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Moonobserver

The ultimate Christian argument

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The question Christians ask as their knockout punch is, "If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, why didn't his enemies bring his body out after three days to show that he was still dead?"

 

According to what I've read, Mishnah Yevamot 16:3 states that positive identification requires the fullness of the face including the nose, which a body no longer has after three days. In addition, the gospel accounts tell of the soldiers slapping Jesus repeatedly in the face which would presumably have caused bruising and swelling, further disfiguring his face.

 

There's also the strong possibility that the story of the disciples taking his body circulated simply because that's what happened. Only Matthew says anything about there being a Roman guard on the tomb and his account of what those guards did is highly questionable. Roman guards slept in shifts. This would have been well known to the peoples subjugated by the Romans, so a story of a detail of Roman soldiers guarding the same place at the same time and all being asleep at the same time would hardly have been convincing even to the people of Judea, much less to the governor. That charge would have been a death sentence for those soldiers, and they would hardly have trusted the Jewish leaders, whom they held in disdain, to be able to get them off the hook.

 

My guess is that after the author of Mark finished his account, the author of Matthew embellished it to try to save the Christian narrative from the reasonable conclusion that the discipes took the body.

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     Not that I really care but according to the stories, no one outside the followers of jesus actually saw a risen corpse.  So why didn't they drag out their now alive god and parade him around?  Why place the burden of proof on everyone who supposedly saw this guy die on a cross?  If he's dead...he's dead.  That's how the world works.  If he magically comes back to life then it's not on everyone who has even the most basic understanding of how life and death works to produce a corpse.  It's up to the other folks working contrary to the well-established norm, the one who now claim to have a resurrected god-man, to produce him.  They didn't.  Not then.  And they never will.  He doesn't exist.

 

          mwc

 

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If the risen Jesus wanted to make an incontrovertible statement, why didn't he walk into downtown Jerusalem and appear to Pilate and the jewish leaders who had him killed?  When Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:6, "After that he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep," who are these people?  Names, please.  And where is that event in the gospels or acts?

 

Bart Ehrman talks about this in one of his books (not at home now so I can't look it up).  One possible scenario, consistent with reality not myth:  a few of Jesus' followers steal the body in the middle of the night with the intent of saying he rose from the dead; soldiers come upon a group of people carrying a dead body, a fight ensues, and the followers are killed; the anonymous body is buried somewhere else; Jesus' tomb ends up empty and no one knows why.

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