Did Jesus Rise From The Dead: Prof. Bart Ehrman Vs William Lane Craig

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All of us have known cases of successful resuscitation, but, none of us has ever known resurrection or anyone rising from the dead.  So, rising from the dead is an extra-ordinary claim and extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary proofs and the Christian apologist provide very little, with the exception of a few stories, from 2000 years ago!  On the other hand there is reams of good evidence that Jesus did not die on the cross and did not have to rise from the dead, from decaying meat three days later.  Here I will link some of our articles in this regard:

Jesus did not die on the cross

If Jesus did not die upon the cross: A study in evidence

If God the Father raised Jesus from death, then it is fair to infer that He was not handicapped in His Omnipotence as Jesus lay dead for a couple of days.  Christian apologists have never told us if God the Father was handicapped in any manner, while a person in the Holy Trinity lay dead, awaiting revival.  In other words God the Father did not need Jesus for His divinity, He was self sufficient in Jesus’ absence.  Jesus is not God, the whole story of his divinity and resurrection is hocus pocus, to say the least!

Jesus, may peace be on him, according to the Catholic view, is perfect god and perfect man at the same time.  This creates a quagmire for the Christian view from which there is no escape.  The mystery of Jesus divinity would have been easier to explain if he was only perfect god.  Now, the perfect man part of the hybrid was born between 6 BC to 1 AD and did not exist before.  In other words this amalgam of perfect man and god did not exist before the common era and is not eternal.  In other words, Jesus had nothing to do with creation of our world and is not mentioned any where in Genesis.  In this information age it is becoming harder for educated Christians to believe in the fables of Christianity and therefore they are leaving in droves.

When king David beautifully extolled the glory of One God in one Psalm after another, he had no idea of who Jesus was.  So, either Christians have to say that David had only very poor understanding of what he is saying in the Old Testament and take the wrath of 15 million Jews, while at the same time declaring the Old Testament, which forms three fourth of the Bible, as deficient, or accept that Jesus is not god!  Case closed!

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  1. Zia H. Shah

    Did Judas betray Jesus or was he an accomplice in the suicidal mission?
    Mark W. Muesse is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. A native of Waco, Texas, Muesse received his B.A. summa cum laude in English from Baylor University. He completed his graduate work at Harvard University, where he received a Masters of Theological Studies from the Divinity School and the A.M. and Ph.D. in the Study of Religion from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He has also been Visiting Professor of Theology at the Tamilnadu Theological Seminary in Madurai, India, traveling extensively throughout Asia. He writes about Judas:

    On Thursday evening of Passion or Holy Week, as the church now calls it, Jesus celebrated his last meal with his disciples. The New Testament reports that two important events occurred at this last supper. First, Jesus instituted the ritual of the Eucharist, or Lord’s Supper, by offering bread and wine to his companions. The meaning of that ritual, of course, would become the subject of fierce debate among Christians for centuries to come. The second event was Judas Iscariot’s departure during the meal to inform the Temple authorities of Jesus’ whereabouts. Judas’ role in Jesus’ death is an enigma,

    The gospels struggle to explain his motivations. Luke can think of nothing better to say than the devil made him do it. John suggests he was motivated by money-30 pieces of silver. Neither is a satisfying answer. More recent interpretations suggest that Judas became disappointed when he discovered that the kingdom Jesus had in mind was not the one that Judas wanted, others have thought he was cowardly and sought to avoid the consequences that Jesus appeared headed for. The recently released translations of the non-canonical Gospel of Judas propose that Judas and Jesus conspired to arrange Jesus’ arrest so he might complete his mission on earth. In this interpretation Judas was Jesus’ closest and most important disciple. Whatever was the case with Judas, it is clear that early Christians couldn’t decide how best to explain him. The books of New Testament do not even agree on how he died. Matthew says he hung himself, and the Book of Acts says he fell in a field and spilled his guts. Regardless of his motives and demise, the gospels do agree that he played a central role in Jesus’ arrest. But was hardly the cause of Jesus’ death. The stories suggest that Jesus was aware of what might happen to him by taking his message to Jerusalem during the Passover.

    It was late in the night when the temple police arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives to arrest Jesus. He had been praying there with some of his followers since supper. The New Testament relates a very heart-wrenching scene in which Jesus struggles to accept what he believes is god’s will. Luke says “his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When the Temple guards arrived, Jesus offered no resistance and allowed himself to be taken into custody. His followers, however, abandoned him.

    Prof. Mark W Muesse. Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. The Great Courses transcript book, 2010. Pages 314-315.

    Note that Jesus did not want to die on the cross and if early Christians thought that dying on the cross was the goal, Judas would not have been labeled for betraying, all these inconsistencies and contradictions in the events around Jesus’ death should provoke enough thought in the enlightened Christians to lead them to clearer understanding, Amen!

  2. Zia H. Shah

    William Lane Craig like most Christian apologists chooses to believe what he likes. He says, ‘Inconsistencies in the later less reliable sources do not undermine the earlier more credible sources,’ around the 50 minute mark, in the debate, but, he fails to acknowledge that earlier sources have been transmitted to us through the later sources and later generations.

    He brushes away the dramatic contradictions in the four gospel accounts in events leading upto alleged resurrection by saying that these are in the peripheral details, rather than the essence of the issue. What does not serve his purpose becomes peripheral detail. The fact of the matter is that there is even no consensus in the Christian sources as to whether Jesus rose from the dead in a physical body or a spiritual one and even examining this issue reveals glaring contradictions:

    http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2011/12/religion/did-jesus-rise-in-a-physical-body-or-a-spiritual-one

    The Christian apologists keep reinventing the wheel, in reinterpreting biblical description despite new findings, to maintain their dogma. The fact of the matter is that most Christians scholars now agree that the last 12 verses of the Gospel of Mark were a later addition. How much more of a contradiction, does one need to show in biblical description of resurrection.

  3. Zia H. Shah

    There were hundred or more Gospels, why did only four land into the New Testament canon?

    This question can be easily answered by a pithy one liner by Burton L. Mack, Retired Professor of New Testament, “The gospels must now be seen as the result of early Christian mythmaking.” If we take this evaluation by Mack to be true then all the information about New Testament compilation, archeological finds and historical details fall into place as if all pieces of the puzzle have nicely fallen into place to give us a complete and intellectually satisfying picture of the early Christianity, the canonical gospels and also of those that did not meet the cut, in early centuries. Incidentally, such understanding of the gospels also unify the understanding of God in the three Monotheistic religions, Judaism that preceded Christianity and Islam, which followed. How, can a sane mind deny such unifying appeal of Mach’s hypothesis!

    For evidence of this claim let me list a few books or videos here:

    The Bible the Quran and Science by Dr. Maurice Bucaille.
    Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew by Bart D. Ehrman.
    The Quest of the Historical Jesus, by Albert Schweitzer.
    From Jesus to Christ — the First Christians: A four hour PBS documentary.
    Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, by Walter Bauer.

    Reference
    “The narrative gospels can no longer be viewed as the trustworthy accounts of unique and stupendous historical events at the foundation of the Christian faith. The gospels must now be seen as the result of early Christian mythmaking.” (1993. The Lost Gospel: The Gospel of Q & Christian Origins. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, p. 10).

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