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Session 5 – “Natural” theories on the resurrection In this class we will look at many of the “naturalistic” theories for explaining the evidence that we.

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Presentation on theme: "Session 5 – “Natural” theories on the resurrection In this class we will look at many of the “naturalistic” theories for explaining the evidence that we."— Presentation transcript:

1 Session 5 – “Natural” theories on the resurrection In this class we will look at many of the “naturalistic” theories for explaining the evidence that we have discussed for the resurrection Keep in mind, many exclude God has a possibility, so even though these theories seem very far fetched, that’s all they have

2 Before we look at naturalistic explanations for the resurrection evidence, let’s review what we know about the history 1. Jesus died by crucifixion 3. The empty tomb 2. Jesus Burial Story is trustworthy 5. Broken Roman Seal 4. Grave clothes left

3 6. Roman Guards go Awol 7. Large Stone Removed 10. OVER 500 WITNESSES 8. The Disciples Sincerely Believed He Rose from the Dead and Appeared to Them 9. The Conversion of the Skeptic James

4 12. Jesus' tomb wasn’t venerated as a shrine 13. No signs of legendary development 11. The conversion of Paul Any naturalistic theory that tries to explain away Christianity has to be able to account for all of these facts about history

5 Naturalistic theories explain these four facts Conspiracy (The Body-Snatcher) This theory states that the disciples stole the body and fabricated the resurrection story This has to be one of the weakest positions on the topic of the resurrection and trying to explain it naturally, it has so many problems associated with it

6 Problems The disciples would need to concoct an elaborate plan. After all, we don’t have couple off duty security guards hired to protect the tomb of Jesus, we have the Roman military This idea assumes the disciples and followers of Jesus gathered a large group of people to do this

7 After all, just the eleven remaining disciples wouldn’t be nearly enough to fight off the Roman Guard, as we have seen before, that’s is what they were preparing for Also, Roman guards don’t run when faced with a fight, they die fighting. Why wasn’t there any signs of a war around the tomb? Dozens of people would have to be involved

8 Why did some of the Pharisees afterwards bribe the guards into saying the disciples came and stole the body? If that’s what happened, they wouldn’t need a bribe to say it After the tomb was found empty, the disciples were not hunted by Rome and executed in a way that was the result of breaking the Roman seal, they didn’t think they did it

9 The greatest problem still hasn’t been addressed: They’re martyrdoms Why did they go on to die for a belief they KNEW was wrong? No one dies for a known lie, only for something true, or that they thought was true How do you explain Paul and James converting? They say it’s from seeing Jesus! Not just because the tomb was empty

10 The testimony of women also shows this theory is horrible flawed As we’ve said before, if they are trying to convince people that Jesus rose from the dead when he didn’t, and they just stole the body, they don’t use the testimony of women to convince people of this lie! No one at the time counts them as reliable

11 Some say others may have stolen the body (not the disciples) Where are you going to find a group of guys who want to go fight the Roman military and risk their lives for a prank This also doesn’t explain the disciples sincere belief (along with Paul, James, and others) that they SAW Jesus

12 Apparent Death (resuscitation or swoon) Some critics suggested that Jesus did not in fact die on the cross, but only swooned so disciples thought he was dead and they buried him alive. Later Jesus woke up and escaped from the tomb to convince His disciples of his resurrection. Where to begin with the problems…

13 He was dead. Blood and water came out of his side which proves he was dead Problems John 19:34: “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” You have to assume the historical record we have in the Bible is wrong

14 How can a revived weakened half dead man with no weapons push back a 5000 pound rock from a tomb entrance and then escape from the Roman guards who are standing there guarding the tomb? The beating before hand The blood loss due to the nails in his body, and the spear in his side Something else to consider

15 Why would Jesus take his clothes off if this is how it happened, why not keep them on for warmth? How did his body remain absolutely motionless for several hours. Not a sign of breathing, a flickering eyelid absolutely perfectly still. Just like a dead man. Four roman guards had to sign off on the crucifixion, they’d know if he’s dead

16 Displaced Body hypothesis This theory proposes that because it was late and his family tomb was close, Joseph of Arimathea placed here the body only temporarily and removed it later to the criminals’ common graveyard, which confused disciples, who finding the tomb empty thought Jesus was raised from the dead.

