Argument Against the Resurrection of Jesus

I will continue to be focused on Richard Swinburne’s case for God for another year, at least, but my favorite topic is the resurrection of Jesus, so I cannot resist writing a post on the resurrection, at least every now and again.

My position on the resurrection claim is that it should be analyzed into two main claims:
1. Jesus died on the cross on Friday of Passover week (and remained dead for at least six hours).
2. Jesus was alive and walking around on the Sunday following Friday of Passover week (or within a few days after that Sunday).

Most of the debate on this issue is focused on claim (2), which is as it should be, since the evidence for claim (2) is rather weak. I doubt that I could ever be persuaded by NT evidence that (2) is very probably true.

However, even if one grants, for the sake of argument, that (2) is true, the evidence for the resurrection still falls short of what is required, because the combination of (1) and (2) is a physical impossibility (more or less). So, in supposing (2) to be true, the requirement of evidence to establish (1) becomes rather difficult to achieve.

Although there is obviously some evidence that Jesus died on Friday of Passover week and remained dead for at least several hours, the evidence is hardly compelling. For one thing, if Jesus was buried in a stone tomb before sunset on Friday evening, as the Gospels report, then he might well have been observed for only an hour after his alleged death. Once his body was inside the tomb, no one could observe whether or not he was breathing or had a heartbeat.

One of the main problems with the claim that Jesus died on the cross is that we don’t know the extent of Jesus’ injuries prior to and during the crucifixion, and we don’t know how crucifixion causes death. Another problem is that modern medical science would not make an appearance for well over a thousand years, so there was no scientific medical expert available to verify that Jesus was truly and completely dead.

I see no real possibility of establishing the truth of (1) to anywhere near the degree that is required for a claim that implies a physical impossibility, which (1) would do, if we suppose (2) to be true.

So, the evidence for the resurrection fails on two accounts. First, the evidence for (2) is rather weak, and second, if we suppose (2) to be true, then the evidence for (1) is too weak to be sufficient to establish a claim of a physically impossible event.

That is why I see William Craig’s defense of the resurrection of Jesus as a complete failure. He largely ignores the question of whether or not Jesus truly died on the cross (and remained dead for several hours). Gary Habermas and Norman Geisler make much better cases for the resurrection because they take more seriously the burden of proof that Christian apologists must bear on this issue. Not only is the evidence for the resurrection insufficient, but there are good reasons for believing that it is false that God raised Jesus from the dead. Here is an argument that Jesus was not raised (JNR):

JNR1. Jesus advocated the following religious beliefs: (a) Moses was a prophet of God, (b) the Old Testament was inspired by God, and (c) Jehovah is God.JNR2. If Jesus advocated any religious belief that is false, then Jesus is not God incarnate.
JNR3. At least one of the following beliefs is false: (a) Moses was a prophet of God, (b) the Old Testament was inspired by God, or (c) Jehovah is God.
Therefore:
JNR4. Jesus is not God incarnate.
JNR5. If God raised Jesus from the dead, then Jesus is God incarnate.
Therefore:
JNR6. It is not the case that God raised Jesus from the dead.

I am confident that (JNR3) is true.

Because of skeptical doubts about the historical reliability of the Gospels, I am less confident about the truth of (JNR1). However, if Jesus was an historical person, as I believe he was, and if he was a Jew, as virtually no one who thinks Jesus an historical person doubts, and if the Gospels are somewhat historical (third-hand, second-generation Christian reports about an historical person), then the available evidence makes (JNR1) probable, perhaps very probable. These religious beliefs are basic Jewish beliefs, so it would be unsurprising if Jesus, a devout Jew, held such beliefs, and the Gospels clearly indicate he did hold such beliefs.

Premise (JNR2) appears to be true to me, and it would certainly be difficult for a Christian believer to deny (JNR2), for that would undermine the authority of the teachings of Jesus. The belief that Jesus is God incarnate is a primary reason given by Christians in support of the authority of Jesus’ teachings. So, if one admitted that Jesus could give false religious teachings and yet still be God incarnate, then his allegedly being God incarnate would not be a good reason for following his teachings.

I don’t necessarily accept premise (JNR5), because I have doubts about whether the doctrine of incarnation is logically coherent. But if we set aside that concern, (JNR5) seems plausible. Furthermore, (JNR5) is a basic assumption of Christian apologetics. The resurrection of Jesus is one of the main arguments for the divinity of Jesus. So, again, it would be difficult for a Christian believer to deny (JNR5).

The combination of the denial of the incarnation in premise (JNR4) with the basic assumption of the relationship between the resurrection and the incarnation in premise (JNR5) yields the conclusion that God did not raise Jesus from the dead.

About Bradley Bowen
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    hmmm. Given the historical uncertainty about what Jesus taught, my argument could be strengthened by making the first premise a disjunctive claim, and the third premise a conjunctive claim:

    Jesus taught at least one of the following beliefs: (a) or (b) or (c).

    All of the following beliefs are false: (a) and (b) and (c).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10289884295542007401 Jeffery Jay Lowder

    Hi Bradley —

    You obviously are under no obligation to do this, but I think it would be both very cool and helpful if you were to formulate your argument as a formal Bayesian argument, similar to what I just did with the argument from scale (AS).

    You write:

    Although there is obviously some evidence that Jesus died on Friday of Passover week and remained dead for at least several hours, the evidence is hardly compelling. For one thing, if Jesus was buried in a stone tomb before sunset on Friday evening, as the Gospels report, then he might well have been observed for only an hour after his alleged death. Once his body was inside the tomb, no one could observe whether or not he was breathing or had a heartbeat.

    I agree that is a possibility, but I don't understand why you think that is more probable than the conclusion that Jesus was truly dead. This is an example of why I think a Bayesian analysis would quickly clarify the issues.

    One of the main problems with the claim that Jesus died on the cross is that we don't know the extent of Jesus' injuries prior to and during the crucifixion, and we don't know how crucifixion causes death.

