The Resurrection
Pocket Handbook of	

Christian Apologetics	

Chapter 9	

Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli
Every sermon preached by Christians
in the NT centres on the resurrection.	

Kreeft says, “The Gospel or good
news” means ...
Abraham, Buddha,
Muhammed, Confucius and
Lao Tzu all still lie dead in their
graves - the tomb of Jesus is
empty.	

In lif...
It is important to see that the
resurrection is not in the past,
“Christ rose”, - but in the
present, “Christ is risen”	

...
The strategy of the argument for
the resurrection - 5 theories
The resurrection can be
proved and believed with as
much hi...
The strategy of the argument for
the resurrection - 5 theories
The existence of the NT
texts as we have them,
and the exis...
The question to ask is this:	

Which theory about what
happened in Jerusalem
on that first Easter
Sunday can account for
th...
5 Theories about the resurrection
Jesus Died

Jesus Rose

1. Christianity
5 Theories about the resurrection
Jesus Died

Jesus Rose

Jesus
didn’t rise

The apostles
were deceived

1. Christianity
2...
5 Theories about the resurrection
Jesus Died

Jesus Rose

Jesus
didn’t rise

The apostles
were deceived
The apostles were
...
5 Theories about the resurrection
Jesus Died

Jesus Rose

Jesus
didn’t rise

The apostles
were deceived
The apostles were
...
5 Theories about the resurrection
Jesus Died

Jesus Rose

Jesus
didn’t rise

The apostles
were deceived
The apostles were
...
Could it be that Christ in
fact survived the
crucifixion, he did not die
but just swooned?
Here are 9 arguments in
response...
1. Jesus could not have
survived crucifixion.
Roman procedures were
very careful to eliminate
that possibility. Roman
law e...
2. The fact that the Roman
soldier did not break Jesus'
legs, as he did to the other two
crucified criminals (Jn
19:31-33),...
3. John, an eyewitness,
certified that he saw blood
and water come from
Jesus' pierced heart (Jn
19:34-35). This shows that...
4. The body was totally
encased in winding sheets
and entombed (Jn
19:38-42).	

!

5. The post-resurrection
appearances co...
It is psychologically
impossible for the disciples
to have been so transformed
and confident if Jesus had
merely struggled ...
6. How were the Roman guards at the
tomb overpowered by a swooning
corpse? Or by unarmed disciples? And if
the disciples d...
7. How could a swooning halfdead man have moved the
great stone at the door of the
tomb? Who moved the stone if
not an ang...
The story the Jewish
authorities spread, that the
guards fell asleep and the
disciples stole the body (Mt
28:11-15), is un...
8. If Jesus awoke from a swoon,
where did he go? Think this
through: you have a living body
to deal with now, not a dead o...
9. Most simply, the
swoon theory
necessarily turns into
the conspiracy theory or
the hallucination theory,
for the discipl...
Refutation of the Conspiracy
Theory: Seven Arguments
Why couldn't the disciples
have made up the whole
story?	

1. Blaise ...
The hypothesis that the Apostles were dishonest
is quite absurd. Follow it out to the end, and
imagine these twelve men me...
The "cruncher" in this argument is the historical
fact that no one, weak or strong, saint or sinner,
Christian or heretic,...
2. If they made up the
story, they were the most
creative, clever, intelligent
fantasists in history, far
surpassing Shake...
2. If they made up the
story, they were the most
creative, clever, intelligent
fantasists in history, far
surpassing Shake...
2. If they made up the
story, they were the most
creative, clever, intelligent
fantasists in history, far
surpassing Shake...
3. The disciples' character
argues strongly against such a
conspiracy on the part of all of
them, with no dissenters. They...
The change in their lives from
fear to faith, despair to
confidence, confusion to
certitude, runaway cowardice
to steadfast...
4. There could be no
possible motive for such a
lie. Lies are told for some
selfish advantage. What
advantage did the
"cons...
5. If the resurrection was a lie, the
Jews would have produced the
corpse. All they had to do was go
to the tomb and get i...
6. The disciples could not have
gotten away with proclaiming the
resurrection in Jerusalem - same
time, same place, full o...
Refutation of the Hallucination
Theory: Thirteen Arguments
If you thought you saw a
dead man walking and
talking, wouldn't...
1. There were too many
witnesses. Hallucinations are
private, individual, subjective.
Christ appeared to Mary
Magdalene, t...
...over five hundred is about as public as you can
wish. And Paul says in this passage (v. 6) that
most of the five hundred ...
2. The witnesses were qualified.
They were simple, honest, moral
people who had firsthand
knowledge of the facts.	

