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There Were No Resurrection Witnesses.

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Posted by John Morgan Powell on April 5, 2001 18:42:48 UTC

The record of witnesses for the resurrection is very poor.

It's all hearsay except for Paul and Paul says he saw Christ in a vision (in his mind), which doesn't prove Jesus resurrected.

Those who are said to have witnessed his resurrection were not reliable witnesses. Peter denied Christ, how reliable is he? If Thomas had reason to doubt the testimony of the other disciples, why shouldn't we? If the disciples doubted the testimony of the women at the tomb, why shouldn't we? How many women, by the way were at the tomb initially, why did they go there, was the stone already rolled away, etc.?
The various accounts are hopelessly inconsistent. Read them, you'll see.

Who are these hundreds of witnesses? No names, no birthplaces. They were just made up to make it sound more believable.

The story goes that the disciples and others died in certain ways, but that has not been verified independently and even if they died for their religion, so what? Moslem extremists will become human bombs so they can go to the bosom of Abraham. Does that mean their religion is true (I'm assuming you're not a Moslem)? German soldiers were willing to die in battle for their Fuhrer. Does that make Naziism true?

The first written Gospel (Mark's) and source for the others did not originally describe the resurrection, it was left as an open question. Later writers shamelessly added to the Gospel of Mark the resurrection account when the religion came to decide that Jesus resurrected.

Perhaps one of the disciples in a fit of emotional trauma at remembering His crucifiction hallucinated or had a dream and claimed to see the resurrected Christ. Then leaders (like Peter) feeling guilty for denying Him either dreamed or hallucinated and claimed to also see Him resurrected. The rest was probably made up.

On the other hand, maybe the whole thing was made up. If Nazareth didn't exist during the days of Jesus, why should we accept that Jesus of Nazareth existed?

see http://atheists.org/church/ozjesus.html

Where is the secular evidence for the walking former-corpses in the cities of Palestine after the resurrection? This is something historians and political leaders would have been very interested in, don't you think? They didn't record it because it didn't happen. The New Testament writers made it up.

Where are resurrected people today? Modern scientists and M.D.s would be very interested in studying them, don't you think? The only honest people who claim to see resurrected persons see them in dreams or hallucinations, which are just in the mind.

The testimony of the Resurrection is similar to accounts of alien abductions. Do you also accept alien stories? Why not? The evidence is at least as good, don't you think?

Let's use another example assuming you're not LDS. Joseph Smith claimed that he saw Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father as a young man. He says he was later given some golden plates by an angel Moroni, a white-skinned resurrected American Indian. Millions of Mormons claim to believe these things as strongly as they or you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Do you believe this about Joseph Smith? If you do then perhaps you should join their church. If not, why not? There were 3 witnesses who signed their names that they saw the golden plates and the angel who had them. 8 other witnesses signed their names that they also saw the plates, but not the angel. If you won't believe the Mormon story about the golden plates, why do accept the New Testament one about resurrected corpses? In the Mormon case we know the names and birthplaces and life histories of the witnesses. That's better than the resurrection account. Those people (except for Paul and a few others) may have been completely ficticious.

If a lie like the golden plates story could be sincerely promoted by the leaders of the Mormon church and enthusiastically accepted by millions of otherwise normal people, why is it so hard for you to concede that the writers of the New Testament could have promoted their own lie about a resurrected corpse that was later enthusiastically accepted by hundreds of millions or billions of otherwise normal Christians?

> Why do you your faith in something that
> provides no hope of salvation?

Well asked! That's why people believe, because they want and hope it to be true. The rational person, when the inevitable descends upon them (like natural events such as death) deals with it the best he can, accepting what science has discovered. The sometimes irrational person refuses to admit defeat and in vain hopes that he will beat death or natural law in the end.

Should we believe in the resurrection just because it would be so nice if it were only true?

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