastry, mind you! [Devil] [Overused]
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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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May I sing out of tune with this choir, at the bare least that confirmatory sawdust trail harmony is a feature in country gospel about which no discussion is possible ?

Come, follow me. Come believe in this. Which must come first? (I wrote them in my order)

If the OT may be read as allegory (creation, sun standing still examples), why not the NT?

If you're going to insist on literality, how might you minister to the quarter who flee this?

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
So far so good; but Borg then asks whether Jesus had a physical or bodily resurrection. In his opinion, the NT “makes it clear” that Jesus was not “restored to his previous life as a physical being” – in Borg’s view, this would resuscitation rather than resurrection.

To be fair, Paul is trying to address the same problem by talking about a 'spiritual body'. He wants to say that it's on the body side of the body/soul divide, but it's changed from the physical body that Jesus died as.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
If you are going to believe in a God who is the creator of the universe, then it is silly to deny the resurrection.

Is it? Why?

It seems perfectly reasonable to me to have a picture of the deity whose actions are geologically slow, who genetically modifies creation over millions of years and who does not get involved in affairs of men.

It is reasonable to believe that that God who does get involved with the affairs of men, but, as it happened had nothing particular to do with this guy Jesus of Nazareth.

It is perfectly reasonable to believe that there is a creator God, that he does get involved in the affairs of men, that he was somehow speaking through the man called Jesus of Nazareth - but that the resurrection was a fabrication based on wishful thinking.

I don't think any of those options are "silly" and I can't see that they are really a contradiction.

I'm not even sure it is a contradiction to believe in the Trinity and to believe that the Christ died. It takes a bit of mental gymnastics, but I don't think that's silly either.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
So far so good; but Borg then asks whether Jesus had a physical or bodily resurrection. In his opinion, the NT “makes it clear” that Jesus was not “restored to his previous life as a physical being” – in Borg’s view, this would resuscitation rather than resurrection.

To be fair, Paul is trying to address the same problem by talking about a 'spiritual body'. He wants to say that it's on the body side of the body/soul divide, but it's changed from the physical body that Jesus died as.
The big difference is that after you remove all the theological pleading that Borg does that his conclusion is simply that God did nothing to the physical body of the historical Jesus. He says it plainly, the Jesus of the past is dead and gone.

What remains is the Christ of Faith, which for Borg, is the Christ of Christian imagination and faith. Borg believes at the end of the day, that the Church thought up this Jesus and his belief is that this is ok.

Paul may be pondering and wrestling with the precise nature of the resurrection body, but when he speaks of Christ rising again, I believe he means that the dead Jesus came back to life.

I believe that there must be continuity between the pre-Easter Jesus and the post-Easter Jesus. This continuity is simply this, God raised Jesus, physically and spiritually into new life, the fact that Borg doesn't entertain this, speaks to his discomfort with the miraculous.

[ 10. April 2017, 13:48: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Brenda Clough
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I have no problem believing in a physical resurrection -- a Jesus body that you can touch, and pass a piece of bread to, and sit at table with. Nor do I have problems believing that He has a larger level of reality, of which that physical body is only a piece. People do this all the time. Theologians should read more Marvel Comics.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer

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Enoch
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As far as I am concerned, I accept that it all happened more or less as described. The tomb was and is empty because the person who was inside it has risen from the dead. So I agree with what most people have already said.

Three extra thoughts though.

First, clearly Christ's risen body had certain properties that were different from those ours have and it had before he was crucified. I've often wondered whether the reason why the risen Christ could come through closed doors was not because he was spectral in some way but because he was more solid than the door, from everlasting rather than just temporal.

Second, if one is going to say scriptural events don't need to have happened because they speak of some higher truth hidden within them, that's a non sequitur. There aren't two separate category of event, those that speak of some higher hidden truth, symbolical, mythical or allegorical if you like, and those in a more mundane category because they actually happened. Unlike the events of my day today, which fall only in the second category, the events in the New Testament fall simultaneously into both categories. Indeed, what they have to say about their first category meaning is all the greater because they are not just symbolical, mythical, allegorical or whatever events, but because they didn't just happen on some symbolical, mythical or allegorical plane, but in history. That is why the gospels are so keen to date things, 'when Quirinius was Governor of Syria' or when Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea.

Third, why does it seem to matter so much to some people that they can come up with a reason, an explanation, which they hope will let them off believing the New Testament version of what happened? Why would people prefer to believe less rather than believe more?

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Why would people prefer to believe less rather than believe more?

Well, I suppose because generally simpler explanations are more beautiful and more satisfying than complex ones. That doesn't mean complex explanations are wrong, but if the question is why do people "prefer" a simple explanation, it is because simpler things have more power.

