Thursday, September 4, 2008

Evidence that Demands a Verdict: Chapter 10, part 1

Unfortunately, in the interests of summarizing, I had to omit virtually all of the quotes by various scholars and historians; there were an average of 10 for each major point. This chapter's title? "The Resurrection: hoax or history?" Biblical accounts are found in Matthew 28:1-11, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21.

1. The importance of the Resurrection
  • Christianity is the only world religion based on a RESURRECTED personality. The Resurrection is thus the core of Christianity; without it, the religion would fall apart.
  • Christ rose by His own power; the Resurrection is proof of His claim to be "the Son of God."
  • According to Peter: the Resurrection (a) explained Jesus' death; (b) was prophesied; (c) was witnessed by the Apostles; (d) caused Pentecost; and (e) proved that Jesus Christ is indeed the King of kings.
  • Restatement of the above: Christianity is a historical religion.
2. Christ's claims that He would rise from the dead
  • Importance of claims: resurrection would be a wholly foolish claim if the person claiming thus couldn't do it or didn't know what would happen. The Jews (but, oddly, not the disciples, at least initially) took the claims seriously.
  • Claims by Jesus: Matthew 12:38-40, 16:21, 17:9, 17:22-23, 20:18-19, 26:32, and 27:63. Mark 8:31-9:1, 9:10, 9:31, 10:32-34, 14:28, 14:58. Luke 9:22-27. John 2:18-22, 12:34, chs. 14-16.
3. Historical approach
  • Resurrection as a time-space dimension historical event: The tomb is precisely defined; Jesus is demonstrably historical; guards and Sanhedrin were, too. Wilbur Smith: we know more about Christ's death than about the death of any other ancient person. "Many infallible proofs" (Acts 1) = strictest legal evidence.
  • Legal/historical testimony: (here were gobs of quotes) Eyewitnesses were Paul and the Apostles. Luke's account consists of interviews with eyewitnesses. A quote by Ambrose Fleming (emph. added):
    We must take this evidence of experts as to the age and authenticity of this writing, just as we take the facts of astronomy on the evidence of astronomers who do not contradict each other. This being so, we can ask ourselves whether it is probable that such book, describing events that occurred about thirty or forty years previously, could have been accepted and cherished if the stories of abnormal events in it were false or mythical. It is impossible, because the memory of all elderly persons regarding events of thirty or forty years before is perfectly clear.
Later we get into even more quotes. Read the book for yourself if you'd like to see them all.

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