    I guess my knee-jerk reaction to this is that the claim, "Jesus died as a result of his crucifixion," seems like a very ordinary claim to me (where "ordinary" means non-miraculous). And if one regards Jesus' death by crucifixion as an ordinary claim, as I do, then I don't see any reason for the degree of skepticism you seem to apply to the claim. Even if we don't know the extent of Jesus' injuries prior to and during the crucifixion, it doesn't follow that we don't have sufficient evidence to conclude that Jesus died from crucifixion. Likewise, even if we don't know how crucifixion causes death, it doesn't follow that we don't have sufficient evidence to conclude that Jesus died from crucifixion.

    Another problem is that modern medical science would not make an appearance for well over a thousand years, so there was no scientific medical expert available to verify that Jesus was truly and completely dead.

    I see your point, but this objection doesn't impress me. In Bayesian terms, I guess my prior for Jesus' death from crucifixion is higher than yours, so I'm not particularly bothered by the lack of a scientific or medical expert 2000 years ago. More important, not to sound like a broken record, although no such expert was available 2000 years ago, it doesn't follow that we don't have sufficient evidence to conclude that Jesus died from crucifixion.

    As I said, however, I think a Bayesian analysis would be very helpful in clarifying the issues. In fact, there is a good chance that it could lead to a convergence of our beliefs regarding the issues!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Jeff Lowder said…

    I guess my knee-jerk reaction to this is that the claim, "Jesus died as a result of his crucifixion," seems like a very ordinary claim to me (where "ordinary" means non-miraculous). And if one regards Jesus' death by crucifixion as an ordinary claim, as I do, then I don't see any reason for the degree of skepticism you seem to apply to the claim.
    ========
    Response:

    If there was no reason to believe Jesus was alive and walking around on Easter Sunday, then the claim that Jesus died on the cross on the preceding Friday would be an ordinary claim, and I would have no objection to accepting the claim in that context.

    But if we assume that Jesus was alive and walking around on Easter Sunday following his alleged crucifixion, then we have a very powerful reason to believe that he did not die on the preceding Friday.

    e: [the NT evidence for the death of Jesus on the cross]

    d: Jesus died (i.e. stopped breathing) on the cross on Passover Friday and remained dead (i.e. did not breathe) for at least six hours.

    a: Jesus was alive and walking around on Sunday (following Passover Friday).

    P(de) > .6

    P(de & a) < .1

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Imagine that you read an article in the newspaper and learn that a good friend of yours was killed in a terrible auto accident last Friday. But then when you are shopping at the supermarket on Sunday, you run into that friend, and she is alive and well and shows no signs of serious injury.

    Do you conclude that your friend died and then came back to life? I don't think so. You would conclude that the newspaper reporter had gotten the facts mixed up.

    The newspaper article was sufficient evidence to believe that your friend had been killed, because fatal auto accidents are common, ordinary events.

    But once you come to know that your friend was alive a few days after allegedly being killed, you immediately conclude that she had not in fact been killed, but that the newspaper report was mistaken.

    After learning that your friend is still alive, the claim made by the newspaper report shifts from being an ordinary claim, to being an extraordinary claim, even a physically impossible claim.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10289884295542007401 Jeffery Jay Lowder

    Bradley –

    You write:

    If there was no reason to believe Jesus was alive and walking around on Easter Sunday, then the claim that Jesus died on the cross on the preceding Friday would be an ordinary claim, and I would have no objection to accepting the claim in that context.

    But if we assume that Jesus was alive and walking around on Easter Sunday following his alleged crucifixion, then we have a very powerful reason to believe that he did not die on the preceding Friday.

    I don't understand the appeal of this approach. Are you undecided about whether Jesus was alive and walking around on Easter Sunday following his crucifixion? Or is your denial of Jesus' death by crucifixion intended as a hypothetical objection or probabilistic reductio?

    e: [the NT evidence for the death of Jesus on the cross]

    d: Jesus died (i.e. stopped breathing) on the cross on Passover Friday and remained dead (i.e. did not breathe) for at least six hours.

    a: Jesus was alive and walking around on Sunday (following Passover Friday).

    P(de) > .6

    P(de & a) < .1

    I see your point, but for me this is irrelevant since Pr (a | available New Testament evidence) < .1.

    If we define E as whatever evidence you want to consider, H1 as an explanatory hypothesis, H2 as a rival explanatory hypothesis, and B as the relevant background knowledge, I think the following argument form is definitely the way to go (if you can make it work for the epistemic situation you're analyzing):

    (1) O is known to be true, i.e., Pr(O) > 1/2.
    (2) E is antecedently more probable on H1 than on H2, i.e., Pr(E/B&H1;) > Pr(E/B&H2;).
    (3) H1 is at least as intrinsically plausible as H2, i.e., Pr(H1/B) >= Pr(H2/B).
    (4) Therefore, other evidence held equal, H1 is more probable than H2, i.e., Pr(H1/B&E;) >= Pr(H2/B&E;).

  • http://blogforthelordjesuscurrentevents.wordpress.com/ blogforthelordjesuscurrentevents

    The writers of the New Testament, particularly in the book of Acts where their preaching is largely chronicled, declare on pain of death that they (including some 500 others) have witnessed Jesus raised from the dead and that He was the fulfillment of God's many promises about Israel's Messiah, whereas they do not make concurrent claims about His having been God incarnate. Since it is their eyewitness testimony about His resurrection which must be accepted or rejected, is it not a red herring to bring the incarnation into this question?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04029133398946303654 David B Marshall

    Hi, Jeff & Co. I haven't posted here much before. So to introduce myself briefly, I'm a Christian scholar, also the author of one of the first responses to Dawkins and friends, The Truth Behind the New Atheism.

