The New Testament’s Biggest Cover-up: Jesus Died Twice

The New Testament’s Biggest Cover-up: Jesus Died Twice August 30, 2018

Editor’s Note:  The truth about Jesus comes out, in secular Vacation Bible School, of course! /Linda LaScola, Editor

========================

By David Madison

Little did the author of the Book of Acts know that, in his very first chapter, he sabotaged the Christian faith. He describes Jesus, in front of his disciples, ascending to heaven (vv. 9-11):

“…as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

In chapter 7:56, we read about Stephen’s vision, right before he was stoned to death:

“Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

So Jesus was up there, standing right next to God.

Or not.

In common folklore, holy people, in order to get close to God, went up there—well, as close as they could get, to mountaintops. Moses is the most obvious example. It was the common belief in the ancient world that heaven was just a few miles overhead; some thinkers felt it could extend to the realm of the moon.                     But now we know, as the scholar A. N. Wilson quipped, anyone who ascends through the clouds, given enough speed, will pass into orbit. There is no place for Jesus to have arrived at, carried away by the cloud.

Thus we can be 100% sure that the body of Jesus never left planet Earth. Jesus stayed right where he was, on our plane of existence, grounded. Maybe Acts Chapter 1 was intended to be metaphorical, symbolic, true on a ‘spiritual level’? All of these have been suggested. Which is a way of confessing that the story is pious fiction.

But that still leaves the resurrected body of Jesus grounded. Which means—how awkward is this—that Jesus must have died again; the resurrection had an expiration date. Christians have the forced choice suggested by A. N. Wilson: Jesus is either still in orbit to this day (and many Christian suggest that he’s coming back), OR: he died again. Which the New Testament neglected to report (in other words, covered it up).

Theologians are good at making things up, with the apostle Paul being their patron saint. Paul assured his followers that, when they rose to meet Jesus in the sky upon his return, they would have spiritual bodies. Maybe Paul knew what he meant by that, but no one else does. Least of all the folks who celebrate the Empty Tomb on Easter morning.

“What spiritual body?” most would ask.

They like the idea that the real body of Jesus came to life again, and walked out of the tomb, and in John’s gospel, invited Thomas to poke his figure into the sword wound in his side.  That was a real body.

To make the resurrection so special, the finishing touch had to be the story about Jesus ascending to heaven. That never happened, of course. Thus a newly alive Jesus-body on Easter morning causes far more problems than it’s worth.

==================

David Madison, a Clergy Project member, was raised in a conservative Christian home in northern Indiana. He served as a pastor in the Methodist church during his work on two graduate degrees in theology. By the time he finished his PhD in Biblical Studies (Boston University) he had become an atheist, a story he shares in the Prologue of his book, published in 2016: 10 Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief: a Minister-Turned-Atheist Shows Why You Should Ditch the Faith.

>>>>>Photo Credits: wikimedia commons. Jesus ascending into heaven ; by Andrea Reese

"Interesting point, making me wonder if there is any sarcasm attributed to God in the ..."

Is There Sarcasm in the New ..."
"You see children of nowadays I don't blame you guys esspecially those in America, Europe ..."

The New Testament’s Biggest Cover-up: Jesus ..."
"If not for this same Jesus Christ you wouldn't have said such a thing without ..."

The New Testament’s Biggest Cover-up: Jesus ..."
"May Christ Jesus save you. what you explained here shows that your mind is really ..."

The New Testament’s Biggest Cover-up: Jesus ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Kevin K

    Of course, 2000-year-old Zombie Jesus could be walking the earth. Surviving on brains. That’s why so many evangelicals seem to lack them.

    • Tawreos

      It is a little known fact that if you look into a mirror in a dark room before dawn on Easter morning and say Jesus Christ 3 times very loudly people will ask you what the hell is wrong with you.

    • The real Wandering Jew, then!

    • Keulan

      Meanwhile the atheists would be using their brains to make sure he doesn’t come back to life again.
      https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/077/932/zombiejesus.gif

  • Bob Jase

    “Look, up in the sky!”

    “Its’ a bird!”

    “Its’ a plane!”

    “Its’ not Jesus!”

  • LeekSoup

    I’m pretty sure he just died the once.

    But if someone believes (as I once did) that he got back up again after being deadened, then flying off to heaven doesn’t pose that many problems.

    • Kevin K

      I’m pretty sure he never died. Have to actually be “alive” in order to “die”.

      Checkmate, atheismist!

