Message 1 of 233 (90836)
03-06-2004 5:48 PM
The entire body of evidence that I am about to present came from the teaching of Dr. Gene Scott. While it would be impossible for me to effectively communicate this evidence as accurately as Dr. Scott, I take responsibilty for all inaccuracies and errors that might be made.
"....if Christ be not risen we are liars preaching a false testimony..." (1Cor. 15)
The most common personal claim among christians is that Jesus lives within our hearts. However true, this testimony cannot convince those who do not have Jesus in their heart.
Jesus Himself said God will allow one sign to base faith upon, and that sign was the sign of Jonah which Jesus interpreted to be His death and resurrection. It is the intention of this thread to present the evidence that God said He would supply. The Resurrection of Christ and the evidence that exists in support of the claim is the God ordained sign that Jesus promised in the New Testament.
Now when Dr. Scott entered college he lost his faith in the intellectual environment of Stanford. Having receded into agnosticism he became tormented by uncertainty. Dr. Scott had to know, he had to find out the truth about christianity. Using the research skills being taught to him by the professors at Stanford, he decided to settle the supreme claim of the christian faith : Did Jesus come out of that grave ?
For the next 3 and 1/2 years Dr. Scott exposed himself to every source of information in existence about the Resurrection. He read every book ever written, and then " at the end of that 3 and 1/2 years I put the last book down and concluded He came out of that grave - there is no other explanation "
While completing graduate studies Dr. Scott approached his intellectual mentor Professor Larry Thomas and said :
"Larry, you live a life that denies the Resurrection....and I bet you haven't spent 15 hours looking at the evidence"
Professor Larry Thomas was an atheist and the greatest champion for John Dewey's progressive education/idealism on the West Coast.
Idealism declares their is no eternal truth; our lives are but waves in a sea that cease to exist into the undifferentiated sea; the only thing that doesn't change is the fact that everything changes.
But Dr. Scott was Professor Thomas's brightest student. He taught Dr. Scott that if you want respect for your beliefs you must know what you believe and why you believe it. That facts and only facts determine truth, and if a fact is introduced that controverts something you've already spoken up for then you must embrace the new fact immediately.
To jump ahead of the story Dr. Scott called Larry Thomas " a man with more integrity in the tip of his little finger than any christian I have ever met. "
But Dr. Scott got in Larry's face about the Resurrection.
Larry Thomas : " do you have a quick source I can review ? "
Dr. Scott : " no, but I can present it in about two hours "
This is what Dr. Scott said :
There is massive mainstream cultural pressure to categorize Jesus as a "good and wise " teacher. This label is meant to counter balance the claims of Divinity which a modern world will not accept. Jesus is much too respected to do away with, so certain powers that be create an acceptable Jesus - the " good and wise teacher ".
What is the source for believing Jesus a " good and wise " teacher ?
In WHATEVER SOURCE that is used to make this assertion, I will find claims about Jesus that disprove " good and wise teacher ".
Jesus made wild claims of Divinity. In one instance He forgave sins, which caused the Jews to say " who can forgive sins but God alone ? "
Give those Jews credit for recognizing that only God could forgive sins. But Jesus, without hesitation, forgave sins.
Jesus said " before Abraham was...I was. "
Come again ?
Jesus cannot be good if He went around telling lies about being around before Abraham, and if He was wise then He is smart enough to know that claims of Divinty and the forgiving of sins is not possible by a mortal man.
Jesus was anything but " good and wise " in any source anyone wants to offer for this bogus claim.
In fact, of all the respected founders of religion, Jesus is the only one who makes the claim of Divinity.
Confucious made a logical analysis of society. When asked about the next life he replied " I can't even solve the problems of this life "
Buddha, out of a sense of moral imperfection sought a way to disconnect from thirsts of this life and developed the 8 fold way to " the that behind all that. " In spite of denying divinty while alive, followers concluded he must of been Divine after all.
Mohammed claimed to be a prophet of Allah via visions.
Jesus, unlike Buddha, thought He was perfect. He didn't claim visions like Mohammed, Jesus said " I am the way. "
Jesus seated authority in Himself. He said " you've heard it said unto, but behold I SAY "
The Sermon on the Mount has Jesus telling the disciples " when ye pray." Jesus never prayed the prayer that His disciples prayed. And scholars routinely wonder why Jesus never spoke about righteousness, this is because He is righteousness, whatever He does is perfect and He conducts Himself without any thought of moral imperfection.
The Jews were right, if Jesus wasn't who He said He was then He was a blasphemer.
Jesus claimed to know eternity from the inside.
" I saw Satan fall from heaven "
"....and when one sinner repents the angels rejoice .."
How would Jesus know any of this ? The point is that He claimed to.
" good and wise teacher ? " Saying things like He did makes Him neither good or wise. He is either a liar or a fraud OR He is who He says He is - nothing in between. Super nut or super natural that is the choice from any source about Jesus.
Then to top it off Jesus says that unless He dies the world is doomed, that only His death can right and reverse an irrevocable judgement of hell.
But IF Jesus raised from the dead, as He predicted, then this validates as true everything else He said as truth.
