||2017-02-20 19:43:04, 조회 : 835, 추천 : 207
| Abraham Yim |
Chapter 13 - The Evidence of Appearances
The tomb of Jesus Christ was empty, so what? Are we supposed to say that every empty tomb means that someone has been resurrected? How do we know that the tomb was actually empty? To answer these questions, Lee Strobel goes to visit Gary Habermas Ph.D., D.D. From Wikipedia, “Gary Robert Habermas is an American historian, New Testament scholar, and philosopher of religion who frequently writes and lectures on the Resurrection of Jesus.” To add: Habermas wrote several books, helped create several movies, has an impressive list in his alma mater, and is a masterful debater and apologist. Learning from him, we know we are in good hands.
To begin: there is not a single person who witnessed Jesus’ resurrection. Habermas and C. S. Lewis backs this statement. At first, it may seem ludicrous, but it makes sense: no one has seen Jesus’ body shake and then reanimate; no one saw Jesus get up and take of his linen wrappings; no one saw Jesus roll back the tomb entrance and surprise the guards. Therefore, no one has seen Jesus resurrect. Does this nullify argument for his resurrection?
This is our thesis: Jesus Christ resurrected - came back from the dead - and he does not have to have been seen resurrecting for us to know he came back to life. First, science isn’t always as easy as observing something and then stating your conclusion. For example: dinosaurs and dead people. For us to know dinosaurs existed, we look at fossils. For us to know how someone died, we perform an autopsy. For us to know Jesus Christ resurrected, we look at the gospels.
If there is one thing we can confirm it is that Jesus Christ died on the cross. We even devoted a whole chapter to this. Is it important? Yes, it is. This is because that is the precedent for our next question: did Jesus appear to other people after his death?
It is a well attested fact that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians. In the final part of the creed of the early church, it says that Christ appeared to Peter, the Twelve, and five hundred other brothers [followers of Christ]. This was also written during a time where people could actually confirm with witnesses. However, you guys may have been confused by the creed in the last chapter. So Lee Strobel asks, “Why is this creed… a creed?”
There are five reasons. First, Paul introduces the text with the words received and delivered, implying it is something that ought to be passed down. Second, Paul’s text has some parallel aspects of a creed. Third, the creed calls Peter by his Aramaic name: Cephas. This indicates that the creed has an early origin. Fourth, Paul’s creed uses very primitive terms such as, “The twelve” and “The third day”. Fifth, some words have Aramaic and Mishnaic Hebrew origin.
This creed however does not only appeal to those who are Christians. Paul demands people to fact-check him - well, more like challenges, but a very inviting challenge. This was during a time where a person could go to some of the listed people and ask them if they truly saw Jesus.
If this was such an important moment in New Testament history, how come no one else talks about it? How come no other historian investigates the witnesses of the resurrected Christ? First, we have to recognize that the New Testament is extremely sound. Both Christian and non-Christian scholars have said that there is a lot of evidence that corroborates the infallibility of the New Testament - especially the four gospels. Second, Paul wrote his books and letters only a short time after the incident; therefore, it isn’t prone to legendary accounts. Third, many historical texts only have one source; however, some sources are riddled with mistakes and falsified information, making them invalid, but this is not the case for the New Testament books.
The New Testament, nonetheless, continously mentions Christ and his resurrection, and appearance to people. A list is given to us by Habermas:
Mary Magdalene: John 20:10-18
Other women: Matthew 28:8-10
Cleopas and another disciple: Luke 24:13-32
To eleven disciples and others: Luke 24:33-39
Ten apostles and others (without Thomas): John 20:19-23
To Thomas and other apostles: John 20:26-30
To seven apostles: John 21:1-14
To the disciples: Matthew 28:16-20
Apostles at the Mount of Olive, right before his ascension into heaven: Luke 24:50-52 and
Acts especially is riddled with references to Jesus’ appearance.
Of course we will have to talk about the “conspiracy theories” around this subject.
The first of all conspiracy theories is: THESE ARE ALL LIES! THE APOSTLES, DISCIPLES, and FOLLOWERS ARE ALL DIRTY LIARS! How come Mark records no appearance of Jesus? How come Matthew only a little? Why does John have the most? Doesn’t this show that these appearance appeared overtime; therefore, they are legendary accounts. Well first, some people do not believe Mark to be the earliest of the gospels - although a minority. Second, these questions only account for legendary accounts growing over time, not the belief of Jesus’ resurrection being falsified. Third, 1 Corinthians 15 creed comes before the gospels - time wise - and attests to the fact that Jesus appeared after his death. Fourth, if this was just a legend, then Jesus Christ would have still been in his tomb as dead as ever.
The second conspiracy theory is that all these people were lunatics; they all hallucinated the same thing. To keep this short and simple: hallucinations are often drug or mental-health induced, for 500+ people to have that happen around the same times and see the exact same thing is improbable and illogical.