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Source: (consider it) Thread: The historicity of the resurrection
SvitlanaV2
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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?

The thing is that not every Christian or denomination would believe such a finding. There's no authoritative body today that could demand that we all accept such information.
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Brenda Clough
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And by definition (son of God, you know) DNA analysis will be difficult.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
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.
Are you saying that it is more plausible that (a) Jesus survived the whole ordeal rather than (b) the empty tomb is a metaphor or a lie? Because that's a cute linguistic point, but otherwise not really relevant to the point I was making with that post.

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

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Garden Hermit:
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.

Bollocks.

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Love wins

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
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.
Are you saying that it is more plausible that (a) Jesus survived the whole ordeal rather than (b) the empty tomb is a metaphor or a lie? Because that's a cute linguistic point, but otherwise not really relevant to the point I was making with that post.
I'm making the point that Jesus surviving the ordeal is more plausible than the idea that Roman legionnaires were infallible killing machines who never screwed up even once. Given the other irregularities in the crucifixion of Jesus (e.g. post-crucifixion burial is extremely non-standard. Part of the point of the procedure is to leave the rotting corpse on display as a warning) appealing to Roman standardization and efficiency is problematic.

On the other hand, given that his longtime companions didn't recognize Jesus after His resurrection, there's only one explanation that truly accounts for all the factors. [Big Grin]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Martin60
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A good scourging alone was lethal. Follow that with crucifixion and a speared flank, rupturing multiple abdominal organs - you know bowel, liver, spleen, stomach, kidney, even bladder (the 'water') - a nice lie down in a cool cave for three days isn't going to fix that.

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Love wins

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Given the other irregularities in the crucifixion of Jesus (e.g. post-crucifixion burial is extremely non-standard. Part of the point of the procedure is to leave the rotting corpse on display as a warning) appealing to Roman standardization and efficiency is problematic.

Agreed. If it wasn't clear from my original post, I find entire genre of sermon where I drew the line about Roman efficiency from to be rather odd.

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

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
A good scourging alone was lethal. Follow that with crucifixion and a speared flank, rupturing multiple abdominal organs - you know bowel, liver, spleen, stomach, kidney, even bladder (the 'water') - a nice lie down in a cool cave for three days isn't going to fix that.

I agree. The resuscitation theory is almost as improbable as the idea of resurrection! And it is quite clear that whatever the disciples experienced, it wasn't a resuscitated Jesus back to how he had been before.

Something happened. Something that turned the world of all the disciples upside down. Something that was clearly beyond their ability to describe or theorize about. It was something that sent them all off on journeys of sharing the good news in all parts of the known world. Something happened.

This is the heart of the Christian faith. Not the incarnation. Not the crucifixion. The resurrection. Without it, Christianity makes no sense. But I'm buggered if I know how to explain it!

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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rolyn
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In answer to Martin
.....Let alone flitting around here there and everywhere enjoying fish suppers.

There are several things about the Resurrection that just won't stack up for me, my problem. Still quite happy to stand up and recite the Creed.

[ 10. April 2017, 20:56: Message edited by: rolyn ]

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Martin60
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Aye, a good chipper will raise the dead downwind it's true.

[ 10. April 2017, 21:21: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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balaam

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
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
If it were possible to produce Jesus' bones it would have been done. Both the Jewish and Roman authorities had a vested interest in the executed being dead. If there had been any remains then when the disciples sarted saying, 'Jesus has been raised from the dead,' then why did no one say, 'No he isn't, here he is.'

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Moo

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When I taught a high school Sunday School class, we did an interesting exercise. I printed out the four resurrection accounts and gave a copy to each student. We then listed all the points on which all accounts agreed.

Many of the points on which they did not agree involved information given in some accounts but not others. If you read various accounts of historical events, you find the same kind of discrepancies.

I have been told that if witnesses at a trial agree in all the details, there is a strong suspicion of collusion.

