A challenge to the christians

And I hope those friends of Ark and John Zande can take it up.

A fellow named Dr. Ray Higgins has asked that anyone who can prove with validity that Jesus lived and walked out da grave to present that evidence to him and he will pay all your living expenses until his last.

Since I don’t claim to have as much money, any one with this information will get a standing ovation from my clan😁.

And a bonus question. Most if not all Christians take Christmas day(25th December) as the birth date of Jesus but Easter shifts depending on the weather. One asks, if as Paul alludes in Corinthians, if Jesus is not risen, then the faith is in vain, why is Easter not taken seriously?

In the video below, he repeats the challenge from 20:24

Sunday disservice

The author of this post in making a case for Jesus H Christ tells us there were five hundred witnesses to the resurrection, and some of them famous. I for my case, would want to know the name of one eye witness among the five hundred.

He also says there were witnesses to the resurrection. Now, all my reading of the bible tell me all the people who went to the tomb found an empty tomb and Mary Magdalene did not observe the resurrection event.

He also claims as support for the resurrection story, that several names are given. How this builds the case for the resurrection when we don’t have independent accounts of these various witnesses I don’t see.

I am not a lawyer, but I think the claim that

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ would stand up in a court of law.

Is untrue. There are few Bible stories, if any, that would stand in a court of law. Unless of course, that court was one that ruled based on miracles.

Happy Sunday everyone.

on the dead lion 2: the resurrection of Jesus

I, for the life of me, cannot understand anymore why people still believe that a guy was born of a virgin, walked on water, committed suicide by the Centurion, resurrected and then levitated to some unknown place. If he left earth, how did he reach the escape speed? Given he did this jumping in flesh and bones?

That, however, is not why am writing this post.

In Supernatural Religion, the author writes

[..]The actual occurrence of the Resurrection and ascension, however, is certainly a matter of evidence and, to retort, it is scarcely decent that any man should be required to believe what is so opposed to human experience, upon more imperfect evidence than is required for the transfer of land or the right to a title, simply because ecclesiastical dogmas are founded upon them, and it is represented that unless they be true our hope is vain.

[..] Proportionately, it should be as unparalleled in its force as those events are in fact.

Which Jesus

This is an old post adopted from M.M Mangasarian’s book The truth about Jesus: Is he myth and I think given that some Christians will soon be wailing that their lawd has been crucified, I thought this would be good entertainment for those who find the narrative wanting in accuracy and significance..

Mangasarian has this running as a conversation between the apostles and a skeptic.

We ask

How long have you known Jesus?

I have known him for one year.

And I for two.

And I for three.

Has any of you known him for more than three years?

No.

Was he with his apostles for one year or for three?

For one.

No, for three.

You are not certain, then, how long Jesus was with his apostles.

No.

How old was Jesus when crucified?

About thirty-one.

No, about thirty-three.

No, he was much older, about fifty.

You cannot tell with any certainty, then, his age at the time of his death.

No.

You say he was tried and crucified in Jerusalem before your own eyes, can you remember the date of this great event?

We cannot.

Were you present when Jesus was taken down from the cross?

We were not.

You cannot tell, then, whether he was dead when taken down.

We have no personal knowledge.

Were you present when he was buried?

We were not, because we were in hiding for our lives.

You do not know, therefore, whether he was actually buried, or where he was buried.

We do not.

Were any of you present when Jesus came forth from the grave?

Not one of us was present,

Then, you were not with him when he was taken down from the cross; you were not with him when he was interred, and you were not present when he rose from the grave.

We were not.

When, therefore, you say, he was dead, buried and rose again, you are relying upon the testimony of others?

We are.

Will you mention the names of some of the witnesses who saw Jesus come forth from the tomb?

Mary Magdalene, and she is here and may be questioned.

Were you present, Mary, when the angels rolled away the stone, and when Jesus came forth from the dead?

No, when I reached the burying place early in the morning, the grave had already been vacated, and there was no one sleeping in it.

You saw him, then, as the apostles did, _after_ he had risen?

Yes.

But you did not see anybody rise out of the grave.

I did not.

Are there any witnesses who saw the resurrection?

There are many who saw him after the resurrection.

But if neither they nor you saw him dead, and buried, and did not see him rise, either, how can you tell that a most astounding and supposedly impossible miracle had taken place between the time you saw him last and when you saw him again two or three days after? Is it not more natural to suppose that, being in a hurry on account of the approaching Sabbath, Jesus, if ever crucified, was taken down from the cross before he had really died, and that he was not buried, as rumor states, but remained in hiding; and his showing himself to you under cover of darkness and in secluded spots and in the dead of night only, would seem to confirm this explanation. You admit also that the risen Jesus did not present himself at the synagogues of the people, in the public streets, or at the palace of the High Priest to convince them of his Messiahship.

