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Chapter 8, The Resurrection
 
The central doctrine of Christianity is that Jesus came back from the dead - he rose as an example and sign of God's promise to save us in body and soul if we consent. The New Testament says Jesus was buried and his tomb was found empty and soon he began to appear to his followers in visions. Paul said that the faith is useless if Jesus has not really risen.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says

The resurrection is not a vision for visions are subjective and secret forces of the mind can cause them but Jesus was able to eat and drink after the resurrection so he was not a mere vision.
 
Reason Says
 
You stress this point. True you are right to but the problem is that the gospels do not emphasise Jesus eating and drinking. Matthew devotes just a few paragraphs to the resurrection appearances and seems to want to say as little about it as possible which is impossible to explain. Why is he embarrassed? He must be. It is like somebody who writes a lot in their diary every day and writes a few lines only about the visit of the queen to him. Mark said nothing about the resurrection and mentioned men in white at the tomb who he significantly never said were angels. The rules of interpretation say we must assume they were men. Did they take the body? Luke mentions Jesus eating in passing. He doesn’t make a big deal of it at all. The problem with Luke is that the Jews law tells us to dismiss the testimony of one witness and he is the only one testifying that this happened or that he was told it. John doesn’t mention very much about the resurrection appearances either. That the gospels failed to attach any importance to the evidence against the apparitions being mere visions shows that their evidence is made impotent. 
 
It is interesting how the Gospel of John says Jesus offered to let Thomas touch his wounds and put his hand in his side and fails to tell us if Thomas actually did so. We would have been told if he had. The opportunity to get the best evidence that Jesus was more than just a vision had been lost.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The idea that Jesus survived the cross by natural means is wrong for :
 
The Romans made sure their victims were dead – they had to or they were put to death. Jesus’ legs were not broken on the cross to kill him for they were sure he was dead.
 
Reason Says:
 
Doctors make sure their diagnoses are right but still make mistakes. Roman law executed only those who knowingly let capital punishment victims survive.
 
And all laws and people make mistakes.
 
Even the New Testament does not say that every means possible was taken to make sure Jesus was dead. It merely takes it for granted that he was dead.
 
Christians cannot know that Jesus' death was certain. How can the authors of the Handbook know that Jesus' survival was impossible thanks to the Romans? The arrogance does not attract us to their faith.
  
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
An eyewitness saw blood and water come from the pierced side of Jesus
 
Reason replies:

But we only have the anonymous gospel attributed to John saying that an eyewitness saw the blood. It doesn’t give us a clue as to who the eyewitness was. Christians are the ones that tell us to ignore anonymous testimony and then they accept this! Since when did a gospel that had Jesus producing wine to give to a drunk wedding party be believable?
 
Nothing is said in the gospel as to this blood and water having anything to do with showing Jesus died on the cross. 
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
  
The body was wrapped up in cloths and buried in a tomb
 
Reason says:
 
The gospels say this happened but give no eyewitness testimony that the body was closely seen being put in the tomb. We are told that the place where he was laid was witnessed but that isn’t enough. And there are no independent witnesses even mention in the New Testament. Since when did being wrapped up and buried mean you were necessarily dead?
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
A half dead survivor could never convince the apostles that he rose from the dead miraculously
 
Reason says:
 
True – unless he told them he was an apparition and that God only made him appear as sick to impress upon them the suffering of the cross and that he wasn't really sick.
 
It is possible that the witnesses both hallucinated Jesus at times and saw him glorious and that what helped make them hallucinate was actual meetings with the real Jesus.
 
Many things can trigger such illusions. The best thing for doing it would be seeing the person you thought was dead for real even if he is in a bad way. As long as the meeting is brief it would be enough.
 
They might have reasoned that Jesus' bleeding and suffering was only a vision for God wanted to impress upon them that it was the real Jesus. So if they met Jesus when he was a half dead survivor of the cross they might still have regarded him as resurrected and healed.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
Did Jesus or unnamed disciples overpower the Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb so he could escape?
 