  • evodevo

    And that’s the problem – Jesus was probably buried somewhere in the field with the rest of the criminal condemned, and the place is lost to history. Well! We can’t have THAT, can we! His followers had an epiphany when they gathered at Pentecost, a supposed spiritual possession, and became convinced of his resurrection. So we have to make up a bunch of “sightings” – as if he were Elvis – to verify this, and they get written down decades after the fact (and long after Paul, because he had evidently never heard of them). It’s unknown what exactly Jesus’ brother James, who was elected leader afterwards, and the rest of the actual apostles believed, other than that a resurrection of some sort had occurred. Because almost nothing of the original “Christians” survives, we have no clue today. Paul, or Saul, eventually won the theology war, even though he evidently lost a lot of battles with the “saints in Jerusalem” during his lifetime. And we have him to thank for most of the theology at the basis of today’s Christian religion.

    • SO many problems with the story of the Empty Tomb, not the least of which is that Paul never mentioned it. He was sure there were ‘spiritual bodies’–so Jesus walking out of the tomb would have had little appeal. Even less would be have liked John’s story about Jesus asking Thomas to stick his finger in the wound in his side.

    • Jim Jones

      Of course gods are impossible, Jesus never existed, and the bible is contradictory and badly written fiction.

      Ordinary faith is expectation based on previous experience.

      Religious faith is just wishful thinking.

  • And the same goes with Mary, if the Catholic dogma is to be believed – is her body still floating among spacecrafts and space junk?

  • carolyntclark

    In keeping with the theme…amusing art piece on eBay “The Ascension..indecision, should I stay or should I go”
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Assemblage-ART-Found-Objects-Sculpture-Indecision-Ascension-of-Christ-Goodgame/332654025929?hash=item4d73b99cc9:g:BKwAAOSwHvpbJDJz

  • Mark Rutledge

    Once again: it’s not that those ancient writers were dumb and wrote literal stories that we’re now smart enough to take metaphorically and symbolically; no they knew they were writing stories, metaphors, and poetry and we’re dumb enough to try to take them literally. (John Crossan)

    • mason

      Though there were some parables used, overall I think the writers actually believed the supernatural tales, so I respectfully disagree with John. The writers weren’t dumb, just true believers, which of course can make a normally intelligent person rather irrational and dumb downed a tad. 🙂

  • Jim Jones

    The Harry Potter series is vastly better constructed and actually more believable.

    Same for the James Bond series.

  • Oladapo Favour

    1 Corinthians 1:18-31 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE

    • Nick G

      WRITING THINGS IN CAPITAL LETTERS DOES NOT MAKE THEM TRUE, OR CONVINCING.

      • kim bot

        If not for this same Jesus Christ you wouldn’t have said such a thing without serious consequence. He loves you

  • Well, he may have been beamed up to Heaven or he may have entered into a wormhole. And probably each time he has died he has transformed into something more powerful as Sephiroth.

    So many possibilities wasted.

  • Thomas Farrar

    Contemporary theologians don’t regard heaven as a place in the spatial universe, but as a transcendent realm, of a higher order than space (higher dimensions have been used at least as an illustrative analogy). So no one is claiming that Jesus is in orbit – this is a strawman.

    Jesus could have entered this transcendent realm by simply vanishing (as is common in science fiction movies that want to represent teleportation), so why then would he have physically, visibly ascended into the sky? Obviously for the benefit of his disciples who, in line with ancient cosmology, did believe heaven was spatially above earth. Had Jesus simply vanished, it would not have been at all clear to them that he had gone to heaven.

    Is this faith claim of Christianity paradoxical, requiring some explanation? Yes. But are we forced into a choice between Jesus having died twice or Jesus being in orbit somewhere? Of course not.

    • At least someone in these comments has some sense.

  • kim bot

    May Christ Jesus save you. what you explained here shows that your mind is really shallow. The Bible says he was taking up. So at some point the that are on the ground won’t be able to see him again and from there we won’t know what happened next. What we do know is that he was taking up with his body. How he got to heaven we do not know, perhaps through a worm hole perhaps not besides this mind and brain is too weak to understand that part. I hope you wrote this article just for views and not that you actually believe it if not it will be a pity.

  • kim bot

    You see children of nowadays I don’t blame you guys esspecially those in America, Europe and the rest. You guys grew up with science all around. If you don’t believe in the spiritual I challenge you come to Africa, Nigeria to be precise and enter any shrine (where the worship gods) let’s see if you survive