« Last post by Foxy Freedom on July 26, 2016, 03:11:15 PM »
And being honest with both you and myself, your assumption of my thoughts of the link between Jesus's resurrection and heaven is pretty spot on. I know that the Bible was written over centuries with a good number of changes in doctrine even long after the Bible was completed (Trinity, Immaculate Conception, etc.), and that quite a few of the Bible's points do not seem to currently be supported by history.
What do you mean by resurrection?
I guess you mean that Jesus was physically resurrected from his tomb and then ascended to heaven. The gospels develop this idea from Mark's statement about the tomb. It can easily be seen that the gospels are inventing these physical resurrection stories as part of their own agenda of misquoting the OT by the authority of Jesus, and also by the fact that the resurrection stories were added to Mark and not there originally.
It was probably Mark himself who invented the empty tomb story at the time Jerusalem was destroyed and the city filled with rubble and dead bodies, making Mark's claim irrefutable. But Mark's main purpose all through his gospel was to discredit the beliefs of the disciples. Mark wrote that the women went to the empty tomb and said nothing to the disciples. This was an attempt to undermine the claim of the disciples to have any credible stories about the resurrection and so no true authority or understanding based on the resurrection. The reason we know that this story was invented is because, if the women said nothing, Mark cannot have known about it.
Mark knew very well that the disciples did have resurrection stories, but he thought the disciples stories and understanding were worthless. Saul tells us what the early beliefs about the resurrection were. They were conventional resurrection beliefs of the time. In Saul's and the disciples view Jesus was resurrected as a spirit (no empty tomb, "no flesh and bone") and rose up to heaven above the solid dome over the earth as spirits were believed to do. Several Roman Emperors did the same, Augustus, Claudius and Titus for example. You can still see the carving of Titus being taken up to heaven on his arch, which dates from the time of the gospels. The resurrection of Jesus was proved to the disciples and to Saul also in the conventional manner of the time, through visions and dreams, not through any physical resurrection.
What can we say about these visions of Jesus? The visions had very little impact on the disciples. The disciples remained Jews who went to the temple and the synagogue and thought of Jesus as a man who had been taken up to heaven. The position of Jews in the synagogue with this belief was eventually undermined by association with Jesus since non Jews began to make greater and greater claims. So later, some of the disciples might have been killed in disputes with other Jews in personal rivalries but there is no hint that most were. Even later legends about Peter being in Rome look like Catholic propaganda to claim continuity with the disciples which never existed. Saul's visions had more impact on him. He claims his understanding of Jesus came from his visions. Saul's basic understanding was that Jesus had come to correct the creation and fall of Adam. In other words we can be 100% certain about something for once, that Saul's visions were entirely self induced and had no reality whatsoever, since the creation story is now known to be false. If the disciples visions were true then all Christians have to be Jews, which is why Mark objected to the disciples so much.