DID JESUS RISE FROM THE DEAD?


THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS


ARGUMENTS FOR

and

ARGUMENTS AGAINST

the

RESURRECTION of JESUS


The purpose of this study in God's word is to give you, the reader the arguments from both sides so that you may be rooted and grounded in your faith. We will look at the reasons some do NOT believe in Jesus nor that Jesus was RAISED from the dead one by one followed by reasons WHY I believe the word of TRUTH over the THEORIES and SPECULATION of the skeptics.


Argument #1 AGAINST the RESURRECTION of JESUS:


Some argue against the resurrection of Jesus claiming that he was nothing more than a MYTHICAL figure who has no basis in history.

But what do the HISTORICAL FACTS tell us? First I want you to consider the historian Josephus (AD 70-100), who was an early Jewish historian. Most believe that Josephus did NOT believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah, but nonetheless recognized Jesus as being a great teacher and anointed of God. Josephus wrote about Jesus and said,


Jewish Antiquities 18.3.3 "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day."


Often people are or become uncertain about the existence of Jesus Christ, because of what they hear from others. But I want you to be assured that very few scholars would disagree that a man named Jesus lived roughly between 6 BC to around 33 AD. History documents that this man was not a myth but a real person and the historical evidence for this is excellent outside of the Holy Bible. For instance, the Roman historian Tacitus, writing in about 115 A.D., records the events surrounding Emperor Nero in July of A.D. 64. After the fire that destroyed much of Rome, Nero was blamed for being responsible:



Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus [Christ], from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition [Christ's resurrection] thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. (Bettenson, p. 2)



In about 112 A.D. the Roman governor of what is now northern Turkey wrote to Emperor Trajan regarding the Christians in his district:



"I was never present at any trial of Christians; therefore I do not know what are the customary penalties or investigations, and what limits are observed. . . whether those who recant should be pardoned. . . whether the name itself, even if innocent of crime, should be punished, or only the crimes attaching to that name. . . . Meanwhile, this is the course that I have adopted in the case of those brought before me as Christians. I ask them if they are Christians. If they admit it I repeat the question a second and a third time, threatening capital punishment; if they persist I sentence them to death. For I do not doubt that, whatever kind of crime it may be to which they have confessed, their pertinacity and inflexible obstinacy should certainly be punished. . . the very fact of my dealing with the question led to a wider spread of the charge, and a great variety of cases were brought before me. An anonymous pamphlet was issued, containing many names. All who denied that they were or had been Christians I considered should be discharged, because they called upon the gods at my dictation and did reverence. . .and especially because they cursed Christ, a thing which it is said, genuine Christians cannot be induced to do." (Bettenson, p. 3)


These passages indicate that Christianity was wide spread in the Roman empire within 80 years of Christ's death. Again, these are eyewitness accounts, not historians looking back years later.

The popular historian Will Durant, himself not a Christian, wrote concerning Christ's historical validity,



"The denial of that existence seems never to have occurred even to the bitterest gentile or Jewish opponents of nascent Christianity" (Durant, The Story of Civilization, vol. 3, p. 555).



And again,



"That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels" ( Durant, The Story of Civilization, vol. 3,p. 557).



It is a substantial thing that an historian who spends his life considering historical facts should affirm the reality of Christ's existence as well as the rapid growth of the early movement.

Again, the Jewish historian Josephus,writing for the Roman government in the 70's A.D. records some incidental things regarding Christ and the church. He confirms that John the Baptist died at the hand of Herod (this same incident is recorded in the gospels) as well as the death of James the brother of Jesus,



"The brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James. . . he delivered them to be stoned" (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVIII, ch. V, p. 20; Book XX, ch. IX, p. 140 ).



For more on the historical FACTS that Jesus was in indeed a historical figure and NOT a myth as some have proposed see the link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus



Therefore the mere FACT that we have external sources outside the Bible demonstrates the historical reliability of the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible. The mere FACT that Josephus or other historical writers did not go into great detail about WHO this Jesus was is because practically the whole world at that time ALREADY either KNEW Jesus or at least heard the stories and fame about Jesus.

The Bible tells us in Luke 4:37 that the FAME of Jesus spread out through the counties.



"And the FAME of him went out into every place of the country round about."



Matthew 14:1 tells us that even Herod HEARD of the FAME of Jesus,



"At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,"



And in Matthew 9:23-26 we see that when Jesus raised a young girl from the dead that his FAME went out into ALL the land.