Someone dies when a building falls on them. An explanation that says they were bad, they did something bad in a past life or that they're unlucky or fated to die is something that many would choose to believe because it is so simple.

An explanation that talks about geological faults, building materials, weather conditions etc might be true, but far less believable - to the extent that one might believe these things as second-tier explanations as to how exactly the former ideas played out in the world.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Anglican_Brat
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The question boils down to your understanding of narrative. Do you view the resurrection narratives as myths which have no connection to actual, lived history, or do you view the resurrection narratives as describing something that happened?

Or to be fair to Borg and Crossan, is the resurrection about Jesus rising in the hearts of his disciples, or did Jesus actually rise from the dead?

Borg got some flack for his views of the resurrection because he tried to insist that his theology was not that the disciples had a warm and fuzzy feeling after Jesus died.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Sipech:

There are lots of potential points of discussion here, not least the open questions about what one means by "word-for-word" or "active Christians".

To go back to the OP I think a lot of the subsequent posts are referring back to these points perhaps unintentionally, and by it's very nature the Ship is likely to contain a greater percentage of people who believe in a literal resurrection (at least)
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Bishops Finger
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Enoch said:

I've often wondered whether the reason why the risen Christ could come through closed doors was not because he was spectral in some way but because he was more solid than the door, from everlasting rather than just temporal.

What a wonderful thought - I can feel a sermon coming on!

[Overused]

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Martin60
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As writ. As we declare.

@mr cheesy: no Christ, no God.

As for those who identify as no more than culturally Christian, God bless 'em!

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Love wins

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:

I've often wondered whether the reason why the risen Christ could come through closed doors was not because he was spectral in some way but because he was more solid than the door, from everlasting rather than just temporal.

This is a thought with many antecedent, probably most popularly expressed in "The Great Divorce"
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Nick Tamen

Ship's Wayfaring Fool
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
The question boils down to your understanding of narrative. Do you view the resurrection narratives as myths which have no connection to actual, lived history, or do you view the resurrection narratives as describing something that happened?

It's not either/or for me. I view the resurrection narratives (and for that matter, the Incarnation narratives and the passion narratives) as describing something that happened and that is, at the same time, myth. Or to put it another way, myth with a firm connection to actual, lived history—the intersection of myth and history.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Bishops Finger
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Thanks, chris - I had forgotten about The Great Divorce, and will now seek out my copy (it's around here somewhere...). I think I must have last read it not that long after it was published!

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
As far as I am concerned, I accept that it all happened more or less as described. The tomb was and is empty because the person who was inside it has risen from the dead. So I agree with what most people have already said.

Having just read Borg and Crossan's The Last Week, I have to ask, by whom? Obviously this isn't a particularly deep question- we have four gospels that sometimes tell different versions of events, and we have gotten along with them for 1900 years. But one of Borg and Crossan's points that I had never noticed is that none of the resurrection stores is the same. No single appearance story appears in more than one gospel. If they are describing a historical event where the body of Jesus actually appeared to folks, why such inconsistency?

Our rector's go-to Easter sermon acknowledges that people want to know if the story is true. She says that the best she can tell you is that if you let it be true for you, it has the power to change your life and the world. That is kind of where I am. I don't know if the stories related in the Gospels happened as told. But I attempt to live a life in which I acknowledge that the way of Jesus is more powerful than death, that death imposed by the temporal lords of the Earth could not contain him, and that Jesus is therefor Lord.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

If the OT may be read as allegory (creation, sun standing still examples), why not the NT?

Mind, I am not arguing that any of it is true, just about internal consistency. The OT is obviously, and logically, a mix of history and allegory. The NT less so.
My objection was based on the notion that opposition to the idea of resurrection was on possibility, not theology.
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
we have four gospels that sometimes tell different versions of events, and we have gotten along with them for 1900 years. But one of Borg and Crossan's points that I had never noticed is that none of the resurrection stores is the same. No single appearance story appears in more than one gospel. If they are describing a historical event where the body of Jesus actually appeared to folks, why such inconsistency?

Eyewitness are notoriously inconsistent with each other and often with themselves. Inconsistency in itself is not proof of veracity, mind, but too much consistency would likely be proof against it.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
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I can see that. But it's also important to keep in mind that each Gospel isn't just an attempt to tell us what happened. These are interpretations of the life and teachings of Jesus. They each come with their own agenda and voice. To pick the obvious example, Matthew goes out of his way to point out how the life of Jesus is fulfillment of old testament scripture, to the point that he seems to shoehorn in entire episodes (e.g., the flight into Egypt) that are not mentioned in the other Gospels.

