Author Topic: Did Jesus actually resurrect?  (Read 418 times)

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Offline jaimehlers

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Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« on: June 01, 2012, 11:13:41 AM »
I'm not talking about the biblical accounts of the resurrection; of course they assume Jesus came back to life.  I'm talking about the physical reality behind such a resurrection.

I think the minimum definition of being resurrected would be to live again after dying- all of the body's systems come back to life after being shut down.  Yet, in the stories of the resurrection, Jesus is not shown to do that.  For example, Jesus was able to let Thomas feel his wounds, which apparently were still raw and open (though not bleeding).  This suggests that the wounds never healed, and the ability of the body to regenerate damage is one of the most basic and necessary for life.  Such wounds, which were the cause of his death, would almost certainly cause him to die again if they remained open.  He's also never observed eating or drinking, which are just as essential for survival as regeneration.

So, that raises the question of whether Jesus actually came back to life in the first place.  I think it's one that Christian believers have to be willing to ask themselves.

Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 11:47:40 AM »
I know you want to exclude biblical accounts for this thread, and yet the Gospel of Mark, thought to be the earliest gospel in the Official Bible does not actually depict Jesus as being ressurrected.  The original ending is quite ambiguous.  I would even say...poetically ambiguous. 

Since a resurrection witnessed by disciples would have been an extraordinary event, and since Mark records other miracles, it's interesting that Mark doesn't include a description of the resurrected Jesus or any of his post resurrection antics.  IMO, this is one of the more damning facts related to the whole resurrection story. 

[Paradoxically, I think Mark's omission of the resurrection is a fact that supports (but does not prove!) the theory that Jesus was either a real person, or that the biblical character 'Jesus' was based on a real person or persons.  Real people die...real people also go into hiding when the authorities turn on the heat.  If Jesus had been invented out of whole cloth, you'd have thought the writer would have come up with a more spectacular ending than just a couple women finding an empty tomb.]

IIRC, I think the historical concensus is the St. Paul is the 1st known Xian to be reporting seeing a 'resurrected' Jesus...that is, a 'vision' of Jesus on the road to Damascus. 

In my observations, theists mostly prefer to speak of the resurrection as a fait accompli, just sort of write and talk about it as though it were as obvious as Jack Ruby whacking Lee Harvey Oswald on national TV...but avoiding discussing the nature of the supposed proofs of the resurrection. 

Whereas, to continue with historical murder analogies, the resurrection of Jesus is even more mysterious than the whacking of Jimmy Hoffa.  And that's speaking charitably. 

With a being as powerful and wise as god is, it's curious that he has never bothered to assure that an event so momentous and important as the death and resurrection his only begotten son was not documented in a credible fashion.

But then, god likes to play holy head-games with us.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 12:15:59 PM by flapdoodle64 »

Offline screwtape

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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 11:50:02 AM »
I read an essay recently that made the argument that jesus H didn't come back to life nor was he depicted as such in the gospels.  They all say he "appeared" as if he were just a spirit.  I cannot remember where I read that.
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Offline rev45

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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 12:19:34 PM »
Jesus never died at the hands of the Romans because this plaque says so. 
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 09:04:03 PM »
I find it odd that you state that you don't to argue the biblical account, then use the biblical account to make your point.

Also, the part about Thomas touching Jesus' wounds was added into the resurrection story many many years later, to make it more believable. The writers probably didn't consider the fact that the wounds should have healed because as with most of the writers of the bible, they were very stupid people. Not nearly as stupid as the people who believe it though.
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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 09:45:31 PM »
Since a resurrection witnessed by disciples would have been an extraordinary event

According to the television commercial, if one has a reserection lasting more than 4 hours, medical attention may be needed.
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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 10:13:47 PM »
People move bodies: back then, today. It happens. Thinking someone was resurrected because they couldn't find the body is just wishful thinking, or hoping. But first one has to show evidence of the person existing before they can show evidence of them dying, and coming back to life.

