Jesus' Resurrection and the Evidence

Easter is the Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus was killed on a Friday, and rose from the dead on the following Sunday. What he was up to on Friday and Saturday nights, I don't know. In any case, there has developed a fascinating literature on the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.

Easter Sunday is an appropriate time for an examination of that evidence. This article will consider four major pieces of evidence put forward. We need not consider such low-level details as what year Paul wrote this or that, or whether the Hebrew word for "resurrection" matches with the Aramaic. That would be like asking not whether Jesus converted water into wine, but whether it was white wine or red wine. Ignoring such unimportant details, we can focus on the meat of the claims being made.

1. Visions of Jesus

Jesus appeared to many people in many situations after his death. Many of these earliest followers were tortured and killed for their beliefs. No one would suffer and die horribly for something they know to be a lie.

There is little question that the earliest and most enthusiastic followers of Jesus believed in him with all their heart. The question is not whether they believed they saw him, but whether it is true.

Instead of seeing a previously dead corpse walking around, they probably hallucinated it, dreamed it, day-dreamed it, had a false memory, saw an impostor, or otherwise mistook someone else or something else for the risen Jesus (or some combination thereof). He was a superstar, famous or infamous to many people. Countless individuals were discussing and debating the man and his message before and after his death, and he was an extremely charismatic figure that grabbed the attention of supporters and detractors alike.

The single-minded obsession that so many people had for him and his provocative, controversial life bolsters this view. And remember that the society in question (both Jews and Gentiles) was already predisposed to mystical, magical, supernatural and other-worldly explanations for unexplainable events and experiences.

Two important aspects of ancient Near Eastern people, including the most educated among them, must therefore be kept in mind: (1) the ease with which they surrendered their attention, loyalty and energy to charismatic personalities, and (2) the quickness with which they explained the unexplainable in supernatural terms. The modern Christian is very familiar with snake oil salesmen and magicians. The early Christian was not.

Much of the snowballing of the early visions can be attributed to mass hysteria, especially given the primitive and backward nature of the people. And since we are talking about diehard true believers given to supernaturalistic explanations for things they did not understand, at least some exaggeration on the part of the Biblical authors is expected, as well as white lies or outright fabrications--conscious or otherwise.

Once stories, rumors and second-hand accounts of "visions" of the risen Jesus started to circulate, no doubt many individuals--everyone from the skeptical persecutor to the kool-aid drinker--began to think very differently and very frequently about him. This helps explain why some skeptical individuals became converts after having such visions themselves. If you are obsessing over the "nonsense" your enemies are peddling, and allow that obsession to consume you day and night, you might have a similar experience yourself, just because you are mulling it to such a pathologically obsessive degree. Sound unlikely? Sure it is, but given the circumstances, it's a lot more likely than a dead corpse coming back to life.

2. Jesus' Empty Tomb

Jesus' tomb was discovered empty, even after Roman guards had been stationed at the entrance by the local Jewish leaders precisely to prevent grave robbing.

Obviously, a number of possibilities can be imagined that are much more realistic than a dead corpse coming back to life. Firstly, perhaps the Roman guards themselves got drunk and decided to play a prank on the followers of Jesus and everybody else by robbing the grave. Secondly, perhaps a small group of followers killed or paid off the Roman guards to give them access to the body, exhumed it and discarded it, for the purpose of "keeping the hope alive" as it were. The subsequent stonings, beatings and killings of the followers who weren't in on it (and therefore went to the grave believing in the resurrection) would be enough to force them to keep their mouths shut out of shame and embarrassment.

3. Women's Testimony

Women were the primary witnesses of Jesus' empty tomb. In that society, women's testimony was seen as highly suspect at best, and worthless at worst. If early Christians wanted to establish the veracity of their story, why would they cite some of the most disrespected and untrustworthy members of society?

First of all, early Christians believed the women's story. It's not necessarily that they would do their best to "bend the truth" to convince nonbelievers, they were just telling the straight story as they saw it, and it happened to include the women. More importantly, forget about women taking away from the story; what if the fact of such unusual witnesses actually enhanced the magic and wonder of the claim being made?