    I've just posted a response to this blog on my web site, which I think will probably come up when you click on my name. I have a bit of jet lag right now, but hopefully it will make sense.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04029133398946303654 David B Marshall

    Well, apparently it doesn't. So here it is:

    http://christthetao.blogspot.com/

    This is, of course, a very limitted response, to this specific argument. I've written quite a bit on the historicity of the gospels, and a little on the a priori probability of the resurrecion, though neither is the main topic of my research.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10289884295542007401 Jeffery Jay Lowder

    Hi David — It's nice to meet you. I took a look at your blog; I think you mixed up my comments with those of Bradley Bowen. Could you please double-check?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Jeff Lowder said…

    I don't understand the appeal of this approach. Are you undecided about whether Jesus was alive and walking around on Easter Sunday following his crucifixion? Or is your denial of Jesus' death by crucifixion intended as a hypothetical objection or probabilistic reductio?
    ===============
    Response:

    The appeal is that two strong objections to the case for the resurrection are better than just one strong objection.

    I suppose this is a "hypothetical" objection. I'm not asserting that Jesus was alive and walking around on Easter Sunday, I'm simply supposing this to be so, making a huge concession to Christian apologists, and yet on the basis of this assumption, showing that the NT evidence for the death of Jesus is insufficient to establish that his death is probable.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    blogforthelordjesus

    Since it is their [NT authors] eyewitness testimony about His resurrection which must be accepted or rejected, is it not a red herring to bring the incarnation into this question?
    ===========
    Response:

    Which NT authors do you think were eyewitnesses to Jesus being alive and walking around on Easter Sunday?

    The "Red Herring" charge you make implies that the incarnation is irrelevant to the resurrection. Does that mean that you think the (alleged) resurrection of Jesus is irrelevant to the question of whether Jesus was God incarnate?

    Please address my argument. Is there a specific premise that you doubt or reject? Is there a specific inference that you doubt or reject? Please specify where you see a problem with the argument that I have put forward.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Response to David Marshall…

    I will take a look at your post and reply here.

    Please note that the argument against the resurrection of Jesus was NOT from Jeff Lowder.

    If you look a the comments above, you will see that Jeff has reservations about the argument I have presented in this post.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04029133398946303654 David B Marshall

    Jeff, Brad: My apologies. I've been driving a lot since I flew in from Asia a day ago, and haven't crashed into anything, yet. But apparently posting a blog proved a bridge too far. I've corrected the naming errors, also added a link to your blog.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10289884295542007401 Jeffery Jay Lowder

    David — No worries. It looks better; the only thing left to fix is the title of the article itself.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    David – Thank you for making the correction.

    When you get a chance, can you also remove Jeff's name from the title of your post?

    I have looked over your post briefly and there are several objections in it, so it may take me awhile to respond to all of your points.

    I will try to focus in on what seem to me to be your best objections first, and deal with the weaker or less significant ones later, as I find time.

    If I fail to address a point that you take to be one of your strongest objections, please point the objection out, so that I can make an attempt to respond to that point.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    David -

    There appear to be eleven objections in your critique of my post on the resurrection of Jesus:

    1.The exact dates of the death and resurrection of Jesus are not important.
    2.The reasoning begs the question about the existence of God.
    3.The Romans were reliable judges of death.
    4.The Romans were competent executioners.
    5.There is no record of any similar resurrection claims about other historical figures in ancient history.
    6.No reasons are given for the view that the evidence is weak for Jesus being dead on Friday.
    7.No reasons are given for the view that the evidence is weak for Jesus being alive on Sunday (after the crucifixion).
    8.The JNR argument is too a priori and theological.
    9.All of these claims are highly disputable.
    10.If any one pillar collapses, the whole thing falls down.
    11.A false religious teaching attributed to Jesus might have been put in his mouth by a Gospel writer.

    Did I miss any of your objections? Are there two or three objections that you think are particularly strong, which you would like me to address right away?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13143349918579457661 G. Schwartz

    The New Testament evidence for the death of Jesus on that Friday is quite compelling. His body would have been in a slightly weakened state since he had not eaten or drank anything since the previous evening, not to mention the brutality of his scourging. Then the actual act of crucifixion would have been enough to kill. The Romans soldiers overseeing this crucifixion seemed to believe that he was dead and did not bother to break his legs, though they did plunge a spear into him just to make sure. To survive such a severe beating then execution in his slightly weakened state would be very improbable, and thus it seems more probably that he died upon the cross.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09862162000795507767 bj

    Bradley,

    Two issues in your argument raise concerns. First, concerning (JNR3), you have lot of work to be done to show Jesus believed and advocated false beliefs or ideas. Each one of those ideas needs to be assessed on their own merits. And now your dealing with theological ideas, which may or may not be provable based on your standard of what is provable. Also by stating a belief as false your assuming the burden of proof to show that it is in fact false. A daunting task for anyone who assumes God doesn't exist to begin with.

    Second, in (JNR5) logically you have set up a false dichotomy. God could raise someone from the dead who is not God incarnate. Jesus being raised from the dead as evidence of the incarnation must be coupled with his own personal claims to be God, and claims of miracles.

    I think your over stretching yourself by trying to say what God did or didn't do while simultaneously disbelieving their is a God to begin with. Either God doesn't exist and therefore Jesus isn't God or God does exist and the possibilities of Jesus being God must be weighed on their merits.

  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com/ blogforthelordjesus

    Bradley Bowen,

    My question about the red herring was just that: a question, and not a "charge."

    I am not critiquing your argument (at least not yet). I'm trying to understand it. And I raised the question because I don't understand why the deity of Jesus is a part of it.

    To answer your question, I don't think the resurrection of Jesus is irrelevant to the question of whether or not He was God incarnate. However, I do think that the question of whether He was God incarnate only comes into play once His resurrection has been established. Therefore, it seems moot, and likewise confusing to your argument. If I'm wrong about this, please straighten me out.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    bj said…

    First, concerning (JNR3), you have lot of work to be done to show Jesus believed and advocated false beliefs or ideas. Each one of those ideas needs to be assessed on their own merits.
    ================
    Response:
    I agree.

    My intention was not to persuade anyone to reject belief in Jesus' resurrection (especially someone who is an intelligent Christian believer) by means of a short blog post.

    The point of the post is to indicate at a high level how I think about the resurrection issue.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    bj said…

    Second, in (JNR5) logically you have set up a false dichotomy. God could raise someone from the dead who is not God incarnate. Jesus being raised from the dead as evidence of the incarnation must be coupled with his own personal claims to be God, and claims of miracles.

