Re: [ASA]RE: Flawed anthro views of RTB

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 13:30:28 EST

  • Next message: Glenn Morton: "RE: [ASA]RE: Flawed anthro views of RTB"

    On Tue, 22 Jan 2002 07:40:57 -0500 george murphy <>
    in response to Glen Morton:
    > <snip>
    > Your statement isn't entirely clear. I think you mean that
    > the evidential
    > explanation of the resurrection story is that it was a supernatural
    > intervention.
    > The observational evidence concerning the resurrection
    > consists of:
    > a) the accounts of Jesus' death by crucifixion,
    > b) claimed encounters of Mary Magdalene, Peter &c with
    > Jesus after his
    > death, &
    > c) the reports about the women finding the empty tomb.
    > A good case can be made from these that Jesus was indeed alive after
    > his death on
    > the cross. That in itself does not force on to the conclusion that
    > this was "a
    > supernatural intervention, a miracle," though that seems to be the
    > most reasonable
    > explanation. Even less does the observational evidence compel one
    > to conclude
    > that Jesus is Messiah, Son of God &c.
    > (What else could the resurrection be if not a miracle?
    > Briefly, it could
    > be a Tipleresque gathering of data concerning Jesus in the far
    > future plus sending
    > this information back in time via advanced potentials or some other
    > technique plus
    > appropriate cloning technologies. I DO NOT THINK THAT THIS IS WHAT
    > HAPPENED but
    > the point is that it is something that we can envision without
    > violating known
    > laws of physics. We can use our scientific knowledge of the world
    > to suggest an
    > analogy with the resurrection, which is just what Paul did with the
    > general
    > resurrection in I Cor.15.)
    > Observational data in itself seldom compels one to a unique
    > conclusion.
    > In this case it was their attempt to understand the data concerning
    > Jesus' death
    > and resurrection within the theological framework provided by the
    > faith of Israel
    > that led the first Christians to make the claims about Jesus that
    > they made,
    > claims that eventually resulted in the Nicene Creed.
    This neglects something that I think would have been clear to anyone who
    had witnessed the crucifixion: one does not swoon on a cross and recover.
    This is evident in the way they hastened the death of the two crucified
    with our Lord--they broke their legs. This meant that they could no
    longer push up enough to reduce the tension on the thorax sufficiently to
    take a breath. All that is necessary to suffocate a person is to tie
    their outstretched arms to a support and not put a support under their

    Observers at the scene had clearly seen that Jesus was no longer pushing
    up to take a breath during the time that it took to go into the city and
    get permission to take the body down for burial. This had to be longer
    than the maximum time that one can survive without inhaling. So, if Jesus
    had only swooned at first, he would have been dead before they could take
    him down. This is independent of the spear thrust into his heart, another
    matter that would be fatal. Unless one can make a case that he was not
    crucified at all [Muslim style, perhaps], Jesus died.

    Therefore, we must turn to the resurrection. Were the witnesses lying, or
    were they hallucinating? These attempts to "debunk" the resurrection have
    insurmountable flaws when examined thoroughly. The hope that legends grew
    up later is destroyed by the date of the earliest manuscripts. The
    testimony of the witnesses rings true, as does the effect of faith in the
    risen Lord down through the millennia since. If you want to follow a
    Tipleresque script, you have to swallow harder than anybody I've met can.
    Science fiction can be fun, but it's not a basis for building a

    Was the resurrection supernatural? a matter of direct divine
    intervention? Is there any other possible explanation for someone known
    dead who later ate and could be touched, yet suddenly disappeared and
    then turned up in sealed room?

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