Moo

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Sipech
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quote:
Originally posted by balaam:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
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
If it were possible to produce Jesus' bones it would have been done. Both the Jewish and Roman authorities had a vested interest in the executed being dead. If there had been any remains then when the disciples sarted saying, 'Jesus has been raised from the dead,' then why did no one say, 'No he isn't, here he is.'
This is where JD Crossan comes in, with his hypothesis that the body was eaten by dogs and the bones thrown into a pit, along with many others.

It's a point Bart Ehrman picks up on, by noting how curious it is that the idea of Jesus' burial is so prominent in creedal formulae. His idea is that the burial was used as a defence against the accusation of a disposed-of body. I.e. that Joseph of Arimathea was the key fabrication in the gospel narratives.

Coming back to the "not really dead" hypothesis, it's been noted here that one of the common defences is that the Romans were trained and professional killers. Yet the argument is constructed as [this is what we know is usually true, so we may safely assume it]. Yet arguments for the resurrection go against this. If one applied it, one would be led to saying that we know dead people don't rise and live again, so therefore Jesus couldn't have risen. There certainly can be some muddled apologetics.

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I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
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Og, King of Bashan

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In response to Balaam, I guess it depends on how much of a fuss was made in the days following the crucifixion about Jesus being raised from the dead. At what point did people start proclaiming that Jesus had risen from the dead? And how widespread was that proclamation? When did the temple authorities and Roman government become aware of these claims? Maybe they thought it was a small movement that would die away quickly if they just ignored it. And as has been said above, perhaps Jesus was actually placed in a group tomb, or left on the cross to be picked apart by carrion and dogs, as would have been typical for victims of crucifixion.

Because the aftermath has become such a huge part of our history, it is easy to assume that it seemed like a big deal to all but Jesus' most dedicated followers at the time that whatever happened was happening.

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

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Sarah G
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I'm making the point that Jesus surviving the ordeal is more plausible...

In addition to the forensic questions already raised, there is a much harder problem of why the Early Church started with the beliefs it did.

In brief, there was a well trodden path in C1 Judaism that God was going to act to redeem His people, declare them forgiven, boot out His enemies (esp the Romans), establish His Kingdom, inaugurate the New and Final Age, and would return in awesome glory to His Temple. His Messiah would be key to all this. It's not something you'd miss, even without 24 hour news and Twitter.

Oh, and some people thought there might be some kind of resurrection thingy. But it was all a bit uncertain.

Instead, the disciples believed- passionately enough to die for it- that all this was done by Jesus dying on a cross (!!!).

Whatever they saw, repeatedly, was compelling enough to 180 their views on the most important happening in Judaism, stick resurrection at the centre of belief as a non-negotiable, and declare a dead wannabe Messiah as the Son of God.

A battered, half dead, near corpse won't do that for you.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
In response to Balaam, I guess it depends on how much of a fuss was made in the days following the crucifixion about Jesus being raised from the dead. At what point did people start proclaiming that Jesus had risen from the dead? And how widespread was that proclamation? When did the temple authorities and Roman government become aware of these claims? Maybe they thought it was a small movement that would die away quickly if they just ignored it. And as has been said above, perhaps Jesus was actually placed in a group tomb, or left on the cross to be picked apart by carrion and dogs, as would have been typical for victims of crucifixion.

Because the aftermath has become such a huge part of our history, it is easy to assume that it seemed like a big deal to all but Jesus' most dedicated followers at the time that whatever happened was happening.

No it isn't.

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Love wins

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TurquoiseTastic

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
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
The trouble with this is that all our ideas and hopes and beliefs jam up against reality. We have all these ideals of love and truth and beauty and this is all very fine but ultimately there is the Second Law, there is the darkness, there is death coming to wipe all these sandcastles away, as though they had never been. That's the ultimate reality.

Unless... unless it really happened. Not just "in a very real sense".

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Because the aftermath has become such a huge part of our history, it is easy to assume that it seemed like a big deal to all but Jesus' most dedicated followers at the time that whatever happened was happening.