Reason replies:
 
But you know the flaming gospel says that after the stone rolled back the soldiers were gone. The stone might have been moved by some trick or by an earthquake but it was left for anybody to take the body.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The Jews got the Roman soldiers to say Jesus was stolen as they slept which is crazy for they would be put to death for that
 
Reason replies:
 
Matthew alone tells us this but why not believe that he made this up? The Jews would not have asked the soldiers to say something like that. Why not tell them to say the Devil appeared and took the body? After all the Jews claimed Jesus was in league with Satan.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
If Jesus did survive then why is there no record of his life after the fake resurrection?
 
Reason says:

If Jesus lived and was popular why is there no record from his being found in the temple at 9 to his appearance before John the Baptist for baptism at 30? Jesus could have retired from ministry and went into anonymity had he survived the crucifixion.
 
Arguments from silence are weak.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The apostles told the truth and didn’t make up the story about the resurrection because it only brought them torment and not even persecution made any Christian admit that the resurrection was just a fable
  
Reason replies:

There is no evidence that the apostles’ lives were that bad. Its just a Christian lie and they know it for don’t soldiers put their lives at risk for causes they don’t believe in? Maybe the apostles believed their own lies. It is just like a battered wife being convinced that her husband is a good man. They found Jesus to be a very captivating person so he might have had incredible influence over them. We believe the lies today of politicians and public hospitals and risk our lives for it when we have the money to go private and be safe from the superbugs that thrive in and incompetence surrounding many public hospitals.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The apostles told the truth and didn’t make up the story about the resurrection for if they made up the story they were better than Shakespeare or Dante or Tolkien. They were only simple men so their story was true.
 
Reason replies:
 
The gospel stories aren’t that great. And they were written down long after the event so there was plenty of time to improve and embellishing the story.
 
There is not a shred of evidence that the apostles were as good at telling stories as these gospel writing people were. The gospellers were editors and you know that.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says

The apostles told the truth and didn’t make up the story about the resurrection for they lived holy lives and never told lies.
 
Reason replies:
 
We don’t know much about them. And not all in the early Church considered them good men. Peter was condemned for betraying the gospel by Paul and
 
Paul was accused of hypocrisy and deceit 
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The apostles told the truth and didn’t make up the story about the resurrection for they had no motive to lie
 
Reason replies: 
 
Pious fraud is a human reality. It involves trying to get people to believe something to make them better people. We know that the apostles did handle and control vast amounts of money from converts.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says

The apostles told the truth and didn’t make up the story about the resurrection for if the resurrection were a lie the Jews would have produced the corpse of Jesus
 
Reason replies:
 
This argument is a trick. How do the authors know that the Jews could have got the body? Its interesting that nobody could have taken the body from the tomb according to Christianity while plenty could have got it afterwards had it been stolen!
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The apostles told the truth and didn’t make up the story about the resurrection for the disciples couldn’t proclaim the resurrection among people in a time and place full of eyewitness of Christ unless it really happened.
 
Reason replies:
 
Joseph Smith despite his bad reputation was able to start a world religion among the people who knew him to be a cad and a profligate
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says

The apostles told the truth and didn’t make up the story about the resurrection for the adversaries of Jesus would have found out that the apostles were lying if they were
 
Reason replies:
 
Nonsense. People today get away with crimes because they lie in court. And today people are cross-examined better than the Jews ever could have done it.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that there were too many people having these visions of the risen Jesus
 
Reason replies:
 
