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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7 Comments

Filed under atheism, atheist, god, jesus, religion

7 responses to “Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

  1. Sam Hilton

    Hey oz. I haven’t heard his podcast either but you really need to do some more research. Firstly, your statement that there are only 2 non-biblical writings that refer to Jesus is pretty average historical research (granted you do acknowledge this).
    Secondly, your three more likely options are in fact extremely unlikely unless you approach the event with the presupposition that it is not true. It is highly unlikley the Romans would have mis-killed Jesus. they were pros. People feared some followers would steal the body, and that is why the guards were there.
    Thirdly, the gospels are reliable. They are written to close to the events and are far to counter productive to be legends.
    Fourthly, the reason Howard says if the resurrection is not true our faith is futile is because Paul does – to people who were able to speak to eyewitnesses. 1 Cor 15.

  2. Alien abduction… Jesus and his followers faked his death. A few days later while standing on a hill he was abducted my aliens. Remember the Ascension? Well, it was just extra terrestrials beaming him up.

    They did fun experiments on him and everything. They even genetically spliced his DNA with bovine DNA. After the E.T.s were done with Jesus they dropped he and his cow children of in India. That is why cows are holy there. 🙂

    It would be nice if Christians could see how silly they sound, but they really need to believe.

  3. How about the other alternative explanation? The entire story is a myth and no more believable than Perseus killing the Medusa.

  4. Sam

    Hey found those references…

    Non-Christian & non-Jewish references to Jesus:

    i. Julius Africanus, a third-century writer, refers in his work History of the World to
    a first-century Greek historian named Thallus, who, he says, discusses the
    darkness that occurred at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion (see Mark 15:33).

    ii. Shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, a pagan man named Mara Bar Serapion refers in a letter to his son, to the Jews’ executing their “wise king.” Most scholars regard this as a reference to Jesus, although it is far from clear.

    iii. Pliny the Younger, a Roman administrator stationed in Bithynia, wrote early in the second century AD that Christians met regularly and sang hymns to Christ “as if to a god” (Letters 10:96.7)

    iv. At a similar time, the Roman historian Tacitus mentions that “Christ… had
    undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator
    Pontius Pilate” (Annals 15:44).

    v. Around AD 120, Suetonius, another Roman historian, speaks of a riot between
    Christians and Jews that broke out in Rome because of someone named “Chrestus” (Life of Claudius 25.4). This is probably a confused reference to Christ as the founder of Christianity.

    vi. Lucian of Samatosa (AD 115-200), a well-known Greek satirist and speaker, refers to the founder of the Christian movement as, “the one whom they still worship today, the man in Palestine, who was crucified…” (Death of Peregrinus 11-13).

    vii. Around AD 175, another Greek intellectual known to us as Celsus says that Jesus’ mother had an affair with a Roman soldier, and that Jesus’ miracles were actually Egyptian magic.

    Copy and pasted from a mates article “Can we trust what the gospels say about Jesus?”

    There are more substantial references again in Josephus and other Jewish writings.

  5. Elshus Scott-williams

    Yeah I’m pretty sure fish do ride bicycles actually XD!

  6. Yes, he rose from the dead. However, if you ask me to prove it, this would be difficult if not impossible. Why? Salvation is by faith. If God allowed us to prove it, then no one could be saved. Then it would be common, undeniable truth even to the carnal mind.

  7. Rell burrell

    I think there an empty spot in your life that needs to be filled with JESUS
    And is the reason why u critics 2000 years later still try to justify the ressurection but cant he reighn on earth by performing miricals no one ever done he reighn over the dead wen he rose from it and he reighn in heaven on the right hand of god believe or dont believe but the latter dayz are hear read 2 timothy Jesus is real the devil is too and is the ruler of the world and uses ppl like that to try to justify jesus and take our minds off the truth before jesus return

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