No it isn't.
But isn't that assumption a necessary part of Balaam's assertion that if the body were not gone, the Romans or Temple authority would have found it? Is such a search even mentioned in Acts? It would seem a pretty solid talking point if it happened.

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

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Og, King of Bashan

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Perhaps I should clarify, upon further review. I'm trying to say that we need to be careful not to assume that the Romans and Temple authorities thought that the first claims that Jesus had risen were a serious threat. It may be that we see a threat they never saw, because we know what happened in the next few decades.

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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 Og, King of Bashan:
I'm trying to say that we need to be careful not to assume that the Romans and Temple authorities thought that the first claims that Jesus had risen were a serious threat. It may be that we see a threat they never saw, because we know what happened in the next few decades.

ISTM, the whole thing* was a minor, local affair that barely registered in the Roman world.
It is, ironically, pride that suggests otherwise.

*Assuming it happened, of course.

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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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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Perhaps there is too much talk of the religion of another American president to consider the cut and paste Thomas Jefferson Bible?

quote:
[In leaving out all the miracles, the resurrection, and other "nonsense"].... There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.
This is apparently enough for many, including Nietzsche "To reduce being a Christian, Christianness to a holding something to be true, to a mere phenomenality of consciousness**, means to negate Christianness....Only Christian practice, a life such as he who died on the Cross lived, is Christian" (from Nietzsche- "AntiChrist"). To which we might add the rebuke "by their fruits you shall know them" (Mat 7:16).

**I take "consciousness" to mean belief.

(I will confess to holding extreme religious views, though I hold them moderately.)

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
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
The trouble with this is that all our ideas and hopes and beliefs jam up against reality. We have all these ideals of love and truth and beauty and this is all very fine but ultimately there is the Second Law, there is the darkness, there is death coming to wipe all these sandcastles away, as though they had never been. That's the ultimate reality.

Unless... unless it really happened. Not just "in a very real sense".

I agree - but that still leaves us with hope and faith. We can not say 'it really happened'. We can have hope and faith that it really happened.

Faith is not certainty.

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hatless

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Can anyone spell out what a hard, real, historically factual resurrection of Jesus would be?

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Martin60
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It's both, all or neither, nothing. The ethics are divine. Transcendent. They tower impossibly above the time. They intrude, miraculously, in to evolution. THIS is ID. Intelligent design. They were so threatening to power in this remote province they had to be extinguished at source. And that failed. Up against utterly minimal divine insistence.

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Love wins

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
No, not in the least. The resurrection is an idea, a hope, a faith - not a point of fact imo

Boogie, I don't agree. I don't think that goes far enough. Nor is it a convenient way of smoothing over the raw difference between those who say they do believe and those who say it's all too much for them to believe.

If the resurrection is no more than an idea, however beautiful or inspirational, then there is nothing to hope in or have faith in. It is no more than the tooth fairy or Father Christmas, both of which are lovely ideas and wouldn't it be lovely if they were true?

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Can anyone spell out what a hard, real, historically factual resurrection of Jesus would be?

A webcam in the tomb, perhaps?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
No, not in the least. The resurrection is an idea, a hope, a faith - not a point of fact imo

Boogie, I don't agree. I don't think that goes far enough. Nor is it a convenient way of smoothing over the raw difference between those who say they do believe and those who say it's all too much for them to believe.

If the resurrection is no more than an idea, however beautiful or inspirational, then there is nothing to hope in or have faith in. It is no more than the tooth fairy or Father Christmas, both of which are lovely ideas and wouldn't it be lovely if they were true?

But there's a false dichotomy there. For me the resurrection is not something that I know definitely happened, not in a literal sense at any rate, but it's more than an idea. It's a hope. A hope that it did. But I can't say I know it did; I can't even say I think it did (which is the same to me as "I believe it did"). All I can say is I hope it did.

