Re: The Thomas Trap

George Murphy (
Thu, 19 Nov 1998 07:41:12 -0500

Glenn R. Morton wrote:
> If my argument was table-turned, then why did John, writing years after the
> Thomas disgrace, take such pains to talk about observational evidence? (I
> emphasize the observational words)
> 1 John 1:1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have
> HEARD, which we have SEEN with our eyes, which we have LOOKED UPON, and our
> hands have HANDLED, of the Word of life;
> 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have SEEN it, and bear witness, and
> show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was
> MANIFESTED unto us;)
> 3 That which we have SEEN and HEARD declare we unto you, that ye also may
> have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and
> with his Son Jesus Christ.
> 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
> And far from saying "paying attention to observational evidence will reduce
> your joy and blessings" John in verse 4 clearly says he wrote this to make
> our joy full. I guess John hadn't heard of Thomas' disgraceful behavior.
> Paul also falls into the Thomas Trap
> 1 Cor 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day
> according to the scriptures:
> 5 And that he was SEEN of Cephas, then of the twelve:
> 6 After that, he was SEEN of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom
> the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
> 7 After that, he was SEEN of James; then of all the apostles.
> 8 And last of all he was SEEN of me also, as of one born out of due time.
> The other disciples had seen prior to Thomas' failure.
> Luke 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping
> down, he BEHELD the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed,
> wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
> John 20:3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to
> the sepulchre.
> 4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and
> came first to the sepulchre.
> 5 And he stooping down, and LOOKING IN, SAW the linen clothes lying; yet
> went he not in.
> 6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and
> SEETH the linen clothes lie,
> 7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen
> clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
> 8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the
> sepulchre, and he SAW, and believed.
> It is clear to me that the disciples did base their belief system on what
> had been observed. if this is not the case, why didn't Peter and John stay
> put, eat their dinner and talk politics, rather than run to the sepulchre?
> BELIEVE AND NOT SEE. They did the same as Thomas!!!!!!

You continue to neglect an important distinction. Yes, the apostles were
eyewitnesses of the risen Christ. That is the basis on which they give apostolic
testimony to the his resurrection, which is at the heart of the gospel which they
proclaim & which has been transmitted to us. But they do NOT invite people to go out
and find further observational evidence to support the resurrection before believing it!
The gospel has power in itself to create faith because it is not mere human
words. It is the creative Word of God.
It's a good thing for us that our faith doesn't depend on having the kind of
evidence for the resurrection which Thomas asked - _because we're not going to get it_!
The risen Christ isn't going going to appear obligingly to everyone who hesitates to

George L. Murphy