So much of what Jesus said and taught during his life was totally iconoclastic, turning established norms and traditional beliefs on their head. Thus, rather than minimizing the story of resurrection, if anything the fact that weak and disrespected people (women) were the key witnesses is entirely in-line with the radical nature of Jesus' ideas. By that point, his followers were no doubt accustomed to expecting the unexpected. They might even have viewed it as a final test of their faith.

4. Unique Beliefs in Christianity

Christian beliefs, including the resurrection, exhibit significant superficial and substantive divergences from previous religious traditions, and from Judaism to that point. The fact that authentically new ideas and beliefs arose in a short period of time indicates that something remarkable happened.

This is one of the more curious ideas put forward. It would seem to rely on the unspoken assumption that religious ideas are never created, only borrowed. Thus, in the absence of some actual event, there is no rational explanation for why meaningful changes in symbols, narratives or themes would occur. This is straightforwardly untrue--humans have very vivid imaginations, especially primitive humans. In addition, this argument results in circular logic: we are compelled to believe the story of the resurrection in part because these people believed it. Why did they believe it? Because it actually happened. How do we know it happened? Because they believed it.

More problematic is the potential for an infinite regress: if every religion borrows from a previous religion or religions, we are left with an eternal string of religions reaching back in time. At some point, some new idea had to be invented. And if it could happen once, it could happen again and again. We know there was a plethora of other cults and religious movements in the Roman empire at this time, resulting in a wide diversity of new beliefs. Finally, this argument fails to realize that, for example, although the conception of "resurrection" in Judaism to that point may have differed from the subsequent Christian one, the plausibility of supernatural explanations was constant, and therefore although the specific beliefs may have changed, the essential epistemological and philosophical framework remained.

Jesus' Resurrection: Conclusions

It is difficult to imagine a scenario where sufficient evidence could be brought to bear in favor of an event of this kind. Many Christian apologists love to say that, aside from an actual resurrection, "no other explanation is reasonable." To the contrary, almost any other explanation is more reasonable. Saying that aliens came down from the planet Zorb, vaporized the body and scrambled everyone's memories would be more reasonable.

They say there is as much if not more independent evidence for the resurrection of Jesus as for any other event in ancient history. But this argument fails to reckon with the sheer enormity of the claim being made. One cannot claim that someone died and came back to life in an ancient heathen society, say there is as much evidence as for the life of Socrates, and think their job is done. An extraordinary claim requires an extraordinary amount of evidence, not an ordinary amount of evidence. Specifically, the Christian must provide enough evidence to overwhelm the laws of physics, biology and common sense that his claim violates. In the absence of such evidence, the rational person should not accept it. I think I'll stick with the Easter Bunny on Sunday.

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thevoice profile image

thevoice 6 years ago from carthage ill

five start hub thanks


FreeThinker22 profile image

FreeThinker22 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

Very nice! Also thought I would point out... Isn't is interesting how Easter is celebrated right around the spring solstice? Right when the "sun rises" or perhaps, resurrects. Is it a coincidence that Pagan religions also celebrated the "resurrection of the sun"?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks, Freethinker. Coincidence? I think not... :)

Especially given the massive amount of other "borrowing" from previous religions on the part of Christianity, in doctrine as well as in custom.


Juliet Christie profile image

Juliet Christie 5 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

This very interesting and thought provoking politics infiltrate every thing and in every era. Pagans took Christianity beliefs and mix it nicely with their beliefs in order to control the people. My son keeps telling me that religion especially Christianity is a method of controlling and subjugating people while the powerful keeps on prospering and take away other people wealth and rights.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks, Juliet. Yes, religion has always been influenced by the secular rulers of the day, and vice versa. By claiming divine inspiration and absolute, unquestionable truth, religion enjoys a very unique position, and the ability to lend credence to almost anything that those in power wish.


AKA Winston 5 years ago

secularist10,

I think you overlook the most compelling reason to doubt the story - there is no contemporary witness accounts of it happening. The closest is someone making a claim that it was witnessed - and this someone has a large bias toward selling the story.

In a courtroom, this would be called hearsay evidence and be disallowed.

In ancient history, this kind of evidence is allowed, but it is of the worst possible kind and by itself does not establish historicity of the event. Historicity looks for supporting evidence and there is none as far as Jesus, his death, and the resurrection. The only source is tainted by bias - the books of the bible themselves.

