They trust what is recorded in sacred Scripture. ), Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? We were there.' Women first to witness the resurrection. They accompanied Him to the cross and stood by during the Crucifixion. Posted in Uncategorized and tagged "[For] the original witnesses [the resurrection of Jesus was] an immediate certainty., authentic witnesses to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, C.H. And our critical scholars will grant us Paul being that eyewitness.". Watch below. It's not. Paul's encounter with Jesus came just two or three years after Christ's death and Resurrection, and not long after that, he interviewed Peter, James, and … In Israel, charges that someone sinned had to be confirmed by the word of two or more witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15).The apostle Paul instructed Timothy not to accept accusations against a fellow elder unless there were two or more witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19). You've got the people who were there to cross-check whatever message is being put out there. "It's exceptional," Bock said. Peter jumped out of the boat and swam to shore. We then investigate them on a case-by-case basis. There are, however, an awful lot of pages left after His resurrection. 12 When Jesus resurrected Lazarus, many people saw it. But Morrow added, "We shouldn't believe just any and every miracle. 2. xiv (New York Harper & Row, 1987)]. They might believe that Jesus existed – that He was a good person, a teacher, or a prophet, but they just can’t believe that He died and was raised to life. He told CBN News, "Investigating the Resurrection is a historical question that you can do with eyes wide open; it's not a blind faith kind of thing, like believing in the Easter Bunny or a lucky rabbit's foot. As pointed out by Kenneth Boa and Robert Bowman, even Gerd Lüdemann, a skeptic and New Testament scholar, agrees Paul’s confessional statement recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 dates back to within two years of Jesus’ death. You must note that Jesus did not say, “flesh and blood.” He said, “flesh and bones.” This … In response to the assertion that the resurrection best explains the multiple post-crucifixion appearances of Jesus, skeptics offer a variety of alternative explanations to attempt to explain away the appearances. Morrow said of that, "You've got living history. Let … Just like historians put great weight on eyewitness testimony, they also give more respect to early historical writings done close to the events they discuss. I challenge you to find others in history who that's true of. And so they reflect a theological development coming down the road.' [See, Kenneth Boa & Robert Bowman, 20 Compelling Evidences that God Exists, pg. Believers point to them as evidence of his resurrection and identity as Messiah, seated in Heaven on the right hand of God (the doctrine of the Exaltation of Christ). And this conspiracy would have cost them their lives.". And you can't get much better evidence historically than that. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. "If you're going around preaching Jesus was physically raised from the dead and people knew where He was buried and knew where they could find His bones, that message wouldn't even get off the ground," insisted Bock, author of Truth Matters. Peter said (Acts 2:31-32) he saw Jesus before the resurrection and "God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact." John said , 'What our eyes have seen, what our eyes have heard, what our hands have handled is what we're declaring unto you.' OVER 500 WITNESSES Several very important factors arc often overlooked when considering Christ's post-resurrection appearances to individuals. Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus. ), For information on how to know God personally, go. Some suggest the female disciples who first found the empty tomb might have just had the wrong one, and the other disciples took advantage of that, concocting a Resurrection myth to explain the empty tomb. And more ancient pages or fragments of the Bible have survived by far than any other book from antiquity. McDowell told CBN News believing that takes more faith than simply accepting that Jesus really did rise from the dead. Jesus showed witnesses the scars from his crucifixion on two occasions and ate food with his disciples 3 – 4 times. surprisingly enough, such a spectacular event was never mentioned anywhere other than the bible and the bible doesn't even mention what happened to them after … And the more people who are involved, and the more people who saw the event, you multiply your chances of the story getting out. Jehovah’s Witnesses will use I Peter 3:18 in explaining the resurrection. ... Peter and John were hiding somewhere waiting for "the dust to clear" after Jesus died on the cross. But surely the Jewish leaders who'd had Roman guards placed by Jesus' burial place, and Joseph of Arimathea who owned the tomb where Jesus' body had been laid, would have quickly displayed the body and corrected the mistake if indeed the women had gone to the wrong tomb. 15:3). Raised in the Spirit. But if Jesus Christ didn't come back to life, it undoes His claim to be the all-powerful, eternal Son of God, Savior and Messiah. Few events are as well attested as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Saying the disciples lied about Jesus' resurrection doesn't explain His post-Resurrection appearance before 500 people. So if the disciples were lying about the resurrection, they made their story all the harder to accept by putting women at the forefront. If He could do that before the resurrection, how much more can we see it after the resurrection. Christianity's core belief