Henry Drummond to Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind
What evidence do you have that all the resurrection accounts are nothing more than visions or hallucinations? Other than Paul’s experiences all the evidence indicates that the followers of Jesus believed that they experienced a real bodily resurrection. I think that we need to contrast a New Testament vision with the resurrection descriptions. The writer of Acts describes a vision that Peter has in Acts 10:9-20. He writes:About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” Notice that the text specifically states that Peter “fell into a trance” cuing the reader that this is a vision and not a normal sense experience. Also note the fantastical quality of the vision; there’s a giant sheet in the sky with animals running around on it. Finally, note that Peter doesn’t actually see the Lord in his vision, he only hears him.Now, when we contrast Peter’s vision in Acts with the resurrection accounts in the Gospels we don’t see any of these elements. The writers of the Gospel accounts never say that Jesus’ disciples are having a vision. The descriptions are matter of fact containing no fantastical elements like the giant sheet in the sky; in fact the only thing that is out of the ordinary is the fact that they’re interacting with a person who was dead. The descriptions of the resurrected Jesus are also very concrete in that the disciples are seeing, hearing and touching Jesus. The resurrected Jesus is also engaging in physical bodily functions like eating. Peter never actually physically interacts with the vision of the giant sheet.Another problem with the idea that the followers of Jesus only had visions is that this vision would have to be a group vision that occurred several times in several locations—something that is incredibly implausible. Matthew 28:16 says that several people including the 11 disciples witnessed Jesus on a mountain. In Luke 24:13 Peter and Cleopas witness Jesus. In Luke 24:36-49 all of the disciples see Jesus’ scars, they hear him and they see him eat some fish. In John 20:19-29 Jesus appears to the disciples and Thomas actually places his hand in Jesus’ side wound. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-7 Paul confirms that the 11 disciples saw Jesus and that as many as 500 other persons saw the resurrected Jesus at one time when he cites a very early church creed. This means that the disciples and the 500 would had to of had a simultaneous vision where they were all experiencing the exact same thing—a notion that is very unlikely. Perhaps one person having a vision of a resurrected Jesus is plausible, but many people experiencing similar visions at different times and places and in some cases a shared vision is very implausible.
Other than Paul’s experiences all the evidence indicates that the followers of Jesus believed that they experienced a real bodily resurrection.Other than Paul's account, all the other evidence consists of anonymous writings composed decades after the fact based on unknown sources which are removed an unknown number of times from anyone who actually might have witnessed anything. I think that Paul's experience deserves the most weight.
Another problem with the idea that the followers of Jesus only had visions is that this vision would have to be a group vision that occurred several times in several locations—something that is incredibly implausible.It is incredibly implausible. That's why I don't believe the gospel accounts.
'...500 other persons saw the resurrected Jesus at one time 'Were they having a convention?How the hell did 500 Christians get together at one time before Jesus finally flew into the sky?I thought that until Jesus appeared to people, these Christians had pretty much given up. After all, even after Jesus appeared to the disciples, they went back to their day jobs of fishing (according to John's Gospel).And yet apparently they didn't go back to their day jobs at all.They got straight onto the 1st century equivalent of Facebook and arranged a huge convention where 500 or more of them turned up on the off-chance that Jesus might appear to them.