    ==========
    Response:

    Another good point. Thanks for your intelligent comments.

    I don't intend JNR5 to be a strict entailment. Rather, it summarizes a line of reasoning that includes, as you point out, some empirical/factual assumptions.

    So, yes, it is logically possible for God to raise someone from the dead who is not God incarnate (e.g. Lazarus).

    However, if we assume that Jesus claimed to be God incarnate (an assumption I personally believe to be historically false), then it appears to me that the common Christian claim that 'God raising Jesus from the dead would be an indication of God's endorsement of the religious teachings of Jesus' implies that Jesus is God incarnate. It would be very misleading and deceptive of God to raise a person from the dead who had claimed to be God incarnate, if that person was simply an ordinary sinful human being.

    This argument is clearly an ad hominem agument (not the fallacy of ad hominem) in that it is aimed at an Evangelical Christian who holds the belief that Jesus claimed to be God incarnate, and who believes that God is a perfectly good person who would not be involved in misleading or deceiving people about basic religious/theological issues.

    I personally don't believe Jesus claimed to be God incarnate, so the standard resurrection apologetic for the divinity of Jesus doesn't work for me. But Evangelical Christians generally to believe that Jesus claimed to be God incarnate, so they will have to sacrifice an important theological belief in order to avoid accepting JNR5 (understood not as a strict entailment, but as based on an empirical/historical assumption).

    If you wish to take the route of denying the historical assumption that Jesus claimed to be God incarnate, then we would agree on an important bit of historical data, and I would then attempt to get you to draw the conclusion that the standard Christian resurrection apologetic fails (i.e. even if the resurrection of Jesus actually occurred, this would NOT show that Jesus was God incarnate).

    So, JNR5 poses a dilemma for most Evangelical Christian believers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10289884295542007401 Jeffery Jay Lowder

    Bradley wrote:

    I suppose this is a "hypothetical" objection. I'm not asserting that Jesus was alive and walking around on Easter Sunday, I'm simply supposing this to be so, making a huge concession to Christian apologists, and yet on the basis of this assumption, showing that the NT evidence for the death of Jesus is insufficient to establish that his death is probable.

    That makes sense. So if H1 is Jesus died and stayed dead, H2 is the swoon theory, H3 is the resurrection theory, B is our background knowledge, and E is the evidence to be explained, I interpret you as saying the following:

    Pr(H1/E&B;) > Pr(H2/E&B;) > Pr(H3/E&B;).

    I have no objection to that.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    blogforthelordjesus said…

    To answer your question, I don't think the resurrection of Jesus is irrelevant to the question of whether or not He was God incarnate. However, I do think that the question of whether He was God incarnate only comes into play once His resurrection has been established. Therefore, it seems moot, and likewise confusing to your argument. If I'm wrong about this, please straighten me out.
    ============
    Response:
    Relevance does not depend on truth.

    The statement "The moon is made of green cheese" is relevant to "The moon is made of cheese" even though both statements are false.

    So, we don't need to establish the truth or falsehood of the resurrection claim in order to determine its relevance to other claims, such as to the incarnation claim.

    There is an interesting issue here about the relationship between theological beliefs and historical beliefs as well as the nature of the claim that Jesus rose from the dead.

    On the one hand, if you try to separate out the theological claim that "God raised Jesus from the dead" from a purely historical claim that "Jesus died and remained dead for several hours, and then came back to life" the problem is that you face a very high burden of proof showing that somebody came back to life after being dead for several hours, without any assistance from beliefs about God and the possibility of miracles.

    For example, Richard Swinburne argues first to show that it is probable that God exists (in his book The Existence of God), and then later argues (in his book The Resurrection of God Incarnate) that God would be likely to become incarnated and perform an amazing miracle to substantiate his incarnation, and that Jesus is uniquely qualified as a candidate for being this to-be-expected incarnation of God, and then Swinburne argues that we should accept the resurrection as part of this whole package: God exists, and planned to become incarnated as a human being (for various good reasons) and to indicate this was the case with a grand miracle.

    But all of this requires the prior belief that it is probable that there is a God, who is an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly good person who would probably want to become incarnated as a human being for various good reasons.

    So, one of the leading Christian phiolosophers of religion thinks that a good deal of theological baggage is required before one can establish the probability of the resurrection and the incarnation.

    But if that is the game we are playing (not separating out the theological claim from a purely historical claim), then arguments like mine which use theological considerations AGAINST the resurrection are legitimate.

    So, there is a dilemma here for most Evangelical Christian believers.

    One can try to separate a purely historical claim about Jesus dying and coming back to life from the theological claim that God raised Jesus from the dead, but then take on what appears to be an insurmountable burden of proof, OR one can go the route taken by Swinburne and then a good deal of philosophy/theology needs to be accomplished prior to working through the historical data.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    G. Schwartz said…
    The New Testament evidence for the death of Jesus on that Friday is quite compelling.
    ==========
    Response:

    Thank you for your comments. The comments you make suggest you have a naive view of the historical reliability of the Gospel accounts, and that you don't yet recognize the heavy burden of proof that you and other Christian believers bear on this issue.

    I plan to respond to your specific points in the near future.

  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com/ blogforthelordjesus

    Bradley Bowen,

    I asked you to either justify or remove a tangent (Jesus was God incarnate) from your argument. You did neither, and then added another tangent(Swinburne's argument).

    I'd be glad to address your argument but I'm finding it too encumbered to follow.

    I will try one more time. If you go back to the witnesses of the resurrection, you will see that the issue of Jesus being God incarnate was not part of their argument. Throughout the book of Acts you see people believing that Jesus was raised from the dead and that He was the long-promised Messiah, but you do not see anyone declaring Him to be God or anyone expressing belief that He was God. Now, I happen to believe that He was God incarnate, but I'm trying to point out that contemporaries of Jesus – both the witnesses of His resurrection and those who accepted the testimony – were not concerned with something you've made a premise of your argument. Now, you're free to make your argument whatever you want it to be. But I presume you're trying to persuade people like me that we're wrong, and I'm trying to put you in the best position to do that.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04029133398946303654 David B Marshall

    Brad: Since you've put my arguments into the form of more straightforward assertions, let me rephrase them a bit before you offer your response:

    1.The exact dates of the death and resurrection of Jesus, while important, are not as absolutely essential as they appear in your formulation here.