17 There were Roman guards at the tomb to prevent this from happening, he was to stay in the tomb under the Roman seal for the three days Joseph was also a very well known individual of his day, and he was also friends with the disciples of Jesus, he would have corrected them Problems

18 There is no historical evidence for this happening, it’s just a theory someone thought of to try to explain away all the evidence that points towards the resurrection But as we said before, the empty tomb didn’t convince Paul or James, it was seeing the resurrected Christ! That can’t happen if he’s just in another tomb

19 Dog-Ate-It hypothesis This theory says that Jesus’ body was not buried inside a tomb, and was instead discarded in an area where wild dogs got the body and ate it This idea flies in the face of everything we know about the scenario at the time Let’s look at some of the specific problems

20 As we’ve said before, the inclusion of a popular individual like Joseph of Arimathaea shows the burial story is reliable If Jesus’ body was not put in the tomb, the Jews and Romans would have know about it, but they didn’t The Romans put a seal on the tomb, and set a guard because Jesus’ body is in the tomb

21 The Jew’s try to bribe the soldier into saying the disciples stole the body, when if this is what actually happened, they could have just said “He actually wasn’t buried here” If he wasn’t buried there, why were his clothes found inside the tomb on the 3 rd day? Wouldn’t Joseph know his tomb wasn’t used and correct the situation?

22 Why did the disciples still believe they saw Jesus afterwards? This (like all the other theories so far) still doesn’t explain the conversion of James and Paul alter on! Again they say it’s because they saw the resurrected Jesus Like all other theories, there is no historical basis for believe dogs ate the body of Jesus, and much evidence is against it

23 Wrong tomb hypothesis In this case discoverers of the empty tomb (the women) went to a wrong tomb. This theory says they were in distress, and ended up at one of many tombs in the area, which happened to be the wrong tomb Because it’s the wrong tomb, the guards are not there, the stone is rolled away, and it’s empty

24 Problems… They starting preaching in Jerusalem… We have the Jerusalem factor at play If this was the case, the Jews and Romans could have gone down to the right tomb and shown everyone the body! But they didn’t! they agreed the body was gone because they tried to bribe the guard into saying the disciples did it

25 Peter and John go to the tomb after the women do, and they run ahead of the women and end up and the same wrong tomb? The odds of that same mistake twice are pretty low They’d have to get the wrong tomb twice (independently) They also knew Joseph and could ask where the right tomb is

26 Twin hypothesis Jude is typically identified as the twin Shortly, Jesus truly died on the cross, he was buried, but he had a twin that nobody knew about who came on the scene presenting himself as resurrected Jesus Christ. Can anyone think of a problem? Or ten? Or fifty? Of a thousand?

27 For this to happen the tomb still has to end up empty, which means this twin had to get a group together and steal the body (we discussed the problems with that already) He would then have to appear to the disciples in ways that your normal human twin can’t really do… like walking through walls

28 Jesus carried the marks of his crucifixion according to the Bible after his resurrection, did Jude or whoever this twin is pierce their hands and feet and side just to pass as Jesus? James converted and was martyred, you’d think he’d recognize Jesus’ twin if he had one (considering he’d be his brother) Jude would have to fake the ascension and appear in the sky to Paul

29 Most of the theories presented here have one more thing in common, they claim that the disciples and other hallucinated when they thought they saw Jesus After all, explaining why the tomb is empty doesn’t explain why all the disciples, and skeptics like James, and enemies like Paul claim to have seen Jesus Any problems with this?

30 Hallucinations do happen to people, especially people under large amounts of stress (like the disciples would have been) If what we had recorded historically was one eye witness to the resurrection (someone close to Jesus who would be depressed and stressed by his death) this may become a concern as to if it was a hallucination

31 But that’s not what we have, that’s not the case when dealing with history Paul would have no reason to hallucinate and see Jesus, he was not a follower who was sad at his passing, nor did his conversion happen soon after Jesus' death But the greater problem is that groups of people see Jesus at the same time

32 To get 2 people to hallucinate at the same time is hard, to get them to hallucinate the same thing is extremely hard To get five people to hallucinate at the same time is unheard of, to get 11 people (like the disciples) is simply impossible! Let alone 500 at one time as recorded by Paul There is NO WAY hallucinations explain their belief

33 This leaves us with one more theory 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” Maybe what all the evidence points towards, is what’s actually true

34 John 11:25: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. Memory Verse

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