April 10, 2020
So how do we know Jesus isn't some fairy tale?
How do we know He even existed? What if people just made Him up to try and control others?
Well, from a scholarly perspective, these views are absolutely ridiculous.
I would like to say at the outset that liberal scholars don't even use alternatives to the resurrection anymore in formal debate, because they have all been debunked long ago.
But we will go through them anyways so that you will be able to know how to counter the arguments.
Before we get into it, here is a Table of Contents to help you navigate:
Jesus Christ is an historical figure, and not just from the Bible.
There is what's called extrabiblical evidence for Jesus (evidence outside of the Bible) from 1st century non-Christian writers like Tacitus, the letter from Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan, Josephus, and others.
99% of scholars, if not more, would say that there actually was a person named Jesus of Nazareth, who lived in the 1st century AD.
And probably 95% of all scholars (liberal and conservative) would agree that He was crucified on the cross under Pontius Pilate.
They have found the stone inscription of Pontius as well. You can read about it here:
Again, not just because the Bible says it, but because there are extrabiblical references (references outside the Bible) to this by non-Christian sources.
So if we know He lived and walked the earth, and we know He was crucified on a cross, then that leaves the all-important question, "What happened to His body?"
The video below explains a bit further:
So as the video above discusses, within weeks of Jesus rising from the dead, there are literally thousands of Jews who have now become followers of Jesus, and all the Jewish leaders, or Roman leaders, had to do to silence this rebellion was to produce the body of Jesus.
But they couldn't, of course, because He rose from the dead bodily.
Well, someone may say, maybe He didn't rise up.
Let's talk about some of the alternatives.
Maybe Jesus just hypnotized the disciples into thinking they had seen the risen Lord.
The problem with theories of hypnosis is that Jesus didn't just show up to one person at a time.
He showed up to all the disciples at once, and hypnosis doesn't work in group settings, for people all have different experiences.
Plus, He showed up to over 500 people at once, again eliminating hypnosis as a viable option.
This video below explains this a bit.
Maybe Jesus never really died on the cross. Maybe He just swooned, or fainted, and so they took Him off the cross, and then He got up from the tomb, still alive.
The problem with this theory, firstly, is Jesus' flogging. Jesus was whipped and bloody. Before I proceed, watch this quick video on the whip used to flog Jesus.
Have you ever gotten a cut on the bottom of your foot?
How does it feel to walk even a few steps on that foot?
Well let's play this out just for fun though.
So Swoon Theory says that Jesus was beaten and bleeding from his shoulders, down his back, passed his buttocks, and onto his thighs, and is laying there in a tomb for multiple days, without food or water.
Then somehow, He manages to get up, walk over to the 2-ton stone door, roll that away, still bleeding, walk out the door, fight off the Roman guards keeping watch, whose lives depended on them keeping watch.
Then, Jesus walks miles to where His apostles were, and appears to them, and says, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, follow Me."
Can you imagine the disciples thinking to themselves, as He is bleeding all over the ground, "Wow, I really want that sort of resurrected body as well."
No, they would have said, "Get this guy a doctor!"
Here is a quick video which explains this absurdity.
Ok so let's move to the third alternative people like to try and propose, instead of the resurrection.
Maybe the disciples of Jesus just stole the body, and told everyone that He rose from the dead.
The problem with this theory is that the disciples would not die for a lie. Would you?
If you knew something was a lie (something that you made up), and someone was about to kill you for it, would you stick to your lie?
Additionally, this doesn't explain the conversions of St. Paul, and James the brother of Jesus (who did not believe in Jesus as the Son of God until after He rose from the dead).
Here is a quick video that discusses this point.
If you want an excellent resource on who Jesus (the Son of God) was, both in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament, I highly recommend you check out the book, Putting Jesus in His Place, by Dr. Rob Bowman Jr., and J Ed Komoszewski.
The facts are pretty clear!
Again, 99% of scholars (both liberal and conservative) say that Jesus lived. 95% say He was crucified on a cross.
So what happened to His body?
If you still need convincing, here is Dr. Gary Habermas (the foremost expert on that resurrection) to break down the Minimal Facts Argument for you.
This is STRONG evidence that points to Jesus rising from the dead.
Now we would like to turn it over to you. Which RESURRECTION ALTERNATIVE have you heard most often in your life? Was it HYPNOSIS theory, or the theory that THE DISCIPLES STOLE THE BODY? Let us know in the comments section below.
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