3. The fi...
5. Hallucinations usually
happen only once, except to
the insane. This one returned
many times, to ordinary
people (Jn 20:...
7. Not only did the disciples not
expect this, they didn't even
believe it at first -- neither Peter,
nor the women, nor Th...
10. They also spoke with
him, and he spoke back.
Figments of your
imagination do not hold
profound, extended
conversations...
11. The apostles could not have believed in the
"hallucination" if Jesus' corpse had still been in
the tomb. This is very ...
12. If the apostles had
hallucinated and then
spread their hallucinogenic
story, the Jews would have
stopped it by produci...
13. A hallucination would
explain only the postresurrection appearances;
it would not explain the
empty tomb, the rolledaw...
C.S. Lewis says,	

"Any theory of hallucination breaks down on the fact
(and if it is invention [rather than fact], it is ...
Refutation of the Myth Theory:
Six Arguments
1. The style of the Gospels is
radically and clearly different
from the style...
Refutation of the Myth Theory:
Six Arguments
Psychological depth is at a maximum. In
myth it is at a minimum. In myth, such
spectacular external events happen that it
...
There are also telltale marks of eyewitness
description, like the little detail of Jesus
writing in the sand when asked wh...
2. A second problem is that
there was not enough time for
myth to develop. The original
demythologizers pinned their
case ...
In other cases where myths and
legends of miracles developed around
a religious founder, e.g. Buddha, Laotzu and Muhammad....
3. The myth theory has two layers. The
first layer is the historical Jesus, who was
not divine, did not claim divinity,
per...
4. A little detail, seldom noticed, is
significant in distinguishing the Gospels
from myth: the first witnesses of the
resur...
5. The NT could not be myth
misinterpreted and confused
with fact because it
specifically distinguishes the
two and repudia...
There is no escape from
the horns of this
dilemma. Once a child
asks whether Santa
Claus is real, your yes
becomes a lie, ...
Richard Purtill summarizes
the textual case:	

"Many events which are
regarded as firmly
established historically
have;	

(...
(2) and the documents on
which historians rely for
much secular history are
written much longer after the
event than many ...
(4) the surviving copies are
much earlier than those on
which our evidence for secular
history is based. If the biblical
n...
If the evidence provided is
true then we have to face a
decision: will we follow
Christ?	

Such a decision can be
based on...
Eight Reasons
Why I Believe
That Jesus Rose
from the Dead	

by John Piper
http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/eight-reason...
1. Jesus himself testified to his coming resurrection from the
dead.	

Jesus spoke openly about what would happen to him:
c...
This is especially true in view of the fact that the words which
predict the resurrection are not only the simple straight...
Our first evidence of the resurrection, therefore, is that Jesus
himself spoke of it. The breadth and nature of the sayings...
2. The tomb was empty on Easter.	

The earliest documents claim this: “When they went in they did
not find the body of the ...
2.1 His foes stole the body. If they did (and they never claimed
to have done so), they surely would have produced the bod...
2.3 Jesus was not dead, but only unconscious when they laid
him in the tomb. He awoke, removed the stone, overcame the
sol...
2.4 God raised Jesus from the dead. This is what he said would
happen. It is what the disciples said did happen. But as lo...
3. The disciples were almost immediately transformed from
men who were hopeless and fearful after the crucifixion (Luke
24:...
4. Paul claimed that, not only had he seen the risen Christ, but
that 500 others had seen him also, and many were still al...
5. The sheer existence of a thriving, empire-conquering early
Christian church supports the truth of the resurrection clai...
6. The Apostle Paul’s conversion supports the truth of the
resurrection.	

He argues to a partially unsympathetic audience...
7. The New Testament witnesses do not bear the stamp of dupes or
deceivers.	