    2.You do, at one point, indeed seem to beg the question about the existence of God.

    3.It does seem unlikely that the Romans would execute Jesus by crucifixion, and not know if he was really dead.

    4. "The Romans were competent executioners." Yes.

    5. There are no similiar records of the resurrection in the same sense of other historical figures in ancient history.

    6."No reasons are given for the view that the evidence is weak for Jesus being dead on Friday." No, you do attempt to argue that.

    7. "No reasons are given for the view that the evidence is weak for Jesus being alive on Sunday (after the crucifixion)." Yes, you assert this, but do not argue it, at least not here.

    8."The JNR argument is too a priori and theological." Yes, for the weight that is placed upon it.

    9. "All of these claims are highly disputable." Yes.

    10. "If any one pillar collapses, the whole thing falls down." Yes, that appears to be the case.

    11. "A false religious teaching attributed to Jesus might have been put in his mouth by a Gospel writer." Obviously.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Jeff – I will make an attempt to put an argument along the lines I have suggested in terms of conditional probability. This is just an off-the-cuff attempt.

    I think I should put the argument in the form of a dilemma, and infer the probability implications of both lemmas.

    a: Jesus was alive and walking around on Sunday following his crucifixion on Friday.

    d: Jesus died (stopped breathing) on the cross on Friday of Passover week, and stayed dead (did not breathe) for at least six hours after that.

    r: Jesus rose from the dead.

    e: [Relevant historical evidence (mostly from NT)].

    b: [background knowledge]

    1. Either a or ~ a…(tautology)
    ===========
    2. Suppose a is the case…(supposition for conditional derivation)
    3. P(da & e & b) < .1…(a controversial claim that must be argued)
    4. P(~da & e & b) > .9…(from 3 by a rule of cond. prob.)
    5. If ~d then ~(d & a)…(tautology -might take a few steps to prove)
    6. If r then (d & a)…(based on analysis of 'Jesus rose from the dead')
    7. If ~(d & a) then ~r…( 6, I forget the name of this rule of logic)
    8. If ~d then ~r…(5,7, hypothetical syllogism)
    9. P(~ra & e & b) > .9…(can be derived from 4 and 8, might take a few steps).
    10. P (~re & b) > .9…(can be derived from 2 and 9).
    11. If a then P(~re & b) > .9…(2-10, conditional derivation).
    =========
    12. Suppose ~a is the case…(supposition for conditional derivation)
    13. If ~a then ~(d & a)…(tautology- might take a few steps to prove).
    14. If r then (d & a)…(based on analysis of 'Jesus rose from the dead')
    15. If ~(d & a) then ~r…(from 14, I forget the name of the rule of logic)
    16. If ~a then ~r…(13, 15, hypothetical syllogism)
    17. P(~a~a & e & b) = 1.0…(may take a few steps to prove)
    18. P(~r~a & e & b) = 1.0…(16, 17, might take a few steps to prove).
    19. P(~re & b) = 1.0…(can be derived from 12 and 18).
    20. If ~a then P(~re & b) = 1.0…(conditional derivation 12-19).
    ============
    20. Either P(~re & b) > .9 or P(~re & b) = 1.0…(derived from 1, 11, 20)
    21. P(~re & b) > .9….(20, because 1.0 is a number greater than .9)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    David -

    Thanks for your clarifications.

    Can you say a bit more about points 9 and 10? Specifically, can you list a few examples of "All these claims" in objection 9, and list a few of the claims you consider to be "pillars" in relation to objection 10?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10289884295542007401 Jeffery Jay Lowder

    I think both blogforthelordjesus and Bradley are correct, in the following way. I think blogforthelordjesus is probably correct that the New Testament does not describe the issue of Jesus being God incarnate as "part of their argument" for Jesus' resurrection. This is true as far as it goes, but it doesn't refute Bradley's argument, for it may be the case that Bradley's argument correctly identifies a logical implication of Christian beliefs, one that the earliest believers did not identify. (In that case, they would have held inconsistent beliefs.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    The dilemma I just tried to spell out in conditional probability statements, can be put more simply this way:

    Either Jesus was alive and walking around on Sunday following the crucifixion on Friday or he was not.

    If he was not, then Jesus did not rise from the dead.

    If he was, then it is very improbable that Jesus died on the cross on Friday (and remained dead for at least six hours).

    If it is very improbable that Jesus died on the cross on Friday (and remained dead for at least six hours), then it is very improbable that Jesus rose from the dead.

    Thus, either Jesus did not rise from the dead, or it is very improbable that Jesus rose from the dead.

    Thus, it is very improbable that Jesus rose from the dead.

    Note: this is an argument against the resurrection, whereas the reasoning in the first half of my post was intended to make a weaker claim – that the evidence for the resurrection was insufficient to justify belief in the resurrection.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Response to blogforthelordjesus:

    Thank you for your patience and persistence in trying to understand my views before launching into objections and criticisms.

    I will re-read your comments and make another attempt to clarify and/or justify the points you are asking about.

    It would help me if you could say a bit more about this comment:

    "To answer your question, I don't think the resurrection of Jesus is irrelevant to the question of whether or not He was God incarnate. However, I do think that the question of whether He was God incarnate only comes into play once His resurrection has been established."

    This seems like the crux of the issue/concern you are raising.

    Why do you think that the question about Jesus being God incarnate should be set aside until after one makes a determination about whether or not he rose from the dead?

    If I understood why you think this, I would probably be able to explain how my thinking differs from yours on this question.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    Bradley, David:

    "1.The exact dates of the death and resurrection of Jesus are not important."