I'm neither in the "I believe" camp, nor the "It's too much for me to believe" camp. I'm in the "I really, really don't know" camp.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:

But there's a false dichotomy there. For me the resurrection is not something that I know definitely happened, not in a literal sense at any rate, but it's more than an idea. It's a hope. A hope that it did. But I can't say I know it did;

I don't think Enoch is saying something fundamentally much different though? At the end of the day we don't *know* in the forensic sense of having sufficient evidence in front of us to know beyond all reasonable doubt.

I suspect what Enoch is trying to preserve, is that that ultimately the hope he has is in what he hopes is a real historical event that - in theory - could also be disproved.

Now not everyone will take that angle - but Christianity itself is defined by the fact that a large number of of its adherents over the centuries have believe in just that.

So yeah, perhaps the resuscitation theory is the correct one - or perhaps resurrection is to be taken in a very non-literal sense. But as a whole Christianity is defined by the fact that a large number of Christians have taken the resurrection literally (even the parts of Christianity that don't, define themselves largely by their counter-reaction to this belief).

[ 11. April 2017, 09:24: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
For me the resurrection is not something that I know definitely happened, not in a literal sense at any rate, but it's more than an idea. It's a hope. A hope that it did. But I can't say I know it did; I can't even say I think it did (which is the same to me as "I believe it did"). All I can say is I hope it did.

But that is surely true of all history: unless we witness an event for ourselves (and even that may raise questions about the accuracy of our perceptions), we are bound to be dependent on the testimony of others and the interpretation of consequences and artifacts, which we then need to assess. What is interesting is the way in which "true history" can change.

So, for instance, I have every good reason to believe that the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066: I trust my history teachers and I've seen the Bayeux Tapestry, But the assessment of the factors which led to that battle may change as the academics discuss them.

I also believe that ancient people erected Stonehenge - although I still can't be sure of how they did it, nor of what it means. The stones are indisputably "there"; the reasons for them being there can be debated.

And what about the "Antiques Roadshow"? A person may bring in a monogrammed handkerchief which, she claims, was given to her great-grandmother by Queen Victoria as a gesture to reward her long years of service at Osborne House. Now I can get an expert to look at the handkerchief and decide that it is indeed of the period rather than a modern Chinese copy. But I need to think very carefully as to whether I believe in the provenance - which, as we know, can have a great effect on an item's value.

What I'm saying is that we have to take ALL history on trust. The question with the resurrection is not to decide whether it could have happened, but whether the evidence behind it is strong enough to attest that it did - however improbable or irrational that may seem. My belief is that it is, but I can't force others to agree with me.

(Cross-posted with Chris Stiles).

[ 11. April 2017, 09:35: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Can anyone spell out what a hard, real, historically factual resurrection of Jesus would be?

This is the question I've been waiting for on this thread, and I have absolutely no idea of the answer. The only written accounts we have speak of a person, assumed to be dead, who now appears alive, and is "solid" enough to pass for the real thing. But they also speak of someone who can appear and disappear apparently at will and who, seven weeks later according to one account, vanished upwards into the clouds.

This is not history. It doesn't read like history. I honestly don't think it's meant to be history in the sense that the 21st century understands the word. I'm tempted to call it myth-making, but I'm not sure it's that either. I'm tempted, also, to fall back on the 1960s cop-out and talk about the disciples "trying to find language to come to terms with the extraordinary... yadda, yadda...", but I don't think that works either.

I've long believed that you can't look at the resurrection directly. The written accounts are feeble. I think you have to look at it from the angle of how it seems to have made people behave afterwards. And if you do that, I think you have to acknowledge that something happened around that time that was so extraordinarily powerful that it transformed the lives of thousands, if not millions, of people, even in the 300 years before the Roman Empire co-opted the whole thing. What that extraordinarily powerful thing was, I truly believe it is now impossible to say.