Vinny wrote: “Other than Paul's account, all the other evidence consists of anonymous writings composed decades after the fact based on unknown sources which are removed an unknown number of times from anyone who actually might have witnessed anything. I think that Paul's experience deserves the most weight.”It is true that Mark was written around the mid to late 50’s A.D., that Matthew was written around the late 50’s to early 60’s A.D., that Luke was written around the early 60’s A.D., and that John was written around 70 A.D. to 100 A.D., but the time between Jesus death and the writing of the Gospels is not enough time for a mythology to plausibly develop, as it is generally thought that it takes centuries for mythologies to develop. It would take centuries for a mythology about Jesus to develop because the people who actually witnessed the events and their followers could simply refute any false accounts of Jesus.You are also greatly discounting the great oral tradition of Judaism and the early due to your modern Western bias towards only accepting highly documented accounts of things. The tradition that Paul cites in 1 Corinthians 15 dates back to within two to seven years after Jesus’ death which is far too little time for a mythology about Jesus to be invented.We can’t know with absolute certainty who wrote the Gospel accounts, but early fathers and historians state that they do know who the authors are. Irenaeus in "Against Heresies" wrote:Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching and founding the church in Rome. After their departure Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also transmitted to us in writing those things which Peter had preached; and Luke, the attendant of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel which Paul had declared. Afterwards John, the disciple of the Lord, who also reclined on his bosom, published his Gospel, while staying at Ephesus in Asia.According to Irenaeus three of the Gospel writers are disciples of Jesus and the fourth is an attendant of Paul who had a chance to accompany Paul on his journeys and interview the followers of Jesus.
This is all nonsense.'....as it is generally thought that it takes centuries for mythologies to develop.'Nonsense. Look at Roswell. Was that centuries agoWhy does becoming a Christian mean you are no longer able to be rational?How can rational discussion with Christians be possible, when they insist on talking nonsense?
Actually, Steven, Roswell is a perfect example of what I’m talking because the government has adamantly and consistently denied any involvement with alien spacecraft relegating Roswell believers to a crackpot, lunatic fringe status. Sure there are people who are skeptical of the government who will still believe that the military base has aliens and alien spacecrafts, but few people take what they say seriously because the government has denied these rumors. I don’t see any great Roswell believer group growing to a worldwide status with millions of people.
Steven Carr wrote: “Were they having a convention?How the hell did 500 Christians get together at one time before Jesus finally flew into the sky?I thought that until Jesus appeared to people, these Christians had pretty much given up. After all, even after Jesus appeared to the disciples, they went back to their day jobs of fishing (according to John's Gospel).”The Gospels do state that Jesus’ disciples were understandably dejected following Jesus’ death and burial, but also remember that the first resurrection appearances occurred just three days after Jesus’ death and that there were several appearances over a 40 day period. As soon as the resurrection appearances started to happen the disciples and followers of Jesus would get together and worship.As to the 500, some scholars think that it refers to the gathering on the mountain in Galilee in Matthew 28. Another possibility is the accession.
What?There were 500 people in Matthew's account?Where are they?There is not one hint of any such vast crowd in the text.You have to laugh at the ability of believers to make things up and their charming naivety in thinking that what they say makes sense outside their looking glass world.Now please name a single one of these alleged 500 people , where and when and why they met.
The most damning piece of evidence against the idea that Jesus’ disciples were only having visions of a resurrected Christ is the multiple attestations of Jesus’ burial in a tomb that was empty three days later. All fours Gospels state that Jesus was buried in a tomb that was empty three days later. The early church creed that Paul cites in 1 Corinthians 15 states that Jesus was buried and raised on the third day. If the early church arose from visions alone then how do you account for Jesus’ burial and empty tomb? In Tacitus’ Annals he writes:Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. If Jesus’ resurrection was nothing more than visions then the Romans or the Jewish officials could have quelled the troublesome early church by presenting Jesus’ dead body to the Christians and said, “Look here you delusional Christians, here is your so called Messiah. Now knock it off!” However, that didn’t happen. The early church grew believing that Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. I suspect that your notion that Jesus’ resurrection is no more than mere visions stems from the fact that you’re trying to come up with a naturalistic explanation for the death and resurrection of Jesus. Are you a naturalist? If so why?
