Another Easter With Its Stories Has Come And Gone

I spent several hours this past weekend reading about the Easter stories. I use the word “stories” because there are more than one of them in the Bible.

Apologists tell us all the various stories of Easter in the Bible are true. The various versions all happened, the various writers just included different events. There is a problem with that, however. The Bible never says all those events happened. I hasten to add that while there is not evidence other than from Bible propaganda the death and resurrection happened, it cannot be “proven” they did not happen. Certainly many believe they happened.

It would be most helpful if there was an author who wrote, “I saw the risen Jesus.” The writer thought to have lived closest to the time of what is called the historic Jesus, Paul, did not report having talked to anyone who saw a “risen Jesus.” Paul only saw a “Jesus” in a dream or heard about it from unknown sources.

From what scholars know of the practice at that time, bodies of assassinated common political criminals were not given to friends or relatives.  They, instead, were left on display to detour others and were picked clean by birds.

In one Biblical account, the body is given to “Joseph of Arimathea” and the tomb tale unfolds. This character was never mentioned before or after in the Bible, leading many to conclude he was introduced solely to make up a story about a “tomb”.

32 Responses

  1. Henry

    It happened according to the Roman historian.

    “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.

    Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, 3.

    1. Henry 7:25 He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him.

      Yes, attributed to ancient writing of Josephus. Then, there is this question. Josephus was a Jew–a member of its clergy. He is there referring to Jesus as the one phrophesised. Jews, especially clergy, do not believe this.

      1. Henry

        Jon:“Josephus was a Jew–a member of its clergy. He is there referring to Jesus as the one phrophesised. Jews, especially clergy, do not believe this.”

        Do Jewish clergy also advise those who destroyed the Jewish temple? Josephus did. I do not think you understand Josephus very well, and this misunderstanding shouldn’t be used to further develop speculation used to delegitimize his work.

        1. Henry 10:11 Josephus did. I do not think you understand Josephus very well, and this misunderstanding shouldn’t be used to further develop speculation used to delegitimize his work.

          I know apologists have hairs to split, spins to spin and games to play. I prefer straight forward stuff, Josephus was a member of the Jewish clergy.

          1. entech

            Josephus reminds of Benedict Arnold, would you consider Bennie reliable on the American War of Independence?

          2. Henry Clay

            My fellow Henry, ‘pearls before s____’. But keep trying if you think your love and logic will win. Peace.

          3. Juan Ruiz

            “Josephus reminds of Benedict Arnold”

            Benedict Arnold turned because he hadn’t been paid for over a year. Josephus had a choice: die or align with the Romans.

      2. entech

        Juan, my comparison was specious more than serious. Our Friend Henry says that Josephus wrote about Pilate condemning him to the cross, an interesting approach from one who should have been defending Rome as Paul and others were attempting to pass the blame to the Jews.

        Not that it matters of course, it is clearly hearsay.

    2. entech

      Not as widely accepted as genuine as the other reference in Josephus. More slanted towards a Christian interpretation than the Arabic version which is more neutral. It is rather strange to me that if Josephus is actually saying that the Jesus he spoke of was ‘The Christ’ it is more than strange than he failed to convert; I am sure that if I was convinced I would find it more than difficult not to convert.
      But it must be true, everything TheHenry believes is true and everything “TheAtheist”thinks he knows is false and alternate.

      1. Juan Ruiz

        The Josephus reference to Jesus as “the Christ” was long ago recognized as the product of Christian manipulation of the text, much like is seen in the Gospels. As a Jew, Josephus was well aware the the Messiah was not a god, but a Davidic king or counselor, who would come to overthrow foreign domination.

        Once again, I’d like to say that referring to him as “clergy” presents a misconception. The Sadducees were nothing more than Temple functionaries, who had little to do with theology. The Gospel writers thoroughly exploited Gentile ignorance of Judaism, both in the characterization of them, and their association with the Pharisees. Thelatter had little time for the former.

        1. Henry

          JR11:42:”The Josephus reference to Jesus as “the Christ” was long ago recognized as the product of Christian manipulation of the text, much like is seen in the Gospels.”

          Not long ago. That theory started in the 19th century.

          Again, we have a case where the theoretical from the higher critics without evidence is used to overcome the established text. This is something only they can get away with. Some evidence of why this passage is a fraud would be good. All I have seen mustered is absence of evidence from what can be found in what others have said.

  2. Henry Clay

    No modern day miracle could convince the most hardened atheist to believe in God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Video, audio or witness testimonials would not convince. Faith is what God requires.

    1. entech

      I am assuming you have mistyped here. Not sure what you mean by a hardened atheist or even a hardened Christian. But speaking for my self any modern miracle would convince me and most that I know.
      Definition of miracle : an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.
      Most anything with that description, as you seem to say not video or witness testimonials but a genuine miracle. A train crash where the survivors regrow their lost arms and legs should be simple enough. Santa Claus should be able to that one.

      On the other hand I can’t imagine a hardened religionist giving up on belief no matter what, faith that surpasses anything. The ultimate cop out is always there, freewill, it is the fault of man because of the fall and on we go.

      1. nemo82

        Tech, free will is a cop out? should I take that to mean that you don’t “believe” in free will (i.e that humans have the capacity to make real choices: to choose x rather than y or z)? Or are you a materialist determinist (i.e free will is an illusion, that we can’t really choose y over x or z)? Oh, I know that I am arguing like a Jesuit, no need to remind me.

