Archive for the ‘1g. Proofs of Jesus’ Resurrection’ Category.

Quiz 6 on Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Quiz 6 on Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Take this short self-quiz to test your knowledge of the sixth week’s lesson on Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus.

The Swoon theory

Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Lesson 18 of 18: The Swoon theory

Watch this short video to hear why the Swoon Theory is a fabrication easily dismissed by the facts.

Here are the main points made in the video:

The Swoon Theory posits that Jesus must have passed out or lost vital signs for a period of time and later was revived. Is this plausible? There are eight reasons why the swoon theory cannot be true:

  1. The Roman penalty for any soldier that let a prisoner escape was the death penalty.
  2. The fact that the soldier did not break the legs of Jesus, like the other two prisoners, was an indication that the soldier was certain Jesus was already dead (hanging low, not pushing up). This account is recorded in John 19:31-33
  3. John said that blood and water came out of a wound inflicted by a soldier with his spear to the heart (pierced the pericardium sac that surrounds heart). This account is recorded in John 19:34-35
  4. The body was encased in 70 pounds of burial garments, making it impossible to breath. This account is recorded in John 19:38-42
  5. After Jesus was resurrected, the disciples were transformed from cowards to bold proclaimers of the resurrection, willing to die for what they had seen. Thomas even worshiped Jesus as God. John 20:19-29. Would the disciples behave like this after seeing an injured Jesus, who looks like a half-dead sick man after he struggled out of the tomb on his own? This is hardly a reason to believe that he conquered death.
  6. A full guard detachment of 16 soldiers guarded the tomb. How could Jesus have slipped by?
  7. How could a half-dead man move the 1 ton stone blocking the tomb? And how could he do it from the inside?
  8. Where would Jesus have gone if he recovered from a swoon? Could he have walked the streets of Jerusalem without detection, well known as he was?

As you can see the Swoon Theory just does not hold up. The disciples were transformed from doubters of the resurrection to bold proclaimers of the resurrection, willing to die for it. The only explanation that could account for this is that they believed that Jesus rose from the dead. Therefore, Jesus must have died and appeared before them.

Lesson Outline

Twelve Known Resurrection Facts Believed By Harshest Critics of Christianity 

  1. Jesus died from crucifixion
  2. Jesus was buried in a tomb.
  3. Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.
  4. Quiz on Week 1 Lessons.
  5. The tomb was discovered to be empty three days later.
  6. The disciples believed they encountered the risen Jesus..
  7. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  8. Quiz on Week 2 Lessons.
  9. The resurrection message was the center point of preaching in the early church.
  10. The resurrection message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and buried.
  11. The church grew because of the resurrection message.
  12. Quiz on Week 3 Lessons.
  13. The primary day of worship was changed to Sunday, the day of resurrection..
  14. James, a skeptic, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus.
  15. Paul, an opponent, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus.
  16. Quiz on Week 4 Lessons.

6 Common Objections Refuted By 12 Known Resurrection Facts:

  1. The Unknown Tomb theory.
  2. The Wrong Tomb theory.
  3. The Legend theory.
  4. Quiz on Week 5 Lessons.
  5. The Disciples Stole Body theory.
  6. The Authorities Hid Body theory.
  7. The Swoon theory

What made the disciples fearless when they were once fearful

What made the disciples fearless when they were once fearful

The disciples were transformed from a fearful band of discouraged followers of the crucified Jesus to bold proclaimers of Jesus’ resurrection. They not only saw Jesus alive after his death, they saw him transported into heaven.

  • Luke 24: 50-53

    50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

 

The Authorities Hid Body Theory

Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Lesson 17 of 18: The Authorities Hid Body Theory

Could the Jewish or Roman authorities have hid the body of Jesus? Would this explain the empty tomb? Read on to find out why this does not make sense.

It doesn’t make sense that either the Jewish or Roman authorities would have hid the body of Jesus for the following reasons:

  • If the Jewish or Roman authorities stole the body or moved it for safekeeping, why would they accuse the disciples of stealing it?

    Matthew 28:11-15

    11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

  • Within weeks of Jesus’ death and resurrection, thousands of people were switching from a traditional Jewish belief to a belief in Jesus as the Messiah. The Jewish authorities tried to stop the new movement by placing the leaders in prison and instructing them to stop preaching. However, when released, the Christian leaders just carried on. All the Jewish authorities had to do was produce the body of Jesus and the movement could have been stopped in its tracks. The Jewish authorities didn’t produce the body of Jesus because they didn’t have it.

    Acts 4: 1-17

    The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day…. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”

Jesus body was missing because he rose from the dead

Jesus’ body was missing because he rose from the dead

You can try to explain that Jesus’ body was missing because 1) the disciples did not know in which tomb Jesus was buried or 2) the disciples went to the wrong tomb, or 3) the resurrection was invented hundreds of years after the fact or 4) the disciples stole the body, or 5) the authorities hid the body. However, this cannot account for the unexpected behavior of the disciples. They were transformed from unbelievers of the resurrection to bold believers proclaiming and dying for the resurrection. What can account for this unexpected transformation is that Jesus indeed rose from the dead.