I see.So you think people would drag a dead and decayed body out of a grave and around the Roman Empire?Meanwhile, in the real world....Paul wrote 2 letters to Christian converts in Corinth who apparently were openly scoffing at the idea of their god raising corpses.Paul calls them idiots for even discussing how their god would raise corpses and reminds them that the last Jesus became a life-giving spirit.But they still didn't get it.So he wrote a second letter, telling them that it doesn't matter if the earthly body is destroyed, they would get a new spiritual body, made in Heaven.Paul's reaction to seeing the corpse of Jesus (if he ever did), would be to call you a fool , an idiot, and tell you that 'You do not plant the body that will be.'Paul is clear that if there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.So the natural body is dead. Paul is clear on that.What goes into the ground dies, he says. The corpse is dead.No wonder those Christian converts in Corinth were idiots for wondering how a corpse eaten by worms will live again.The corpse is as dead as a doornail, according to Paul.His god will create a new body, just like each year he creates new wheat.
Steven Carr wrote: “So you think people would drag a dead and decayed body out of a grave and around the Roman Empire?”Sure, it would be the perfect way to break the back of the early church if the resurrection appearances were nothing more than mere visions. It wouldn’t have to be as dramatic as you say; Roman/Jewish officials could simply make known where Jesus’ body lay and perhaps taken some church members to see the tomb being opened up. Although, given the Romans penchant for spectacle, I wouldn’t be surprised if they would have done something dramatic like dragging the body around Rome or putting it on public display.Steven Carr wrote: “Paul wrote 2 letters to Christian converts in Corinth who apparently were openly scoffing at the idea of their god raising corpses.”1 Corinthians is a wide ranging letter that deals with immorality in the church and advice about how church services should be conducted. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul talks about resurrections and why they should be believed because the idea of bodily resurrection was a very foreign concept in the Greco-Roman world. It took some getting used to but Christianity spread through the Roman Empire nevertheless.
I get it.Roswell is a fraud because the government denies it.Guess what?According to your Old Book, the government denied Jesus rose from the dead.It took centuries before this 'legend' was accepted.That means, according to your logic, it must have been all legend.Now about these demons which you claim are irrelevant.Why should I believe in Christianity when it says there are demons and there are no demons?Just how false does a religion have to be before falsehood gets to be declared 'irrelevant' by the believers?
Steven Carr wrote: “According to your Old Book, the government denied Jesus rose from the dead.It took centuries before this 'legend' was accepted.That means, according to your logic, it must have been all legend.”No actually it does not because you’re failing to see who has the greatest claim to knowledge in each case. In the case of Roswell it is the government because it was their experimental balloon that crashed and they recovered the wreckage. In the case of Jesus it is the disciples of Jesus who had the bulk of the knowledge because they spent numerous hours with Jesus learning from him and observing his life while the Roman officials knew little about Jesus and his life. Steven Carr wrote: “Now about these demons which you claim are irrelevant.Why should I believe in Christianity when it says there are demons and there are no demons?Just how false does a religion have to be before falsehood gets to be declared 'irrelevant' by the believers?”First of all, belief in demons is not a central tenant of Christianity. If you look at the Apostles Creed you will see nothing about demons. Whether or not demons exist is a side matter that doesn’t have anything to do with the central claims of Christianity.Secondly, I think that the existence of demons is plausible. There have been numerous people that have claimed to have been mentally and physically attacked and bullied by demons. I also heard a formerly skeptical psychiatrist who has studied many exorcisms say that he believes a handful of them, that he witnessed, are legitimate. He said that he observed a woman who was undergoing an exorcism throw a man across the room. He has witnessed people who are ignorant of Latin intelligently respond to the Latin phrases of a priest. He also witnessed a woman who was levitated while undergoing an exorcism.
I am not a naturalist, however, I do employ methodological naturalism because it is the only intellectual tool I have for drawing inferences from evidence.