The claims of the so-called gospels cannot be considered solid historical evidence as the earliest gospel was written at least 40 years after this so-called resurrection and it was written by an anonymous source who was not a witness, and the only remaining copies of the books are not originals, but copies of copies of copies of copies, and very few agree with each other.

Even the 4 gospels disagree on the details surrounding the tomb, making the idea sound more like the changing details of an urban legend than a description of history.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

This hub was for criticizing some of the the biggest arguments made in favor of the resurrection, not advocating skeptical arguments.

Actually, the most compelling reason to not accept the claim is because the most important claim of all--that God exists--which lies at the heart of this claim, is without evidence.

Although the standards of ancient history are looser, by necessity, I nevertheless believe (although the Christian will disagree) that they must still conform to even larger and more fundamental laws of physics and biology.

That is another major reason why the life of Socrates, for instance, is more readily accepted than the life of Jesus. To claim an ancient Greek discussed philosophical questions is an unremarkable claim, and a believable one. To claim a man died and came back to life is not.

I certainly agree with you on the fuzziness of the Gospels and the overall plot.


AKA Winston 5 years ago

Secularist10,

Well, even point #1 is in doubt. The only known documentation of dying for beliefs comes from the church legend - hardly an unbiased account of history.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Interesting. I thought there were secular records of Christians being persecuted by the Romans. But you could be right.


AKA Winston 5 years ago

secularist10,

If you look into it, you will find most of what is stated as being killed because they were Christian is really a twist on some Christians being killed due to Roman political reasons for refusing to acknowledge the emperer as a god and thus refusing to acknowledge the empire itself.

They were not killed because they asserted Jesus god, but because they refused the political expediency of also acknowledging the head of the Roman empire as a god.

Rome was actually tolerant of many various religions.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

So it was more political than religious. Hmm, not sure about that. In this case the political decision was made because of religious beliefs. So where does one stop and the other begin.

After all, they would not have claimed "the emperor is not a god" without their religion.

If religion was informing a purely political/ secular issue (such as Christians being against gay marriage), then ok. But in this case we have competing supernatural claims.


AKA Winston 5 years ago

secularist10,

Yes, that is the point - which is it? Rome required a "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" (not serious religion) burnt offering to the emperor, but the Christians not only refused but sought execution as martyrs (gee, where have we heard that?).

The few Christians killed were not sought out and killed for being Christians - they were killed for being defiant of Rome's power.

The two times that Rome persecuted Christians were not due to the religions but because Christians were perceived by Rome as a danger to the empire.


AKA Winston 5 years ago

In case you have interest - there are other such sites.

http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/gba_christ...


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"Indeed it was widely believed that they tried a number of times to ignite fires that would destroy the world and hasten the coming of their new kingdom."

Hahaha! Now THAT is what I call a Christian! None of this namby-pamby "local church bake sale" crap. I guess we know where the anarchist movement began, then, lol.

Aside from the public safety stuff, I still think there's room for the term "religious persecution." For example, the Soviet Union persecuted a lot of religious groups, simply because they were religious. The motivations were similar to Rome--a power play. But it still is considered "religious persecution."

It's possible to have a largely tolerant society, but still have a problem with a certain group. For instance, in the US there are a plethora of Christian denominations, and Christian communities and Jews are pretty well tolerated, but Muslims today are not tolerated as much.

Another example: In the 19th century the US was pretty religiously tolerant, by some standards, but nevertheless the new group the Mormons were resented and hated (for both religious and non-religious reasons).

Another example today is Scientology. Are Scientology's claims any whackier than any other religion? Of course not, but that doesn't stop most Americans from seeing them as "weird" and other religions as "normal," lol.

Some religions are just a threat to the status quo or public safety, while others are not.

I like the connection with the Islamic terrorists. Ironically, this too is partly religious, and partly secular: not only do the terrorists present a real safety threat, regardless of their beliefs, but the beliefs themselves are a problem, too. So we persecute them accordingly.


AKA Winston 5 years ago

secularist10,

There were some persecutions - but the "official Vatican story" is highly speculative and certainly highly biased, especially in regards to creating legends to support the dying as a "martyr" theme.

