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on refuting bad apologetic

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  • león
    Hello everyone; I have been a regular reader here for a few years. It is an invaluable resource for me. Many thanks to the many contributors to this lively
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 19, 2007
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      Hello everyone;

      I have been a regular reader here for a few years. It is an invaluable
      resource for me. Many thanks to the many contributors to this lively
      group.

      I seldom post, but I just finished writing a piece which I have posted
      on a little personal blog that I keep (I would post it here, but it is
      of considerable length)

      http://leoquix.blogspot.com

      It is basically a refutation of the apology for the historicity of
      literal physical resurrection as presented by Dr. Wm Craig (and
      others). I wrote it mainly because it has always perplexed me that no
      one seems to want to examine with any real depth the evidence he
      presents in the many
      debates that he has taken part in that I have followed.

      I would welcome and appreciate any feedback or critique from any of
      the members of this group.

      very respectfully,

      Peace

      Ã"

      r. león santiago
      Tempe, AZ
    • Avbcl111@aol.com
      Quixie, A couple of points. First, Tom Wright does believe that the women found the tomb empty. He may not believe it is indisputable in the sense that other
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 20, 2007
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        Quixie,

        A couple of points. First, Tom Wright does believe that the women found the tomb empty. He may not believe it is indisputable in the sense that other people disbelieve it (like Crossan), but he believes it is a historical fact. I personally believe that he's right. Second, as far as multiple attestation is concerned, Craig is speaking about the appearance of Jesus. You said,

        "Let me begin here by stating that I believe that several of his followers really did have experiences of the "risen" Jesus (such "appearances" continued to occur - indeed, they still continue to occur to this day). They really did "see" him."

        So you do believe fact 3, except that you don't think it was a physical appearance. Well, what Craig is saying is that there is an experience of Jesus appearing to the disciples and this is mutliply attested. I think everyone agrees with that. Whether the appearance was physical or not is a different issue from fact 3. Only when we take fact 2 and fact 3 in conjunction can Craig or anyone say that it was physical.

        As for Joseph of Arimathea, one needs to read this in light of Bauckham's new argument for the Gospels as eyewitness testimony. In fact, calling oral tradition as "legend" in your post simply misses a the great debate on oral tradition. I myself believe that the oral tradition of the Christians then were formal and controlled and there are many arguments for it.

        Also, you said,

        "The evangelist saw the problem inherent in this simple dictum he had inherited (i.e. "he was buried" - by whom?), and skillfully constructed a brilliant solution, one which established in one stroke both that Jesus had really died and that the women knew where he was buried."

        How do you know that? That is simple speculation without any evidence. Unless you actually have access to Mark's psychology, I wouldn't make that type of argumentation. More interestingly, you said, when speaking about the empty tomb story,

        "I think it's a little humorous to say that a story about a group of women coming to a tomb, finding the stone rolled away (supernaturally?), stepping inside, seeing an angelic figure in radiant white clothing (Was it a disciple? If so, why not name him? Why is he specifically seated on the "right"? Why does he specifically wear bright white? - Symbolic language is obviously being used here) who speaks to them and causes them to run away in terror lacks signs of legendary embellishment.
        Brevity is not synonymous with simplicity."

        So if it was a disciple he *should* be named. But in the burial story, a (secret) disciple was named but you still find that legendary. Well, what if Mark did name the "angel" as "Joseph"? Would you then conclude it was not legendary? Also, I don't see how an "angel" being bright white has to be symbolical. That is a naturalistic presupposition working within a text. You said,

        "It (and, I'm sad to say, a lot of NT scholarship that I encounter) is but a theological argument disguised as a historical one."

        So if a scholar concludes that Jesus really rose from the dead, it is somehow a theological argument but if it is a naturalistic conclusion it is somehow "historical"? Would Tom Wright be in that category? There are a lot of ways one can critique Craig's arguments but I think your arguments are not rigorous enough. You need to take into account presuppositions. Bauckham, for example, presupposes an epistemology of testimony called "non-reductionism" when he interprets the Gospels. Crossan presupposes a naturalistic one.