Do you not think that if he had done this, it would then have been impossible to deny his resurrection? Why, then, did Jesus hide himself after he came out of the grave? Why did he not show himself also to his enemies? Was he still afraid of them, or did he not care whether they believed or not? If so, why are _you_ trying to convert them? The question waits for a reasonable answer; Why did not Jesus challenge the whole world with the evidence of his resurrection? You say you saw him occasionally, a few moments at a time, now here, and now there, and finally on the top of a mountain whence he was caught up in a cloud and disappeared altogether. But that “cloud” has melted away, the sky is clear, and there is no Jesus visible there. The cloud, then, had nothing to hide. It was unnecessary to call in a cloud to close the career of your Christ.The grave is empty, the cloud has vanished. Where is Christ? In heaven! Ah, you have at last removed him to a world unknown, to the undiscovered country. Leave him there! Criticism, doubt, investigation, the light of day, cannot cross its shores. Leave him there!

On the resurrection of Jesus

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.

Related article

What were the most powerful arguments for atheism for you?

On the incredibility of the resurrection story

 

The Easter sham

To most Christians, Easter marks the most important point in their calendar and as St Paul so aptly put it And if Christ is not risen then our preaching is empty and your faith is in vain [1 Corinthians 15:14] and so I find it ridiculous that one christian apologist says in much ado about resurrection that he for a long time didn’t get why it has to be included in the gospel story though that now he realizes the resurrection was inevitable and had to be included. I don’t know how many Christians feel the same way about the resurrection and if indeed there are who share his predicament, feel free to express it in the comments especially what the resurrection means to you.

To me, the resurrection of Jesus was no more significant than the resurrection of Lazarus. It was just one more miracle. The big deal was the death of Christ, not His resurrection.

To some extent he is true, in the sense that if any of these things happened there is really no difference. We have been told, in theOT, that people were brought back to life, what we are never told is whether after being brought back to life, they die again which then leads me to question the point of bringing them to life in the first place. What was the point in raising Lazarus from his sleep if he was going to die again in a few years? Why not let him rest. The story of the resurrection is told differently in the gospels. Mathew talks about a violent earthquake, he seems to be the only one aware of the earthquake and he further tells us Jesus met the women, he even says the stone wasn’t rolled when the women showed up; Mark tells us they were three women[not a significant difference though but who do we believe], he says the stone was rolled and a young man was sitting by the right side; Luke tells us the women were wandering in the tomb then two men appeared and for good measure let us hear John who says the women did not go in neither did she talk with anyone one. She just ran away. When the apologist finishes reading the three versions, I will wait to be told the correct one and how he got to that conclusion.

There is little evidence to prove that Christ existed and even if he did how could the death of one man atone for sins committed and those yet to be committed?

We have been told Christ suffering is significant and oft-times you hear a person suffering being told that Jesus also suffered and they should bear theirs with courage. I got a few reflections on the matter. If Jesus was truly god, and god is passionless, unchanging, all-knowing and whatever quality the theist want to give god, he doesn’t know what it means to suffer. I agree to be nailed to a cross is a horrible way to die but here we have god on the cross, nothing could have been too much for god and he died the same day anyway. There are many people whose lives are a series of intense pain, untold suffering that what Jesus, if he existed, went through can all pale in comparison. To tell such a person to take comfort in Jesus’ suffering is to not understand human suffering.

Because of the resurrection, the grave is a passageway to eternal life!

I think anyone who believes in another life apart from this cannot live fully here and now. To them this life is but a preparation for a future life. How I find this to be really sad.

I think Nietzsche said it best, when he wrote in Human, all too Human

When on a Sunday morning we hear the bells ringing, we ask ourselves: it is possible! This is going on because of a Jew crucified 2,000 years ago who said he was the son of God. The proof of such an assertion is lacking. In the context of our age the Christian religion is certainly a piece of antiquity intruding out of distant ages past, and that the above-mentioned assertion is believed is perhaps the most ancient piece of the inheritance. A god who begets children on a mortal woman; a sage who calls upon us no longer to work, no longer to sit in judgment, but to heed the signs of the imminent end of the world; a justice which accepts an innocent man as a substitute sacrifice; someone who bids his disciples drink his blood; prayers for miraculous interventions; sins perpetrated against a god atoned for by a god; fear of a Beyond to which death is the gateway; the figure of the Cross as a symbol in an age which no longer knows the meaning and shame of the Cross — how gruesomely all this is wafted to us, as if out of the grave of a primeval past! Can one believe that things of this sort are still believed in?

And as a gift from me to you, please visit Tell me the old story, old story…. not for the best Easter reflection I have read to this date.