I think this is known as the argument for the psychological unliklihood of the
resurrection account. The change in the apostles character and behavior is
inexplicable unless they believed they had witnessed something extraordinary
and experienced something life changing. There were many religious and or
political leaders (not just Jewish either) who died naturally or violently
during this period and their movements died out. The fact that Christianity
didn't and spread spectacularly on a message that was to the Greeks foolishness
and to the Jews a stumbling stone (Christ crucified) is evidence towards an
extraordinary event at the root.
> One of the most compelling arguments for the resurrection comes from the
> New Testament itself, it seems to me.
> In Luke Chapter 22 we see Peter denying his knowlege of Jesus: "But he
> denied it, saying, 'Woman, I do not know him.'" and later "Man, I do not
> know what you are talking about."
> The next words from Peter are in Acts Chapter 2, where he says: "Jesus of
> Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonder, and
> signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know--this man,
> handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God,
> you curcified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God
> raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for
> him to be held in its power."
> What could possibly have occurred that caused this complete change of
> Jonathan Clarke <email@example.com>@udomo5.calvin.edu on 06/12/2001
> 05:47:16 AM
> Sent by: firstname.lastname@example.org
> cc: American Scientific Affiliation <email@example.com>
> Subject: Re: historicity of Christ
> Hi George
> george murphy wrote:
> > [snip]
> > Whether Jesus rose from the dead, performed miracles, was the
> > Messiah, &/or Son of God, &c - i.e., all the theological claims which
> > Christians have made about Jesus - is another matter. These are the
> > beliefs that many people in various ways have attributed to hellenistic
> > mystery cults and so forth.
> You are doubtless more knowledgeable about this than I, but I suspect that
> this type of criticism is best answered by looking at the cultural
> likelihood of such beliefs arising in 1st century Judaism, especially after
> the execution of the leader of the movement. There were many messiah
> figures in the 1st century AD and BC in Judea and Galilee, none had such
> stories associated with the birth, life and death.
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