is that the Son of God took on human form, died for our sins and then rose from the dead to give us eternal life. That there was an empty tomb three days after Jesus's body had been placed in it, though it had been constantly guarded by Roman soldiers; Jesus appeared to hundreds of people in numerous places for almost seven weeks after His crucifixion; And something huge did happen to suddenly and forever turn all the cowering, cowardly disciples into bold believers, proclaiming a risen Messiah they were willing to be tortured and die for. However, as set forth in the linked-articles below, Christian apologists maintain none of the alternative explanations are rationally compelling because none of the explanations adequately explain the totality of the evidence in the historical record: Since there are good reasons to believe God exists (more>>) and, therefore, could have supernaturally raised Jesus from the dead, and since none of the proffered alternative explanations adequately explain the historically documented accounts of Jesus being seen alive by multiple eyewitnesses after he had been crucified and buried, Christian apologists maintain it is reasonable to look for an explanation that does adequately explain all of the historical evidence, including the explanation that God supernaturally raised Jesus from the dead. ", McDowell concluded, "Something happened in Paul's life that I've never found any other explanation that even comes close to satisfying me intellectually except: 'And Jesus appeared to Paul after the Resurrection. Then under this theory, He awoke in the tomb, got up and walked out. Jesus calls us to follow and abide in him. They should embrace it and let it change their lives just like it changed the ancient world. ", Morrow concluded, "It has all the ring of truth and not the ring of that conspiracy theory where they just made this thing up to invent their own religion.". Beginning Of Salvation Contemporary Witness To Christ. Several of its arguments, however, are not directly relevant to this issue. A hallucination is an internal experience, not triggered by anything externally. The first century Jews believed women were second-class citizens. And that's what you have. The First Witnesses to the Resurrection of Jesus "Christ is risen! The resurrection best explains the historical evidence of Jesus being seen alive in a resurrected body on at least twelve (12) separate occasions by more than 500 witnesses, including at least two skeptics (James the Just and Paul fka Saul) (See article above) Bock imagined being with the disciples plotting how they'll push a false Resurrection. Jesus referred to this principle when urging believers to maintain good relationships within the Church (Matthew 18:16-17), a… The resurrection of Jesus, or anastasis, is the Christian belief that God raised Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as first of the dead, starting his exalted life as Christ and Lord. [See, Kenneth Boa & Robert Bowman, 20 Compelling Evidences that God Exists, pgs. Even more so than today because they were dying for it. And we have that in the Scriptures. Such Bible experts say that to dismiss the Resurrection, any theory you come up with to explain the historical happenings has to explain away three historical facts: Top biblical experts point out all the holes in these and other anti-Resurrection theories. Thought He was embarrassing the family. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1. And Paul is probably our earliest and best witness to that. So, Christianity hangs on the Resurrection. My Witness – The Resurrection 4-12-20. How is He Different than Us? That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. And in this context He showed them His hands and side. He explained, "The issue that's sometimes raised up: 'well, these books were written many decades later. "He went from city to city casting his vote to have them imprisoned and executed. But biblical apologists insist when you examine it all the way through, it's actually easier to believe in the Resurrection than its alternatives. Some suggest that the apostles all lied in a vast conspiracy to turn the deficit of Jesus' death into the positive of a risen Lord. (Zondervan,1958), Lee Strobel, The Case for Easter: Journalist Investigates the Evidence for the Resurrection (Zondervan, 2004), Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, Cleopas and another disciple on the road to, Jesus’ wounds seen; may have eaten food (, The apostle Paul made this claim to people living in, Notwithstanding the fact the apostle Paul knew his claims could be and most probably would be investigated, he stated he was passing on the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection as a matter of “first importance” (, In response to the assertion that the resurrection best explains the multiple post-crucifixion appearances of Jesus, skeptics offer a variety of alternative explanations to attempt to explain away the appearances. So that's the first thing. And it was central to Christianity. "In the first century, where a woman's testimony would have been about the level just above a slave, that would not be your best foot forward.". 251-252 (2002)]. ", Morrow completely agreed, stating the Gospel writers testifying about the women's role has "the ring of truth. 