Jan 7, 2011

07 Was the resurrection hoaxed

Believer asks: What did the Gospel writers hope to gain with a hoax if the resurrection and ascension of Jesus was merely an invention of theirs? 

Skeptic says: Christians say that the resurrection of Jesus really happened because of the facts presented in the Bible. But I side with the evidence that the Gospels weren't written by eye-witnesses. Futher, the followers of Jesus "witnessed" his resurrection with their eye of faith. Those who knew him less rumored about a bodily resurrection. The idea of a resurrection gave them hope and the Gospel writers repeated the rumors or made up stories of their own. 

The New Testament letter 1 John opens with "that which we have seen and touched.” But it’s unclear whether the opening line means the Resurrection. Scholars speculate it was written by John the disciple or John somebody else between AD 90 and AD 110. The Gospels, too, run afoul of the question of authorship and composition date. Despite that, Christians hold that the Gospels report just the facts, period.  

I say that the resurrection of Jesus is as unsubstantial as the ghost of Julius Caesar whom an "eye-witness" peasant met on a side road. The pre-Christian story goes that on the eve of a battle, the ghost predicted a victory for the Roman general Octavius. The peasant delivered the good news to the general, who, a practical man, concluded that the peasant had dreamed up the ghost of Caesar. 

Now when the Gospel account says Jesus came back, the matter of eye-witness and invention plays a part. Thus the Resurrection might well have started as a rumor and was embellished. Or it may very well have been inspirational and not literal. Its principle aim: raise the people's hopes in going heaven.

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