How do you credit a witness? How do you deci...
8. There is a self-authenticating glory in the gospel of Christ’s
death and resurrection as narrated by the biblical witne...
A saving knowledge of Christ crucified and risen is not the
mere result of right reasoning about historical facts. It is th...
The Resurrection
The Pop Quiz
Resurrection
1. Five theories are
described to account for
the resurrection - what are
they?	


25
Marks
2. Give 8 of the 9
arguments against the idea
that Jesus swooned on the
cross but did not die.	

3. Refute the Conspiracy
...
1. Five theories are
described to account for the
resurrection - what are
For %
they?	

multiply
Christianity	

your score...
Apologetics: The Resurrection
Apologetics: The Resurrection
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Apologetics: The Resurrection

  1. 1. The Resurrection Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics Chapter 9 Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli
  2. 2. Every sermon preached by Christians in the NT centres on the resurrection. Kreeft says, “The Gospel or good news” means essentially the news of Christ’s resurrection.” The ancient world was set on fire not by ‘love your neighbour’ but by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who claimed to be the Son of God and Saviour of the world. The resurrection is of crucial importance because it completes our salvation - Rom 6:23
  3. 3. Abraham, Buddha, Muhammed, Confucius and Lao Tzu all still lie dead in their graves - the tomb of Jesus is empty. In life changing terms we see the difference in the disciples before and after the resurrection - before hidden behind closed doors, after confident world changing missionaries and ready to face martyrdom if necessary.
  4. 4. It is important to see that the resurrection is not in the past, “Christ rose”, - but in the present, “Christ is risen” He is living - Lk 24:5 Do you keep Christ mummified in words like apologetics and history - or do you allow him to live and set lives alight now as he did millennia ago? For that is what the resurrection did - and still does.
  5. 5. The strategy of the argument for the resurrection - 5 theories The resurrection can be proved and believed with as much historical credibility as any other well documented event in ancient history. The two basic assumptions for such a belief are simple and are based on empirical data which is no disputed:
  6. 6. The strategy of the argument for the resurrection - 5 theories The existence of the NT texts as we have them, and the existence (but not necessarily the truth) of the Christian religion as we find it today.
  7. 7. The question to ask is this: Which theory about what happened in Jerusalem on that first Easter Sunday can account for the data? The following five diagrams represent the possible theories.
  8. 8. 5 Theories about the resurrection Jesus Died Jesus Rose 1. Christianity
  9. 9. 5 Theories about the resurrection Jesus Died Jesus Rose Jesus didn’t rise The apostles were deceived 1. Christianity 2. Hallucination
  10. 10. 5 Theories about the resurrection Jesus Died Jesus Rose Jesus didn’t rise The apostles were deceived The apostles were myth-makers 1. Christianity 2. Hallucination 3. Myth
  11. 11. 5 Theories about the resurrection Jesus Died Jesus Rose Jesus didn’t rise The apostles were deceived The apostles were myth-makers The apostles were deceivers 1. Christianity 2. Hallucination 3. Myth 4. Conspiracy
  12. 12. 5 Theories about the resurrection Jesus Died Jesus Rose Jesus didn’t rise The apostles were deceived The apostles were myth-makers The apostles were deceivers Jesus didn’t die 1. Christianity 2. Hallucination 3. Myth 4. Conspiracy 5. Swoon
  13. 13. Could it be that Christ in fact survived the crucifixion, he did not die but just swooned? Here are 9 arguments in response to the swoon theory:
  14. 14. 1. Jesus could not have survived crucifixion. Roman procedures were very careful to eliminate that possibility. Roman law even laid the death penalty on any soldier who let a capital prisoner escape in any way, including bungling a crucifixion. It was never done.
  15. 15. 2. The fact that the Roman soldier did not break Jesus' legs, as he did to the other two crucified criminals (Jn 19:31-33), means that the soldier was sure Jesus was dead. Breaking the legs hastened the death so that the corpse could be taken down before the sabbath.
  16. 16. 3. John, an eyewitness, certified that he saw blood and water come from Jesus' pierced heart (Jn 19:34-35). This shows that Jesus' lungs had collapsed and he had died of asphyxiation. Any medical expert can vouch for this.
  17. 17. 4. The body was totally encased in winding sheets and entombed (Jn 19:38-42). ! 5. The post-resurrection appearances convinced the disciples, even doubting Thomas, that Jesus was alive (Jn 20:19-29).
  18. 18. It is psychologically impossible for the disciples to have been so transformed and confident if Jesus had merely struggled out of a swoon, badly in need of a doctor. A half-dead, staggering sick man who has just had a narrow escape is not worshiped fearlessly as divine Lord and conquerer of death.