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
No, not in the least. The resurrection is an idea, a hope, a faith - not a point of fact imo

Boogie, I don't agree. I don't think that goes far enough. Nor is it a convenient way of smoothing over the raw difference between those who say they do believe and those who say it's all too much for them to believe.

If the resurrection is no more than an idea, however beautiful or inspirational, then there is nothing to hope in or have faith in. It is no more than the tooth fairy or Father Christmas, both of which are lovely ideas and wouldn't it be lovely if they were true?

No, we don't have faith in the tooth fairy.

Faith is about hope and trust - but it's not about certain knowledge. We wouldn't need faith if we were certain.

[ 11. April 2017, 10:27: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
No, not in the least. The resurrection is an idea, a hope, a faith - not a point of fact imo

Boogie, I don't agree. I don't think that goes far enough. Nor is it a convenient way of smoothing over the raw difference between those who say they do believe and those who say it's all too much for them to believe.

If the resurrection is no more than an idea, however beautiful or inspirational, then there is nothing to hope in or have faith in. It is no more than the tooth fairy or Father Christmas, both of which are lovely ideas and wouldn't it be lovely if they were true?

What's the problem with ideas? Ideas are powerful. Human consciousness seems to be the place where ideas and matter interact, so ideas as much as stone and energy are the world we inhabit and deal with.

The tooth fairy isn't an idea, but a modern, shallow children's fiction. Father Christmas has a little more depth, but again, it's not a good example for thinking about the power of ideas.

What about honour, justice, self-sacrifice, human rights, true love, race, nation, freedom, community? These are ideas and their power is undeniable. They rise and fall in relative popularity, but they can motivate extraordinary actions and determine the policies of governments.

A much smaller example is the story of the ugly duckling. It even has a death and resurrection vibe to it. It's about self-image, beauty, community and its power to limit, the freedom that understanding can bring and the joy of realisation, and being a story, much more as well. I knew it as a child from a great picture book, and the story is embedded in me now and helps shape my understanding of life and therefore my living of it. There are biblical stories that are embedded far, far more deeply in me, and which have still greater power over me and through me.

Ideas like resurrection or forgiveness or that kenotic identification which is an aspect of incarnation, not only affect the lives of those who know them and allow themselves to be shaped by them, I think they also have a life of their own in the world. Their 'truthfulness' gives them an appeal and we can see them appearing in the plots of films, books of management theory, song lyrics, the way the news is reported and so on, often without those who speak them being aware.

Ideas are very powerful. The fate of 65kg of organic matter 2000 years ago is only important because of the ideas it interlocks with.

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
No, not in the least. The resurrection is an idea, a hope, a faith - not a point of fact imo

Boogie, I don't agree. I don't think that goes far enough. Nor is it a convenient way of smoothing over the raw difference between those who say they do believe and those who say it's all too much for them to believe.

If the resurrection is no more than an idea, however beautiful or inspirational, then there is nothing to hope in or have faith in. It is no more than the tooth fairy or Father Christmas, both of which are lovely ideas and wouldn't it be lovely if they were true?

No, we don't have faith in the tooth fairy.

Faith is about hope and trust - but it's not about certain knowledge. We wouldn't need faith if we were certain.

Actually, that's a good point. We all know the Tooth Fairy is really mum or dad. Of that we can be certain. But we're still trying to figure out who Jesus is, all this time later.

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Karl:
quote:
But I can't say I know it did; I can't even say I think it did (which is the same to me as "I believe it did"). All I can say is I hope it did
Well I read a definition of what it means to live by the Christian faith which I used to look down on but can see the value of - I believe is was Alistair McIntyre but don't quote me.

In this view a Christian is one who lives on the basis that certain stories, particularly about Jesus, are true.

Is that belief? I think it's more than hope.

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hatless

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True in what sense?

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Ideas are very powerful. The fate of 65kg of organic matter 2000 years ago is only important because of the ideas it interlocks with.

I do hope you don't think that 65kg of organic matter in the present day is only important because of the ideas it interlocks with.

