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April 7, 2013

And The Truth Shall Set You Free

A wonderful post from the Wintery Knight:
I’m a Christian because it is true. I’m a Christian because I want to live in a way that reflects the truth. I’m a Christian because my high regard for the truth leaves me no alternative.

And the corollary to this:
Five reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead:
(1) Most scholars agree that Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty shortly afterwards. With almost two dozen reasons favoring this report alone, what best explains this? Other hypotheses do not account for all the data.

(2) Many eyewitnesses assert that they saw the risen Jesus, both individually and in groups. Even apart from the Gospels, we can establish this totally from just two passages in Paul’s “undisputed writings”:

Paul told the Corinthians that he had received the Gospel resurrection report from others (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
The consensus critical view is that Paul probably obtained this material in Jerusalem, when he visited the eyewitness apostles Peter and James, the brother of Jesus (Galatians 1:18-24).
Paul returned to Jerusalem 14 years later and specifically checked out the nature of the Gospel message, again with eyewitnesses Peter, James, and now John (Galatians 2:1-10).
All the apostles agreed that Jesus appeared to them after his death (1 Corinthians 15:11).

(3) Further, critical scholars also agree that Paul received this material from the other apostles at an exceptionally early date-only about five years after the crucifixion. But since the others knew the reports before Paul did, we are right back to the events themselves. Even the best-known critical scholar today, non-Christian specialist Bart Ehrman, dates several Christian traditions as early as just a year or two after the crucifixion!

(4) But why should we believe that these eyewitnesses were being honest? We have first century sources that the three apostles mentioned above were all martyred: Paul, Peter, and James the brother of Jesus. Of course, people die for all sorts of ideas, but only for what they are convinced is true. But unlike others, the apostles were in a position to know whether or not they had seen Jesus Christ alive after his death. By being willing to die, scholars agree that they were convinced that Jesus had indeed appeared to them. At the very least, this addresses their honesty and conviction.

5) Of these eyewitnesses, Paul was a persecutor of the early Christians, and James was an unbeliever. Skeptical scholars accept this in both cases. But why did they become believers? Again, they were certainly in a position to know whether the risen Jesus had appeared to them.



3 comments:

LL said...

I don't think that Obama would agree with you.

Fradgan said...

Keep the Faith.
Hide your ammunition.

The Underground Pewster said...

Please forward a copy of this to the Bishop of Washington who said this Easter, "We don’t know what happened to Jesus after his death..."

Not a sentiment worth dying for.