Mark 16:9 “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.”

The Disciples Stole the Body theory

Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Lesson 16 of 18: The Disciples Stole the Body theory

Was Jesus’ tomb empty because the Disciples stole the body? Watch this short video to hear why no responsible scholar since the mid 1800s subscribes to this theory.

Here are the main points made in the video:

It would be a psychological miracle for the disciples to preach the resurrection of Jesus after they had stolen the body. How could the disciples die for the idea that Jesus rose from the dead if they had stolen the body? This makes no sense.

Legal reasoning recognizes that you can never obtain evidence with 100 percent certainty. Therefore legal reasoning in court deals with probability. Rather than stealing the body, the better explanation for the disciples behavior is that they witnessed Jesus alive after he died.

Today, no responsible scholar since the mid 1800s believes that the disciples stole the body per this very short video. Furthermore, the stolen body theory is ruled out by facts 6, 11 and 12 (below) accepted by even the most severe Christian critics:

6. The disciples were transformed from doubters who didn’t want to be associated with Jesus to bold proclaimers of his death and resurrection (what could account for this if Jesus had not been resurrected?)

11. James, who was a skeptic was converted because he believed he had an encounter with the resurrected Jesus (would he have died for a lie or for somebody who had died and disappeared?)

12. Paul, who was an opponent, was converted because he believed he had an encounter with the resurrected Jesus (would he have died for a lie or for somebody who had died and disappeared?)

Lesson Outline

Twelve Known Resurrection Facts Believed By Harshest Critics of Christianity 

  1. Jesus died from crucifixion
  2. Jesus was buried in a tomb.
  3. Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.
  4. Quiz on Week 1 Lessons.
  5. The tomb was discovered to be empty three days later.
  6. The disciples believed they encountered the risen Jesus..
  7. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  8. Quiz on Week 2 Lessons.
  9. The resurrection message was the center point of preaching in the early church.
  10. The resurrection message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and buried.
  11. The church grew because of the resurrection message.
  12. Quiz on Week 3 Lessons.
  13. The primary day of worship was changed to Sunday, the day of resurrection..
  14. James, a skeptic, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus.
  15. Paul, an opponent, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus.
  16. Quiz on Week 4 Lessons.

Six Common Objections Refuted By 12 Known Resurrection Facts:

  1. The Unknown Tomb theory.
  2. The Wrong Tomb theory.
  3. The Legend theory.
  4. Quiz on Week 5 Lessons.
  5. The Disciples Stole Body theory
  6. The Authorities Hid Body theory
  7. The Swoon theory

Quiz 5 on Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Quiz 5 on Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Take this short self-quiz to test your knowledge of the fifth week’s lesson on Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus.

The Legend theory

Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Lesson 15 of 18: The Legend theory

Watch this short video to hear Dr. Gary Habermas, Professor of Philosophy and Theology, Liberty University, explain why the resurrection of Jesus was not some fabrication that evolved over a long period of time. The Resurrection account was being preached and repeated in a creed within months of the crucifixion.

Here are the main points made in the video:

Nothing is more important when documenting history than having the right people in the right place to write about it. This is the case for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   We can trace a creed contained in I Corinthians 15 back to within months of the crucifixion 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Below is depicted the time span we are discussing:

The creed in I Corinthians, “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” was written within 25 years of the event itself. Twenty-five years is a remarkably short time for ancient history. Other ancients works, such as the well-known biography of Alexander the Great by Plutarch was written 400 years after the fact.

Paul wrote 1 Corinthians in 55 AD. He says, ” For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance.” Paul must have first passed the creed on to the church in Corinth when he first visited in about 51 AD. But Paul had to first receive it before he could pass it on. That had to have been earlier.  When?

Paul likely received the creed in in 33-35 AD when he visited Peter and James for 15 days as recorded in Galatians 1:18-19. They certainly discussed more than the weather. Remember that Paul is a Jewish scholar who studied under the famous rabbi, Gamaliel (Acts 22:3).

18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother.

To make sure that Paul did not deviate from the true gospel message, he makes a return trip to Jerusalem as recorded by Galatians 2:1-10,

1Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. … 6 As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message….9James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.

Paul checked with James, Peter, and John, the pillars of the early Church, to make sure Paul was accurately preaching the gospel.  In Galatians 2:6 Paul records, ” they added nothing to my message…..” Paul confirms that the gospel message recorded in I Corinthians is the same as that preached by James, Peter, John and the early Church because they extended “the right hand of fellowship” as a sign of confirmation.

So Paul was accurately conveying the same gospel message as the other Apostles. Furthermore, if Paul received the gospel message in 35 AD, it was provided to others before then. I Corinthians 15: 1-8 was likely formulated as a creed within months of the crucifixion.

Therefore, the resurrection was the primary creed that the Apostles preached within months of the crucifixion of Jesus and was the central message of the early Church. In addition, the legend theory conflicts with facts 7 & 8 below, facts which are endorsed by the most critical scholars of the Bible.