The hardest thing to prove is the Resurrection, but in order to discuss the Resurrection a person must assume 8 other facts to be true before the Resurrection is evidenced.
Why discuss if Jesus rose if you do not believe He lived ?
Why discuss if Jesus rose if you do not believe He was crucified ?
The following 8 facts must be assumed as facts or it is pointless to talk about the Resurrection. And the following 8 facts are progressively easier to prove than the Resurrection, that is, in sequence, starting with number 1 and ending with number 8, these 8 facts are easier to prove than the Resurrection.
1) Jesus lived
2) crucified a) by the Romans
b) instigated by certain Jewish leaders
3) considered dead
4) buried in a known accessible tomb
5) preached; raised, ascended, and an empty tomb
6) Jewish leaders concerned to disprove
7) persecution of disciples for claiming He raised
8) empty tomb/Jewish leaders position at stake.
These 8 things must be assumed as fact, as they are, starting from number 1 being the most easy to prove, with number 8 being the hardest to prove, and of course the Resurrection itself to be the most difficult to prove.
Over 2000 years have produced the following list of most offered explanations for the Resurrection.
B1) disciples stole the body
B2) Romans took the body
B3) Jewish leaders took body
B4) women went to the wrong tomb
B7) disciples lied
B8) disciples told the truth
The Romans refused to even stand guard, telling the Jews to do it yourself.
If the Jews took the body all they had to do was produce it.
Wrong tomb ? Then go to the right tomb.
Nobody resuscitates from a Roman crucifixion.
Psychologists will tell you hallucinations only manifest when expectancy exists. None of the disciples believed Jesus was alive until He appeared to them and said " see the nail prints "
The Resurrection all boils down to two and only two possibilities :
The disciples lied or they told the truth.
This is why they told the truth :
Lies do not change people for the better. Peter went from an unstable traitor to a Rock that stood before a mocking mob and preached the first sermon of the Church.
A lie didn't make worthless mommas boys like John and James into Apostles of love. John was the one who leaned upon Jesus's breast in John 21. Now go count how many times this man wrote the word "love " in all three of his epistles.
Thomas the doubter became a pillar of faith.
Without exception all of the apostles underwent cataclysmic change for the better - produced by a lie ? Show me one source that contradicts cataclysmic change ? These men turned the world upside down, prior to the crucifixion they were cowardly losers.
Intrinsic Evidence of Truth.
Example 1 :
The gospel writers record that women were the first to report the Resurrection.
In the first century women were not allowed to speak in court much less testify. Women were considered unreliable witnesses, feminism didn't exist. Women had no rights and no voice.
If the disciples are liars why have women to be the first reporters of a lie ? If they are concocting a Resurrection lie, then women reporting their lie would make no sense. The gospel writers record women because it was the truth, they were the first to learn of the Risen Christ.
Example 2 :
All scholars agree that Mark wrote his gospel to Gentiles, and he wrote to convince them that Jesus was the Son of God.
Yet Mark has Jesus referring to Himself as the Son of Man. To a Jew knowledgeable in the Apocalyptic writings of Enoch and Daniel, there is no higher title than Son of Man, but to Gentiles with no such knowledge, Son of Man means son of a man. Yet Mark records Jesus calling Himself Son of Man more times than any other gospel. If Mark is a liar then why have Jesus call Himself Son of Man instead of Son of God when writing to Gentiles ?
Now for the checkmate evidence.
With the exception of John, all of the disciples died a martyrs death - all for a lie ?
Eminent Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas is credited with identifying the single greatest proof of the Resurrection :
Not only did they die a martyrs death, they died a horrible death and they died ALONE.
Aquinas says "...it is INCONCEIVABLE ..." that they would die a horrible death alone FOR A LIE !
Lets frame the reality of the circumstances.
Each apostle is in some remote part of the world preaching a " lie ".
If they were somehow together then it is conceivable that they would cling to some group pride and maybe stay defiant not wanting to betray your cohorts.
But history says they all died alone, to recant meant that they each controlled their destiny and thus their life.
If one were to recant and escape a death sentence none of the others would ever find out. This is the first century where no modern communication abilities exist.
History records that the apostles each died alone, each died a horrible death, while claiming Jesus rose, FOR A LIE ?
Surely someone can find some evidence that one of these apostles recanted ?
People will not die horribly and alone for a lie with the escape hatch of recanting available.
Now at the end of the presentation Larry Thomas says :
" Gene, I am convinced that Jesus rose, which means one of your 8 other facts must not be true "
Dr. Scott :
" I gotcha Larry, because like I already said, those 8 facts are easier to prove than the Resurrection "
True to his own standard of embracing facts, Larry Thomas, shortly thereafter forsook atheism/idealism and became a Catholic, and thus lived a life that proves the Resurrection.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN ?
Jesus said " all authority in heaven and earth is given unto Me "
What better definition of God could there be ?
Jesus also said " Come to Me "......." he that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast him out "
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| ||Message 2 by Asgara, posted 03-06-2004 6:23 PM|| ||Cold Foreign Object has responded|
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