    2. Henry Clay 5:40 No modern day miracle could convince the most hardened atheist to believe in God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Video, audio or witness testimonials would not convince.

      This may not be true. If you actually would come up with a modern day miracle even I might believe in God. There are events most every day that claim to be miracles but have rational explanations.

      The only miracles are those reported in the Bible by unknown writers who did not say they actually saw them but heard from others. Their claims often came long after the “miracle” supposedly happened and it was in another country where a different language was spoken. Entech correctly calls them hearsay.

      1. Juan Ruiz

        “The only miracles are those reported in the Bible by unknown writers who did not say they actually saw them but heard from others. ”

        Not quite accurate. Sainthood requires miracles. Problem is, the credibilty of the witnesses is generally not reliable.

    3. entech

      How can you say this, our friend Erwin has linked us to lots of “hardened atheists” who have become believers and successful authors and speakers because of it. Besides you don’t need conviction, all you need is faith, faith which passes all understanding.

      1. nemo82

        Tech, assume you mean “literal” truth. The Greek stories, as you imply, do contain a lot of truth regarding human psychology, political wisdom, etc. Some, in addition, appear to contain a significant amount of historical truth. E.g. at one time, not many folks thought that Troy and the Trojan wars really existed/happened. Then along came Schliemann and his discovery of Troy (actually he didn’t actually discover Troy: he just dug thru it). So much for your tendency to dismiss ancient stories as mere fantasy, poetry, tall tales or whatever. If you looked closely, however, you might just find quite a bit of historical fact, whether in the Greek legends or elsewhere.

  3. bbgunbob

    Jon

    I have read some of your recent articles that are linked at the Fargo Forum site. I understand that you are an atheist. Is the nature of your beef with god only with the god of the christian faith or are you an equal opportunity atheist? I have not seen the laser sharp analysis of the false beliefs of Muslims, Jews, Hindus and other of the worlds great and small religions.

    I would like to see you scoff at and ridicule the beliefs of some other faiths just in the spirit of mixing things up. Feel free to mock other faiths along with the christian faith. I will anxiously await say an in depth lies of the belief of the follower of Islam.Surely the god of Islam is just as much of a joke as the god of the christian bible. I would like to read your views on why this is so. Perhaps an in depth criticism of their books lies and why they are lies would be useful to those fallowing another god that does not exist.

    1. bbgun 1:52 Thanks for being a reader of this blog and for commenting.

      Perhaps dozens of times people have criticized me for not taking on other faiths. For the record, I do not believe in the invisible gods, angels, saints and whatever of any religion.

      I do criticize the Jewish faith which holds to many of the same myths as do Christians. The reason I do not discuss very often Muslim, Hindus, Wiccans, etc is simple. They are not trying, at not least yet, to insert their faith into our government and its laws. If the entire Christian faith would suddenly declare, “We will no longer lobby and campaign for putting our religious views into law” this blog would end. Instead, the faith charges forward with anti abortion, anti gay, anti women and anti Muslim laws.

      1. entech

        Jon, I seem to remember only two over the years that joined in the conversion, one Hindu and one Muslim and neither continued for very long. Most respondents talk about Christianity in its many variants. Most respondents claim America is a Christian country. Mind if you wanted to get a few Christians to agree with you you could decry Islam and they would praise you for it.

      2. bbgunbob

        Jon

        Thanks for the reply.

        So I take it that in your view only christian’s are anti gay, anrti abortion, anti women and anti Muslim? I am to believe that the Muslim, that you believe the christian to be against, is pro abortion, pro gay and pro women? Could it be more likely that you do not mock their faith out of fear that they might find your stance objectionable and apply one of their tolerant beliefs to your situation? I don’t find your explanation believable. The focus seems to be directed at a god you claim does not exist. You direct your commentary at the followers of the christian God when I suspect your real beef is with the christian God you say does not exist. This makes me wonder if you in fact are an atheist or rather believe in the christian God in your secret heart and are just very angry with him for some reason. I can not know your heart and mind as you can not know mine. Your focus on only the christian god makes me wonder.

        In any event I enjoy your commentary and would in no way stand in the way of your expressing your thoughts freely.

        1. bbgunbob 10:02 So I take it that in your view only christian’s are anti gay, anrti abortion, anti women and anti Muslim?

          I believe if you read my response you would see that is not what I said. I said only (some) Christians are trying to put these religious beliefs into law. The others might given the opportunity, but they are not doing so. That is why I write about Christians. I can explain all this a third time if necessary.

    2. nemo82

      like your nom d’plume bb. lots of shot scattered around not likely to hit the target. BTW, don’t you find mocking and scoffing to be a tad sophomoric?

      1. bbgunbob

        Thanks for the laser sharp analysis nemo. First off nemo if you find my comments not to your liking that is fine. We are all entitled to our opinions and you know what they say about opinions. Second nemo my bbgunbob handle would bring up the image to most people of an air rifle not to be confused with a shotgun. Third nemo to devalue my comments as “sophomoric” says far more about you than it does me. Google pseudo intellectual and see what comes up.

        1. nemo82

          if I google pseudo-intellectual I would probably find your name at the top of the list. or maybe not, your cliché infested rant, suggests, rather, that you are not an intellectual, pseudo otherwise. Amusingly, also, you fall back on the old line which holds, in effect, that one opinion is as good as another. that’s really a great way to get at the truth. tragically this way of “thinking” has done so much to compromise contemporary political and philosophical discourse. As to guns, I know little about them, hence easy to confuse your air gun with a shotgun.

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