    This position is at odds with arguments that Daniel 9:24 is a prophecy of the exact date of the crucifixion (e.g., the popular Sir Robert Anderson "360-day prophetic year" interpretation promoted by Josh McDowell in _Evidence That Demands a Verdict_, as well as John Pratt's interpretation). To avoid confusion, McDowell hedges a bit on whether Anderson got the exact date right. In my "Fabulous Prophecies of the Messiah," I observe that there are multiple possible starting and end points for the purported prophecy, and most of them have been used in some interpretation or other.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04029133398946303654 David B Marshall

    Jim: Those are his words, not mine. Note my words on this issue above.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04029133398946303654 David B Marshall

    Brad: I was referring to your JNR arguments:

    "JNR1. Jesus advocated the following religious beliefs: (a) Moses was a prophet of God, (b) the Old Testament was inspired by God, and (c) Jehovah is God.

    "JNR2. If Jesus advocated any religious belief that is false, then Jesus is not God incarnate.

    "JNR3. At least one of the following beliefs is false: (a) Moses was a prophet of God, (b) the Old Testament was inspired by God, or (c) Jehovah is God.
    Therefore:

    "JNR4. Jesus is not God incarnate.

    "JNR5. If God raised Jesus from the dead, then Jesus is God incarnate. Therefore:

    "JNR6. It is not the case that God raised Jesus from the dead."

    If you want me to be more specific, then I'd say 4 depends on 1, 2, and 3, and 6 depends on 5, also 1, 2, and 3, plus the alleged implication of 4.

    As for questionable premises, I'd say they include 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

    Why is God supposed to be limited to only raising God incarnate from the dead, when the Gospels clearly say he raised other people, too? Where did you find that in the God rule book? It may be, in fact, that Jesus is not God incarnate (4), but God still raised him from the dead.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    I have put David's eleven objections in the order that I plan to address them, and have made brief comments about how I see their significance:
    =======
    6."No reasons are given for the view that the evidence is weak for Jesus being dead on Friday." No, you do attempt to argue that.
    7. "No reasons are given for the view that the evidence is weak for Jesus being alive on Sunday (after the crucifixion)." Yes, you assert this, but do not argue it, at least not here.

    These are not David's best points, but I think I can set these objections aside quickly, and I think doing so will shed light on my views and my post on the resurrection.
    =========
    2.You do, at one point, indeed seem to beg the question about the existence of God.
    10. "If any one pillar collapses, the whole thing falls down." Yes, that appears to be the case.

    I'm not sure of the strength of these points yet, but they are points of logic that seem worthy of consideration. Begging the question is always a temptation in arguments about religion, so that objection needs to be taken seriously in this context.
    ==========
    8."The JNR argument is too a priori and theological." Yes, for the weight that is placed upon it.
    9. "All of these claims are highly disputable." Yes.

    I'm not sure if these are strong objections, but (8) looks very interesting and I suspect we can all learn something from a discussion of (8), and (9) is, I believe, closely related to (8).
    =======
    3.It does seem unlikely that the Romans would execute Jesus by crucifixion, and not know if he was really dead.
    4. "The Romans were competent executioners." Yes.
    5. There are no similar records of the resurrection in the same sense of other historical figures in ancient history.
    11. "A false religious teaching attributed to Jesus might have been put in his mouth by a Gospel writer." Obviously.

    These are all historical points that have obvious relevance to the issue of the resurrection.
    ======
    "1.The exact dates of the death and resurrection of Jesus, while important, are not as absolutely essential as they appear in your formulation here."

    This point seems worth discussing, but is unlikely to make or break my case against
    the resurrection.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Objection (6) from David's critique:

    6."No reasons are given for the view that the evidence is weak for Jesus being dead on Friday." No, you do attempt to argue that.
    =============
    Response:

    David's clarification on this point is "No, you do attempt to argue that." So, I think he has conceded this particular point to me already.

    Perhaps he is saying that this was not an objection that he made in the first place (?). Maybe I misinterpreted one of his comments and saw an objection where there wasn't really an objection.

    Here is the claim that is being referenced:

    1. Jesus died on the cross on Friday of Passover week (and remained dead for at least six hours).

    Here is the relevant passage from David's post (the passage begins with a quote from my post):
    =========
    "So, the evidence for the resurrection fails on two accounts. First, the evidence for (2) is rather weak, and second, if we suppose (2) to be true, then the evidence for (1) is too weak to be sufficient to establish a claim of a physically impossible event."

    Owen [sic] hasn't actually address (2) yet; he has merely asserted its weakness.

    And his claim about (1) is, likewise, merely a restatement of skeptical dogma, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the real evidence for the resurrection.
    =========
    My Response to Objection 6:

    The word "likewise" in the last sentence suggests that my treatment of (1) is similar to my treatment of(2) in the relevant respect that I did not actually address the truth of (1) but "merely asserted its weakness".

    This implication is reinforced by the specific phrase used concerning my treatment of (1) as "merely a restatement of skeptical dogma…". The phrase "merely a restatement of skeptical dogma" ties back neatly with the previous phrase "merely asserted its weakness".

    The term "dogma" suggests a belief that is held independently of reasons, and the use of the phrase "merely a restatement" suggests unthinking and unreasoned belief.

    The wording used by David may not explicitly state that I gave no reasons in support of (1), but the language used strongly suggests this to be the case, and the word "likewise" pretty much cements the correctness of this interpretation, because David has only made ONE comment about my treatment of (2), namely that I "merely asserted its weakness", clearly implying that I gave no reasons in support of the claim that the evidence for (2) was weak.

    Therefore, it seems to me that David did in fact object that I gave no reasons in support of the claim that the evidence for (1) was weak.

    But I did give some reasons for the claim that the evidence for (1) is weak, so objection (6) is a significant objection, but it is false.

    It appears that David has already conceded the point that I gave some reasons for the claim that the evidence for (1) is weak. So, hopefully we can just toss (6) aside, and move on to the other ten objections.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Objection 7 from David's critique:

    7. "No reasons are given for the view that the evidence is weak for Jesus being alive on Sunday (after the crucifixion)." Yes, you assert this, but do not argue it, at least not here.
    ===========
    My response to Objection 7:

    Objection (6) was significant but false, and objection (7) is true but insignificant.

