Monday, April 6, 2009

The Bible Only Gives One Side of the Story

One thing I rarely see addressed by Christian apologists is the problem created by the fact that only one side of the story survives.

Suppose that the only extant accounts of the lead up to the Iraq War were written by Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, and Doug Feith. For than matter, suppose the only ones that survived were written by Michael Moore, Keith Olberman, and Dennis Kucinich. Each side would have vastly different ideas about which facts people needed to know in order to understand how the United States came to invade Iraq. The liberals’ set of facts would overlap with the conservative’s set in places and each side would probably include a few facts detrimental to its position in order to appear objective, but there would be a large group of important facts that would be ignored by one side and an equally large group ignored by the other.

I was thinking about this in connection with the willingness of the disciples to die for their beliefs which is so often touted by Christians as evidence of their sincere belief in the actual physical resurrection of Jesus. Without getting into the question of how that willingness can be proved as to any specific belief in the first place, I wonder how many of Jesus’ followers weren’t willing to die for their beliefs. There might have been dozens or hundreds of followers we never heard about who went back to their fishing boats and farms after the crucifixion.

I can just imagine a bunch of guys in the upper room shouting “I see him! I see Jesus!” and an equally large bunch saying to themselves “These guys are nuts! I don’t see anything.” These guys would never have bothered to write their stories. They would have slipped out and returned to their homes without telling anyone they had ever been there. Even if they had told their stories, the believers wouldn’t have bothered to preserve them.


  1. More importantly, the latter group would likely have vastly outnumbered the former group.

  2. In The Gospel of John and Christian Theology By Richard Bauckham, Carl Mosser (2008), Professor Alan Torrance writes on page 254 that Mark does not mention Lazarus, because Lazarus was a wanted man and feared for his life.

    What had transformed these people so that they went from a bunch of frightened people to people who could not even be named in Christians books because they were so scared of being killed?

    Oh I forgot.

    Christian apologists are now talking out of the other side of their mouth, because they have to explain how Lazarus could disappear from church history, despite his alleged vast fame.