Lesson 3: The empty tomb


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Lesson 3 is part 1 of the conversation regarding the actual arguments toward the existence of an objective Christian worldview. In this presentation, we will analyze the cursory evidence for Christ's crucification and resurrection from the dead.

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Lesson 3: The empty tomb

  1. 1. “Jesus died on the cross for our sins” is an objective truth STATEMENT.<br />Determining its truth, and whether we believe it or not, connects the objective event with the subjective knowledge.<br />An Objective Clarification from Last Week<br />
  2. 2. Defense of the Resurrection from History and Scripture<br />The Empty Tomb<br />
  3. 3. Christ<br />Cosmological<br />Teleological<br />Transcendental<br />Christ<br />Ambassador<br />
  4. 4. How is the resurrection often viewed by those whom you have had conversation?<br />What are the roadblocks you encounter when talking about the argument for Christ’s resurrection?<br />Some Questions…<br />
  5. 5. Scripture is Faulty<br />Jesus was a myth, never existed, and/or invented deity status by disciples or monks centuries later.<br />Miracles do not exist<br />Materialist assumption, circular reasoning.<br />Would require an argument towards the existence of an intervening God. Groundwork required.<br />History is unique, non-repeatable events, similar to miracles.<br />Two Major Roadblocks<br />
  6. 6. Defense of New Testament Scriptures (External)<br />Consistent and Early Creeds<br />Reliable Testimony<br />Defense of the Historicity of the Resurrection (Internal)<br />Consistent Claims<br />Empty Tomb<br />Martyrs’ Death<br />Where we are going<br />
  7. 7. Early Attestation<br />Near parameter of event.<br />Early Manuscripts.<br />Eyewitness Testimony<br />Accounts of Eye Witness testimony from author or associate.<br />Reliability <br />Multiple Attestation<br />Independent concurance<br />Large Manuscript evidence.<br />Parameters of Good History<br />
  8. 8. Reliability of Scripture<br />Answers “Jesus as a myth” Question<br />External Evidence<br />
  9. 9. Consistent and Early Creeds<br />
  10. 10. 1Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. <br />Earliest Resurrection Creed<br />
  11. 11. To the Eyewitness testimony:<br />3 Gospels utilizing similar reference material, but separate in observation so as to rule out collusion.<br />1 Gospel utilizing separate source material, yet maintaining credible consistency.<br />To the Manuscripts themselves:<br />5,000 extant manuscripts have been found, dating back to the 2nd century.<br />98-99% accuracy throughout the copying process <br />Multiple Attestations<br />
  12. 12. Unknown Gospel<br /><ul><li>150 AD
  13. 13. Accurately references the four canonical gospels
  14. 14. Early evidence of a catechism</li></li></ul><li>Codex Sinaiticus<br /><ul><li>330 AD
  15. 15. Complete Old and New Testament with some extra canonical writings.</li></li></ul><li>The consensus amongst Biblical scholars is that the Disciples had a powerful experience of the risen Christ.<br />75% of the surveyed scholars accept one or more arguments for the historicity of the empty tomb.  The remaining 25% accept one or more arguments against the early church's knowledge of an empty tomb.<br />Scholarship<br />
  16. 16. Examination of the Documents<br />Answers the “Disciples were lying/deceived” Question<br />Internal Evidence<br />
  17. 17. After his crucifixion, Jesus was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea.<br />Both the Jews and the Christians would have known where the tomb was.<br />Christians would not readily make up a story about a Jew giving Jesus a proper burial.<br />The gospels converge during the death and resurrection accounts, implying early source gathering.<br />Location of the Tomb<br />
  18. 18. Not a figurative resurrection, but a physical one.<br />1 Cor. 15 Passage makes this clear<br />The response from the rabbinical class was that the disciples had stolen the body, implying from a non-Christian party that the tomb was empy.<br />Christians were scattering and defeated at the time of the empty tomb.<br />Empty Tomb<br />
  19. 19. His appearance to Peter is independently attested by Luke, <br />to the Twelve by Luke and John.  <br />We also have independent witness to Galilean appearances in Mark, Matthew, and John, <br />As well as to the women in Matthew and John.<br />Conversion of James and his brothers.<br />Eyewitnesses to Jesus<br />
  20. 20. Women were first as witnesses.<br />Goes against the idea of construing credibility.<br />Disciples were not very with it.<br />Repeatedly revealed to be argumentative, dull, and unfaithful on numerous occasions.<br />Disciples were martyred and defamed for their belief.<br />Lies and deceptions don’t normally cause strict adherence to a belief unto death.<br />Personal Embarrassment<br />
  21. 21. C. B. McCullagh lists six tests which historians use in determining what is the best explanation for given historical facts. The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” passes all these tests:<br />1.  It has great explanatory scope:   it explains why the tomb was found empty, why the disciples saw post-mortem appearances of Jesus, and why the Christian faith came into being.<br />Justifying Historical Descriptions<br />
  22. 22. 2.  It has great explanatory power:   it explains why the body of Jesus was gone, why people repeatedly saw Jesus alive despite his earlier public execution, and so forth.<br />3.  It is plausible:   given the historical context  of Jesus’ own unparalleled life and claims, the resurrection serves as divine confirmation of those radical claims.<br />4.  It is not ad hoc or contrived:   it requires only one additional hypothesis:  that God exists.  And even that needn’t be an additional hypothesis if one already believes that  God exists.<br />Justifying Historical Descriptions<br />
  23. 23. 4.  It is not ad hoc or contrived:   it requires only one additional hypothesis:  that God exists.  And even that needn’t be an additional hypothesis if one already believes that  God exists.<br />5.  It is in accord with accepted beliefs.  The hypothesis:  “God raised Jesus from the dead” doesn’t in any way conflict with the accepted belief that people don’t rise naturally from the dead.  The Christian accepts that belief as wholeheartedly as he accepts the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead.<br />6.  It far outstrips any of its rival hypotheses in meeting conditions (1)-(5).  Down through history various alternative explanations of the facts have been offered, for example, the conspiracy hypothesis, the apparent death hypothesis, the hallucination hypothesis, and so forth.  Such hypotheses have been almost universally rejected by contemporary scholarship.  None of these naturalistic hypotheses succeeds in meeting the conditions as well as the resurrection hypothesis.<br />Justifying Historical Descriptions<br />
  24. 24. In no other case is the interval of time between the composition of the book and the date of the earliest extant manuscripts so short as in that of the New Testament.<br />Fredrick G. Kenyon, Director of the British Library<br />The evidence for the resurrection is better than for claimed miracles in any other religion. It's outstandingly different in quality and quantity.<br />Antony Flew<br />Noteworthy Quote<br />
  25. 25. “What do you believe about Jesus?”<br />“What would a resurrection mean for you if it were true?”<br />“What would convince you that Jesus was resurrected from the dead?”<br />Questions to Ask in Conversation<br />