To be a good architect, one has to not only pay attention to details, but must have an understanding of how the components in the whole work to create a unity. A space that would otherwise look plain, begins to have depth, texture, and feeling when detail is added to it. There are things however where the problem is in the detail, and that is where we are going today with the story of Jesus.
Many apologists contend with St. Paul in 1 Corinthians thus
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
It is evident from this passage that even then there were skeptics who did not buy the story of Paul for he wouldn’t be defending it as he does in v12. In v13, if the bible is to believed, I can only say St. Paul had not read 2 Kings 4:32-37
32 When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. 33 He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. 34 And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. 35 He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 And he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, “Pick up your son.”37 So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.
from where it is evident that people were actually raised from the dead, that is if the bible is to believed. And in the NT we have two stories of Jesus raising people from the dead one is of Jairus son and of Lazarus[Jn 11:1-45] so the question that Paul is raising in his letter would have been a moot one especially because we would expect that these resurrections were known. You know a coming back to the land of the living is not a so so story, but one that would draw both local and international press.
The second matter of detail that relates to the story of Jesus from my point of view is twofold. Christians claim that Jesus was fully god, then it is expected that he knew he would rise from the dead, I mean a few verses earlier before he had raised some losers from the land of the dead, why wouldn’t he do it to himself. So please tell, how does god committing suicide knowing he will get through with it something special. Maybe I miss something here that others see, please help me.
Three if the bible is to believed, apologists claim there are many prophecies regarding Jesus crucifixion and resurrection in the bible. If this is the case, then it is no longer any special news. Everyone who believes in the narrative already expect him to die and resurrect, in fact I contend it would be news if he didn’t resurrect.
Lastly Paul is arguing by appealing to emotion, he must have known then that for those who believed, the story couldn’t be otherwise as he told it. It would be ambitious on anyone’s part to expect St. Paul to write that Jesus didn’t resurrect, I mean he is the one creating the narrative. What else would you expect?
One can go ahead and claim that people writing in the 2nd Century mention Jesus. Whatever their names, one would be hard pressed to convince me they are not repeating a narrative that has been doing its rounds.
In conclusion, whenever I contend that the resurrection of Jesus, if he did live and this happened, means very little, at least to me, not because there were similar resurrection narratives in the middle east at that time, no, but because the bible in both the old and new testaments have a few narratives of resurrection even though nobody says whether these fellows so raised do die again or live forever and are still here with us and because, the bible believers claim in many places that this was already written in scripture, it is something they were expecting and lastly because the main character claims to be god.
This is then my proposal, the christians and their apologists should drop the divinity story and say this Jesus guy was a random magician, chosen by their god as a human sacrifice to redeem other magicians and we go on with life.
This, friends is how I see it.
What were the most powerful arguments for atheism for you?