  19. 19. 6. How were the Roman guards at the tomb overpowered by a swooning corpse? Or by unarmed disciples? And if the disciples did it, they knowingly lied when they wrote the Gospels, and we are into the conspiracy theory.
  20. 20. 7. How could a swooning halfdead man have moved the great stone at the door of the tomb? Who moved the stone if not an angel? No one has ever answered that question. Neither the Jews nor the Romans would move it, for it was in both their interests to keep the tomb sealed, the Jews had the stone put there in the first place, and the Roman guards would be killed if they let the body "escape."
  21. 21. The story the Jewish authorities spread, that the guards fell asleep and the disciples stole the body (Mt 28:11-15), is unbelievable. Roman guards would not fall asleep on a job like that; if they did, they would lose their lives. If they did fall asleep, the crowd and the effort and the noise it would have taken to move an enormous boulder would have wakened them.
  22. 22. 8. If Jesus awoke from a swoon, where did he go? Think this through: you have a living body to deal with now, not a dead one. Why did it disappear? There is absolutely no data, not even any false, fantastic, imagined data, about Jesus' life after his crucifixion, in any sources, friend or foe, at any time, early or late. A man like that, with a past like that, would have left traces.
  23. 23. 9. Most simply, the swoon theory necessarily turns into the conspiracy theory or the hallucination theory, for the disciples testified that Jesus did not swoon but really died and really rose.
  24. 24. Refutation of the Conspiracy Theory: Seven Arguments Why couldn't the disciples have made up the whole story? 1. Blaise Pascal gives a simple, psychologically sound proof for why this is unthinkable: "The apostles were either deceived or deceivers. Either supposition is difficult, for it is not possible to imagine that a man has risen from the dead...
  25. 25. The hypothesis that the Apostles were dishonest is quite absurd. Follow it out to the end, and imagine these twelve men meeting after Jesus' death and conspiring to say that he has risen from the dead. This means attacking all the powers that be. The human heart is susceptible to fickleness, to change, to promises, to bribery. One of them had only to deny his story under these inducements, or still more because of possible imprisonment, tortures and death, and they would all have been lost. Follow that out." Pascal, Pensees 322, 310
  26. 26. The "cruncher" in this argument is the historical fact that no one, weak or strong, saint or sinner, Christian or heretic, ever confessed, freely or under pressure, bribe or even torture, that the whole story of the resurrection was a fake a lie, a deliberate deception. Even when people broke under torture, denied Christ and worshiped Caesar, they never let that cat out of the bag, never revealed that the resurrection was their conspiracy. For that cat was never in that bag. No Christians believed the resurrection was a conspiracy; if they had, they wouldn't have become Christians.
  27. 27. 2. If they made up the story, they were the most creative, clever, intelligent fantasists in history, far surpassing Shakespeare, or Dante or Tolkien. “Fisherman's tales" are never that elaborate, that convincing, that lifechanging, and that enduring.
  28. 28. 2. If they made up the story, they were the most creative, clever, intelligent fantasists in history, far surpassing Shakespeare, or Dante or Tolkien. “Fisherman's tales" are never that elaborate, that convincing, that lifechanging, and that enduring.
  29. 29. 2. If they made up the story, they were the most creative, clever, intelligent fantasists in history, far surpassing Shakespeare, or Dante or Tolkien. “Fisherman's tales" are never that elaborate, that convincing, that lifechanging, and that enduring.
  30. 30. 3. The disciples' character argues strongly against such a conspiracy on the part of all of them, with no dissenters. They were simple, honest, common peasants, not cunning, scheming liars. Their sincerity is proved by their words and deeds. They preached and lived a resurrected Christ. They willingly died for their "conspiracy." Nothing proves sincerity like martyrdom.
  31. 31. The change in their lives from fear to faith, despair to confidence, confusion to certitude, runaway cowardice to steadfast boldness under threat and persecution, not only proves their sincerity but testifies to some powerful cause of it. Can a lie cause such a transformation? Are truth and goodness such enemies that the greatest good in history -- sanctity -- has come from the greatest lie?
  32. 32. 4. There could be no possible motive for such a lie. Lies are told for some selfish advantage. What advantage did the "conspirators" derive from their "lie"? They were hated, scorned, persecuted, excommunicated, imprisoned, tortured, exiled, crucified, boiled alive, roasted, beheaded, disemboweled and fed to lions!