    I agree that no reasons were given in my post supporting the claim that the evidence was weak for the claim that Jesus being alive and walking around on the Sunday following the crucifixion on Friday.

    My intention in writing the post was NOT to persuade anyone to reject belief in the resurrection of Jesus. Rather, my intention was to provide a high-level view of my own (skeptical) views about the resurrection, and to offer a skeptical argument (JNR) for further discussion and evaluation.

    Habermas and Licona published The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus in 2004. The main body of the text is about 200 pages. That seems to me like an adequate effort at providing a reasoned case for the resurrection (McDowell's recent 120 page case seems a bit skimpy to me), and I would expect that a reasoned case against the resurrection would also require about 200 pages (or perhaps more, since there are a number of different cases for the resurrection that need to be shown to fail or to be weak in order to make a strong case against the resurrection).

    In other words, one short blog post should not persuade any intelligent person to either accept or reject the belief that Jesus rose from the dead.

    I was not trying to persuade anyone that the evidence for (2) is weak, so I did not provide any reasons in support of my opinion. I was presenting a summary of my views on the matter.

    When I get around to making a case against the resurrection, I expect to write at least 200 pages, and if I live another 10 or 20 years, I hope to write a series of several skeptical books on the resurrection.

    There are many different intersting aspects of this issue, which is one of the reasons I love philsophy of religion in general, and this issue in particular.

    There are philosophical and theological issues about God and miracles, and about the relationship of theology to history. There are many historical issues. There are issues of biblical interpretation. There are medical issues concerning crucifixion and also resuscitation.

    Thanksgiving has just about arrived. I am thankful for the philosophy of religion, and for the opportunity to discuss questions like, "Did Jesus rise from the dead?" and "Did God raise Jesus from the dead?" with intelligent skeptics and intelligent believers.

    Nothing beats intelligent discussion of such questions; it just doesn't get any better than this!

  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com/ blogforthelordjesus

    Response to Bradley Bowen:

    Occam's Razor.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04029133398946303654 David B Marshall

    Brad: I'll look through your response later, and probably post a reply. But please note that in the list above, there are ten objections, not eleven. I denied that you made error (6). Also, this is your summary of my OP, not my own; it looked like it covered most of the bases, but of course when there's a choice I'll defend my original assertions, and it's possible (I'm not going to sweat it right now) you left a thing or two out.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    I have taken some excerpts from blogforthelordjesus comments and categorized them…

    Factual/historical points:

    1. The writers of the New Testament…do not make concurrent claims about His having been God incarnate.

    2. If you go back to the witnesses of the resurrection, you will see that the issue of Jesus being God incarnate was not part of their argument.

    3. …contemporaries of Jesus – both the witnesses of His resurrection and those who accepted the testimony – were not concerned with something you've made a premise of your argument.

    Suggested Conclusion/Inference from the above points:

    4. Since it is their eyewitness testimony about His resurrection which must be accepted or rejected, is it not a red herring to bring the incarnation into this question?

    Key Idea/Assumption (might be based on reasons not yet mentioned):

    5. …I do think that the question of whether He was God incarnate only comes into play once His resurrection has been established.

    I see at least two different questions at issue here:

    Q1: Is it a 'red herring' to bring the incarnation into the question "Did God raise Jesus from the dead?" in view of historical points (1), (2), and (3)?

    Q2: Is it unreasonable to address the question "Is Jesus God incarnate?" prior to settling the question "Did God raise Jesus from the dead?"

    Q2 is a separate question from Q1, because it is a broader question, and there might be other considerations that have perhaps not yet been mentioned, that make it seem unreasonable to tackle the incarnation issue prior to settling the resurrection issue.

    I think I can address Q1 in a direct and straightforward way.

    I suspect that the broader question Q2 will require more discussion, and additional clarification from blogforthelordjesus as to what other considerations might be generating this concern.

    So, I will attempt to address Q1 soon, and hold off on Q2 for a bit to see if blogforthelordjesus has more to say on that matter.

  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com/ blogforthelordjesus

    Response to Bradley Bowen:

    I think we're making progress. Thanks for your patience.

    I look forward to your answer to Q1. As I implied in my terse "Occam's razor" response, since the focus of your argument is Jesus' resurrection it seems distracting to introduce an issue that, while perhaps related, is not essential to the the point at issue.

    I don't "have something up my sleeve." And I don't have much thought on Q2 at this point except to say this: If your argument turns out to successfully disprove the resurrection, then the argument about whether Jesus was God incarnate becomes, practically speaking, untenable. If your argument against the resurrection fails, then the argument about Jesus' deity still needs to be constructed because it is a separate issue from the resurrection, however related it might be.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    Myresponse to Michael Gantt's (blogforthelordjesus) question (Q1) was long enough that I decided to put it up as a second post on this topic…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04029133398946303654 David B Marshall

    Brad: OK, let me answer what I see as the more interesting parts of your response.

    "When I get around to making a case against the resurrection, I expect to write at least 200 pages, and if I live another 10 or 20 years, I hope to write a series of several skeptical books on the resurrection."

    That's fine. I didn't really expect a full argument in this blog, just a bit more bracketting of unsubstantiated claims. I take your explanation here as sufficient bracketing.

    "Thanksgiving has just about arrived. I am thankful for the philosophy of religion, and for the opportunity to discuss questions like, "Did Jesus rise from the dead?" and "Did God raise Jesus from the dead?" with intelligent skeptics and intelligent believers."

    I like your attitude.

    I see you're in the Seattle area. Do you have any suggestions for a good local debate opponent on the secularist side?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00053915240281421992 Mike Gantt

    Why do people struggle so with the idea of God resurrecting the dead? He resurrects all of nature every spring.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    David Marshall said..

    I see you're in the Seattle area. Do you have any suggestions for a good local debate opponent on the secularist side?
    =============
    Response:

    I need more details…

    What is the topic? Will it be on the resurrection of Jesus?

