(Also read Acts 3:15,4:33, 10:39-41.) I will go through a few of the scriptural highlights and take the opportunity to highlight the added witnesses of the Restoration to the Resurrection of Christ. 655 (1999); John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Ready with an Answer, pg. The Resurrection Debate, pg. And our critical scholars will grant us Paul being that eyewitness.". You've got this idea that 'there are witnesses; go investigate them. "'We're going to sell this difficult idea, and the people we're going to get to sell it are people that the culture doesn't believe have the right to be witnesses,'" Bock imagined them saying. You see, people today say, 'How do you know Jesus said that? The Watchtower Society maintains that the Lord’s resurrection was purely spiritual and only appeared as physical. xiv (New York Harper & Row, 1987)]. It's not. They trust in the Savior and His atoning work for their redemption at Calvary. One of the greatest murderers into one of the greatest missionaries. But biblical apologists insist when you examine it all the way through, it's actually easier to believe in the Resurrection than its alternatives. Cold-Case Investigator Turns to Science to Disprove Christ's Resurrection, Gets Shocked by the Evidence, 'There's actually good evidence': Former Atheist Makes 'Case for Miracles', This Is Where Archaeologists Believe Jesus Died and Rose Again, 'Ignite Houses of Revival': How to Pray for 2021 and What to Expect from the New Year, 'We Want God': Trump Issues Proclamation Packed with Powerful Quotes on Faith and Freedom, President Trump Takes Action to Expand School Choice Options as Pandemic Closures Persist, In New Year's Speech, Trump Touts America's Bright Future: 'As Long as We Remain Faithful to Almighty God', Sen. David Perdue Forced to Quarantine After COVID Exposure Just Days Before Crucial Senate Runoff Vote, Joel Osteen's Online Easter Service Will Include Kanye West, Mariah Carey and Tyler Perry», «High-Risk COVID-19 Patients Show 100% Chance of Survival After New Israeli Medical Treatment. He was adamantly opposed to this movement. [See, Kenneth Boa & Robert Bowman, 20 Compelling Evidences that God Exists, pg. © 2021 The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., A nonprofit 501 (c)(3) Charitable Organization. That's why he mentions the eyewitnesses. So, it's not as though these things could have been invented and no one would have challenged it. Jesus offered for his body to be touched at least three times and he was definitely touched twice. ", McDowell said of such eyewitness testimony, "I put a lot of weight on this. My Witness – The Resurrection 4-12-20. Bottom Line: The resurrection is our primary story to believe, live, and witness to. Peter jumped out of the boat and swam to shore. 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. 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). We then investigate them on a case-by-case basis. 2. 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. But in his own words, Christ appeared to him. One of the earliest records of Christ's appearing after the resurrection … 253 (2002); Lee Strobel, The Case For Easter, “Interview with Gary Habermas, Ph.D., D.D.”, pg. To begin with, angels testified of his resurrection… So that's the first thing. And not only that. He explained, "Right now you can almost say every single reference in the Book of Acts has already been verified through archaeology: 600 some references to kings, people, places, everything. Jesus showed witnesses the scars from his crucifixion on two occasions and ate food with his disciples 3 – 4 times. 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." 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. Did Jesus really do this? ", Morrow returned to how Paul pushed his readers in I Corinthians 15 to gather proof that Jesus rose from the dead: "He says, 'It's not a matter of wishful thinking. Livy, Herodotus, Tacitus, Thucydides - they all wanted eyewitness testimony to get back to the original. High priest was afraid that Jesus's disciples would steal the body of Jesus and say that he got resurrected. (John 11:47) Also, many people went to visit Lazarus, and as a result, they started to believe that Jesus had been sent by God. 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. According to the historical record, after Jesus’ death on the cross and his subsequent burial in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea, he appeared alive to more than 500 people, on twelve (12) separate occasions. This is what's called the Criterion of Embarrassment in historical Jesus studies: that you'd never make up the story this way. Jesus also appeared to at least two skeptics, James the Just and Paul fka Saul. "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.". ... And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. Saying the disciples lied about Jesus' resurrection doesn't explain His post-Resurrection appearance before 500 people. 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. The Hobbit is about changing feeling for Bilbo Baggins. 132-133 (1997) citing to Terry L. Miethe (ed. Bock said that's crucial knowledge for those who might instead have believed these key Christian doctrines were dreamed up much later. xiv (New York Harper & Row, 1987)]. 