Vinny, I had a feeling that most of your objections stemmed from some form of naturalism. Many people have succumbed to the specious allure of naturalism. However, you should reject methodological naturalism because it begs the question against any sort supernatural explanation by prima facie assuming that such explanations are impossible, without any basis, and so blinding us to possible fruitful explanations. You should also reject methodological naturalism because theism offers a more plausible explanation for many phenomena that we observe in the world than naturalism. Given our background knowledge about the state of the world, God is the best explanation for motion in the universe; the finely tuned universe and everything in it; the existence of objective morals and duties; and the existence of consciousness. If God is the best explanation for these things then God’s existence is very likely. If God’s existence is highly likely then naturalism is implausible and should be rejected as a world view and explanatory tool. The Argument from First Motion:1. Some things are changing.2. Whatever is changing is being changed by something else.3. The prime mover can be either A) just potential, B) a mix of potential and actual, or C) just actual.4. The prime mover is pure actuality.5. Therefore the prime mover is pure actuality.Experience shows that contingent material objects like people, trees, cars and stars are caused to change by something else. However, this chain of contingent cause and effect can’t go back to infinity because if there is no necessarily existing agent/object that is pure actuality to actualize everything that is a mix of potential and actual then everything in the chain of causality will cease to change and exist. However, since there is change and motion in the universe there must be a prime mover that is pure actuality. Since all material objects in the universe are changing and appear to be contingent it is improbable that the prime mover is a material object. However, God is said to be a necessarily existent, immaterial mind and so is more likely to be the prime mover with pure actuality.
More philosophical nonsense that can just be ignored.You can't sit at your desk and magic your idol into existence by waving words around.Mangling words just doesn't trump reality.You believe in demons.There are no demons.Christianity is therefore false.
Experience also shows that people don't rise from the dead.
Steven Carr wrote: “You believe in demons There are no demons Christianity is therefore false.”This argument is invalid as the conclusion does not follow from the premises. My belief in demons has no bearing on the truth or falsity of Christianity. Your inability to formulate a valid philosophical argument leads me to believe that you are a mere philosophical tyro and so your pontifications in which you inveigh philosophy should be ignored.
Vinny wrote: “Experience also shows that people don't rise from the dead.”Sure it does. Notice that if resurrections were a quotidian experience then the resurrection of Jesus would be no more interesting than keys falling out of my hand. However, since God, who created the natural order, likely exists he could momentarily suspend the natural order to make a statement or accomplish a goal.
The Kalam Cosmological Argument:1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.2. The universe began to exist.3. Therefore the universe has a cause of its existence.The Argument from First Motion deals with a potential eternal universe, but current scientific research shows that the universe has existed for ~13.7 billion years and arose out of the big bang and so it not eternal. This means, most likely, that the universe had some sort of cause for its existence. It is very, very, very unlikely that the universe popped into existence uncaused out of nothing as nothingness has no causality. Also, it would be strange that nothingness causes something to pop into existence only once every 13.7 billion years-or-so; after all we don’t observe mountains, planets and people just popping into existence uncaused.Another naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe, that the laws of nature caused the universe to come into being, is implausible because laws of nature are abstract objects that can’t, in of themselves cause anything—abstract objects are causally inert. Another implausible explanation is that subatomic particles and natural laws caused the universe to come into being. This explanation is implausible because everything we can see with our eyes has a cause of its existence, and even microscopic things like the elements didn’t exist prior to the big bang, so necessarily existent subatomic particles would fly in the face of what we know about the universe. Even natural laws seem to be contingent in that they could easily be different than they are. Positing subatomic particles and natural laws as the necessary entities that caused the universe to coming into being is also un-parsimonious as we would need to assume that there are physical objects and abstract objects that need to exist necessarily in order to be the cause of everything else.On the other hand, positing God as the transcendent being that exists necessarily is more plausible because an un-embodied mind has no parts that need to be formed or created and needs nothing in order to exist. Positing God is also more parsimonious as we need to assume that only one necessary being needs to exist in order to cause everything else to exist.The Teleological Argument:1. The fine tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance or design.2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.3. Therefore, it is due to design.Observations about the universe show that the cosmological constants are exquisitely fine tuned and that if many of them were only slightly different than they are then the universe would be devoid of stars, planets and life. Oxford physicist Roger Penrose calculates that the odds of the special low entropy condition having arisen by chance alone in the absence of any constraining principles is a least as small as about one part in 10^10(123) in order for the universe to exist. It is very, very, very improbable that the fine tuning that we see in the universe arose by physical necessity or chance. Positing an agent, such as God, who designed the universe in such a way so that life could arise, is much, much, much more plausible than naturalistic alternatives.The Axiological Argument:1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.3. Therefore, God exists.Certain propositions such as, “It is wrong to murder innocent people,” “Raping and torturing little children is wrong,” and “It is good to help someone in need,” just seem to be objectively true no matter what a particular culture says. It is extremely difficult for naturalism to account for the existence of objective morals and duties, but they can be accounted for in the nature of God’s being.
