Daily Archives: 23 March 2010

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

Do fish ride bicycles?

Well I’ve never seen a fish on a bicycle so all the fish must have gone to heaven.

Or so the crazy logic of Jeremy Howard goes. An article in Transworld News cites Jeremy Howard as saying during a recent “Inside LifeWay” podcast:

“One thing everyone agrees on is that Jesus’ tomb was empty on the Sunday morning after His crucifixion,” said Howard, arguing that the best explanation is that Jesus in fact rose from the dead.

The best explanation? Really?

For a start the story of Jesus is still debatable. There is very little to no evidence for Jesus actually existing in the first place. Non-biblical mentions of Jesus amount to (as far as I’ve been able to determine in my limited research) two accounts, one of which, even by some biblical scholars, is considered a fake. The one possibly reliable non-biblical source does not indicate in any way that Jesus was anything more than just another one of the many “prophets” wandering around at the time. There is no non-biblical evidence for Jesus being crucified, being entombed, rising from the dead and ascending to heaven as some of the New Testament gospels would try and have us believe. Even the gospels can not agree on what actually occurred during these events.

So Howard’s first premise “One thing everyone agrees on is that Jesus’ tomb was empty on the Sunday morning after His crucifixion,” is incorrect. Not everyone agrees on this, in part because not everyone agrees that Jesus even existed.

But Howard’s conclusion is just mind bogglingly ridiculous and totally illogical. Let’s for one moment accept that Jesus did exist, that he was crucified and then entombed. There are several explanations as to why the tomb was empty.

  1. Jesus wasn’t actually dead when he was entombed. Supporters knowing this came and assisted Jesus from the tomb and then aided his departure to some other country.
  2. Jesus was dead but his followers wanted him buried elsewhere so removed his body from the tomb.
  3. Jesus was dead but, for whatever nefarious reasons, someone unrelated removed him from the tomb and hid/buried the body somewhere else. (perhaps the greatest practical joke of all time)

The above are just three ideas I came up with off the top of my head, all are pure conjecture, but all are far more likely than a person spontaneously rising from the dead, rather zombie like in my opinion, as Howard contends.

In the article it even mentions the possibility someone came and took the body, but Howard still says:

the evidence for Christ’s resurrection is solid.

I haven’t listened to the podcast and perhaps Howard comes up with some very good explanation for his logic, but I seriously doubt there is solid evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. There isn’t even any solid evidence for his existence.

The final paragraph sheds light on why Jeremy Howard has come to this illogical conclusion.

“The resurrection matters,” said Howard. “If Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity is untrue, …”

Which is the crux of the matter, Howard is so frightened of the idea that his whole belief system may be built on a lie that he is prepared to come to any conclusion, despite it being wrong or illogical, as long as it supports his view of Christianity.

So Jeremy Howard perhaps, just perhaps, Christianity is untrue. What do you think readers?

Hat Tip to BibleAlsoSays for highlighting the article on twitter. Delusional was the word @BibleAlsoSays used about Jeremy Howard.

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Respect my Right to Believe

From twitter

though i do not an believe in atheism i will respect the rights of those who do. But in return i expect you to respect my right to believe

I respect all believers (religions of all varieties) rights to believe whatever they wish.

What I don’t respect is what those believers do in the name of their beliefs, especially if it impacts negatively on the rest of the population that doesn’t happen to believe in their particular brand of belief. What I don’t respect is believers trying to force their beliefs on others, particularly when those beliefs are not backed by any evidence whatsoever. I don’t respect believers who indoctrinate their children into their beliefs. I don’t respect believers who prevent condom use, prevent abortions or euthanasia purely on religious grounds not any logical or scientific grounds. I don’t respect beliefs that encourage people to harm others purely because they don’t have the same beliefs. I don’t respect beliefs that subjugate women or children and that discourage scientific investigation and research. I certainly don’t respect that governments hand out billions of tax dollars to religions purely because they promote religion. Just because it’s “religion” should not automatically mean it gets respect.

As Richard Dawkins said recently about Muslims [paraphrased] “… it’s because I fear you, don’t ever think it’s because I respect you”.

In other words, I respect your right to believe but don’t expect that I’ll respect you simply because you believe in some form of religion and/or god(s).

How can you not believe in atheism? It’s like saying you don’t believe in non-stamp collecting. You don’t have to like the idea that there are millions, if not billions, of people on this planet who are atheists, but you can’t not believe that such an idea exists. Whilst ever there is a principle called theism there will be a principle called atheism.

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