We don’t know how they saw their visions. Visions can be spiritual or God can use the imagination to give visions. Maybe nobody saw anything and Satan came along a month after Jesus died to change people’s memories so that they thought the tomb was empty and that the body of Jesus in it was somebody else’s or that Jesus appeared. We have no evidence that Satan didn’t do this so we have no evidence for the resurrection. (We have evidence that Satan did do it for a miracle of changing memories is an easier on than raising a man from the dead. Miracles are so strange that if a simpler miracle can explain something it will suffice and should be believed in, in preference to a more complicated one.) Once you believe in miracles you cannot consistently believe that evidence has any value. Christians lie that they believe in the testimony of the Bible to the resurrection. They do not. What they believe in is the testimony that the witnesses that they MAY have witnessed the appearance of a man who came back from the dead. The testimony that John may be having an affair with Claire is useless and so is this especially when people are called on to stake their salvation on it, the most important thing possible.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that the witnesses were reliable and qualified and honest
   
Reason Says
 
We know nothing about the witnesses. Peter wasn’t honest when he unnecessarily exposed himself to questions about Jesus and he replied swearing lies.
 
We have very little information about the witnesses. When Jesus cast out a demon the Jews said that Jesus was using the Devil’s power. Jesus said that if Satan was doing that then Satan was breaking up his own kingdom as if Satan who he said was very powerful needed to possess loads of people to run a kingdom. Not only was this a lie for Satan would be happy enough to tempt people to sin but if possession is so necessary then clearly anybody could be possessed. Jesus was asking us to accept people as witnesses when the Devil could be influencing them. We must question the honesty of men who followed a man who defended himself telling lies and by saying silly things. 
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that five hundred plus saw Jesus at the one time
 
Reason replies: 
 
Paul said that but the gospels though written later never mentioned this event and they were desperate for evidence and didn’t mention the best evidence of the lot. Paul’s mention of it is too cursory for us to take it seriously. After all it could have been a mistaken identity or something or mass hysteria? Or maybe an early scribe made an alteration and the number was actually smaller. That Paul didn’t give the Corinthians a proper defence of the resurrection when they were reporting visions that contradicted his gospel shows he hadn’t much choice. The evidence wasn’t very good and Paul was insecure about it for he was reduced to arguing, “If Jesus didn’t rise then the dead are lost and we are still in our sins and we are to be pitied above all people”. He knew fine well that if
 
Jesus wasn’t the rising saviour somebody else could come to save us. He wasn’t interested in verifying the resurrection appearances or in saying too much about them out of shame.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says

The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that hallucinations last a very short time up to a few minutes. But Jesus was seen for forty days. The witnesses see the vision only once unless they are insane but these sane people saw Jesus over several weeks
 
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that hallucinations don’t do unusual and surprising things like the risen Jesus did
 
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that nobody expected the resurrection visions so they were not hallucinations
 
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that
 
Hallucinations do not eat
 
Hallucinations cannot be touched
 
Reason replies:
 
It could be argued that when Paul wrote to the Corinthians to persuade them that Jesus rose from the dead for they were denying it that Jesus’s apparitions were so short that he couldn’t even think about verifying them in detail.
 
Psychologists believe in veridical hallucinations which are different from the kind of hallucinations these authors are banging on about. The apostles and disciples could have had veridical hallucinations of Jesus which could explain all the gospel data. 
 
Sane people do have hallucinations especially when they have been bereaved. Sometimes their imagination simply gets so strong they see and touch and speak with the dead person. Mediums have loads of visions and are sane and yet we know from the trickery they use at other times and from what the visions tell them that no psychic force is at work. They touch the visions and see them eating.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that you cannot have a conversation with a hallucination
 
Reason replies:
 
There was not a lot of conversation with the Jesus apparitions. Now, near Emmaus two disciples walked with a man who they later decided was Jesus.
 
That proves nothing. The man vanished quickly but we are not told he was seen dissolving into thin air. This may have been an assumption on their part. We do not know if they were witnesses of the best calibre.
 