No, creating an idol and saying it believes what you do is not an argument that your idol exists.
Scientific research is founded on methodological naturalism.
Vinny wrote: “Scientific research is founded on methodological naturalism.”Yes it is, and even though naturalism is implausible we should still hold to something like it; something that I call natural orderism. We should assume that the natural order that God established will hold unless we have good reason to suspect otherwise. When scientists are conducting their experiments they should be believe that the natural order will hold because there is no good reason to think that God will tinker with their experiments like some capricious gremlin.
Steven Carr wrote: “No, creating an idol and saying it believes what you do is not an argument that your idol exists.”You are attacking a straw man version of the axiological argument. The argument does not say that I believe x and so does God. The argument says that the existence of objective morals and duties are metaphysically grounded in the being of God.
When scientists are conducting their experiments they should be believe that the natural order will hold because there is no good reason to think that God will tinker with their experiments like some capricious gremlin.If an omniscient and omnipotent God exists,But you imagine you know the mind of God sufficiently to know when and why He might decide to suspend the natural order.
Vinny wrote: “But you imagine you know the mind of God sufficiently to know when and why He might decide to suspend the natural order.”First of all, you shouldn’t think of natural orderism as needing to know the mind of God. Think of it as a less close minded presupposition than those of methodological naturalism. In both cases it is assumed that natural events continue as they generally have, it’s just that natural orderism is open to the possibility that God could suspend the natural order he established. Secondly, given the implications of the moral argument and the special revelation of God entering into human history in the wonderful, loving nature of Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for the iniquities of the human race, we can infer that God is good and so wouldn’t maliciously and capriciously mess around with scientific experiments.Finally, we can infer from the great regularity of the natural order that God highly values regularity unless he has good reason to alter it.
Absent God having some good reason to suspend the natural order, the most reasonable explanation for any story of supernatural events is some combination of common human foibles like ignorance, gullibility, delusion, wishful thinking, superstition, exaggeration, and prevarication. Therefore, I would have to understand God's reasons and purposes before I could conclude that He had in fact suspended the natural order in any particular case.
Vinny, you make a good point, if a physically impossible event has occurred and there are no good theological reasons to think that God has suspended the natural order then we should seek natural explanations if possible. However, in the case of Jesus, there are good theological reasons to think that God did suspend the natural when he raised Jesus from the dead. Preceding Jesus’ appearance on earth, there were numerous prophesies about a Messiah who would be a suffering servant. Jesus claimed to be that Messiah and the son of God. Jesus backed up this claim by performing miracles and proclaiming great teachings as well as displaying brilliant reasoning. Jesus also predicted his own death and resurrection. We can see that there are many good theological reasons to think that God raised Jesus from the dead.
You are begging the question. We are trying to decide whether a physically impossible event is the best explanation for the evidence which consists of a collection of ancient stories. We need some way to determine God's purposes which is independent of the stories themselves. Without that, we are perfectly justified in concluding that the best explanation for these stories is some combination of ignorance, gullibility, delusion, wishful thinking, superstition, exaggeration, and prevarication.
