Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Evidence that Demands a Verdict: Chapter 10, part 3

Today we begin to wade through some of the "inadequate, concocted, explain-away hypotheses" that attempt to undermine the historicity of the Resurrection.

The Swoooooon [sic] theory: revived by spices and cool air. But...
  • Soldiers, Joseph, and Nicodemus judged by their knowledge that He did die.
  • A spear thrust + hours of horrible physical suffering = only a swoon?
  • In the closed room and afterwards, He looked hale - not haggard - to His disciples.
  • How could He have wriggled out of the grave cloths without disturbing the shape?
  • AND rolled away the huge stone AND overpowered the guard?
  • AND walked 7 miles to Emmaus AND claimed to have been resurrected?
  • This hypothesis would also falsify the Ascension account, going at odds with Luke's character.
The Theft theory: the disciples (or someone else) stole the body. But...
  • Enemies had no motive to steal the body; the disciples had no power to.
  • The guards' testimony was trusted.
  • Could the disciples have gotten past the guards AND broke the seal AND rolled away the stone?
  • The disciples, at the time, were depressed and cowardly.
  • If the soldiers had been asleep (as they claimed), how could they know that the disciples stole the body?
  • Soldiers wouldn't have fallen asleep, under penalty of death - much less the entire guard of four, all at the same time.
  • A stone of the size indicated would have taken too much effort and made too much noise to move.
  • Robbers wouldn't re-wind grave cloths, even if they had had the time.
  • Because of the honorable burial Christ had received, the disciples had no motive to move the body; there was nothing more they could do for it.
  • Since the disciples didn't suspect or even understand the Resurrection at first, they wouldn't have tried to help it along.
  • The disciples, as demonstrated in earlier chapters, had honorable character.
  • Did the Jews move it? Then why didn't they produce the body?
  • Did the Romans move it? That would have been directly counter Pilate's wish to keep peace.
  • Did Joseph of Arimathea move it? He would have consulted or told the other disciples.

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