It could be that the eyewitnesses were no longer entirely clear about where exactly everyone was when Jesus showed up, Jerusalem or Galilee. But from a critical perspective, it seems important to consider the ways that the differences in the Gospels can often come down to the Author's broader message.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Third, why does it seem to matter so much to some people that they can come up with a reason, an explanation, which they hope will let them off believing the New Testament version of what happened? Why would people prefer to believe less rather than believe more?

Speaking in general term and not of this particular topic, believing "more" isn't better unless it's also true.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
If you are going to believe in a God who is the creator of the universe, then it is silly to deny the resurrection.
Like going into Greggs and denying pastry.

[Overused]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

If you're going to insist on literality, how might you minister to the quarter who flee this?

Um, we'll love you all the same?

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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Please forgive triple post. Somebody somewhere said (was it D. Sayers?) that most of the difficulties reconciling events in the resurrection accounts vanish as soon as you stop to imagine the predictable behavior of a lot of freaked-out people running around in the early morning twilight.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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andras
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:

I've often wondered whether the reason why the risen Christ could come through closed doors was not because he was spectral in some way but because he was more solid than the door, from everlasting rather than just temporal.

This is a thought with many antecedent, probably most popularly expressed in "The Great Divorce"
And by dear Terry Pratchett, especially in Mort but also elsewhere.

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God's on holiday.
(Why borrow a cat?)
Adrian Plass

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Martin60
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# 368

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All it requires is a fourth spatial dimension. No poetry.

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Love wins

Posts: 15787 | From: More Corieltauvi than Dobunni now. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Al Eluia

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# 864

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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
If they are describing a historical event where the body of Jesus actually appeared to folks, why such inconsistency?

My take on that is that, although the reality behind the resurrection narratives is the same, each author had his own (and his community's) theological perspective shaping how the story is told. That, plus varying eyewitness accounts of an event several decades in the past, accounts for the differences. But I firmly believe that, though we can't know exactly what happened down to the last detail, something real happened that convinced that demoralized, scared band of disciples that Jesus had risen and that transformed them into bold proclaimers of the Good News.

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Og, King of Bashan

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# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
If they are describing a historical event where the body of Jesus actually appeared to folks, why such inconsistency?

My take on that is that, although the reality behind the resurrection narratives is the same, each author had his own (and his community's) theological perspective shaping how the story is told.
I love Sayers, but this is, to me, a much more honest response to the different narratives.

quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:
That, plus varying eyewitness accounts of an event several decades in the past, accounts for the differences. But I firmly believe that, though we can't know exactly what happened down to the last detail, something real happened that convinced that demoralized, scared band of disciples that Jesus had risen and that transformed them into bold proclaimers of the Good News.

This is about where I fall as well.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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leo
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# 1458

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I have a problem with the term 'historicity' in the title of this thread.

The resurrection is beyond history.

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:
But I firmly believe that, though we can't know exactly what happened down to the last detail, something real happened that convinced that demoralized, scared band of disciples that Jesus had risen and that transformed them into bold proclaimers of the Good News.

I'm not sure I buy "proof by narrative necessity". Belief that a leader has somehow escaped a grisly end is a (relatively) common phenomenon in history. Sebastião I of Portugal comes to mind. A less pleasant example is Emperor Nero. Such beliefs do not necessarily require a real event to inspire them.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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We're all in a post-resurrection reality, or a post-delusion one. We won't know until time ends.

So, historicity? No, or at least not in the way described. Those are not scientific descriptions; they are ways of describing the post-resurrection reality they were experiencing and ascribe them an origin. Nor are the post-resurrection encounters with the risen Christ accounts of a relationship which takes up where it was broken off at the crucifixion; if they were, the confusion/terror/grief in the garden, on the road to Emmaus and when he appeared through a closed door would not have happened.

We can't know; we won't know. All we can do is experience the cosmic Christ until we are part of his kingdom at the end of time.

But I'm not wedded to the historicity of anything in the Bible, because it's accidental even if it is present.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

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Sipech
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# 16870

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I have a problem with the term 'historicity' in the title of this thread.

The resurrection is beyond history.

This, of course, depends on your philosophy of history. I intended 'historicity' to be understood in its everyday usage, meaning "was it an event that actually happened?"

I know there are some (e.g. Meier) for whom the idea of studying the resurrection is deemed beyond the realm of possible historical inquiry and for whom the term 'historicity' has a much narrower focus than would be understood by the person on the Clapham Omnibus.

Taking such an approach to the question of the resurrection is something that seems self-defeating and is actually a bit cowardly. It's saying "we can't know" as a pre-emptive and then not trying to investigate.

Now, "we can't know" might be a perfectly valid conclusion, but a conclusion can only be reached after investigation.