And you’re begging the question against the Gospels which aren’t “stories,” they’re historical accounts which back each other up and are backed up with historical and archeological evidence. Instead of just throwing out some historical documents let’s see if they correspond to known historical and archeological facts.We know that Gospel characters like Pontius Pilate actually existed because the Italian archaeologist Antonio Frova discovered a plaque that says, “Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judea has dedicated to the people of Caesarea a temple in honor of Tiberius." The Jewish historian Josephus mentions Pontius Pilate in his writings and the Roman historian Tacitus also mentions Pilate and Tiberius. There is also archeological evidence for the sites in the Gospels such as a pool that matches John’s description of the Pool of Siloam which was been discovered in area that John said it would be.There is historical evidence for Jesus’ disciples as Josephus mentions James the brother of Jesus. In Galatians, Paul mentions meeting Peter, James and John in Jerusalem. According to the church father Irenaeus he heard Polycarp say that he was John’s disciple.In the hostile source the Talmud there is an account that confirms Jesus’ crucifixion on the eve of Passover and the fact that there was some supernatural element to Jesus. Sanhedrin 43a says, “On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward ad plead on his behalf.” But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!” The Talmud’s description of Jesus as a sorcerer shows that Jesus was more than just a teacher or apostate—he had performed some sort of supernatural acts.In “The Antiquities” the Jewish historian Josephus confirms the Gospel accounts. Josephus wrote, “At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. His conduct was good and (he) was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.” From Josephus’ writing we know that Jesus was crucified and that his followers believed that he was alive and made appearances to them. This is backed up by the writings of Tacitus who said the Christians had a resurgence following the death of Jesus. We can see that there is a great deal of historical and archeological evidence that back up the Gospel accounts so we should approach the accounts as legitimate historical evidence.
They are most certainly stories and it in no way begs the question to call them stories. If you cannot even acknowledge that, I cannot see how we can have any sort of discussion. Whether they are stories that recount historical events is the point at issue. Since they are filled with events that are physically impossible, we cannot rationally approach them other than with a healthy dose of skepticism.
The Argument from Consciousness:1. Genuinely non-physical mental states exist.2. There is an explanation for the existence of mental states.3. Personal explanation is different from natural scientific explanation.4. The explanation for the existence of mental states is either a personal or natural scientific explanation.5. The explanation is not a natural scientific one.6. Therefore the explanation is a personal one.7. If the explanation is personal, then it is theistic.8. Therefore the explanation [for the existence of mental states] is theistic.If matter is all that exists in the universe then we would expect more complex arrangements of matter as time goes by, but consciousness coming out of non-consciousness is extremely unlikely. It is much more plausible to say that the consciousness that we see on earth arose from the conscious mind of God.As we can see from the arguments I’ve presented, God is the best explanation for motion in the universe; the finely tuned universe and everything in it; the existence of objective morals and duties; and consciousness. Naturalistic explanations for these things range from implausible to extremely implausible. Since God is the best explanation for these things God’s existence is very likely. Since God’s existence is very likely naturalism is implausible and should be rejected. Now that naturalism has been rejected we can see that the best explanation for Jesus’ empty tomb and resurrection appearances following his crucifixion is that God raised Jesus from the dead. This explanation is much more likely than the implausible and ad hoc naturalistic explanations that have been presented.
Well, that was a load of words.
KEITHIn 1 Corinthians 15 Paul talks about resurrections and why they should be believed because the idea of bodily resurrection was a very foreign concept in the Greco-Roman world.CARRGosh, no wonder those Christian converts scoffed at the idea of their god choosing to raise corpses.Keith explains that these Christian converts found the idea of corpses rising from graves strange.Well, they would, because no corpse had risen from a grave.Paul says Jesus 'became a life-giving spirit'. And tells the Corinthians that if the earthly body is destroyed, they will get a new one.Paul no more believed in the corpse of Jesus walking out of the grave than he believed a fish could turn into the moon - the analogy he used to show just what sorts of idiots people were who thought corpses could enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Mind you, Keith is one of those total idiots who lives in a world where people drag decayed corpses out of tombs to refute religions (Yeh, like people exhumed Elvis to prove he was dead...).This is just laughable and marks him out as somebody who cannot be reasoned with.