And you can have a conversation with an illusion. Mediums do that all the time.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that if Jesus was still in the tomb the visions would not have convinced the apostles even if they saw them themselves
 
Reason replies:
 
Jesus being in the tomb would not have stopped the apostles believing in the resurrection. Once Jesus appeared to them they wanted to believe it and people do believe what they want to believe at the end of the day.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that the Jews would have produced the body to refute the hallucinations
 
Reason replies:
 
Christians turn their backs on the rules for a fair investigation when it comes to the resurrection. They know that the apostles and the disciples didn’t mention the resurrection to outsiders until beyond the time the body of Jesus would have been identifiable. They do not tell us that Jesus would have been unrecognisable by the third day in the tomb. Decay in that climate set in fast.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that a hallucination wouldn’t explain the empty tomb of Jesus
 
Reason replies: 

A hallucination wouldn’t explain the empty tomb of Jesus but are we expected to believe that just because the tomb was empty that it meant that the appearances were not hallucinations?
 
The tomb being empty has nothing to do with the appearances being hallucinations or otherwise.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The idea that the resurrection visions of Jesus were hallucinations can be refuted by the fact that if the empty tomb was a lie, then why did the gospels have women who were not regarded as reliable witnesses finding the tomb empty?
 
Reason replies: 
 
The gospels were written by Christians who had no problem with women being witnesses and besides men backed up the women so even if the women were useless witnesses in the eyes of the people the people had to accept them for men supported the veracity of their testimony. The story of the women may have been necessary because the gospellers couldn’t say the disciples went to the tomb and found it empty for they were widely suspected of having stolen the body.  
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The chapter is confident that no objection to the resurrection of Jesus is could be correct. On page 171 the authors boast that no reason for condemning
anything in the Christian faith has ever worked!
 
Reason replies:
 
As if they could have heard all the reasons! Where in their book have they refuted the idea that an earthquake moved the rock of Jesus’ tomb and the
women stole the body? Their belief is founded on arrogance and insulting those who disagree with them.
  
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says

The chapter is confident that no objection to the resurrection of Jesus is could be correct.
 
Reason replies:
 
Their point shows an irrational obsession with an alleged historical fact.
 
The fact that a historical claim cannot be refuted does not in fact make the claim correct. Absence of evidence that refutes the claim is not evidence that the claim is true.
 
Most believers argue that if there are errors in the Old and New Testaments, these errors are not central. They say that if the ridiculous miracles of the Old Testament such as Jonah surviving in the belly of the fish are false this does not affect the central Bible doctrine that Jesus rose from the dead for our salvation.
 
But even if Jesus did rise from the dead for our salvation, logic would say that it is more important to sense that somebody needed to rise to save us and indeed rose to save us than to worry about details such as the following:
 
# It was Jesus who did it for us.
# The Bible record is true when it says he rose.
 
The historical claims are not central at all. The New Testament says they are which is nonsense.
 
Anyway even if they were central, how can you trust a Bible even one written by God that makes errors? God letting errors happen makes his book more untrustworthy than any human book that contains errors. Why? Because God should know better.
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics Says
 
The Handbook says there is no reason to doubt miracles.
 
Reason replies:

We all see that people die and stay dead. For those who disagree to say that Jesus didn’t stay dead, the burden of proof therefore is on them. It is up to them to prove the resurrection. (Because of the burden of proof they have to prove every miracle of Jesus and every other one they say happened individually.) They answer that the burden of proof is on those who deny the resurrection to disprove the resurrection! It is not. It can’t be on both sides. If one and one is usually two and somebody says there is an exception then the burden of proof is on that person. Not every miracle of Jesus can be proven believable or proven taken on its own so clearly Jesus violated the rule that each individual miracle has to be verified and didn’t understand it so we can consider his miracles to be superstitious legendary nonsense. If you assert that a miracle has happened then the burden of proof is on you no matter who else has proved it to themselves. To say, “I saw the Blessed Virgin in an apparition,” is just as serious as somebody saying, “My friend saw the Blessed Virgin in an apparition.” One is just as outrageous as the other. So the burden of proof is on the first to prove that he really sees the Virgin and separately on the second to prove that he or she is right to hold that the friend saw the Virgin. It is bigotry to believe in a miracle claim without proving it to yourself. It is not enough for the Church to prove it – you have to see the complete evidence and examine it for yourself. You stand alone in considering claims like that. If God wants us to believe in miracles then he must want us to go through all this! It is ridiculous to think that he does. A better belief is that miracles are mistakes or frauds and God had nothing to do with them. To say that a reported miracle by Jesus or anybody else may have happened or was possible is simply to say we should be gullible. Nobody teaches that one must verify miracles to oneself for it is such hard work and there are so many miracles reported.
 