  33. 33. 5. If the resurrection was a lie, the Jews would have produced the corpse. All they had to do was go to the tomb and get it. The Roman soldiers and their leaders were on their side. If the Jews couldn't get the body because the disciples stole it, how did they do that? The arguments against the swoon theory hold here too: unarmed peasants could not have overpowered Roman soldiers or rolled away a great stone while they slept on duty.
  34. 34. 6. The disciples could not have gotten away with proclaiming the resurrection in Jerusalem - same time, same place, full of eyewitnesses - if it had been a lie. William Lane Craig says, "The fact that the disciples were able to proclaim the resurrection in Jerusalem in the face of their enemies a few weeks after the crucifixion shows that what they proclaimed was true, for they could never have proclaimed the resurrection (and been believed) under such circumstances had it not occurred.”
  35. 35. Refutation of the Hallucination Theory: Thirteen Arguments If you thought you saw a dead man walking and talking, wouldn't you think it more likely that you were hallucinating than that you were seeing correctly? Why then not think the same thing about Christ's resurrection?
  36. 36. 1. There were too many witnesses. Hallucinations are private, individual, subjective. Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the disciples minus Thomas, to the disciples including Thomas, to the two disciples at Emmaus, to the fisherman on the shore, to James (his "brother" or cousin), and even to five hundred people at once (1 Cor 15:3-8). Even three different witnesses are enough for a kind of psychological trigonometry;
  37. 37. ...over five hundred is about as public as you can wish. And Paul says in this passage (v. 6) that most of the five hundred are still alive, inviting any reader to check the truth of the story by questioning the eyewitnesses -- he could never have done this and gotten away with it, given the power, resources and numbers of his enemies, if it were not true.
  38. 38. 2. The witnesses were qualified. They were simple, honest, moral people who had firsthand knowledge of the facts. 3. The five hundred saw Christ together, at the same time and place. 4. Hallucinations usually last a few seconds or minutes; rarely hours. This one hung around for forty days (Acts 1:3).
  39. 39. 5. Hallucinations usually happen only once, except to the insane. This one returned many times, to ordinary people (Jn 20:19-21:14; Acts 1:3). 6. Hallucinations come from within, from what we already know, at least unconsciously. This one said and did surprising and unexpected things (Acts 1:4,9) -- like a real person and unlike a dream.
  40. 40. 7. Not only did the disciples not expect this, they didn't even believe it at first -- neither Peter, nor the women, nor Thomas, nor the eleven. They thought he was a ghost; he had to eat something to prove he was not (Lk 24:36-43). 8. Hallucinations do not eat. The resurrected Christ did, on at least two occasions (Lk 24:42-43; Jn 21:1-14). 9. The disciples touched him (Mt 28:9; Lk 24:39; Jn 20:27).
  41. 41. 10. They also spoke with him, and he spoke back. Figments of your imagination do not hold profound, extended conversations with you, unless you have the kind of mental disorder that isolates you. But this "hallucination" conversed with at least eleven people at once, for forty days (Acts 1:3).
  42. 42. 11. The apostles could not have believed in the "hallucination" if Jesus' corpse had still been in the tomb. This is very simple and telling point; for if it was a hallucination, where was the corpse? They would have checked for it; if it was there, they could not have believed.
  43. 43. 12. If the apostles had hallucinated and then spread their hallucinogenic story, the Jews would have stopped it by producing the body -- unless the disciples had stolen it, in which case we are back with the conspiracy theory and all its difficulties.
  44. 44. 13. A hallucination would explain only the postresurrection appearances; it would not explain the empty tomb, the rolledaway stone, or the inability to produce the corpse. No theory can explain all these data except a real resurrection.
  45. 45. C.S. Lewis says, "Any theory of hallucination breaks down on the fact (and if it is invention [rather than fact], it is the oddest invention that ever entered the mind of man) that on three separate occasions this hallucination was not immediately recognized as Jesus (Lk 24:13-31; Jn 20:15; 21:4). Even granting that God sent a holy hallucination to teach truths already widely believed without it, and far more easily taught by other methods, and certain to be completely obscured by this, might we not at least hope that he would get the face of the hallucination right? Is he who made all faces such a bungler that he cannot even work up a recognizable likeness of the Man who was himself?" (Miracles, chapter 16)