Steven Carr wrote: “Well, they would, because no corpse had risen from a grave.”If Jesus did not rise from the dead then how do you explain both the empty tomb of Jesus and the resurrection appearances?Steven Carr wrote: “Paul no more believed in the corpse of Jesus walking out of the grave than he believed a fish could turn into the moon - the analogy he used to show just what sorts of idiots people were who thought corpses could enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”Steven, what are you talking about? Paul very clearly teaches resurrection from the dead in his writings, so I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking when you say that Paul did not believe in the resurrection. What possible proof could you have that he didn’t believe in the resurrection? He believed so much that he was willing to give up the high esteem he had as a Pharisee and endure beatings and imprisonment to preach the Gospel. Steven Carr wrote: “Mind you, Keith is one of those total idiots who lives in a world where people drag decayed corpses out of tombs to refute religions (Yeh, like people exhumed Elvis to prove he was dead...).”Steven, what you’re saying doesn’t make any sense; just because you’re too obtuse and prosaic to see the perfectly obvious fact that, at the very least, the Jewish or Roman officials could have pointed to Jesus’ sealed tomb as a way to destroy the early church it doesn’t follow that they were as well. I don’t know why you act like exhuming a body is so inconceivable. There’s nothing logically impossible about it. It’s also not unprecedented as grave robbers and even our present day police will exhume bodies. As to Elvis, you can get on a plane and fly to Tennessee and go to Graceland and see Elvis’ intact grave, so there is no reason to exhume his body AGAIN—yes I said again! According to an ABC News story Elvis’ body was originally in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis and then it was moved to his present grave in Graceland. Alexandra Ludka writes, “Elvis Presley fans can lay their love for the music icon to rest — literally — by purchasing the crypt where Elvis’ body was originally buried before his remains were moved to the Graceland estate…Presley and his mother Gladys were buried in a mausoleum in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis, Tenn. for two months after Elvis’ death in 1977. The bodies were then moved to Graceland, freeing up the space for a fan willing to lay down major cash to lay to rest in Elvis’ original grave.” You might want to do some research before throwing out examples that blow up in your face.
KEITHthe Jewish or Roman officials could have pointed to Jesus’ sealed tomb as a way to destroy the early church it doesn’t follow that they were as well....CARROh dearie me.Christian converts were already scoffing at the idea if their god choosing to raise corpses - both in Corinth and in Thessalonica.Why would their faith in Jesus be destroyed by showing them a corpse when they already scoffed at the idea of their god choosing to raise corpses?Even Acts, a work of no provenance claims in the second half of the book that the Romans were 'at a loss' how to investigate Christian claims.How can you be 'at a loss' to investigate a claim that a tomb was empty?You can't.How can you be 'at a loss' to investigate Paul's claim that Jesus 'became a life-giving spirit'?The answer is obvious.
Steven Carr wrote: “Christian converts were already scoffing at the idea if their god choosing to raise corpses - both in Corinth and in Thessalonica.Why would their faith in Jesus be destroyed by showing them a corpse when they already scoffed at the idea of their god choosing to raise corpses?”You’re so hung up on the converts in Corinth and Thessalonica that you’re failing to see the bigger picture—if the early church had been crushed before it ever really got going then there would be no churches in Corinth and Thessalonica and we would not be debating about Jesus’ resurrection today. If the resurrection appearances were nothing more than mere visions or hallucinations and the Romans or Jewish officials were able to direct Jesus’ followers to Jesus’ sealed tomb and/or body then the disciples would have lost faith and the early church never would have gotten off the ground. Producing the sealed tomb or body of Jesus would have been a simple way to falsify the delusional beliefs of the apostles. If the Romans or Jewish officials had been able to produce either Jesus’ sealed tomb or body then the early church would be stillborn and Jesus and his followers would be nothing more than a quick blip in history, and so Western history would look very different as well.