If we say it is unlikely for a man to rise from the dead the believers are forced to answer that we don’t know what is unlikely or not. This answer shows the immorality and wickedness of declaring miracles to have happened or possible. Why?  The believers do not really believe literally anything magical can happen.  They are selective about what they want to believe.  If we say that the dead are dead we have no right to say that if we believe that people can come back from the dead for how do you in Sweden know that it isn’t possible or unlikely for all the dead in Australia to rise this moment? How can you say the dead are dead or that the dead don’t return? Because of the consequences of miracles, they deny the uniformity of life never mind nature, the burden of proof is on the believers. And the burden doesn’t get lighter with “small” miracles. Why? Because if we can’t say the dead are dead because of our respect for miracles then how can we say that people need to study if God miraculously inspires a schoolboy or schoolgirl regarding the correct answer to a small question in an examination paper?

 

The believers may say, "The winning lottery numbers are in fact no more or less likely than any other combination.  So we do not know what is likely."  But that is a natural and earthy matter.  Experience proves it.  It is not the same as a supernatural - non-natural - matter.  Experience cannot prove that a man can rise supernaturally.  We deny we can just assume we do not know what is likely in the natural world.  We affirm we must know it not assume it.  And we can know.


The person who says they got a revelation from God that the world is to end next week and the person seeing the Blessed Virgin and getting a harmless message to repent from her, demand the same level of evidence. Why? Doesn’t the first person have a more important message than the second? Yes the content is more serious but that is not the point. The method by which both messages came is equal in that it is supernatural. The two messages equally need to be proved reliable and supernatural because they claim to be supernatural. The point is not the importance of the messages but the medium of the message – that is, how the message was given. The content messages can have no importance at all unless the supernatural nature of the message can be proven and the supernatural can be proven reliable. Think of it this way, we can’t listen to the world end message or the other one just because of what it says. The supernatural has to be proven to exist and be reliable before we can heed such a message. Therefore small miracles need to be treated as scientifically or sceptically as big ones.
 
If 1 plus 1 is 3 in a village in Spain that calls for as much attention and examination as 1 plus 1 being 3 in the whole of Europe would be. A miracle challenges the way things happen in the same way that that would challenge mathematics. For example, if 1 + 1 = 3 is true anywhere it is true everywhere. It’s a universal law. If somebody can instantly cure the incurable that means the diseases cured are no longer incurable and this becomes a universal law too.
 
Imagine that when two natural laws are brought together they result in a specific result that we will call result X. You could say that law 1 plus law 2 is equal to result X. If a miracle interferes with this then the two laws bring about a different result. It’s the same scenario as 1 and 1 = 2 being changed to 1 and 1 = 3. Believers say that this is wrong. Its law 1 plus law 2 plus miracle law 3 = a different result from X.
 
It’s a matter of worldwide concern when any miracle takes place – though the world wouldn’t be concerned it ought to be. The view that the bigger the miracle the greater the evidence is a mistake. True, you need almost unattainable evidence for a big miracle for its big but you are no better off with smaller ones. Why? The manifestation may differ but the nature of the event is the same, it defies what we know of nature. This evidence is so difficult and time-consuming to verify that clearly all believers in miracles are inferring that evidence isn’t so important and if so, then we should believe crackpots who claim revelations about the end of the world!