  46. 46. Refutation of the Myth Theory: Six Arguments 1. The style of the Gospels is radically and clearly different from the style of all the myths. Any literary scholar who knows and appreciates myths can verify this. There are no overblown, spectacular, childishly exaggerated events. Nothing is arbitrary. Everything fits in. Everything is meaningful. The hand of a master is at work here.
  47. 47. Refutation of the Myth Theory: Six Arguments
  48. 48. Psychological depth is at a maximum. In myth it is at a minimum. In myth, such spectacular external events happen that it would be distracting to add much internal depth of character. That is why it is ordinary people like Alice who are the protagonists of extra-ordinary adventures like Wonderland. That character depth and development of everyone in the Gospels, especially of Jesus himself, is remarkable. It is also done with an incredible economy of words. Myths are verbose; the Gospels are laconic (concise).
  49. 49. There are also telltale marks of eyewitness description, like the little detail of Jesus writing in the sand when asked whether to stone the adulteress or not (Jn 8:6). No one knows why this is put in; nothing comes of it. The only explanation is that the writer saw it. If this detail and others like it throughout all four Gospels were invented, then a first-century tax collector (Matthew), a "young man" (Mark), a doctor (Luke), and a fisherman (John) all independently invented the new genre of realistic fantasy nineteen centuries before it was reinvented in the twentieth.
  50. 50. 2. A second problem is that there was not enough time for myth to develop. The original demythologizers pinned their case onto a late second-century date for the writing of the Gospels; several generations have to pass before the added mythological elements can be mistakenly believed to be facts. Eyewitnesses would be around before that to discredit the new, mythic versions.
  51. 51. In other cases where myths and legends of miracles developed around a religious founder, e.g. Buddha, Laotzu and Muhammad. In each case, many generations passed before the myth surfaced. Julius Muller challenged his nineteenth-century contemporaries to produce a single example anywhere in history of a great myth or legend arising around a historical figure and being generally believed within thirty years after that figure's death. No one has ever answered him.
  52. 52. 3. The myth theory has two layers. The first layer is the historical Jesus, who was not divine, did not claim divinity, performed no miracles, and did not rise from the dead. The second, later, mythologized layer is the Gospels as we have them, with a Jesus who claimed to be divine, performed miracles and rose from the dead. The problem:there is not the slightest bit of any real evidence whatever for the existence of any such first layer. The two-layer cake theory has the first layer made entirely of air, and hot air at that.
  53. 53. 4. A little detail, seldom noticed, is significant in distinguishing the Gospels from myth: the first witnesses of the resurrection were women. In first-century Judaism, women had low social status and no legal right to serve as witnesses. If the empty tomb were an invented legend, its inventors surely would not have had it discovered by women, whose testimony was considered worthless. If, on the other hand, the writers were simply reporting what they saw, they would have to tell the truth, however socially and legally inconvenient.
  54. 54. 5. The NT could not be myth misinterpreted and confused with fact because it specifically distinguishes the two and repudiates the mythic interpretation (2 Peter 1:16). Since it explicitly says it is not myth, if it is myth it is a deliberate lie rather than myth. The dilemma still stands. It is either truth or lie, whether deliberate (conspiracy) or nondeliberate (hallucination).
  55. 55. There is no escape from the horns of this dilemma. Once a child asks whether Santa Claus is real, your yes becomes a lie, not myth, if he is not literally real. Once the New Testament distinguishes myth from fact, it becomes a lie if the resurrection is not fact.
  56. 56. Richard Purtill summarizes the textual case: "Many events which are regarded as firmly established historically have; (1) far less documentary evidence than many biblical events
  57. 57. (2) and the documents on which historians rely for much secular history are written much longer after the event than many records of biblical events; (3) furthermore, we have many more copies of biblical narratives than of secular histories;
  58. 58. (4) the surviving copies are much earlier than those on which our evidence for secular history is based. If the biblical narratives did not contain accounts of miraculous events, biblical history would probably be regarded as much more firmly established than most of the history of, say, classical Greece and Rome." Thinking About Religion, p. 84-85
  59. 59. If the evidence provided is true then we have to face a decision: will we follow Christ? Such a decision can be based on the evidence provided being intellectually acceptable - and the moral integrity to accept and act upon it.