If dying for your beliefs were all it takes as proof, then Islam would have as much claim as Christianity to being the "right" religion.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

I certainly agree with that. Ironically, I think some Muslims do make such arguments, lol.

I especially enjoy hearing the notion that the Bible is a science book, and science is catching up with the Bible because some random scientific factoid was sort of referenced in it. The exact same argument is made by Muslims vis-a-vis the Quran. It's like they're reading from each other's playbook.


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

Based on man's FREE WILL, there is an ever-active chronic choice between the CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE (with 100% certainty) specific to the "tree of life", a.k.a., Christ's death on the cross; and the INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE (full of doubts) specific to "the tree of knowledge of what is good and what is bad", a.k.a., Jesus Christ's empty tomb.

The former is the defining moment, viz.: the litmus test of Jesus Christ's divine identity and absolute authority with indefinite multiplier-effects for all mankind. (Matt. 16: 13-28; 27: 50-56)

That is why Jesus Christ used arguments from the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets and the Psalms to successfully rehabilitate backsliding disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24: 13 ff.)


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

There is absolutely nothing "conclusive" in the Jesus story, nor in the entire Bible for that matter. There is no reason to think that these stories are anything other than myths and fables developed by primitive peoples.


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

secularist10, perhaps you have barked the wrong tree.

God's personal self-revelations in "the kind of death Jesus suffered", including a point of change, to produce unmistakable visions of immortality, brand new lives and sustainable faith is by any standards "conclusive" enough!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

You are assuming that which you are trying to prove: that Jesus is divine/ was resurrected.

That is, you assume that (a) Jesus was divine, and that is how we know (b) Jesus was resurrected, and that is how we know (c) Jesus was divine.

It is logically fallacious to do so, needless to say.


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

I respect your caution ruling out gullibility. You are free to correct me if I am found to assume anything.

The group of "deeds" specific to Jesus Christ, a.k.a., "the faithful witness: the first born from the dead" with unlimited multiplier effects, range from single-handed fixing the day of his crucifixion all the way to demo of his absolute rights over death and life right on the cross.

In other words, the "deeds" have the virtue of being Spirit-active, perfect and diacritical with a transmissible point of change!

Wonders never cease!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

I am saying that you are taking the story of the resurrection of Jesus at face value. I do not. The main thrust of this article is simply that there are many other possible explanations for the story in the Bible, than to say "there was an actual resurrection."

Aside from the resurrection itself, Jesus' reported "wonders" and miraculous events are not persuasive in the absence of much stronger evidence than some passages in a holy book that is biased in favor of his divinity. There are countless more realistic explanations for these stories.

If a child came to you and said "There's a monster under my bed!" would you believe him at face value, just like that? No, you would say "there is probably a more realistic explanation."

So why would we treat the myths and stories of ancient, pre-scientific peoples, who had just as much understanding of the world as a child, any differently?


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

It is difficult for me to say more when you keep projecting your own thoughts into mine instead of making rebuttal.

Therefore, I repeat the evidence of the resurrection is about the unprecedented outcomes of the LITMUS TEST of Christ’s divine identity and absolute authority, whom “not even death will ever be able to overcome”, including the multiplier effects, viz.: co-resurrections by many from death to life as premiered and still going on! (Matt. 27: 50-53)

Wonders never cease!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

I am simply responding to what you are saying. If you need to express yourself differently, then do so.

"unprecedented outcomes of the LITMUS TEST of Christ’s divine identity and absolute authority, whom “not even death will ever be able to overcome”,"

This is simply rhetoric. You are repeating what the Bible/ traditional doctrine already states: "Jesus conquers death, Jesus conquers death."

What exactly is this "litmus test"? I have already looked at some of the evidence that has been presented by Christianity in the article. There is a rational explanation for this story.

"including the multiplier effects, viz.: co-resurrections by many from death to life as premiered and still going on!"

Once again, you are taking stories of resurrection at face value. Where is the evidence of those resurrections? And what resurrections are "still going on"? What are you talking about?


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

The demo of Jesus Christ’s divine identity and absolute authority, in PRACTICE, is by far greater than the PRINCIPLE expressed in the altruistic claim of One whom “not even death will ever be able to overcome”. (Matt. 16:18)

What confounds our understanding is the choice between resurrection on the third day, as represented by the apostate prophet Jonah and traditional Christian doctrine (Matt. 12: 38-42), and same-day resurrection on the very day Jesus died on the cross conquering death in the First Round (Ibid. 27: 50-56).

