Argument Against the Resurrection of Jesus – Part 11

A key claim made by Christian apologists who defend the resurrection goes like this:

(JAW) Jesus of Nazareth was alive and walking around unassisted on the first Easter Sunday.

This claim is either true or it is not. In posts 7 through 10 of this series, I have been examining the implications of the supposition that (JAW) is not true. This supposition appears to represent five different logical possibilities, as illustrated in the following diagram.

JIM = Jesus is a myth.

JA = Jesus was alive on the first Easter Sunday (for at least part of the day).

JW = Jesus was walking around on the first Easter Sunday.

JB = Jesus was born before the first Easter Sunday.

JWA = Jesus was walking around with assistance on the first Easter Sunday.

JD = Jesus was dead on the first Easter Sunday (for the entire day).

The five logical possibilities are as follows:

1. (JAW) is not true, because Jesus is a myth (JIM).

2. (JAW) is not true, because although Jesus was alive on the first Easter Sunday (JA), Jesus was walking around with assistance on the first Easter Sunday (JWA).

3. (JAW) is not true, because although Jesus was alive on the first Easter Sunday (JA), Jesus did not walk around on the first Easter Sunday (Not JW).

4. (JAW) is not true, because Jesus was not alive on the first Easter Sunday (Not JA), because Jesus was dead (all day long) on the first Easter Sunday (JD).

5. (JAW) is not true, because Jesus was not alive on the first Easter Sunday (Not JA), because Jesus was not born prior to the first Easter Sunday (Not JB).

I have argued that each one of these five suppositions would tip the balance against the claim that Jesus rose from the dead. So, if one supposes that (JAW) is not true, then it would be more reasonable to reject the claim that Jesus rose from the dead than to accept this claim. Given that (JAW) is a key claim made by Christian defenders of the resurrection, it is only reasonable to expect that the rejection of (JAW) would logically lead to skepticism about the resurrection of Jesus. I have merely confirmed this reasonable expectation to be true.

The next phase of my dilemma might not be so favorable to skepticism. In the next few posts, I will suppose that (JAW) is true. Since this is a key claim made by defenders of the resurrection of Jesus, and a central point of contention between Christian apologists and skeptics, one might reasonably expect that supposing (JAW) to be true would logically lead to belief in the resurrection of Jesus. But I will do my best to argue that this reasonable expectation is false, and that in supposing this key claim to be true, one is still driven to the conclusion that it would be more reasonable to reject the claim that Jesus rose from the dead than to accept this claim.

INDEX of Argument Against the Resurrection of Jesus posts:

About Bradley Bowen
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00484306768513176532 Kraxpelax

    Myself basically a Catholic believer, I agree ressurrection probably a myth, most potent argument the rump ending of Mark Gospel, indicating a cut and paste. Rejection of an intellectually advanced, demythologized Christian faith is of course a non sequitur.

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

    Kraxpelax said…

    Rejection of an intellectually advanced, demythologized Christian faith is of course a non sequitur.

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

    If your version of Christianity rejects the belief that Jesus rose from the dead, then the rejection of the resurrection of Jesus will not directly impact your version of Christianity.

    However, what does your version of Christianity assert about Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus was God the Son, one of three persons in the Trinity? or does your version of Christianity also reject the Trinity?

    If you reject both the resurrection and the Trinity, then how do you distinguish between your version of Christianity and secular humanism and skepticism about the possibility of theological knowledge?

    Also, miracles have been a key part of Christian apologetics since the Gospels were composed back in the first century, so if you don't accept miracles, then what sort of reasons do you give to support the truth of your version of Christianity?

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

    Hi, Brad. A week ago, I posted reflections on to our discussion about what a miracle is. You may find this relevant, as you go forward:

    http://christthetao.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-is-miracle.html

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