If you said that the resurrection transcends history, then I'd certainly agree with you. To use a mathematical analogy (with due credit to Edwin Abbott [edit: and to Martin60 - saw your reply after posting]), a sphere may intersect with a plain and that intersection will have an effect on the world of those living on the plain. Likewise, the resurrection, if it was a real event that took place in the past, then it will have had an effect that was observable to those in the time and place it took place in.

[ 10. April 2017, 17:37: Message edited by: Sipech ]

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Garden Hermit
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# 109

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A little bit of a Tangent but - In Oxford Castle/Prison there is a story of a young woman unjustly hung for a miscarriage (but accused of an Abortion). She was pronounced dead and taken to the local Hospital for dissection for Medical Purposes. When the Doctor got to the heart he found it still beating so he sewed her up, put a nurse in bed with her to keep her warm, and she eventually recovered and went on to have 2 more children. There are many stories of people who should be dead, have been pronounced dead but have recovered even whilst being lowered into the Grave. The story of Jesus from a theoretical viewpoint is perfectly reasonable. Fit young man who somehow managed to survive a nasty attempt to kill him.
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anteater

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# 11435

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I think I get the idea of dear old David Jenkins, that something extraordinary happened resulting in the birth of the Church, based on the testimony of witnesses that Christ was alive. So call that the resurrection. And don't fret over the details.

Whether you can live with this depends on how important it is to you that the body was raised? To me, the worth of christianity does not vanish with this, although I think I can see why some people think differently.

What most people are really unhappy with is the idea that the accounts are not based on confusion (such as where is Galillee - see the interesting book by Pinchas Lapide) but actual porkies (as per Colm Tobin's (not all that good) novel.

And it is true that most deniers of the bodily resurrection will go further. Most will deny the whole story of the burial, and explain the absence of the body from the fact it went into a communal criminals grave. And I can see why this really grates, because it becomes harder and harder to reconcile with even basic ideas of truthfulness, not just about accuracy of reportage.

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TurquoiseTastic

Fish of a different color
# 8978

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Not a tangent at all Garden Hermit - in fact completely relevant to the topic at hand. The point is, though, that the events you describe would not constitute a resurrection!

The empty tomb is important because it means that Jesus defeated death. If he wasn't really dead in the first place... not so much.

With regard to leo's point, I agree that the Resurrection is "beyond history". But shouldn't this mean that it includes and adds to history - "the empty tomb" if you like - rather than excluding it? Anything else seems rather un-Incarnational...

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Anglican_Brat
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# 12349

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Let me be as frank as possible,

If we found Jesus' bones, then is Christianity dead?

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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If you could prove it (obviously near impossible, how does one identify bones of that time?), then yes.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19641 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by Garden Hermit:
The story of Jesus from a theoretical viewpoint is perfectly reasonable. Fit young man who somehow managed to survive a nasty attempt to kill him.

I attended a youth group meeting one Easter season where the teaching portion was about how Jesus must have been raised from the dead because any other historical explanation would be infeasible. I have since heard snippets of the same sermon while scanning past Christian radio. This theory gets a lot of treatment in that talk. They will tell you that Roman legionnaires were professional killers, who would not have committed this kind of malpractice, and even if they had, Jesus would have been so bloodied and weakened that he could not have rolled back the stone, or overcome the armed guards who were stationed outside.

Is any of this proof that it didn't happen this way? Absolutely not. But when examining the alternatives to Jesus actually coming back from the dead and occupying his body, it seems far less likely than the empty tomb being a lie or a metaphor.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Sipech
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# 16870

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Let me be as frank as possible,

If we found Jesus' bones, then is Christianity dead?

In short, yes. Something else would probably come along which tries to pick up the pieces of what's left of Christianity, repackaged as a school of ethics & philosophy that might have parallels with Buddhism. But I don't think it could be called Christianity.

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I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
They will tell you that Roman legionnaires were professional killers, . . .

All professional soldiers are professional killers. It's kind of in the job description. That doesn't make them infallible in their trade.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Let me be as frank as possible,

If we found Jesus' bones, then is Christianity dead?

Not to my mind. But then, to my mind it has never been based on the physical fate of the bones of the person who was crucified.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

Posts: 2007 | From: Norwich | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Let me be as frank as possible,

If we found Jesus' bones, then is Christianity dead?

No, not in the least. The resurrection is an idea, a hope, a faith - not a point of fact imo

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Apologetics are useful if you have a person who is willing to consider the faith, but has one (or several) niggling doubts and would like to know what the evidence says. In that case you can use evidence from history/archaeology/ anthropology/whatever, and sort of clear the ground for faith to be born (or not).

But apologetics on its own will never argue anybody into the kingdom of God. Giving faith is the Holy Spirit's work, and trying force faith is basically a disaster.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19641 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged



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