Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?

April 10, 2020

Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?

Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?

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 the Historical Figure
  • Resurrection Alternative 1 - Hypnosis Theory
  • Resurrection Alternative 2 - Swoon Theory
  • Resurrection Alternative 3 - The Disciples Stole the Body
  • Gary Habermas - Minimal Facts
  • Jesus the Historical Figure

    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.

    Josephus, Trajan and Tacitus - Ultimate Guide to Christian Apologetics

    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. 

    Jesus is real - Welcome to Truth

    They have found the stone inscription of Pontius as well.  You can read about it here:

    https://welcometotruth.com/blogs/apologetics/new-testament-biblical-archaeology

    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.

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    Resurrection Alternative 1 - Hypnosis Theory

    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.

    Hypnosis Theory is False - Welcome to Truth

    This video below explains this a bit.

    Resurrection Alternative 2 - Swoon Theory

    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!"

    Swoon Theory is Wrong - Welcome to Truth

    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.

     

    IF YOU ENJOY LEARNING TO DEFEND YOUR CHRISTIAN FAITH, CLICK THE LINK TO CHECK OUT THE FIRST EVER "APOLOGETICS BOARD GAME".

    Stephen Meyer and Lee Strobel - Welcome to Truth Board Game

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    Resurrection Alternative 3 - The Disciples Stole the Body

    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?

    Doubtful. 

    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).

    The Disciples did not steal the body - Welcome to Truth

    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.

    Putting Jesus in His Place - Ultimate Guide to Christian Apologetics

    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?

    Still Not Convinced?

    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.

    Gary Habermas on the Resurrection - Welcome to Truth

     

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    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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