Why You cannot prove Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem

 

Two billion Christians believe Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. They believe this because the Gospels say he was resurrected, and because they believe the existence of these Gospels actually proves Jesus was resurrected. However, the  existence of these Gospels does not actually prove Jesus was resurrected, because their existence can readily be explained without assuming Jesus was resurrected,

The following argument compares two very similar scenarios. The first scenario is the current orthodox scenario advocated by most biblical scholars. The second scenario is an almost identical scenario advocated by yours truly. Both scenarios produce exactly the same final outcome, but the two slight variations I introduce in my scenario have enormous implications.

Orthodox Scenario             

C 30 AD        Jesus resurrected in Jerusalem

C 36 AD         Peter tells Paul about the resurrection [their first meeting]

C 40-65 AD   Paul propagates Peter’s claims [1 Corinthians 15: 3-9]

C 70-90 AD   Gospel authors immortalise Peter’s claims in their gospels

Alternative Scenario          

 C 30 AD        Jesus not resurrected in Jerusalem

C 36 AD          Peter lies to Paul about an alleged resurrection in Jerusalem

C 40-65 AD    Paul unknowingly propagates Peter’s lies

C 70-90 AD    Gospel authors unknowingly immortalise Peter’s lies in their gospels

So either Jesus was resurrected & Peter didn’t lie to Paul [orthodox scenario] or Jesus wasn’t resurrected & Peter did lie to Paul [alternative scenario]. Both scenarios produce exactly the same final outcome, namely Gospels portraying a resurrection in Jerusalem. In the orthodox scenario the resurrection accounts are based on Peter’s original claims, and in the alternative scenario they are based on Peter’s lies.  Because both scenarios produce exactly the same final outcome, and because we have no other information to go on, we cannot now differentiate between these two possible scenarios.

Conclusions                          

To validate the orthodox scenario &/or to reject the alternative scenario you must either prove Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem or prove Peter didn’t lie to Paul.

Since both scenarios result in exactly the same Gospels, depicting exactly the same resurrection in Jerusalem, the existence of these Gospels does not prove Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem, nor does the existence of these Gospels prove Peter didn’t lie to Paul.

There is no other reliable evidence available to corroborate Peter’s claims. Nor is there any means of substantiating these claims. Therefore the orthodox scenario cannot be validated and the alternative scenario cannot be rejected.

Therefore you cannot prove Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem. QED

So now the million dollar question is “Did Peter tell the truth about the Jerusalem resurrection when he & Paul first met?” Unfortunately, we will never know for certain, because the only evidence available is the so called Gospel evidence, & this Gospel evidence is now called into question. Some Christians try to assert that Paul actually validates the resurrection in 1-Corinthians 15: 3-9, but actually, in this citation, Paul is just reiterating what he learned from Peter.

Personally, I’d like my chosen world view to be based on something a little more substantive, than uncorroborated & unsubstantiated claims made 2000 years ago, by an illiterate peasant fisherman from Galilee. In my opinion, given the two possibilities outlined above, it’s far more likely that Peter just lied to Paul about the resurrection in Jerusalem, & Paul then propagated these lies unknowingly. I can’t prove Peter lied of course, anymore than Christians can prove he didn’t lie, but I can think of very plausible reasons why he probably did lie. These reasons are outlined in  The Christianity Myth, a very short book explaining how Christianity really started. Click here to read this book free of charge.

 

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5 thoughts on “Why You cannot prove Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem

  1. sklyjd

    An interesting post, however taking the whole issue of the Biblical word into entirety, it cannot be proven that everybody concerned including all the writers of the scriptures were not lying and fabricating history anyway.

    It would have been easy as an early human theist respected by their community to convince themselves and followers that they are worthy for this particular Christian God to inspire their writing and they would relish the same admiration that writers before them enjoyed who also had been inspired by God, or so they said, so concerning the status of the scriptures and the accolades installed upon the writers it would be imperative to keep such a perception growing.

    As the Bible is the most contradictive, unfounded and perplexing book ever written the content speaks for itself and is self-evident as being written by semi illiterate superstitious individuals who have adapted myths from older religions, expressed human emotiveness, historical errors and personal attitudes with almost every passage written.

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    1. Re your comment //As the Bible is the most contradictive, unfounded and perplexing book ever written//. Maybe so but I understand the Islamic Qur’an is even worse. Even Muslims have great difficulty trying to understand what Allah allegedly said.

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  2. Sound, concise, and compelling correct argument and post Ken. One of the angles/lenses I sometimes utilize in discussions/debates with Christians or apologists is just how heavily influential Hellenistic Imperial Rome and their tradition of Apotheosis dominated 1st-century CE sociopolitics in Syro-Palestine and Judea, monumentally after 70 CE and the Jewish-Roman War.

    The lack of independent corroboration to the veracity of the Gospel stories (as you allude to) is a GLARING conundrum for its validity. There were at least 41 known Pagan and Jewish authors/historians during Jesus’ lifetime or within less-than 100 years of his life that aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author (Josephus), and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers (Pliny the Younger & Suetonius), there is no mention of a Jesus Christ. If I may Ken, from my blog-page “Why Christianity Will Always Fail“…

    Wonderful post. Again, your work is appreciated!

    Liked by 2 people

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