  60. 60. Eight Reasons Why I Believe That Jesus Rose from the Dead by John Piper http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/eight-reasons-why-ibelieve-that-jesus-rose-from-the-dead
  61. 61. 1. Jesus himself testified to his coming resurrection from the dead. Jesus spoke openly about what would happen to him: crucifixion and then resurrection from the dead. "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again" (Mark 8:31; see also Matthew 17:22; Luke 9:22). Those who consider the resurrection of Christ unbelievable will probably say that Jesus was deluded or (more likely) that the early church put these statements in his mouth to make him teach the falsehood that they themselves conceived. But those who read the Gospels and come to the considered conviction that the one who speaks so compellingly through these witnesses is not the figment of foolish imagination will be unsatisfied with this effort to explain away Jesus' own testimony to his resurrection from the dead.
  62. 62. This is especially true in view of the fact that the words which predict the resurrection are not only the simple straightforward words quoted above, but also the very oblique and indirect words which are far less likely to be the simple invention of deluded disciples. For example, two separate witnesses testify in two very different ways to Jesus’ statement during his lifetime that if his enemies destroyed the temple (of his body), he would build it again in three days (John 2:19; Mark 14:58; cf. Matthew 26:61). He also spoke illusively of the “sign of Jonah”—three days in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:39; 16:4). And he hinted at it again in Matthew 21:42—“The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.” On top of his own witness to the coming resurrection, his accusers said that this was part of Jesus’ claim: “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise’” (Matthew 27:63).
  63. 63. Our first evidence of the resurrection, therefore, is that Jesus himself spoke of it. The breadth and nature of the sayings make it unlikely that a deluded church made these up. And the character of Jesus himself, revealed in these witnesses, has not been judged by most people to be a lunatic or a deceiver.
  64. 64. 2. The tomb was empty on Easter. The earliest documents claim this: “When they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:3). And the enemies of Jesus confirmed it by claiming that the disciples had stolen the body (Matthew 28:13). The dead body of Jesus could not be found. There are four possible ways to account for this.
  65. 65. 2.1 His foes stole the body. If they did (and they never claimed to have done so), they surely would have produced the body to stop the successful spread of the Christian faith in the very city where the crucifixion occurred. But they could not produce it. ! 2.2 His friends stole the body. This was an early rumor (Matthew 28:11-15). Is it probable? Could they have overcome the guards at the tomb? More important, would they have begun to preach with such authority that Jesus was raised, knowing that he was not? Would they have risked their lives and accepted beatings for something they knew was a fraud?
  66. 66. 2.3 Jesus was not dead, but only unconscious when they laid him in the tomb. He awoke, removed the stone, overcame the soldiers, and vanished from history after a few meetings with his disciples in which he convinced them he was risen from the dead. Even the foes of Jesus did not try this line. He was obviously dead. The Romans saw to that. The stone could not be moved by one man from within who had just been stabbed in the side by a spear and spent six hours nailed to a cross.
  67. 67. 2.4 God raised Jesus from the dead. This is what he said would happen. It is what the disciples said did happen. But as long as there is a remote possibility of explaining the resurrection naturalistically, modern people say we should not jump to a supernatural explanation. Is this reasonable? I don’t think so. Of course, we don’t want to be gullible. But neither do we want to reject the truth just because it’s strange. We need to be aware that our commitments at this point are much affected by our preferences—either for the state of affairs that would arise from the truth of the resurrection, or for the state of affairs that would arise from the falsehood of the resurrection. If the message of Jesus has opened you to the reality of God and the need of forgiveness, for example, then anti-supernatural dogma might lose its power over your mind. Could it be that this openness is not prejudice for the resurrection, but freedom from prejudice against it?