    What is the format? Will this be just one 2-3 hour public debate with one Christian speaker for the pro side and one Skeptic on the con side? or a series of debates?

    What is the aprox. time frame? Will the debate occur soon, like December? or next year, like Jan/Feb, or later?

    Do you have a venue in mind? Will it be at a church or college or somewhere else?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11075074084646770559 Keith Rozumalski

    I have critiqued your argument on my blog http://intellectualfeast.blogspot.com/2011/12/negating-negations-my-objections-to.html. The main thrust of my argument is that I think that you have vastly underestimated the extreme trauma of a Roman scourging, crucifixion and impalement. I think it would be almost impossible to survive all three events. Even if Jesus could have somehow survived then it would have been essentially impossible for him to escape his tomb in his condition.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10319931319583316309 JMaz

    Bradley,

    I know that this is the first of about 10 posts that you have written thus far about the resurrection of Jesus. However, I wanted to comment regarding a couple statements in this post. First, you said:

    Most of the debate on this issue is focused on claim (2), which is as it should be, since the evidence for claim (2) is rather weak. (#2 being the probability Jesus walked around on the first Easter Sunday)

    Then later you also said the evidence for the resurrection fails on two accounts:

    First, the evidence for (2) is rather weak, and second, if we suppose (2) to be true, then the evidence for (1) is too weak to be sufficient to establish a claim of a physically impossible event.

    There have been many comments on this post, but I’m not sure if anyone has actually shown you what the NT accounts were and a defense regarding the probability of these two events occurring.

    First, Jesus was publicly seen as crucified by those closest to him. His own mother watched him as he breathed his last, along with other followers of Jesus, some of whom were women. The Bible says in all four gospels that these women saw where Jesus was buried (Luke 23:55-24:1; John 19:41-20:1; Matthew 27:61; Mark 1546-16:2) and went to the tomb after the Sabbath (Saturday), early in the morning on Sunday. Not only had professional executioners of the Roman military (who were more familiar with death on almost a daily basis than, say, you or I may be) affirming Jesus’ death by piercing him in the side and letting blood and water flow out, but for women to be some of those who witnessed his death and resurrection would not have held up in a first century court.

    My point with this is that if the Gospel writers were trying to write something that wasn’t true and accurate so as to advance their own agenda or spread false teachings about Jesus, why would they mention by name women when their testimony would not have had much, if any, respect with those they were sharing the message with? But, if these accounts are accurate (only differing to the degree that most eye witness accounts today have some differences in the same story), then putting the names of these women down on paper makes much more sense to the whole account being true, wouldn’t you think?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10319931319583316309 JMaz

    Now, regarding the Jesus walking around on Easter Sunday (which I see takes up some of your later posts); the gospel accounts also attest to this with a testimony from some of these women who followed Jesus as well as his own disciples (continue reading past the verses mentioned above). One account of Jesus appearing to his disciples occurs in Luke 24. Here, Jesus walks with these men from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Luke says, “That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,” (Luke 24:13 ESV). Now, if Jesus had just been crucified on the Friday before this, then he would have had one nail driven through both of his feet on the cross (not to mention the two in his hands and wrists, as well as the severe beating that scourging produces). Even if you say that Jesus did not actually die on the cross, but merely swooned or passed out, to walk 7 miles after having a nail driven through both of your feet merely days prior would prove impossible, had a miraculous resurrection not truly occurred. I can barely walk through my apartment without sitting down if I have stubbed my tow on the corner of the couch.

    Now, you may question as to if Jesus’ own disciples (the 11, since Judas had hung himself, and the women who had followed him), were the only ones to have “seen” this, they could have made the whole thing up. But Paul writes later in 1 Corinthians 15:6 what he considers to be of “first importance” (the gospel message), and mentions to those in this church that Jesus had risen from the dead and appeared to “more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.” So at the time Paul wrote this letter, which most would say was in the mid 50’s AD (CE), 2 decades after the resurrection and ascension, there were still about 500 people who had seen Jesus at one time post-resurrection that you could go and ask about him. Mass hallucination on this scale is highly improbable and unlikely. Men or women on trial in the U.S. go to jail or are acquitted for far fewer than 500 eyewitnesses to their actions.

    The book of Acts records that Jesus “presented himself alive after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

    That is a brief overview of the NT accounts of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus that prove he walked on the first Easter Sunday, after having died on the Friday prior. Again, I hope this helps make clear what the accounts were, since neither you nor anyone else, as I had seen, had taken the time to actually lay them out so as to direct your arguments on the path they should be on. After all, to talk about the resurrection of Jesus, the NT documents are what everyone refers to as the record of these events. So if we want to put out a philosophical argument for or against the resurrection, I think we should examine the documents that make the claim of the resurrection before proceeding further.

    John M.

  • Joseph O Polanco

    What evidence is there in support of JNR3?

    • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

      Most scholars today conclude that Moses never existed. Nor did most of the OT stories, There’s no evidence for it, and history and archaeology conflict with the biblical account.

      • Joseph O Polanco

        Prove it.

        • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

          You’re telling me that I need evidence to disprove something that doesn’t even have any evidence backing it up? Gimme a freakin’ break! The burden of proof is on you.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            You’re equivocating then. But thanks for letting me know all your claims are just smoke and mirrors ..

          • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

            It is true that most scholars don’t believe Moses existed. You simply don’t have any evidence that he did exist other than blind faith in the OT account. Need I say more?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Prove it. Argumentum ex silentio fallacies don’t cut it.

          • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

            Prove there isn’t an invisible gay demon dick slapping you in the face right now with his 12 inch invisible cock.

            When something has no evidence backing it up, it doesn’t have to be disproved. If it can be asserted without evidence, it can be dismissed without evidence. You can’t borrow this phrase only when it suits you.

            Maybe this will work for you: http://tinyurl.com/mehe2la

  • jjmf

    Hebrew translation was , Jesus’ hands and feet were bound to the cross. Christian translation – hands and feet nailed to the cross. Hebrew for the mother of Jesus was a young woman. Christian translation – Virgin


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