"And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,

24. He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleeps. And they laughed him to scorn.

25. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

26. And the FAME here of went abroad into ALL that land."





Argument #2 AGAINST the RESURRECTION of JESUS:


Some argue that Jesus just FAINTED or went into a coma or some how FAKED his death, but they offer NO evidence to support their theories. Some call this the "swoon theory".

For me, it would be harder to believe and even a greater miracle that Jesus did NOT DIE after suffering all the things he suffered both before and during the crucifixion, than it is to believe that he was raised from the dead.


Consider that Jesus underwent extreme STRESS before he was ever betrayed in the garden. I want you notice that the BODY of Jesus was in so much stress as he AGONIZED in prayer right before his betrayal that Jesus SWEAT great drops of BLOOD. Please read Luke 24:44, which says,


"And being in an AGONY he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of BLOOD falling down to the ground."


In today's medical terms this condition of blood being secreted into the sweat glands is called....... and is brought on by tremendous STRESS. This condition actually WEAKEN the shin tissue making it tender and more easily torn and susceptible to bruising.


Go to http://www.javaforjesus.addr.com/walk.html for a great shock wave of an audiovisual presentation of the crucifixion.


Argument #3 AGAINST the RESURRECTION of JESUS:


The Muslims who follow the religion of Islam believe that Jesus was REPLACED by another man who was crucified, but Jesus did NOT die on the cross as Christians FALSELY believe.

To me this would be much harder to believe that Jesus actually dying on the cross. I mean think about this logically for a moment. How would it even be possible to SWITCH place with Jesus even if one was willing to die in his place. First you wild need to find someone who looked like Jesus and who talked liked Jesus and who was willing to die in the place of Jesus. Then this supposed look a like would have to somehow switch places with Jesus while he was under an armed guard of Roman soldiers.

To me, I do not even know how any one could fall for such a bizarre theory as this that the someone other than Jesus die on the cross that day.



Argument #4 AGAINST the RESURRECTION of JESUS:


The Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus was crucified and died, but they do NOT believe in a BODILY resurrection. In other words, Jesus was raised from the dead as a SPIRIT being without a BODY.

Now for me, for any one to say that the BELIEVE what the word of Almighty God teaches and then turn around and say that they do NOT believe the very same word of God that clearly and plainly states as a point of FACT with NO interpretation needed that the resurrected Jesus was NOT a SPIRIT of a GHOST is just beyond comprehension to me.

You see the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible clearly and plainly states in Luke 24:36-47 that Jesus had a FLESH and BONE body that you can touch and fell.


"And as they thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, Peace be unto you.

37. But they were terrified and frighted, and SUPPOSED that they had seen a SPIRIT.

38. And he said unto them, Why are you troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39. Behold (or look closely and SEE) my hands and my feet, that it is I MYSELF: handle me, and SEE; (or touch me and KNOW without a doubt that I am Jesus risen form the dead) FOR (or BECAUSE) a SPIRIT (or a GHOST) has NOT flesh and bones, as you SEE me HAVE.

40. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet.

41. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have you here any meat?

42. And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43. And he took it, and did EAT BEFORE THEM. (In other words, Jesus was FURTHER PROVING to them that he had indeed RISEN from the dead and that he was NOT a SPIRIT or a GHOST as they SUPPOSED him to be by EATING as any other person with a BODY would EAT. Dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, these were EYE WITNESSES to the RESURRECTION of Jesus. If we cannot believe this part of the word of TRUTH, then how can we believe any other part of God's word? The TRUTH of the matter is that Jesus did indeed RISE from the grave with a FLESH and BONE BODY and NOT as a SPIRIT as some FALSELY teach).

44. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

46. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to RISE from the dead the third day:

47. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."


Argument #5 AGAINST the RESURRECTION of JESUS:


Some believe that the body of Jesus was stolen from the tomb to make it look like Jesus had risen from the dead.


Now we just read where Jesus had to PROVE to his very own disciples that he had indeed RISEN from the DEAD and was NOT a spirit or a ghost as they SUPPOSED him to be. Can you not see that the disciples themselves did not believe at the first that Jesus had risen from the dead. So then, since the very own disciples did NOT believe that Jesus would rise form the dead as he told them that he would UNTIL Jesus PROVED to them by appearing to them after he arose from the dead, then why would they try and FAKE the resurrection of Jesus?

The TRUTH of the matter is that his very own disciples were just as surprised as every one else that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead.