  68. 68. 3. The disciples were almost immediately transformed from men who were hopeless and fearful after the crucifixion (Luke 24:21, John 20:19) into men who were confident and bold witnesses of the resurrection (Acts 2:24, 3:15, 4:2). Their explanation of this change was that they had seen the risen Christ and had been authorized to be his witnesses (Acts 2:32). The most popular competing explanation is that their confidence was owing to hallucinations. There are numerous problems with such a notion. The disciples were not gullible, but level-headed skeptics both before and after the resurrection. (Mark 9:32, Luke 24:11, John 20:8-9, 25). Moreover, is the deep and noble teaching of those who witnessed the risen Christ the stuff of which hallucinations are made? What about Paul’s great letter to the Romans? I personally find it hard to think of this giant intellect and deeply transparent soul as deluded or deceptive, and he claimed to have seen the risen Christ.
  69. 69. 4. Paul claimed that, not only had he seen the risen Christ, but that 500 others had seen him also, and many were still alive when he made this public claim. “Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:6). What makes this so relevant is that this was written to Greeks who were skeptical of such claims when many of these witnesses were still alive. So it was a risky claim if it could be disproved by a little firsthand research.
  70. 70. 5. The sheer existence of a thriving, empire-conquering early Christian church supports the truth of the resurrection claim. The church spread on the power of the testimony that Jesus was raised from the dead and that God had thus made him both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). The Lordship of Christ over all nations is based on his victory over death. This is the message that spread all over the world. Its power to cross cultures and create one new people of God was a strong testimony of its truth.
  71. 71. 6. The Apostle Paul’s conversion supports the truth of the resurrection. He argues to a partially unsympathetic audience in Galatians 1:11-17 that his gospel comes from the risen Jesus Christ, not from men. His argument is that before his Damascus Road experience when he saw the risen Jesus, he was violently opposed to the Christian faith (Acts 9:1). But now, to everyone’s astonishment, he is risking his life for the gospel (Acts 9:24-25). His explanation: The risen Jesus appeared to him and authorized him to spearhead the Gentile mission (Acts 26:15-18). Can we credit such a testimony? This leads to the next argument.
  72. 72. 7. The New Testament witnesses do not bear the stamp of dupes or deceivers. How do you credit a witness? How do you decide whether to believe a person’s testimony? The decision to give credence to a person’s testimony is not the same as completing a mathematical equation. The certainty is of a different kind, yet can be just as firm (I trust my wife’s testimony that she is faithful). When a witness is dead, we can base our judgment of him only on the content of his writings and the testimonies of others about him. How do Peter and John and Matthew and Paul stack up? In my judgment (and at this point we can live authentically only by our own judgment—Luke 12:57), these men’s writings do not read like the works of gullible, easily deceived or deceiving men. Their insights into human nature are profound. Their personal commitment is sober and carefully stated. Their teachings are coherent and do not look like the invention of unstable men. The moral and spiritual standard is high. And the lives of these men are totally devoted to the truth and to the honor of God.
  73. 73. 8. There is a self-authenticating glory in the gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection as narrated by the biblical witnesses. The New Testament teaches that God sent the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.... He will glorify me” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit does not do this by telling us that Jesus rose from the dead. He does it by opening our eyes to see the self-authenticating glory of Christ in the narrative of his life and death and resurrection. He enables us to see Jesus as he really was, so that he is irresistibly true and beautiful. The apostle stated the problem of our blindness and the solution like this: “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.... For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6).
  74. 74. A saving knowledge of Christ crucified and risen is not the mere result of right reasoning about historical facts. It is the result of spiritual illumination to see those facts for what they really are: a revelation of the truth and glory of God in the face of Christ—who is the same yesterday today and forever. ! Pastor John
  75. 75. The Resurrection
  76. 76. The Pop Quiz Resurrection
  77. 77. 1. Five theories are described to account for the resurrection - what are they? 25 Marks
  78. 78. 2. Give 8 of the 9 arguments against the idea that Jesus swooned on the cross but did not die. 3. Refute the Conspiracy Theory: List 6 of the 7 Arguments. 4. Give six arguments against the myth theory. 25 Marks
  79. 79. 1. Five theories are described to account for the resurrection - what are For % they? multiply Christianity your score Hallucination by 20 Myth Conspiracy Swoon
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