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. This is the core message. "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - they all recount Jesus' earliest women followers finding the empty tomb," Morrow said. Josh McDowell, author of New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, said the disciples knew this well. 251-252 (2002)]. ", Morrow added, "So when it comes to the Resurrection, we say 'Well, how do we know Jesus existed?' After all, he is essentially inviting members of the Corinthian church to travel to Jerusalem and speak to these witnesses, investigating for themselves what it was like to see the risen Jesus. The Gospel of John presents the apostles after Jesus’ resurrection as getting on with their lives, even after he had appeared to them, in as normal a way as one could expect. And more manuscripts are being discovered all the time. Let … This is real world kind of stuff. That's why it's lasted for 2,000 years. You crucified this guy, but this is what He offered.' So the reason the story is this way is because it must be grounded in what happened. The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15 suggested doubters go talk to them. and the following seven independent lines of evidence reasonably establish God did, in fact, supernaturally raise Jesus from the dead: 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 (, The resurrection best explains why the tomb Jesus was buried in was found empty within days of his crucifixion and burial, The resurrection best explains why Jesus’ disciples were transformed from fearful deserters to faithful followers who endured great persecution and became martyrs for their faith, The resurrection best explains why even Jewish leaders and skeptics converted to Christianity after Jesus was crucified, even though Christianity was foundationally centered on Jesus’ resurrection, The resurrection best explains why there is no evidence, The resurrection best explains the sudden rise and expansion of Christianity so soon after Jesus death even though he had been crucified by the Romans as a political traitor and declared a religious heretic by the Jewish religious leaders. Lazarus was alive, and this proved that the resurrection really happened. They also believe the Bible. And more ancient pages or fragments of the Bible have survived by far than any other book from antiquity. ), Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? "He went from city to city casting his vote to have them imprisoned and executed. And so, I don't think it's intellectually credible to rule out miracles before you investigate the event, out of hand. This is who I am. Anyone doubt Caesar existed? Nor does it explain how so many people saw Him ascending up into the heavens. The writer explained, "Here's the key: what is a hallucination? Index of the Eyewitness Accounts of Jesus’ Post-Death Appearances, To the women after they had been to the empty tomb. 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. Then under this theory, He awoke in the tomb, got up and walked out. Jonathan Morrow and Josh McDowell share more of their insights regarding eyewitness testimony below: Could 500 People Have the Same Hallucination? Jesus’ Resurrection. 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. They said 'How do we know this is true?' "These people were eyewitnesses, they were there, and it was early.". They had the ring of truth to them.". ... Peter and John were hiding somewhere waiting for "the dust to clear" after Jesus died on the cross. 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. "When historians investigate this, in our modern mindset, there's this idea that 'Look, miracles are out of bounds.' You've got the people who were there to cross-check whatever message is being put out there. And you can trace it back to the beginning, that there was never a Christianity without that at the heart of it.". The first century Jews believed women were second-class citizens. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. 94-139 (Harvest House Publishers, 1997), Douglas K. Blount, The Apologetics Study Bible: Understand Why You Believe, “Can Naturalistic Theories Account for the Resurrection?” pgs. Jesus presented Himself alive on a number of different occasions to His followers. 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). But he insisted, "You'd never make up a story that way. Peter preached this vigorously. But he says Christians shouldn't just defend the faith and the Resurrection. — Introduction and Summary, Hugh Ross, Ph.D. — Scientist Becomes a Christian after Finding the Bible More Reliable than Laws of Physics | Facts and Faith, Just-Right Design of Planet Earth | Facts and Faith, Evidence for the Existence for God from a Beginning — God’s Existence Best Explains the Universe Coming into Existence, Just-Right Design of the Milky Way Galaxy | Facts and Faith, Evidence for the Existence of God from the Design Scientists Observe in the Universe — Introduction and Summary, God’s Existence Best Explains Why Anything Exists — An Argument for the Necessity of an Uncaused First Cause. You saw Jesus do this; you heard Him do this.' McDowell spoke of evidence that can help readers believe the words of Paul and other New Testament writers, like archaeological findings. ", 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.". Jesus is our Passover in the Eucharist. What accounts for that?". ", 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. That's what they all wanted. 