Did Jesus rise from the dead

Jesus waited three days to come back to life. It was perfect! If he had only waited one day, a lot of people wouldn’t have even heard he died. They’d be all, “Hey Jesus, what up?” and Jesus would probably be like, “What up? I died yesterday!” and they’d be all, “Uh, you look pretty alive to me, dude…” and then Jesus would have to explain how he was resurrected, and how it was a miracle, and the dude’d be like “Uhh okay, whatever you say, bro…” And he’s not gonna come back on a Saturday. Everybody’s busy, doing chores, workin’ the loom, trimmin’ the beard, NO. He waited the perfect number of days, three. Plus it’s Sunday, so everyone’s in church already, and they’re all in there like “Oh no, Jesus is dead”, and then BAM! He bursts in the back door, runnin’ up the aisle, everyone’s totally psyched, and FYI, that’s when he invented the high five. That’s why we wait three days to call a woman, because that’s how long Jesus wants us to wait…. True story

Barney Stinson

In his post Robert claims to have provided enough evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. It is taken for granted that Jesus lived, a question that I will say hasn’t been settled and unless the fellow shows up holding his mother’s hands will not be settled conclusively.

He tells us our sources of information will be

  1. The four Gospels in the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
  2. The New Testament letters.
  3. Material predating the New Testament letters.

While Robert believes the business here has to be left to the investigative journalist only, I disagree with him. I will bring the scientist, the philosopher and the historian to give their expertise on this question. It isn’t the greatest question of all time, there are greater questions to be answered.

The gospels are not reliable as eyewitness accounts nor as historical accounts. We do not know their authors, their motives and what they knew. Because the gospels are anonymous and later works, they are inadmissible in the case. I will add they are further inadmissible because the believers claim they are divinely inspired. If their divine authorship cannot be demonstrated, they have no standing whatsoever. They remain what they have always been, the works of overzealous and credulous, superstitious people and nothing more.

It is important to note here in passing that for most of the 1st and 2nd century, what we have as the NT wasn’t considered as authority and many of the church fathers referring to scripture at this time meant the OT. To the unknowing, it is important to remind you there were several gospels written at the same period that didn’t make it to the canon.

Paul, nowhere quotes Jesus. And those who read my post on Paul know that even back then questions were raised about him that I need not repeat here. The claim by Robert that

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.

as recorded in 1 Corinthians 15 is evidence in support of his assertion is easily demonstrated as false. Paul claims he has received whatever he writes directly from a god. He nowhere pretends to know anything about other extant writings. The appearance to the 500 is not known by the synoptic writers. It only appears in his writing. His writings are unreliable as evidence.

I wasn’t able to get from his post what he meant by materials predating the NT.

I could end this post here. The materials that were present before the court are wanting. They instead of helping the defence give credence to the prosecution’s case that there was no resurrection. But I will oblige Robert and consider what else he brings to the court’s attention.

  • The tomb was empty

This isn’t new evidence. It is from the material we rejected as evidence. It is useless in supporting the story.

Postscript: There is a big gaping hole in the empty tomb as evidence. Mathew who alone writes about it says

“When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard[a] of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.”[b] 66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.”
—Matthew 27

which means there was a hell lot of time for a grave robber to take Jeebus away among other possibilities.

  • Resurrection appearances

These suffer the same fate. It isn’t new evidence. It is from the claims of the biographers and their claims were already shown to be unacceptable.

  • Origin of church’s belief in the resurrection

It is impossible to separate the history of the church and the resurrection. In this case, I don’t think it is possible to tell which gives birth to which. They are intertwined at the umbilical cord. The idea of resurrection isn’t a new thing, not in Jewish history and the only difference in the case of Jesus isn’t that he brought himself back to life but that god did so without the help of another prophet. It is not a special event. It would be a special event were there no such reported cases of people being brought back to life.

  • Sunday becoming the day of worship

I have no idea and I would like to know. The two articles I have read on this matter do not give me much to go with. More here. However, I don’t think this is evidence of anything. The Jews have honoured the Sabbath and the Passover and we now have every reason to believe Yahweh does not exist and that there was no Passover, the two events being related.

  • The changed life of the first disciples

That there have been ascetics isn’t proof of the truth of their beliefs. If their lives changed and we have only the claims of the gospel writers, we have nothing great to go on.

  • Conversion of Paul

Paul claims he saw a light. Paul claims he saw Jesus. Who tells us this? Paul. Does Paul quote Jesus anywhere in his writings? He doesn’t. Does Paul quote the synoptics? He doesn’t. His conversion claim is just that. It is not evidence in support of our query.

Whereas Robert thinks the following

  1. Jesus’ tomb was found empty by women.
  2. Multiple people on multiple occasions were convinced they’d seen Jesus alive.
  3. The early church suddenly believed in a resurrection contrary to prevailing expectations.
  4. Sunday becoming the day of worship contrary to Jewish custom.
  5. The lives of the first disciples were changed in a manner consistent with such a dramatic event.
  6. Paul, the great opponent of the Christian faith, was converted.

must be explained before we dismiss the claim in the resurrection, I submit that this is starting the investigation from the wrong end. The question we must answer if we are to help the believer are

  1. Is there evidence for divine revelation? And how can we know it?
  2. Are miracles credible?

By answering the two questions conclusively, the question of the virgin birth and later resurrection can then be sensibly answered. And I must say here that I don’t think the questions are answerable conclusively. The ongoing investigations by apologists is really like examining whether Thor really does have a big hammer. They ignore the central issue to the religious problem.