The good news is that it is open for personal verification under certain condition of obedience.

By the way, the two kinds of resurrection are contemporary versions of the free choice between the “tree of life” and the “tree of knowledge of what is good and what is bad”. (Gen. 2: 7-16)

The evidence of co-resurrections is found in “the few” who find eternal life by being truly “born spiritually of the Spirit” inherent in Christ’s death on the cross. (John 3: 11-15)

Blessings!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

You still have not presented any evidence for the resurrection, other than the Bible itself, which is circular and self-defeating.

"The evidence of co-resurrections is found in “the few” who find eternal life by being truly “born spiritually of the Spirit” inherent in Christ’s death on the cross."

And how do you know these "few" have found eternal life?


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

The evidence for the resurrection lies in Christ's independent "deeds" in his own death.

These deeds range from single-handedly fixing the day of his own death all the way to revealing in visions his divine identity and absolute authority over death and life (at the same time).

A Spirit-active, perfect and diacritical death, with further multiplier effects in producing new lives for all beholders of "the kind of death Jesus suffered", is a timeless victory rather than “defeat”.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

"The evidence for the resurrection lies in Christ's independent "deeds" in his own death."

Again, this is based on the Bible. You have no evidence, other than the Bible itself, of Jesus' resurrection. So that is circular reasoning.

"These deeds range from single-handedly fixing the day of his own death all the way to revealing in visions his divine identity and absolute authority over death and life (at the same time)."

You can interpret these events as "evidence" but there are more rational, naturalistic explanations.

For instance: fixing the day of his own death--not hard to do, anyone can do that. Just say "I will die one week from now," and then one week from now, jump in front of a bus.

Revealing in visions: The people who had these visions may have been hallucinating, or dreaming, or having some other kind of mental anomaly. How do you know what they experienced was real?

Moreover, how do you know the authors of these stories were completely honest? How do you know they didn't bend the truth here or there, for effect? How do you know they themselves were not suffering from delusions or other mental problems? How do you know they were reporting events that actually happened, as opposed to events that they heard about from people who themselves had mental shortcomings, or second- or third-hand accounts?

And you still have not answered how you know those "few" have found eternal life.


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

Jesus’ resurrection is a novelty based on FIRSTHAND EVIDENCE.

The Bible is merely HEARSAY EVIDENCE with records of the standard, pioneers and scope involved requiring radical change in man's way of thinking.

For your blessings, you can test the evidence whenever your are ready.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

"Jesus’ resurrection is a novelty based on FIRSTHAND EVIDENCE."

I understand. The Bible is merely a record of the firsthand experience. But you did not answer my questions as to why we should trust (a) the people who had these experiences, or (b) the authors of the records.

Moreover, have you ever considered why there is no record of these miraculous events happening except in the Bible itself? The Romans and Jews of the time certainly kept records of their society. Such a phenomenal event as a resurrection from the dead would have sparked some interest on their part, wouldn't it? Why did they not make a note of these events?

Again, you did not answer my other questions as to the veracity of all this "evidence."

"For your blessings, you can test the evidence whenever your are ready."

I'm more than ready. If you've got it, I would love to see it. The world would love to see it.


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

Even if essentially incompatible with religious traditions, the defining moment of the groundbreaking event of the resurrection from the dead has not escaped the pens of the writers of the old and new testaments as well as of the Holy Qur'an to name just a few. (S. IV. 157-159)

Conditions apply!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

The Quran was born from the Abrahamic tradition of Judaism and Christianity already in place for centuries, so that doesn't work. And anyway, Islamic opinions on the resurrection seem to be complex: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_view_of_Jesus...

The Quranic passage you cited itself throws doubt (to say the least) on whether Jesus himself was actually killed:

"And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them."

There is no mention of Jesus' resurrection in the Old Testament.

And there is no mention of Jesus' resurrection in any other secular text of the time (from the Romans or the Jews or anyone else for that matter).

You still fail to address the issue of why we should trust the reports of the people who had these experiences, or the authors of those records in the first place.


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

Many thanks for your challenging and constructive objections for which I am living with the following answers.

