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Evidence for the Resurrection: 5 Reasons the Early Church Couldn’t Have Made it

August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Author Topic: Evidence for the Resurrection: 5 Reasons the Early Church Couldn’t Have Made it  (Read 410 times)
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« on: March 23, 2016, 07:42:46 pm »

Evidence for the Resurrection: 5 Reasons the Early Church Couldn’t Have Made it Up

What is the evidence for Jesus’ actual bodily resurrection?

What facts related to the resurrection can be shown to be true beyond reasonable doubt—even when placed under the microscope of historical and critical scrutiny?

Here are five:

1. Jesus was crucified by the Romans around AD30

No credible scholar denies that Jesus existed and that he was crucified under orders from Pontius Pilate. There’s a wealth of New Testament and extra-biblical evidence that attests to this. The two most telling examples are from Tacitus and Josephus:

Tacitus writes in Book 15 of The Annals:

    “Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”

Josephus wrote in AD 93 in his Antiquities of the Jews:

    “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,[9] those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day;[10] as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

From these sources we know that Jesus was crucified, and it’s inconceivable that Jesus did not die on the cross. The Romans were very efficient and thorough in their execution.

2. Jesus Was Buried in the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea

There’s no reason for the church to create an incidental detail as this. Arimathea has no symbolic meaning.

What’s more, Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin—the very council that condemned Jesus. It wouldn’t have made sense for the church to invent a story where a member of the council which condemned Jesus would have given him a noble burial.

3. The Tomb Was Discovered Empty on the Third Day

All four Gospels testify that women discovered the empty tomb. This minor detail is important.

In first-century Judaism, women were not considered reliable witnesses. They would have never been allowed to testify in a court of law.

Think about this: the church would never have created stories about women discovering the empty tomb in a context where women were not considered credible witnesses.

4. Many Credible Witnesses Saw Jesus Alive

Paul, a primary first-century source confirms that more than 500 people saw Jesus alive, many of whom were still living at the time of writing:

    For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (1 Corinthians 15:3–8)

5. The Transformed Lives of the Disciples

What else could account for such a transformation?

Before the resurrection, the disciples were a small band of defeated, cowardly followers of Jesus. But after the resurrection they could not be silenced by persecution, the threat of martyrdom, or death itself.

Something happened—the Resurrection—to change their lives forever.

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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2016, 05:59:42 am »

Great article!

The thing about women in the 1st century is something I had never really thought of before. It's a very good point.
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 01:15:20 am »

The Empty Tomb Is Still Empty

This photo, taken on my recent third trip to Israel, gives a good perspective of Jerusalem at the time of Christ's death. It is a view of Old Jerusalem from the Tower of David or Jerusalem Citadel. This tower had nothing to do historically with King David, dating to the Byzantine and Islamic occupation of Jerusalem, but is a great viewing platform today.

The golden Dome of the Rock toward the right is on the Temple Mount where Herod’s Temple stood. The grey domes on the left are part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This was first built in 335 AD by the Emperor Constantine on the site where Emperor Hadrian had constructed a temple to Artemis or Venus after the Bar Kokhba revolt of 135 AD. Hadrian built it over the place revered by Christians as Christ’s tomb. Since that was only about 40 years after the death of the Apostle John and well within the lifetime of those who knew the apostles personally, it seems certain that they would have known the exact tomb. Thus I believe the Catholic Church got that one right, and that is indeed the location where Christ was crucified and was buried in a tomb nearby (John 19:41-42). Boundary walls of the Venus temple have been found among the archaeological remains beneath the church (Virgilio Carbo, The Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, 1981).

The tomb was only a stone’s throw from the Temple where the curtain was rent in twain at His death, signifying the opening of the way to God for believing sinners through Christ's atonement.

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” (Matthew 27:51).

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Hebrews 10:19-20).

There is no logical explanation for the empty tomb other than the resurrection.

The Jews didn’t steal it, because they wanted to prove that He did not rise. They took every precaution to prevent such an event, and after the stone was rolled away the the guards fled, they had to create the lie that the disciples had stolen the body (Matthew 28:11-15). If Jesus’ body was located anywhere, they would have searched it out with all diligence and produced it.

The Roman government had no motive to remove it. The highest Roman authority in Judea had ordered Jesus’ crucifixion because of His claim to to kingship and had sealed the tomb for good measure.

As for Christ’s apostles, it makes no sense that they would steal it. First, they were hiding in fear for their lives. Second, they had no opportunity, because the tomb was sealed and guarded. Third, they had no leader who could have envisioned and accomplished such a thing. Peter was a broken man at that point and had given up his discipleship to Jesus to go back to fishing (John 21:3). Fourth, they would have been fools to have suffered and died for a lie! The disciples didn’t suffer for what others had seen, such as Muslims who die for the Koran; they died for what they had professedly seen themselves (Acts 4:18-20). We must not forget what the early Christians suffered for their testimony that Christ rose from the dead. They were denounced by family and friends, hated by and considered the enemies of society, tortured, kept imprisoned for years in dark, rat-infested cells. Their property was confiscated; they were crucified, burned alive, torn apart by wild beasts, chopped into pieces, roasted on racks; their tongues were torn out and their eyes put out. The also had to endure the torture and death of beloved family members. Fifth, it would have been impossible for such a large number of people to have kept the secret hidden. “Even if it had been possible, and the disciples the men to do it, the subsequent history of Christianity would have been different. Sooner or later, someone who knew the facts would have been unable to keep them hidden” (Frank Morison, Who Moved the Stone?). Sixth, a great moral religion like we find in the New Testament, which exalts truth and honesty, could not have been founded upon a despicable deception.

Just weeks after Christ’s crucifixion, only a stone’s throw from the empty tomb itself, Peter publicly proclaimed the resurrection and 3,000 believed, followed a little later by “a great company of priests” and “a great number” more (Acts 2:37-42; 6:7; 11:21). All of the people were aware of Christ’s tomb. If anyone could have produced a body or come up with a reasonable account for it being missing, they would have!

Many lawyers have analyzed the evidence from a legal standpoint and have concluded that the evidence for the resurrection is overwhelming. We give eight examples in the free eBook Questions Answered on the Bible and Christianity.

For example, Simon Greenleaf, Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University, was one of the most celebrated legal minds of America. In 1846 he published An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice.

“All that Christianity asks of men is, that they would be consistent with themselves; that they would treat its evidences as they treat the evidence of other things; and that they would try and judge its actors and witnesses, as they deal with their fellow men, when testifying to human affairs and actions, in human tribunals. Let the witnesses [to the Resurrection] be compared with themselves, with each other, and with surrounding facts and circumstances; and let their testimony be sifted, as if it were given in a court of justice, on the side of the adverse party, the witness being subjected to a rigorous cross-examination. The result, it is confidently believed, will be an undoubting conviction of their integrity, ability and truth” (An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists).

"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:22-36).

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The Man from George Street
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