I conclude there is no reason to believe in the resurrection and until scripture can be shown to be divinely revealed, we will be wasting time.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

59 thoughts on “Did Jesus rise from the dead

  1. Mordanicus says:

    If we have to believe the gospels, Jesus only hung a few hours on the cross. However, dying on the cross was an act which took days instead of hours. So there’s the possibility that Jesus did not die at all on the cross. If he did not, then he could not have risen from the dead.


  2. Linuxgal says:

    Jesus was flogged half to death before getting to the cross, so the wait time was a matter of hours rather than days.


    • makagutu says:

      Fair enough, is an empty tomb evidence that someone resurrected? I can think of the body being moved, stolen or they checked the wrong grave to list just a few


      • Linuxgal says:

        Well, make no mistake, I’m no Christian. More likely Jesus was buried by the Romans themselves very nearby, under a light covering of stones, and dogs ate his body. That, too, was part of the penalty of crucifixion and particularly horrifying to Jews, who believe the body will be resurrected one day, if it is buried correctly.


  3. “Jesus waited three days to come back to life. It was perfect!” Perfect my left ass check! Perfect would be more like, “He waited 3 weeks, and then returned to life. His rotting, putrid flesh fell from his bones like dried, dead leaves from a tree as he walked, and the stench coming from him was so powerful it literally caused people’s eyes to burn and their flesh to blister.” Now THAT, would be perfect and very convincing. Great post, Mak, as usual.


  4. archaeopteryx1 says:

    The resurrected Jesus is seen on only three occasions, Mak, and on all three of them, there is that about his appearance that caused the witnesses not to recognize him:

    John 20:14 – “And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
    John 24:15 – “Jesus said unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? who seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardner….

    Mark, 16:12 – “After that [after Mary M told the disciples about the empty tomb] he [Jesus] appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked.

    Luke 24:15 – “And it came to pass, that, while they [Cleopas and an unnamed friend] communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
    24:16 – “But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

    In all three instances, he is unrecognizable, and is only “recognized” after he says something or does something that was reminiscent of Jesus. At no point, is this person ever said to have actually LOOKED like Jesus. Three instances, in which the witnesses testify that they saw the resurrected Jesus, but on cross examination, admit that the person in question didn’t look like Jesus, doesn’t make for very convincing evidence.


  5. Arkenaten says:

    Truly, I do not believe the episode has any credibility whatsoever. It is so implausible and is likely a fiction from beginning to end.


  6. Barry says:

    To answer your question, he didn’t rise from the dead, but he certainly rose from inconspicuousness. Know any other dude, dead or alive, that’s argued about more often?


  7. always struck me that Christians can’t point to a single tomb (ostensibly the single most important location in their religion), have no idea when any of the events happened, and intentionally lie when they claim that the gospels agree on the timeline.


    • Ron says:

      Funny, isn’t it? They claim to have this “close personal relationship” with Jesus, yet they seem to know sfa about him. In fact, this guy does a bang-up job dissecting that silly canard:

      Russellings – That Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ

      So, Mr. or Ms. True Believer, let’s say you’re walking across library mall one day, you see your good buddy Jesus in a crowd of folks ahead of you, and you holler “Hey, J, dude, wait up!”. Would he?

      Let’s not kid ourselves. This would never even happen because there’s no way you’d be able to pick Jesus out of a crowd. Heck, you couldn’t pick him out of a 1-person lineup. You wouldn’t know him if he walked up to you on the street and handed you his business card.


      • makagutu says:

        Why did you leave

        It’s bullsh¡t. You know it’s bullsh¡t. Everybody else knows it’s bullsh¡t. The only reason you keep on repeating this bullsh¡t is because it’s the slogan of the club that some con artist or charlatan has suckered you into believing you really want to be a member of. All you have to do is keep repeating the magic bullsh¡t phrase “I have a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ” and you can keep going to the club meetings. (Provided you keep paying the dues, too; let’s not forget what’s really important here.)

        out? I like it. Thanks for the link


    • makagutu says:

      they know the tomb was empty but I don’t know why it was never conserved as a tourist site or a temple


  8. Ron says:

    In the word’s of the late Clara Peller: Where’s the beef?

    Where’s this physically resurrected Jesus fellow they keep jabbering about? Presenting this 2000-year-old man named Jesus to us would settle the matter once and for all. It’s a simple request. Yet Jesus followers always find excuses for being unable fulfill it. Things that make you hmmm.


    • makagutu says:

      But they have the minimal facts? You will not accept those for evidence? This is the problem with you heathens, you as for evidence and when it is provided, you dismiss it.


  9. nannus says:

    My simple question: why do these people take the bible to be a reliable source of information? All their “proofs” are based on this book. What is the proof of the book?


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