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Author Topic:   RESURRECTION : THE EVIDENCE (+ Apostolic Martyrdom considerations)
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1279 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


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. "

What ?

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.

EXPLANATIONS

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
B5) resuscitation
B6) hallucinations
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 :

Cataclysmic change.

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 "


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Asgara, posted 03-06-2004 6:23 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded
 Message 3 by Chiroptera, posted 03-06-2004 6:40 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded
 Message 10 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 03-07-2004 3:25 AM Cold Foreign Object has responded
 Message 69 by hitchy, posted 03-10-2004 7:58 AM Cold Foreign Object has responded

  
Asgara
Member (Idle past 534 days)
Posts: 1783
From: Wisconsin, USA
Joined: 05-10-2003


Message 2 of 233 (90839)
03-06-2004 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Cold Foreign Object
03-06-2004 5:48 PM


Now for the checkmate evidence.

With the exception of John, all of the disciples died a martyrs death ......

I've asked you this before WT, can you give me some reference for this? All I could ever find talked about "by tradition...", "stories say...."

I don't have access to primary literature, but I could find no one who even referenced primary literature, or anything for that matter. All I could ever find is hearsay.

I'm not saying that the references and proof of your quoted statement isn't out there, I'm just asking for ANYONE to show it to me.

I asked this question in the first thread you claimed it in. You ignored me. I opened a seperate topic for it, you ignored me. (other than to start a temper tantrum)

http://http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=1&t=157&m=2#2

Is there some reason you don't want to discuss this, yet want to be able to continue making the claim?

[This message has been edited by Asgara, 03-06-2004]


Asgara
"An unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates via Plato
This message is a reply to:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6770
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 3 of 233 (90841)
03-06-2004 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Cold Foreign Object
03-06-2004 5:48 PM


Actually, none of the Gospels were written down until about a generation after the Crucifixion, so we have very little idea of what, if anything, Jesus actually said. Most, if not all, of these sayings could be words put into his mouth by his later followers.

As to what happened to the body, remember that crucifixion was supposed to be a horrible and humiliating form of execution. Those crucified probably weren't allowed to be buried by the authorities - they were probably either left to rot or be eaten by scavengers, or the body simply tossed into a garbage pit.


This message is a reply to:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1279 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 4 of 233 (90844)
03-06-2004 6:59 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Chiroptera
03-06-2004 6:40 PM


7th cave of Qumran

Chester Beatty papyri

Tatians Harmony

Just three off the top of my head.

You are a know nothing, mouthing ignorance.

[This message has been edited by WILLOWTREE, 03-06-2004]


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Replies to this message:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1279 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 5 of 233 (90845)
03-06-2004 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Asgara
03-06-2004 6:23 PM


I am not ignoring you. Thanks for your interest. I cannot give your post the time it deserves right at this moment. ASAP Asgara OK ?

Thanks WT.


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Asgara
Member (Idle past 534 days)
Posts: 1783
From: Wisconsin, USA
Joined: 05-10-2003


Message 6 of 233 (90848)
03-06-2004 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Cold Foreign Object
03-06-2004 6:59 PM


WT, I'm not sure what you mean by posting these items. Two are from the second century. One is "POSSIBLY" first century, according to Thiede.

What point are you making?


Asgara
"An unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates via Plato
This message is a reply to:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6770
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 7 of 233 (90849)
03-06-2004 7:27 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Asgara
03-06-2004 7:13 PM


I suspect that WillowTree thought I was purposely being insulting or demeaning. At least, that may be why he called me a "know nothing".

The point of my post is that we cannot rely on the Gospels as absolute history, since they were written by the followers of the Christ cult about a generation after the alleged death of Jesus.

The other point is that there may have been no problem about the body. If Jesus was crucified, then it is possible that the body was never laid in the tomb, but disposed of in a more undignified manner. The story of the tomb was probably a later addition to the myth developing around the alleged founder of the Christ cult.

If the way I expressed myself seemed insulting or demeaning, I apologize. That wasn't my intent. At least, not in that particular post.


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AdminBrian
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 233 (90863)
03-06-2004 8:56 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Cold Foreign Object
03-06-2004 6:59 PM


Chill WT
You are a know nothing, mouthing ignorance.

Forum rule 3 WT, please refrain from personal insults. This is not a productive approach.

Thank you.

AdminBrian.


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8858
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 9 of 233 (90864)
03-06-2004 9:07 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Chiroptera
03-06-2004 7:27 PM


know nothing
I can't see anything in your post that was insulting. Perhaps WT can explain what might have been.

Asgara's follow up to WT's answer perhaps demonstrates that it isn't you that doesn't know enough.


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Rand Al'Thor
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 233 (90902)
03-07-2004 3:25 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Cold Foreign Object
03-06-2004 5:48 PM


Willowtree,

This is rather off the topic of the thread but I have a question regarding Dr. Scott's conversion to Christianity. In other threads you have said that the way god punishes people that don't believe in him (Atheists and Agnostics) is by removing their "god sense". So that if you do not believe in god then you will end up without the ability to see his works in the natural world.

Well, my question is that if Dr. Scott did indeed turn to Agnosticism for a brief period of time, how is it that he was able to rediscover god with his "god sense" already removed? Is it possible to get your "god sense" back after you have lost it?

[This message has been edited by Rand Al'Thor, 03-07-2004]


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Chris
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 233 (90916)
03-07-2004 9:08 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Rand Al'Thor
03-07-2004 3:25 AM


I know it's for WT, so pardon me for answering it with my oppinion..
I think maybe it's because he was still trying to find the truth, not denying all about God and willing (in his heart) to believe. And could be God also has plan for him and wants to use him as tool for His works.
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1279 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 12 of 233 (90985)
03-07-2004 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by AdminBrian
03-06-2004 8:56 PM


Re: Chill WT
I described this persons level of knowledge based upon what was written in the material. I argued the position (ignorance) and not the person.
This message is a reply to:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1279 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 13 of 233 (90986)
03-07-2004 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Asgara
03-06-2004 6:23 PM


Asgara :

Are you asking me for titles of books about the deaths of the apostles ?


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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1279 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 14 of 233 (90987)
03-07-2004 5:46 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Asgara
03-06-2004 7:13 PM


IF the member was insinuating that no manuscripts or fragments exist from the first through the second century, then this is what the three references mean.
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AdminBrian
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 233 (90989)
03-07-2004 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Cold Foreign Object
03-07-2004 5:38 PM


Re: Chill WT
The words were:

YOU are a know nothing, mouthing ignorance

There are ways to put this across without being so abrasive. YOU could have said that you disagree with the member and then give reasons why, YOU did not need to need to make the comment personal at all.

AdminBrian


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