No Evidence for the Resurrection Of Jesus
Today we are going to be discussing the fact that there is no real evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. In this short video, the narrator goes through Gary Habermas‘s 6 minimal facts, which previously was 12 minimal facts. He also brings up Lee Strobel and J. Warner Wallace. Both of those people were an atheist but became a Christian after investigating the historical claims of the Bible. This only shows they are really bad at doing historical research. Then he finally gets to his one line of evidence he wants to use. It’s basically the Pauline creed…great.
Minimal Historical Facts Model
Gary Habermas has a set of minimal facts he claims everyone agrees on. Based on these facts alone he attempts to prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His facts are:
- Christ died by crucifixion
- Disciples had real experiences of the risen Jesus
- The Disciples were so transformed they would die for their faith.
- Early creeds of Jesus started mere months after his crucifixion
- James, Jesus’ brother, became a Christian.
- Paul became a Christian.
First, there is no good evidence that Jesus was crucified. All we have are Paul’s writings because they are the only ones that can be considered independent. He only repeats what he’s been told by his hallucination of Jesus and what he has read in the scriptures. The disciples were invented with the Gospels. We know this because Paul never mentions the disciples at all.
It’s true that the Pauline creed was most likely coined in the 30s. This doesn’t actually prove that Jesus was crucified. It only proves that the belief that he was started in the 30s.
James the brother of the Lord
No, Jesus did not have a brother named James. This belief comes from Galatians 1:19 where Paul claims to of met “James, the brother of the Lord.” Paul uses the word adelphos and that can either mean a blood brother or a religious kinsman. Given the context, we can’t determine if Paul meant either type of brother. We can look at Paul’s theology on “brothers of the Lord.” Paul considered any baptized Christian to be a “brother/sister of the Lord.” He even uses the same words to describe this type of brother. Most likely this James was just another Christian.
Finally, Paul becoming Christian doesn’t prove anything historically other than Paul was converted to Christianity.
Single Line of Evidence
In the video, the narrator says he’s only going to bring up one line of evidence to prove that Jesus resurrected. That piece of evidence is the Pauline creed. The Pauline creed is mostly dated to the early 30s of the first century. I have no issue with that. The narrator does choose a specific version of the creed to present. He uses a version that has “in accordance with the scriptures” instead of “according to the scriptures” as the original Greek actually has. The former version implies that Jesus was doing things that cohered with the scriptures and not that these things happened because the scriptures said they did. The later is what Paul actually wrote. This is a very disingenuous tactic by the narrator.
The narrator goes on to bring up a part of Acts where Paul is speaking to Festus and King Agrippa. Paul claims:
I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen— that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.
I’m not sure why he thinks this actually helps his argument. Paul is literally saying that he is only reciting prophecies told by the prophets. These prophecies foretold of a coming messiah that would die and rise again to absolve their sins. There is nothing historical in Paul’s speech here. That’s regardless of the fact that Acts wasn’t written by anyone Paul actually knew. It came at the very end of the first century so there is no way any of this is historically accurate.