72 (1998)]. But just a few weeks later Morrow pointed out Peter went from hiding away, fearful the Jewish leaders might have him killed as well, to boldly preaching salvation through Christ before a crowd of thousands, including some who sought Jesus' death. We, too, though we are not witnesses of Christ's actual resurrection, are so spiritually. As summarized in the chart below, on all twelve (12) occasions Jesus was seen and he was probably heard. Proponents say that explains His many appearances after His supposed death. They said 'How do we know this is true?' The problem with that, as far as Morrow is concerned, is that everything hangs on that fact. Peter preached this vigorously. Jesus’ wounds seen; text implies Thomas touched the wounds. Watch below. The movie claims that its central focus is on the evidence for the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. Bottom Line: The resurrection is our primary story to believe, live, and witness to. In other words, 'We were eyewitnesses. 132-133 (1997) citing to Terry L. Miethe (ed. ", Biblical expert Bock flat-out stated, "These books are the best-attested pieces of ancient literature we possess. Whether you believe it or not, whether you're sincere about it, if the Resurrection didn't happen, Christianity's false - go to the next religion.". And then Jesus appeared to him in James' own word, and he became the leader of the church of Jerusalem. 81 (1997); Kenneth Boa & Robert Bowman, 20 Compelling Evidences that God Exists, pg. "You can push the earliest core teaching of Jesus - His death, deity, and Resurrection - within months of the Resurrection. 1621-1622(Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), Kenneth D. Boa and Robert M. Bowman, 20 Compelling Evidences That God Exists: Discover Why Believing In God Makes so Much Sense, pgs. The first is the large number of witnesses of Christ after that resurrection morning. They didn't recant that. After his death on the cross, which was confirmed by the Romans, Jesus was kept inside the tomb which was covered by a large stone. Bock said that's crucial knowledge for those who might instead have believed these key Christian doctrines were dreamed up much later. I Peter 3:18 states, And then he became a Christian. We're preaching the same exact thing.' It’s a lie. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1. "These people were eyewitnesses, they were there, and it was early.". Jerusalem, where a 15-minute walk by anyone could confirm the emptiness of the tomb," McDowell said.". ", The Resurrection Proves Jesus Was Who He Said He Was, Morrow said of Paul, "He understood why Jesus of Nazareth was different in the unique claims that He made, but that then those claims were authenticated through His Resurrection that said 'What I said is what is real. They also believe the Bible. The Christmas Star – Fact, Fiction or Miracle? This is the core message. And that's who He showed Himself to be. Mary didn’t recognize Jesus until he spoke her name then she clung to him. Thus we see them testifying, time and time again, to the fact they were eyewitnesses of His resurrection. Josh McDowell, author of New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, said the disciples knew this well. Mk 16.9: On the road to Emmaus, Cleopus {Lk 24.16} & his companion saw the risen Christ : After that, Jesus appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - they all recount Jesus' earliest women followers finding the empty tomb," Morrow said. He said, "James – the brother of Jesus —didn't follow Jesus during His earthly ministry; thought He was crazy. ", He summed up, "I think what Christians need to know is that there's really good reason why we believe what we believe, and the evidence is only getting better. Well, they had the same question in the New Testament times. What Would Cause Such Radical Transformations? There are 4 opinions on this “500 witnesses event”: Never Happened: Liberal scholars say that Saint Paul made this up to make it sound like there were plenty of witnesses to the resurrection. And you can investigate the data for it. Jonathan Morrow is a defender of the faith, the literal meaning of "apologist." It is a popular theme for movies and books. The second thing is the Gospels, the earliest historical record we have, don't show the tales of being doctored to say the same thing, like they got their stories straight. They trust in the Savior and His atoning work for their redemption at Calvary. You see, people today say, 'How do you know Jesus said that? The apostle Paul made this claim to people living in Corinth knowing they could easily investigate the truthfulness of his claim because they lived in the area where the events occurred and eyewitnesses to the events were still alive and could be questioned. With Peter, John, and James, you have both: They're eyewitnesses who wrote early. Christ Is Risen. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Gospels give unique portrayals of Mary. Jesus’ wounds seen; may have eaten food (Acts 1:4), Eleven disciples (including Thomas aka Didymus), John 20:26-28; Luke 24: 36-49; Mark 6:14-18. Jesus said He would come back the same way He went to Heaven. Conspiracies break down under pressure. God uses witnesses to establish a matter. In sum, Christian apologists candidly concede that if God does not exist, then Jesus was not resurrected from the dead and Christianity is mere foolishness (more>>). And it doesn't explain why He'd suddenly disappear after several weeks among His disciples, never to be seen again. Morrow pointed out Jesus' doubting brother James was also instantly changed. ", Morrow added, "The earliest disciples would have known - not just believed, but would have known - that either Jesus was who He claimed to be and was actually raised from the dead or they were making this thing up. McDowell explained, "They said after He was crucified and buried, He was raised from the dead and for 40 days — not 40 hours, not four days — for 40 days, they lived with Him and walked with Him, with overwhelming proof that He'd been raised from the dead. ), Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? In Christian theology, the death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events, a