Presentation on theme: "The Resurrection of Jesus Intergenerational Seminary Session #9."— Presentation transcript:
The Resurrection of Jesus Intergenerational Seminary Session #9
How important is the resurrection? “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17)
What do we mean by resurrection? NOT (according to Wright) –Continued existence in some other form Borg disagrees, arguing that “resurrection” is distinct from “resuscitation” –Ghostly apparitions These wouldn’t have been uncommon or noteworthy in the ancient world –An individual experience If one is raised, all will be raised –An experience that allows the world to go on unchanged
Evidence of the resurrection Earliest: 1 Corinthians 15 –Buried and rose – physicality –Appeared to more than 500 people –This is the beginning of the end The end of death itself –The resurrected body is not exactly the same as the original body (15:51), but it is physical Soma pneumatikon (“spiritual body”, v. 44) is contrasted with soma psychikon –Mix of continuity and discontinuity with the present world (v. 58)
Evidence of the resurrection The Gospels –All recount that stone was rolled away & tomb was empty –All (except Mark) describe Jesus appearing to various people/groups –Yet many differences in the details
Gospel Accounts MarkMatthewLukeJohn Who went to the tomb? Mary, Salome Mary, Mary Women from Galilee Mary Magdalene only Person at the tomb Young man Angel of the Lord Two men– Response of the women Tell no one Tell disciples Tell Peter and other disciple
Endings of Mark “Shorter ending” –Likely added in 4 th century CE –Seems to contradict preceding verses “Longer ending” –Known from 2 nd century CE, but missing from earliest manuscripts –Appearances Mary Magdalene Two disciples Eleven disciples – upbraiding and commissioning –Ascension
MatthewLukeJohn Other visits to the tomb –Peter Peter and other disciple; Mary Response to these visits –Uncertainty Peter: ? Disciple: belief Mary: sorrow, talk w/2 angels Response of the women Tell disciples Tell Peter and other disciple Gospel Accounts (cont’d)
Appearances by Jesus MatthewLukeJohn Immediate Mary & Mary Two disciples Mary Magdalene at tomb Response Immediate recognition Recognize Jesus only at Eucharist Peter: ? Disciple: belief Mary: sorrow, talk w/2 angels Commis- sioning On mountain In Jerusalem Behind locked doors (Thomas)
Beginning to question the resurrection Enlightenment rationalism (1720-1780) –Emphasis on human reason over divine revelation/authority –Continuity of history: if something doesn’t happen now, it didn’t happen back then David Friedrich Strauss, Life of Jesus (1835) –Assumes that miracles don’t occur So what about the resurrection? –First to describe the resurrection as “myth” Not a lie, but rather a premodern understanding
Defending the literality of the resurrection By casting it as an act of faith (Karl Barth) –Historical evidence is secondary –Empty tomb by itself means nothing Jesus’ body could have been stolen –Most important part is the risen Christ, which empowers us to believe in the resurrection By calling into question Enlightenment assumptions (Wolfhart Pannenberg) –The resurrection was witnessed by people then –Overemphasis on the continuity of history is too restrictive
Borg’s Argument My argument is not that we know the tomb was not empty or that nothing happened to his body, but simply that it doesn’t matter. The truth of Easter, as I see it, is not at stake in this issue.
Basis of Borg’s Argument Resurrection is distinct from resuscitation No basis in earliest account (1 Cor. 15) –No mention of empty tomb –“Appear” often refers to an “apparition” –Discontinuity of resurrection (seed/plant) Would these events have shown up on videotape?
Central meanings of Easter (Borg) Jesus lives –People continue to experience Him after His death Jesus is Lord –He has become one with God (sits at God’s right hand)
What of the contradictions? Wright –“The surface discrepancies do not mean that nothing happened; rather, they mean that the witnesses have not been in collusion.” –Sheer oddities (Jesus is physical yet able to pass through doors) “counts heavily in their favor as genuine recollection of deeply puzzling events.”
Upcoming Schedule NEXT Wednesday, August 24, 7 PM –Who is Jesus for Us Today?