Paul certainly did teach resurrection.But he is clear that there are two bodies.'If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body'.The natural body is dead. 'What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.The natural body dies. It is dead. God then creates new life, just like God creates new wheat each year.Paul then explains that the natural body is as different from the spiritual body as a fish is different to the moon.A fish does not turn into the moon. The natural body does not turn into the spiritual body.This is why the Christian converts in Corinth were idiots for doubting the resurrection, because they knew, like Paul, that corpses die.That was the whole point, according to Paul. 'A natural body is sown, a spiritual body is raised.'Paul reminds them that Jesus became a life-giving spirit, to replace the body which had rotted in the tomb.Paul then wrote a second letter to the Corinthians telling them even more clearly that if the earthly body is destroyed, they would get a new body, made in Heaven.So, to sum up - Christian converts believed Jesus was alive but still scoffed at the idea of corpses rising from graves.Hence they doubted that they would be resurrected.Paul thinks this is idiocy, because they will be resurrected in exactly the same manner Jesus was.Their bodies would be planted in the ground, rot and decay, and they would be given a second body to replace the one which had died.'If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.'
If I understand you correctly, Steven, you’re saying that Paul taught that Jesus was raised as an immaterial, invisible spirit that could only be seen in visions. If this is what you’re saying then you are clearly misreading the text in 1 Corinthians 15. Notice that Paul uses an agricultural metaphor to describe the resurrection. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:34, “When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.” This is a less impressive physical thing transforming into a greater physical thing. Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible says:It is raised a spiritual body; not as to substance, but as to its quality; it will not be changed into a spirit; our Lord's risen body, to which ours will be conformed, was not a spirit, but, as before, consisted of flesh and bones: but the body will then be subject to the spirit and soul of man; it will be employed in spiritual service, for which it will be abundantly fitted and assisted by the Spirit of God; and it will be delighted with spiritual objects; it will be like the angels, those excellent spirits; it will live as spirits do, without natural helps and means, as meat, drink, clothes, sleep, and, as they, will never die: there is a natural; or "animal body", such as the first man's was, and those are that descend from him by ordinary generation; and there is a spiritual body; such as the body of Christ now is, and as will be the bodies of the risen saints; the phrase is Jewish, , "the spiritual body" and the flesh of the righteous, being , "spiritual flesh" , are to be met with in their writings.Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says: 44. a natural body—literally, "an animal body," a body moulded in its organism of "flesh and blood" (1Co 15:50) to suit the animal soul which predominates in it. The Holy Spirit in the spirit of believers, indeed, is an earnest of a superior state (Ro 8:11), but meanwhile in the body the animal soul preponderates; hereafter the Spirit shall predominate, and the animal soul be duly subordinate.spiritual body—a body wholly moulded by the Spirit, and its organism not conformed to the lower and animal (Lu 20:35, 36), but to the higher and spiritual, life (compare 1Co 2:14; 1Th 5:23).There is, &c.—The oldest manuscripts read, "IF there is a natural (or animal-souled) body, there is also a spiritual body." It is no more wonderful a thing, that there should be a body fitted to the capacities and want of man's highest part, his spirit (which we see to be the case), than that there should be one fitted to the capacities and wants of his subordinate part, the animal soul [Alford].
Is Keith really claiming that people exhumed the body of Elvis to show the corpse to people who claimed that they had seen Elvis in a supermarket?What a strange comeback tour that was!
Steven Carr wrote: “Is Keith really claiming that people exhumed the body of Elvis to show the corpse to people who claimed that they had seen Elvis in a supermarket?What a strange comeback tour that was!”No, of course I’m not. The news story doesn’t say why they decided to move Elvis’ body, but I assume it was because the overseers of the Elvis estate thought he ought to rest on the grounds of Graceland. No, I think that few people take the supermarket shoppers seriously because we have good evidence that Elvis died and was buried in a grave that can be visited. We also have good evidence that Elvis’ dead body was moved around. There’s no need to exhume Elvis’ body as there is ample proof that he’s dead.My point was that the story of Elvis’ body being moved around shows that your claim that no one would ever think of exhuming a body has been blown to smithereens.