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BroJames
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Well for me true in this sense. If I had been there at the time, I would have found the tomb know to have been occupied to be empty instead. True in the sense that the person I had seen definitively put to death two days previously was now alive still bearing the wounds of crucifixion, but alive and vibrant and not living with the harm that such wounds imply. True in the sense that it was identifiably the same person, able to speak with me, share food with me, touch and be touched by me, and even invite me to put my hands in the marks of the wounds. True in the same sense that it is true that Julius Caesar first invaded Britain in 55 BCE, or that the Battle of Hasting took place in 1066 AD.

I do also believe that the resurrection announces truths on another level, but it is true on this basic everyday level as well. It is, I would say, more true, not differently true.

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Barnabas62
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I'm content with this statement. The resurrection created the church, not vice versa. The extent to which the created church mythologised the resurrection event is a question to which I don't have definitive answers, and don't find I need them.

As a much admired vicar friend once said, in a brief impromptu sermon (his curate left the service to handle an emergency). "The fascination with what actually happened is understandable, but I'm more interested in what difference Jesus makes in my life, our lives, today".

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Ideas are very powerful. The fate of 65kg of organic matter 2000 years ago is only important because of the ideas it interlocks with.

I do hope you don't think that 65kg of organic matter in the present day is only important because of the ideas it interlocks with.
Why not?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Karl:
quote:
But I can't say I know it did; I can't even say I think it did (which is the same to me as "I believe it did"). All I can say is I hope it did
Well I read a definition of what it means to live by the Christian faith which I used to look down on but can see the value of - I believe is was Alistair McIntyre but don't quote me.

In this view a Christian is one who lives on the basis that certain stories, particularly about Jesus, are true.

Is that belief? I think it's more than hope.

Provisional belief perhaps - "I don't know if this is true or not, I can't even put a guestimate on how likely it is, but for now I'm working on the provisional assumption that it is."

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Sipech:
This is where JD Crossan comes in, with his hypothesis that the body was eaten by dogs and the bones thrown into a pit, along with many others.

A theory which has the advantage of being, as near as we know, standard practice for Roman crucifixions. It's notable that there is, to date (at least the last time I checked), only one definitive example of crucified human remains (a lower calf and ankle bone with a nail through it) that has been found in what was Roman Judea. Given the restiveness of the province and that crucifixion was the standard Roman punishment for seditionists this absence of physical evidence is a pretty strong indicator that any kind of preservation of the body was definitely not the norm.

In other words, if someone had been able to produce the body of Jesus it might be construed as evidence that he wasn't crucified, rather than that he'd been crucified and not risen.

quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Perhaps I should clarify, upon further review. I'm trying to say that we need to be careful not to assume that the Romans and Temple authorities thought that the first claims that Jesus had risen were a serious threat. It may be that we see a threat they never saw, because we know what happened in the next few decades.

It wasn't until the second century that Romans started regularly viewing Christians as their own thing, rather than as some offshoot of Judaism. (Christians themselves were in dispute on this point in the first century, so Roman confusion on the matter was understandable.) Anyway, from the Roman perspective the leader of a subversive group was executed and his followers had scattered. As far as they were concerned that was the end of it. Even when Christians started proclaiming their gospel the Romans didn't seem to take it too seriously, compared with their attention to other groups of Judean zealots. Given Christians' relative non-participation in the Great Revolt this seems to have been the correct assessment, at least from a security standpoint.

I'm less familiar with the records of the Jewish authorities of the day, but I imagine that their concerns mirrored those of the Romans; that once Jesus was out of the way there were other fringe groups more worrisome than the Christians.

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Ideas are very powerful. The fate of 65kg of organic matter 2000 years ago is only important because of the ideas it interlocks with.

I do hope you don't think that 65kg of organic matter in the present day is only important because of the ideas it interlocks with.
Is personhood a property of the body?

