Today, there are supposedly 4 facts that prove that Jesus actually resurrected from the dead. I’m here to show you how they don’t actually attest to a resurrection. They can only attest to what people believed to have happened. He uses the crucifixion argument, the idea that the disciples believed that the resurrected, the empty tomb argument, and Paul’s conversion to Christianity. One stipulation they make is that they are making a case for someone that doesn’t consider the Bible authoritative. I’m willing to give them Paul as a source but he only works against all 4 of these points.
The video in question pulls a lot, if not all, it’s information from Gary Habermas, which is a bad sign.
Jesus Definitely Crucified
The first point he brings up is the idea that Jesus was definitely crucified. He qualifies this with the idea that “it is as certain as anything historical can ever be.” I disagree with this idea primarily because Paul is our first and only truly independent source for the crucifixion account. All that Paul records is that he was crucified. Paul doesn’t say who crucified him or for what reason other than it was prophesized by scripture (1 Cor 15:3-8).
Also, this would be enough to solidify this as an actual historical fact if Paul had actually been a witness to it. Paul was not a witness though. He was an apostle who received a revelation from Jesus that told him about the events and he read the scriptures. He stresses that he never got his information from anyone on earth (Galatians 1:12). So, this “proof” isn’t actually proof that a crucifixion actually happened.
Disciples Believed in Resurrection
Their next proof is that the disciples believed Jesus was resurrected and would even die for that. He goes on to ask “who would die for a lie?” This assumes that people make the argument that the disciples lied about their experiences. They most likely already believed that he resurrected so they didn’t concoct a lie at all.
This “evidence” only comes from the Gospels which is less reliable than the only real source in the Bible, that being Paul. Paul never discusses disciples, only apostles. Apostles are those that recieved a revelation of Jesus. That was the only way they got their information about their savior. That and reading “hidden messages” in scriptures.
Finally, just the mere belief that Jesus resurrected isn’t proof of anything. This actually shows how little evidence there is for a resurrection. The assumption here is that they wouldn’t believe he resurrected if he didn’t actually resurrect. This is obviously incorrect because the only actual historical source for Jesus, that being Paul, never actually saw him get crucified. He only restates his belief that he was. That is not evidence. This evidence would be stronger if Paul referenced discples at all and/or actually saw Jesus crucified.
Empty Tomb Argument
The empty tomb is only found in the Gospels. The empty tomb was invented in Mark and influenced the other Gospels to repeat this same tradition in various ways. Paul never talks about an empty tomb, although some apologists read into 1 Cor. 15:3-8 and produce an empty tomb account. This is inserting information into Paul’s account that isn’t actually there. Paul never saw an empty tomb or even recorded a tomb being used. Paul’s words are that jesus was buried and not entombed.
The Gospels are not authoritative and come much later in the chronology of the Bible. They come at least 40 years after the supposed events and Paul was writing just 20 years after the events. Paul is a better historical source for any information about Jesus. He never records earthly interactions with Jesus. He only records interactions with revelations of Jesus. That is the only way he got his information. He simply doesn’t record an empty tomb.
Paul Converted To Christianity
Ok…So what? Yeah he converted to Christianity but not because he actually had an encounter with a historical Jesus. He only had an encounter with a celestial Jesus in the form of a revelation. This is not a historical account. Plenty of people convert to different religions for one reason or another. Paul is being used here because the assumption is that Paul wouldn’t have converted if Jesus didn’t actually resurrect. You cannot know what would or wouldn’t convince Paul.
If Paul did hallucinate Jesus, then that is all the explanation you need for his conversion. From there on he got his information from this hallucination and reading the scriptures. He only confirmed his gospel with 0ther Apostles. If you remember from earlier, apostles never actually saw a physical Jesus. Only a celestial Jesus that revealed the information to them in hallucinations.