1. The Scriptures (whether Jewish, or Christian, or Muslim) are only secondary sources thanks to God’s perpetual self-revelations in Jesus Christ’s Spirit-active, perfect and diacritical death, which are necessarily preserved in sacred rather than secular texts of the time.

2. There is a significant difference between “being actually killed” and “the kind of death Jesus suffered” exclusively by his own will and power. This is fully acknowledged both by the Bible and the Qur'an.

3. We can take our cue from the Old Testament definitions of the framework of Jesus’ resurrection proper which were used to rehabilitate some disciples who totally abandoned the cause of Christ. (Luke 24:13 ff.)

4. Man’s testimony is fallible. Jesus Christ’s testimony, in his incarnation, being necessarily altruistic and full of “figures of speech about the Father", cannot be taken as “real proof”. (John 5: 31-36; 16) The only “faithful witness” is God’s life-giving Spirit defined in Christ’s death on the cross!

Blessings!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

Notice something very subtle, but very important, related to what I mentioned above:

You said the Scriptures are secondary to God's revelations.

Ok, interesting. Now, how do we know that God's revelations happened? Or how do we know what those revelations are? What they contain? Only by looking at Scripture (for a number of reasons, including the fact that those revelations are not recorded anywhere else).

You see, this is the circularity. Believing in the Scriptures depends on our acceptance of God's revelations. And believing in God's revelations requires our acceptance of Scripture.

The Quranic passage I cited seems to be quite clear in its wording that Jesus was not killed, and not crucified.

You mention the Old Testament--this moves the line further and requires us to accept the Old Testament, and further to assume that there is a connection between the Old and New Testaments. That is a lot of assumptions.

"Man’s testimony is fallible... The only “faithful witness” is God’s life-giving Spirit defined in Christ’s death on the cross!"

And yet the only way we know about Christ's death on the cross is through man's testimony!

Circularity!


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

CONCLUSION

There is no circularity at all!

At the same time, we can never agree without sharing the common privilege of the ONE-STOP SOLUTION, a.k.a., knowledge of God, based on the framework of the gospel; and sealed in personal visions outsourced from “the kind of death Jesus suffered” which is present in type all the way back to "the tree of life" in Paradise.

Blessings!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

It is circular, my friend. You believe in God, but belief in God (specifically the Christian God, with Jesus' revelations, and so on) requires the acceptance of Scripture. And believing in Scripture requires our acceptance of God's revelations. You said so yourself.

Think about it.

Alternatively, if you want to claim that believing in God does NOT depend on Scripture, then that is another story entirely. But in that case, a huge part of the case for Christianity collapses.


EphremHagos profile image

EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

We cannot overlook the following characteristic of knowledge of God as stated in the framework of the "new covenant", i.e., the Gospel.

"NONE OF THEM WILL HAVE TO TEACH HIS FELLOW-COUNTRYMAN TO KNOW THE LORD, BECAUSE ALL WILL KNOW ME FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST." (Jeremiah 31:34)

Exactly the same characteristic applies to knowledge of Jesus Christ. (John 1: 50-51)

In other words, knowledge of God/Christ is based on individual self-revelation specifically defined rather than on hearsay by one to another.

Therefore, the exclusive source of knowledge of God is "life-giving Spirit" rather than the Scriptures themselves which only serve as a road map. Christianity is built on "used wineskin" as confirmed by contemporary history (Matt. 9:17).


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

"knowledge of God/Christ is based on individual self-revelation..." (Jeremiah 31:34) and (John 1: 50-51)

The circularity is staring you in the face.

You say that knowledge of God is based on individual revelation. And how do you know this? You said it yourself--the Biblical passages you cited (Jeremiah and John)!

So the only way you know that the "knowledge of God is based on individual revelation" is from the Bible, i.e. the Scriptures.

The Scriptures justify your personal revelation, and your personal revelation justifies the Scriptures.

Again, to simplify:

A. God exists

B. How do you know?

A. Because I have personally experienced him

B. How do you know that your personal experience is enough?

A. It says so in the Scripture

B. Why do you believe in the Scripture?

A. Because it is inspired by God

B. And how do you know God exists?

A. Because I have personally experienced him

etc...

This is circular logic.

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