7. The resurrection message was the center point of preaching in the early church (not a generation or two later) (The resurrection was not some legend made up later. People living at the time believed it. )

8. The resurrection message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and buried. (The resurrection was not some legend made up later. People living at the time believed it.)

Lesson Outline

12 Known Resurrection Facts Believed By Harshest Critics of Christianity 2

  1. Jesus died from crucifixion
  2. Jesus was buried in a tomb.
  3. Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.
  4. Quiz on Week 1 Lessons.
  5. The tomb was discovered to be empty three days later.
  6. The disciples believed they encountered the risen Jesus..
  7. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  8. Quiz on Week 2 Lessons.
  9. The resurrection message was the center point of preaching in the early church.
  10. The resurrection message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and buried.
  11. The church grew because of the resurrection message.
  12. Quiz on Week 3 Lessons.
  13. The primary day of worship was changed to Sunday, the day of resurrection..
  14. James, a skeptic, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus.
  15. Paul, an opponent, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus.
  16. Quiz on Week 4 Lessons.

6 Common Objections Refuted By 12 Known Resurrection Facts:

  1. The Unknown Tomb theory.
  2. The Wrong Tomb theory.
  3. The Legend theory
  4. The Disciples Stole Body theory
  5. The Authorities Hid Body theory
  6. The Swoon theory

Mary Magdalene knew where the tomb of Jesus was and visited it after the crucifixion

Mary Magdalene knew where the tomb of Jesus was and visited it after the crucifixion

As the following verses recount, the women and disciples knew exactly where the tomb of Jesus was located, so the discovery of an empty tomb cannot be attributed to their going to the wrong tomb.

  • Matthew 27: 59-61:

    59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

  • Matthew 28:1

    After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

 

The Wrong Tomb theory

Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Lesson 14 of 18: The Wrong Tomb theory

Critics say there were many similar tombs to the tomb of Jesus and the women and disciples went to the wrong tomb. Could this have accounted for the empty tomb? Read below to find out why this doesn’t make sense.

Tomb garden of Jesus

The wrong tomb theory conflicts with facts 5-12. These facts are endorsed by even the most critical scholars of the Bible.

5. What would account for the experiences the Disciples believed were the literal appearance of the risen Jesus? (what could account for this if Jesus had not been resurrected?)

6. The disciples were transformed from doubters, who didn’t want to be associated with Jesus, to bold proclaimers of his death and resurrection (what could account for this if Jesus had not been resurrected?)

7. The resurrection message was the center point of preaching in the early church (not a generation or two later) (The resurrection was not some legend made up later. People living at the time believed it. )

8. The resurrection message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and buried. (The resurrection was not some legend made up later. People living at the time believed it.)

9. The church grew because of the resurrection message. (Would it have grown for a lie?)

10. Sunday became the primary day of worship. It was thought to be the day of resurrection. (Would they have changed the day of worship for a lie?)

11. James, who was a skeptic was converted because he believed he had an encounter with the resurrected Jesus (would he have died for a lie or for somebody who had died and disappeared?)

12. Paul, who was an opponent, was converted because he believed he had an encounter with the resurrected Jesus (would he have died for a lie or for somebody who had died and disappeared?)

The account in the Bible of the burial of Jesus is as follows: Matthew 27:55-56

55 Many women were there[at the crucifixion site], watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

Note that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were also at the burial site as reported in Matthew 27:57-61:

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting opposite the tomb when Jesus was buried as the stone was rolled in front of the entrance. It is obvious they knew where the tomb was.

If there was any doubt at all that Jesus died and rose from the dead, how can the following have occurred?

  • All of the Disciples believed they saw the risen Jesus
  • The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers
  • The resurrection message was the center point of preaching in the early church
  • The resurrection message was proclaimed in Jerusalem
  • The church grew very fast
  • Sunday became the new day of worship
  • A skeptic such as James was converted
  • A violent opponent such as Paul was converted

Lesson Outline

12 Known Resurrection Facts Believed By Harshest Critics of Christianity 1

  1. Jesus died from crucifixion
  2. Jesus was buried in a tomb.
  3. Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.
  4. Quiz on Week 1 Lessons.
  5. The tomb was discovered to be empty three days later.
  6. The disciples believed they encountered the risen Jesus..
  7. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  8. Quiz on Week 2 Lessons.
  9. The resurrection message was the center point of preaching in the early church.
  10. The resurrection message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and buried.
  11. The church grew because of the resurrection message.
  12. Quiz on Week 3 Lessons.
  13. The primary day of worship was changed to Sunday, the day of resurrection..
  14. James, a skeptic, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus.
  15. Paul, an opponent, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus.
  16. Quiz on Week 4 Lessons.

6 Common Objections Refuted By 12 Known Resurrection Facts:

  1. The Unknown Tomb theory.
  2. The Wrong Tomb theory
  3. The Legend theory
  4. The Disciples Stole Body theory
  5. The Authorities Hid Body theory
  6. The Swoon theory