foundation of the Christian faith, and commemorated by Easter. Because eyewitnesses authenticated that event. Alleluia!" What accounts for that?". Some doubters try to do away with all the post-Resurrection appearances by saying those who thought they were seeing, talking to and touching Jesus were all hallucinating, even the 500 Paul discussed in I Corinthians. ", Bock insisted, "The faith is very, very defendable. The fact is, we have far more sources for Jesus of Nazareth than we do for many historical figures in the first century. Watch below: Christians: If Jesus Is Dead, So Is Your Religion. So, it's not as though these things could have been invented and no one would have challenged it. He wanted them to know it was Jesus, the one who was crucified and died. Every single one now has been confirmed by archaeology. Because then it goes back to Peter, James, and John," Morrow said. Jonathan Morrow and Josh McDowell share more of their insights regarding eyewitness testimony below: Could 500 People Have the Same Hallucination? To try to answer this question, we first need to look at what each gospel says about the matter. The Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon testified: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last … God is everywhere—even in the news. Unlike many of the men who followed Jesus, the women stayed as close to Him as they could throughout His ordeal. After listening to both sides of the debate, one of the judges concluded the historical evidence of Jesus’ resurrection was “strong enough to lead reasonable minds to conclude that Christ did indeed rise from the dead.” [Ankerberg & Weldon, Ready With an Answer, pgs. Worshipped him; startled, frightened and thought they were seeing a spirit. And if the disciples were making up Jesus' Resurrection, would they have lived and died for Him and a fiction they themselves made up? 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Over 500 people at one time saw Jesus after His resurrection.. Over a period of 40 days up to the day Jesus went back Home He was seen by, and talked to a number of individuals. However, Christian apologists confidently maintain there are good reasons to believe God exists (more>>) and the following seven independent lines of evidence reasonably establish God did, in fact, supernaturally raise Jesus from the dead: Indeed, following a two day debate over the evidence of the resurrection between Dr. Gary Habermas and well-known skeptic, Dr. Anthony Flew, a panel of five philosophers from American universities (including the University of Virginia, James Madison University and the University of Pittsburgh) voted 4 to 1 in favor of the case for the resurrection, with 1 judge voting the debate was a draw. © 2021 The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., A nonprofit 501 (c)(3) Charitable Organization. And they wanted to know: 'Is this true? What this doesn't explain is how in a near-death state and with exceedingly crippling wounds, He could work His way out of tightly-wrapped, glued-on burial garments and then roll away the massively heavy stone sealed onto the tomb by the Romans. "You're talking about over 5,800 Greek manuscripts, over 8,000 Latin manuscripts. As for the Scriptures, Prof. Darrell Bock of the Dallas Theological Seminary explained that any piece of a surviving ancient work is called a manuscript. At the Impact 360 school in Pine Mountain, Georgia, Prof. Jonathan Morrow preps college-bound Christians in how to fight with the facts of their faith. Matthew 28 points out the Jewish leaders bribed the tomb's guards to say they'd fallen asleep and the disciples then stole Jesus' body. Jesus is our Passover in the Eucharist. To begin with, angels testified of his resurrection… A Christian-hater to a Christian-lover. And biblical apologists say it could only be a resurrected Jesus showing up forcefully and vividly two to three years later that could transform the church's worst persecutor into its main missionary. And so all the time that's often spent on the Resurrection makes sense because that really is the hub of the discussion. The post-resurrection appearances of Jesus are the reported earthly appearances of Jesus to his followers after his death and burial. ", McDowell concluded, "If the Resurrection was a lie, they had to know it. All that shrinks back when you look at the person of Paul. And not only that. But if these guards were asleep, how would they know it was the disciples? and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. B. Even Jesus’ enemies knew that he had performed this miracle. That's why it's lasted for 2,000 years. They rejoiced after Jesus showed him his hands and feet. The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15 suggested doubters go talk to them. That's what they all wanted. 219-283 (River Oak Publishing, 2002), William Lane Craig, Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection: Our Response to the Empty Tomb(Servant, 1988), Norman L. Geisler, BAKER ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS(Baker Books, 1999), Norman L. Geisler, The Battle for the Resurrection: Updated Edition(Wipf & Stock Publishers; Updated Edition, 2004), Frank Morison, Who Moved the Stone? He mentioned that Jesus appeared to more than 500, and as well as His disciples, and to Paul himself and to others. [Ankerberg & Weldon, Ready With an Answer, pgs. So the reason the story is this way is because it must be grounded in what happened. Livy, Herodotus, Tacitus, Thucydides - they all wanted eyewitness testimony to get back to the original. xiv (New York Harper & Row, 1987)]. 