In relation to Jesus, I meant important to us 2000 years later, but a contemporary body, alive or dead, has a worth that is more than the old 'enough iron to make a two inch nail, enough lime to whitewash a dog kennel' or 'future earning potential'.

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Martin60
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KLB (for some reason I've initialized you to KLS before now, I probably falsely recall, KLB is the correct TLA, forgive me) and all the other don't-knows, agnostics, whatever.

I admire the hell out of you.

But I don't understand you at all.

I look out my window at infinity between eternities and to invoke anything, anyone, necessarily infinitely more complex, of which there is not a trace, feels utterly absurd.

But for William Lane Craig and Jesus. He is the one and only instance of the fingerpost. The signature of God. And He's simpler, sharper, inarguable compared with WLC and his KCA. There's no yeah-but to Jesus, the historicity of Whom is dependent on the fact that you couldn't make Him up.

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I'm content with this statement. The resurrection created the church, not vice versa. The extent to which the created church mythologised the resurrection event is a question to which I don't have definitive answers, and don't find I need them.

As a much admired vicar friend once said, in a brief impromptu sermon (his curate left the service to handle an emergency). "The fascination with what actually happened is understandable, but I'm more interested in what difference Jesus makes in my life, our lives, today".

Yes. When the Gestapo came to collect Bonhoeffer he said "This is the end, for me the beginning of life'.

In what sense can this be true? In what way was Bonhoeffer able to know that it was true?

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
True in the same sense that it is true that Julius Caesar first invaded Britain in 55 BCE, or that the Battle of Hasting took place in 1066 AD.

[Roll Eyes] History can have some accuracy issues, but Caesar¹ and Jesus² are not in the same category and neither are Roman invasion¹ and the crucifixion.²

¹ definitelyᵃ existed/happened
² mightᵇ have existed/happened

ᵃ multiple sources, archaeological evidence
ᵇ few sources, no physical evidence

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Ideas are very powerful. The fate of 65kg of organic matter 2000 years ago is only important because of the ideas it interlocks with.

I do hope you don't think that 65kg of organic matter in the present day is only important because of the ideas it interlocks with.
Is personhood a property of the body?
Yes.

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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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leo
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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 - it would prove that Jesus existed!

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Sipech
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
I agree - but that still leaves us with hope and faith. We can not say 'it really happened'. We can have hope and faith that it really happened.

Faith is not certainty.

Can you fill this out a bit, please?

I agree with you that we can't be certain it happened, but I think we can make a positive assertion. i.e. the epistemology isn't watertight, but IMHO the best evidence available to us supports what could be referred as a "creedal hypothesis". I think you differ from me on this latter point.

Where I struggle is the idea that we still have hope and faith if Jesus wasn't resurrected. If Jesus is, and has remained dead, where is the hope? How can we declare Jesus to be Lord and the Son of God if his corpse lay mangled, rotting, etc?

For me, reading the Easter narratives, all hope was lost with the crucifixion. The disciples ran away and went into hiding. Everything was gone; the hope of the coming of kingdom of God/heaven was dashed. Only if the resurrection happened could that hope be revived. So in your view, Boogie, how does that hope come back if Jesus didn't rise? What is the source of your hope and faith?

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

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

No - it would prove that Jesus existed!
A monastic archæological team in Israel uncovers an ossuary, the inscription on which reads "Yeshua bin Yusuf, crucified under Pontius Pilate".

After verifying the dating of the artifact, the Benedictine says "We must preserve and venerate these holy relics!"

The Dominican wails in despair "Of all men we are the most deceived. All is vanity!"

The Jesuit simply rubs his chin and says "Hmmm, so he really existed after all!"

[musical sting]

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Sipech:
Only if the resurrection happened could that hope be revived. So in your view, Boogie, how does that hope come back if Jesus didn't rise? What is the source of your hope and faith?

God.

That God exists, is good and loves us.

I can't be certain about that either, but I continue to have a tiny seed of faith that it's true.

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