        Finally, just because it is a "theological argument" it does not mean it is not a historical one. The proposition "Jesus was raised from the dead" is both an historical and theological assertion. If one approaches the text with a possibility that God exists and is personal, that He can intervene, then it is more objective than simply having a naturalistic presupposition. Unless, of course, you have proven or have very good reasons to believe in naturalism (ex. you somehow disproved God's existence). Again, I personally believe that it is a historical truth that Jesus physically rose from the dead, but it does not mean that I agree with all of Craig's arguments. However, I find your post too simplistic (maybe it was intended for the popular audience) and not helpful to the debate.

        Best,
        Apolonio Latar
        Rutgers Student
      • Darrell Bock
        I must note that trying to separate history from theology in a list group that is a discussion of events tied to the historical Jesus and those things written
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 23, 2007
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          I must note that trying to separate history from theology in a list
          group that is a discussion of events tied to the historical Jesus and
          those things written by his followers is little like trying to pull
          part DNA. The one is so wrapped up in the other that it may be
          impossible to do, since in the view of those doing the writing the
          two are intertwined. The only thing to be distinguished in my view is
          a discussion of what is possible for a Christian today. That seems to
          not be about the historical Jesus (and the theology tied to him) but
          about our judgment about that topic. However, perfectly appropriate
          would be the question in my view if that early generation would have
          made the distinctions Bob notes and if so, where.

          BOB: (Seems to me that there are several issues that are being
          confused here.
          * One is the historicity (or not) of the Resurrection.
          * Another is what people in the first century meant by "resurrection"
          * Another is whether people in the first century believed that Jesus
          had 'risen from the dead' (a) literally, (b) figuratively, or (c) not.
          * Another quite different question is whether the *act* of trying to
          prove the historicity of the resurrection compromises, or does not
          compromise, the faith of a modern Christian, or reflects badly on his/
          her
          faith, or related matters. What I am referring to here is
          speculations of
          the kind offered by Zeb, e.g.
          > I find it strange when Christians (by no means all), who so emphasise
          > *faith*, work so hard to *prove* these things truly happened. It
          > strikes me as an absence of faith when people try to prove that what
          > they believe is perfectly rational (that goes for any religion)!)

          Let me reiterate that what most people mean by prove when they use
          such language in an apologetic context. It is that the most coherent
          explanation for all the data we see historically fits best with a
          claim of bodily resurrection (not vision, body stolen, swoon,
          resuscitation, etc). Proving a one time historical event in ancient
          times is a philosophically difficult concept in any absolute sense,
          but making a case for what is most probable is not. Of course,
          differing worldviews will impact what is seen as probable
          historically. But I do not think in the case of first century
          Christian claims it is so easy to distinguish history and theology as
          many people appealing to only discussing history try to do. The
          elements are too tied together to separate so cleanly.

          Darrell Bock






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        • Jacob Knee
          I’ve never heard or read Tom Wright deny historicity to any element however small in any of the Gospel narratives. I would genuinely gladly be proved wrong
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 24, 2007
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            I’ve never heard or read Tom Wright deny historicity to any element however small in any of the Gospel narratives. I would genuinely gladly be proved wrong (because it would strengthen my respect for him as a very distinguished scholar) but showing that Tom Wright believes it historical fact is not massively weighty when he seems to believe that everything in the Gospels is historical.



            Best wishes,

            Jacob Knee

            (Cam, Glos.)







            From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Avbcl111@...
            Sent: 20 January 2007 18:09
            To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [XTalk] on refuting bad apologetic



            Quixie,

            A couple of points. First, Tom Wright does believe that the women found the tomb empty. He may not believe it is indisputable in the sense that other people disbelieve it (like Crossan), but he believes it is a historical fact. I personally believe that he's right. Second, as far as multiple attestation is concerned, Craig is speaking about the appearance of Jesus. You said,





            [snip]



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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