Also the Jews had feared that since Jesus taught that he would rise from the dead after three days that the disciples of Jesus would try as STEAL the BODY of Jesus from the tomb and SAY that he rose from the dead. Therefore they went to Pontius Pilate and requested that he place a GUARD at the tomb and put a SEAL upon the tomb to make absolutely SURE that no one would try and STEAL the BODY of Jesus and then make the CLAIM that Jesus had risen form the dead. Please read Matthew 27:56-66, which teaches us that the tomb was SEALED and made SURE that no one would steal the dead body of Jesus.


"When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

58. He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60. And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed.

61. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulcher.

62. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

63. Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

64. Command therefore that the sepulcher be made SURE until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

65. Pilate said unto them, You have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as you can.

66. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, SEALING the stone, and setting a WATCH."


For further evidence that the RESURRECTION of Jesus did indeed take place please read the studies called "WAS JESUS BORN ON DECEMBER 25TH?" and "WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED IN 31 AD?", which show that ACCURACY of the Bible in relation to provable HISTORICAL FACTS other that the Bible itself.


Burden of Proof

We must confront the very crucial question of the burden of proof.

Should we ASSUME that the gospels are reliable unless they are proven to be unreliable?

Or should we ASSUME that the gospels are unreliable unless they are proven to be reliable?

In other words, are they innocent until proven guilty?

Or are they guilty until proven innocent?

Skeptics and scholars or science almost always ASSUME that the gospels are guilty until proven innocent, that is, they assume that the gospels are unreliable unless or until they are proven to be correct concerning some particular fact!

Consider the CONSEQUENCES if a skeptic does NOT follow through with his of her UNPROVENED THEORY that the Bible is NOT true. In reality the BURDEN of proof rest upon the skeptic and not the true believer of God's word. For you see, IF a skeptic does NOT believe the Bible, then they will SUFFER the consequences on the day of judgment.

The real question is are YOU, the SKEPTIC willing to take that chance that your ASSUME THEORY without ANY PROOF is really true as you CLAIM? For if you are wrong you have everything to LOSE.

But if I am wrong I have NOTHING to lose. However, if I am right, then I have eternal life to gain along with eternal joy and peace.

The TRUTH of the matter is that if any skeptic DARE to SEARCH for the TRUTH of the whole word of God, then the EVIDENCE is there.

Please consider the following websites as just the tip of an iceberg of the archeological and scientific evidence that is out there for the RESURRECTION of Jesus.

Here is a link to a website that show the evidence for the crucifixion of Jesus written by a man who was once a SKEPTIC set out to PROVE that the Bible was nothing but fiction.


http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html


Here is a link to a website that shows the evidence of Christian tombs at the time of Jesus.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120228102137.htm


Here is a link showing the scientific evidence for the truth of the crucifixion of Jesus.


http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/evidence-for-jesus.htm


http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/crucifixion-evidence-faq.htm



Also please consider all the ARCHEOLOGICAL EVEIDENCE that the Bible is speaking the TRUTH. Here is a link that offers much evidence that the Bible is true.


http://www.facingthechallenge.org/arch2.php


Here is are some more links:


http://www.christiananswers.net/archaeology/


http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-archaeology-support-the-bible


http://www.biblemagazine.com/magazine/vol-9/issu4/evidence.html


Again this is just the TIP of the iceberg of the evidence that is out there that proves without a doubt that the Holy Bible is TRUE.


If you do not like to read here are some links to some VIDEOS showing the discovery of the ark of Noah, the sulfur deposits of Sodom and Gomorrah, the chariot wheels at the bottom of the Red Sea and many more historical artifacts that PROVE the Bible to be TRUE to all who are SINCERELY searching for the TRUTH.

Here is a website that has several videos that show scientific proof of the resurrection of Jesus.


http://www.jesusandthebibletoday.com/proof_the_bible_is_true.html


Here is a link to whole collection of videos that show discoveries of the ark of Noah, archeological evidence of Sodom and Gomorrah, the crossing of the Red Sea and the ark of the covenant found in a cave under the very place that Jesus was CRUCIFIED.

If you do NOT search out the TRUTH for YOURSELF, then you alone will be held accountable for REJECT so great a salvation that has been freely offered to you by Almighty God himself.


http://www.jesusandthebibletoday.com/proof_the_bible_is_true.html


May God bless you as you continue to search for the TRUTH of the whole word of Almighty God.

From a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ who is praying for YOU to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH whereby you shall be saved from the destruction of the lake of fire on the day of judgment.

Mark.