12 When Jesus resurrected Lazarus, many people saw it. 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. Submitted by escamp on August 31, 2015 - 3:04pm. 132-133 (1997) citing to Terry L. Miethe (ed. 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 then with their opponents they would say, 'You were there, too. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. McDowell told CBN News believing that takes more faith than simply accepting that Jesus really did rise from the dead. 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. OVER 500 WITNESSES Several very important factors arc often overlooked when considering Christ's post-resurrection appearances to individuals. You must note that Jesus did not say, “flesh and blood.” He said, “flesh and bones.” This … 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) 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). The witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus included his disciples, several of his women followers, his brother James, and possibly his mother... First Witness to the Resurrection Who was the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection? 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. In four instances, witnesses responded to their encounter with Jesus by worshiping him. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We, too, though we are not witnesses of Christ's actual resurrection, are so spiritually. ), For information on how to know God personally, go. Because then it goes back to Peter, James, and John," Morrow said. "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. And how could they have slept through the disciples rolling away the huge stone that covered the entrance to the tomb, a stone some have suggested was so heavy, it may have taken more than a dozen men to push it away? He mentioned that Jesus appeared to more than 500, and as well as His disciples, and to Paul himself and to others. They accompanied Him to the cross and stood by during the Crucifixion. Another crucial factor that debunks the idea all these disciples were trying to sell a false Resurrection to the world: the fact that they proclaimed it was females who found the empty tomb and let the male disciples know Jesus was missing. They went back to Jerusalem to report that they had seen Jesus. In Luke 3, in the first three verses, there are 17 historical references. And the more people who are involved, and the more people who saw the event, you multiply your chances of the story getting out. We have at least 18. "It's exceptional," Bock said. The Psalms are a school of prayer for us. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1. Speaking of miracles, Morrow called on people to not dismiss them as casually as most folks do these days. Christians believe in Jesus Christ and know that He lives today. The movie claims that its central focus is on the evidence for the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. And in this context He showed them His hands and side. The fact is, we have far more sources for Jesus of Nazareth than we do for many historical figures in the first century. ", Morrow stated,  "What in the world would flip Paul - or actually, Saul of Tarsus - to Paul, the chief proclaimer in the early Church? 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. ", Morrow added, "And after the fact, James becomes an early leader in the Church, and was persecuted and eventually killed for that belief.". All that shrinks back when you look at the person of Paul. For several sound reasons He gave her an honored place among witnesses of the Resurrection. As he put it, "So the main thing is just explaining how someone like a Saul who becomes Paul even exists. How is He Different than Us? 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. Thus we see them testifying, time and time again, to the fact they were eyewitnesses of His resurrection. [See, Kenneth Boa & Robert Bowman, 20 Compelling Evidences that God Exists, pgs. 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. Because it's all internal; subjective. However, as set forth in the linked-articles below, Christian, The witnesses were victims of group thinking or wishful thinking, The appearances of the resurrected Jesus were telegraphed images, The appearances of the resurrected Jesus were spiritual in nature, not physical, The appearances of the resurrected Jesus were visions, The appearances of the resurrected Jesus are a part of a later developed myth or legend, Someone else was substituted for Jesus before the crucifixion and the real Jesus appeared to the witnesses after the substitute’s body was buried, Jesus conspired to fake his death, or he otherwise survived the crucifixion (e.g., the Swoon Theory) and then subsequently appeared to the witnesses in a non-resurrected body, Since there are good reasons to believe God exists, 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. 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