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Re: Post-crucifixion survival/revival

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  • Sakari H´┐Żkkinen
    Ian, The evidence on Jesus death in NT is written by people who believed that Jesus died. Obviously they did not even come to think the possibility that he
    Message 1 of 66 , Feb 1, 1999
      The evidence on Jesus' death in NT is written by people who
      believed that Jesus died. Obviously they did not even come
      to think the possibility that he had survived. This implies
      that there were no such arguments in their environment.
      Nobody opposed the death of Jesus, the resurrection of dead
      Jesus was denied by some people. This means that 1) It seems
      to me that the survival stories are not as old and certainly
      not from the same geographical area as the gospels. 2) The
      NT cannot be used as an evidence for the death of HJ - it is
      only evidence for the belief of certain christian
      communities. Further, 3) if someone wants to prove that
      Jesus did not die on the cross, he/she should give evidence,
      not only speculations of the possibility of Jesus' survival.
      The sources that clearly indicate that Jesus survived should
      be analyzed as critically as the NT texts. Did the authors
      of these texts have theological reasons to argue that Jesus
      survived, against the supposedly well-known belief that he
      died? Did they want to refute the common belief by some

      Sakari Hakkinen
      University of Helsinki
      Department of Biblical Studies
    • Ian Hutchesson
      Responding to Joe s continued stuff about a post-crucifixion survival/revival: It is difficult to argue against something when no argument has been put forward
      Message 66 of 66 , Feb 3, 1999
        Responding to Joe's continued stuff about a post-crucifixion survival/revival:

        It is difficult to argue against something when no argument has been put
        forward other than that, because the gospels say that Jesus had a
        terrestrial existence after his oft reputed death, Jesus (I gather in this
        case that hypothetical beast "HJ") must not have died. Duh.

        The argument of survival seems to assume that because there are things that
        have divine attribution to them, they must be rendered in some real world
        terms. One might care to look at the literatures of other cultures to see
        that many of them also have divine manifestations as well, but I don't see
        anyone championing the real world existence (be it reduced to simple human
        explanation) of some non-biblical divine manifestations. Joe seems to have
        a cross to bear in the case of the gospels.

        Joe responds to my

        >> It's very hard to argue that he didn't die when all your
        >> reports say he did.
        >Actually, all the reports say he lived after the crucifixion.

        It might be fine to tell only a part of the story, leaving out the middle
        step, ie that he is reported to have died, but it doesn't give much hope
        for credibility.

        Joe asks:

        >Do we accept all this at face value simply because it is said? I will not
        >ridicule those who have faith in these things, but will Ian permit us to
        >apply our critical skills?

        There is no necessary question of accepting things on face value, but we
        must look at the evidence that we have, not speculate on what we haven't.

        Joe may begin to apply his critical skills whenever he likes. Many of us
        have been waiting for quite a while.

        Another Joe question:

        >>3) The Matthean writer interprets what happened to Jesus as a
        >> resurrection. Mt27:53.
        >Must we accept Matthew's point of view?

        No, there's no "must" about it. I am merely showing a part of the only
        evidence available, evidence which Joe chooses to ignore, though without
        producing anything more than speculation to justify his musings.

        He also asks

        >>4) According to GMatt, the tomb was guarded for a day while Jesus
        >> lay inert inside.
        >Does guarding a live man kill him?

        If we humour the speculation that Jesus lived on after being taken down the
        cross, the guarding of the tomb would have prevented any aid being given to
        a person in what was normally considered a terminal state (as was shown by
        two of the people taken down from crucifixion as told in Josephus). Our
        hypothetically live Jesus lay stretched out with a wound that pierced his
        side (visibly causing the elimination of what seemed like blood and water)
        open and untreated, a wound big enough to place one's hand in, wrapt head
        to toe in linen cloths as per the burial customs, though no signs of
        reanimation are reported during this process, and left from Friday evening
        till Sunday morning. One goes from simple speculation to extreme
        improbability to believe that someone having gone through that could walk
        away -- sorry, could be carried away by hypothetical assistants, of whom
        the gospels and the disciples show no knowledge of -- and be seen healthy
        within an hour of his "liberation" from the tomb.

        Joe responds to

        >>8) The idea of Jesus's death is strongly foreshadowed by the previous
        >> death and subsequent of Lazarus who had lain in his tomb for four
        >> days -- and was thus plainly dead. (Perhaps Lazarus didn't die
        >> either?!)

        with more dimness:

        >As I said, Ian, God bless you if you believe in the resurrection. I will not
        >argue against it. But can we in this forum consider other possible
        >explanations for these events which are not within common experience?

        Why pick on the resurrection to extend one's wings by applying what one
        considers to be "common experience"? Why not the feeding of five, or was it
        seven, thousand? Why not the meeting with Moses and Elijah? Why not his
        virgin birth? We are dealing with religion traditions and should not find
        it strange to find non-common experience contained in such traditions. Does
        one necessarily have to reduce such non-rational traditions to wearing some
        clothing of rationality? This doesn't seem to be dealing with the texts:
        this is only expressing one's desire to make the texts fit one's
        expectations. One has to assume that there is some fact behind the
        narratives, though such fact has not been established, and, once the
        assumption has been made, one has to assume that they can select which fact
        is acceptable and which isn't, though no coherent criterion is supplied.

        Once again no actual argument has been shown to support this thesis and so
        the case proceeds by a rationalist's attempt at naive literalism to eke out
        his a priori conclusion. Before applying this rationalist's version of
        naive literalism to the gospels, it might be worthwhile attempting first to
        show that there are any facts related to the world of events that can be
        isolated in the narratives. By merely assuming such facts one bases their
        argument on nothing.

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