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Offline kcrady

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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2012, 03:26:32 AM »
The New Testament offers us three types of post-resurrection appearances of Jesus:

1) Mystical visions, like Paul's and those he speaks of in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. 

2) Jesus appears as, or in the form of, another person.

3) "Tangible" manifestations where he appears in his crucified body, allows Thomas to fondle his wounds, eats fish with the disciples, etc.


The first type do not require any physical resurrection, or even an historical Jesus (as contrasted with a "Jesus" who was originally what New Age types now call a "channeled entity" whose crucifixion or spiritual sacrifice took place in a heavenly realm--see the Book of Hebrews).  The second type are explicable in terms of mistaken identity or "Elvis sighting" rumors that caught hold in the early Christian community and accumulated embellishments as time went on.  The synoptic Gospels also attest to a widespread belief that Jesus was a resurrection of John the Baptist.  If the Gospels are correct that this kind of belief about the nature of resurrection was current at the time, then it is also possible that Jesus' followers genuinely thought he was appearing to them in the form of a gardener or a stranger on the road to Emmaus who had a deep knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures.  Again, rumor and embellishment could accumulate over time as devoted followers start trying to "see" Jesus everywhere.  This class of "appearances" also does not require a bodily resurrection or even anything paranormal.

The third class of resurrection appearances would require some kind of paranormal event to have taken place.  But note how they contradict the second class of Jesus apparitions.  I'm not going to post a horrid picture here; anyone who wishes to can do a Google Images search for "Passion of the Christ."  It is blatantly obvious that no one would mistake a ghastly reanimated crucified body for a gardener or a teacher of Scripture.  Since they are not even consistent with other Gospel resurrection claims, we have no reason to suspect they occurred, or consider them to be the product of any authentic tradition passing down "eyewitness" reports.  And even if they were, we also have eyewitness reports of appearances of Sasquatch and little gray aliens in spaceships.  The latter actually have more evidence (dubious though it may be) than there is for Jesus' resurrection, as there are also photographs, films, tracks (Sasquatch) or landing traces (UFO's), etc..

The most charitable possible interpretation of the NT resurrection accounts would be to grant that Jesus' followers witnessed appearances of a teleporting shape-shifter, a being able to appear as an un-wounded stranger, or manifest realistic physical wounds at will.  Granting Christians this is just as devastating as not doing so.  After all, if Jesus' followers encountered a being able to shape-shift, how could they (much less people living 2000 years later) know it was Jesus at all?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 03:37:45 AM by kcrady »
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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2012, 04:58:52 AM »
How could anyone know of anyone really without un-biased evidence to show that anyone exists? Doesn't mean they didn't, doesn't mean they did.

-Nam
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Offline LeFreeThinker

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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2012, 01:11:28 PM »
That depends on your point of view, I was actually just learning about this subject in World History a few months ago. Jesus was said to have been the messiah. He lived in the Roman empire around 7–2 BC/BCE to 33 AD/CE. During this time period, the Roman Empire was a Pagen nation. Jesus "rebelled" and claimed he was the messiah. This caused all sorts of political problems within the Roman Empire because seperation of church and state didn't exsist back then. Because Jesus was causing such mayhem he was crucified. Upon a few days of him being "dead"/dead he resurrected. Now, many people say that there WAS a Jesus Christ and that he DID resurrect and the evidence they have is Roman records. Well......where exactly are these records? I have tried to research this and find a record stating the above....but I couldn't seem to find one.

This is just my point of view/ insight on the topic :)

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2012, 04:57:51 AM »
^ Yes, Jesus caused all kinds of political problems, that somehow didn't make it into any of the writings of politicians or pundits of the day. Even his raising of the dead didn't make it into the local papers. Almost like it never happened.
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Did Jesus actually resurrect?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2012, 11:03:25 AM »
Don't forget the zombies!

How could any secular historian miss an earthquake, the sky going dark for 3 hours, and zombies?