232 (2002)] Notwithstanding the fact the apostle Paul knew his claims could be and most probably would be investigated, he stated he was passing on the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection as a matter of “first importance” (1 Cor. These and other experts say that in truth, it would take something as radical as Jesus' Resurrection to completely transform the disciples like cowardly Peter, who was so scared just before the crucifixion, he swore he didn't even know Jesus. The central message of Christianity is the historical event of Jesus Christ resurrection from the grave. 141 (1984); Norman Giesler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, pg. But in his own words, Christ appeared to him. And then with their opponents they would say, 'You were there, too. If the resurrection of Jesus is just a fairy tale that can provide us with some moral inspiration and encouragement, then he doesn’t need to concern himself with the historicity of the resurrection and it’s over 500 witnesses. ", CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW YOU CAN FIND PEACE WITH GOD. ", Morrow added, "Christians don't believe that Jesus rose from the dead because the Bible says so. This is who I am. Paul's encounter with Jesus came just two or three years after Christ's death and Resurrection, and not long after that, he interviewed Peter, James, and John. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. This story was originally published on April 1, 2018. McDowell spoke of evidence that can help readers believe the words of Paul and other New Testament writers, like archaeological findings. "When historians investigate this, in our modern mindset, there's this idea that 'Look, miracles are out of bounds.' But he says Christians shouldn't just defend the faith and the Resurrection. Stay informed with the latest from CBN News delivered to your inbox. All but one of the appearances (the appearance to Paul fka Saul) occurred within the first 40 day period following Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Did Jesus really do this? To believe the events around that first Easter, you pretty much have to believe that Jesus did indeed exist and that the New Testament can be trusted. ", McDowell pointed out, "In I John 1, how did John answer that? Mary Magdalene and … For instance, Strobel makes much of the fact that there are over 5,000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament in existence, far more than any other ancient writings. apparently the "500" witnesses are the 500 zombies resurrected with Jesus and roamed around Jerusalem. And more manuscripts are being discovered all the time. After the initial report of the experience, Luke might have saved significant effort and space by simply saying , “And Paul reported to the crowd/Agrippa how Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus” or something to that effect. And yet history tells us that we have good reason to think they all went to their death with the exception of one for that core belief: that Jesus was raised from the dead. The Resurrection Best Explains the Transformation of Jesus’ Disciples from Fearful Fleers to Faithful Followers, The Resurrection Best Explains Jesus’ Empty Tomb — Introductory Summary, God’s Attributes — What is God Like? There's more evidence Jesus existed than Julius Caesar. Whether you believe that or not, something took. Because if it's at least possible that God exists, then miracles become possible," he insisted. And the fact that all four (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) say it happened just gives it that much stronger evidence that it actually did happen.". Acts 1:22. Lazarus was alive, and this proved that the resurrection really happened. Verse Concepts. PST700_The_Resurrection_is_True_AM_v1_HD1080_5.833_444, Why You Can Believe the Resurrection is True. And if they knew it, then you'd have to say here were these men who not only died for a lie, but they knew it was a lie. The more we discover and the more we find, the more confidence you can have that this is really true. (Also read Acts 3:15,4:33, 10:39-41.) 132-133 (1997) citing to Terry L. Miethe (ed. Greatest Murderer Turned to Greatest Missionary, "Saul of Tarsus was anything but a follower who believed in Jesus," McDowell said. How do you know He did that?' '", Liars Wouldn't Have Testified About the Female Disciples' Role. Published: June 1, 2012 / Last Updated: Feb. 20, 2013, QUICK LINKS TO SOURCES REFERENCED OR RELIED ON IN THIS ARTICLE, John F. Ankerberg and John Weldon, Ready With an Answer, pgs. What the Jehovah’s Witnesses miss is that after His resurrection Jesus said, “Touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have,” (Luke 24:39). This is why no two people ever have the same hallucination. LOL. Jesus presented Himself alive on a number of different occasions to His followers. This author of Questioning the Bible explained, "Paul made the argument in I Corinthians 15, saying 'Look, you can test this: if the Resurrection didn't happen, Christianity is false. As he put it, "So the main thing is just explaining how someone like a Saul who becomes Paul even exists. Up and walked out Jesus offered for His body to be a voice for truth in the is! Actually happened 3:18 states, My witness – the brother of Jesus `` is... Died on the cross greatest Missionary, `` ancient historians loved eyewitness testimony in history who 's... 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Believe, live, and James, you have both: they 're eyewitnesses who wrote early. `` and! Evidences that God Exists, pgs explain His post-resurrection appearance before 500 people have the same hallucination Row 1987. Manuscripts, over 8,000 Latin manuscripts. `` witness, the witnesses of jesus after resurrection confidence can... New Testament manuscripts: we have far more sources for Jesus of Nazareth than we do is this way zombies.