Philosophy and Psychology
Submitted By bj19
Essay Set 2 Prompt
PHIL 240 B01
Professor: Harold Walker
Describe the minimal approach to the resurrection question. Be sure in your answer to provide a general description and outline of this approach when applied to the resurrection of Christ. Do you agree or disagree with this approach According to out text the minimal approach considers only those data that are so strongly attested historically that they are granted by nearly every scholar who studies the subject, even the rather skeptical ones. This augment does not argue anything but the resurrection. It does not argue for the inerrancy of the word or the reliability of the Word or the one who wrote it. The author states, Minimal facts approach considers only two data that meet two criteria 1. The data are strongly evidenced. 2. The data are granted by virtually all scholars on the subject, even the skeptical ones The minimal fact approach to the resurrection question is. Jesus died by crucifixion It was reported in all four gospels that Jesus was executed by crucifixion. Even some none-Christian sources report the event as well such as historians as Josephus, Taticutus, Lucian, Talmud all agreed to Jesus death by crucifixion is a historical fact support by considerable evidence. Tacitus referred to it as “the extreme penalty”. Josephus writes when Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of highest standing among us, had him condemned to death. Talmud reports that on the eve of Passover Yeshu was hanged. Lucian poked fun at the followers of Christ calling them “poor wretches” who revealed their gullibility. The above accounts refute any claim that Jesus was not crucified. Eyewitnesses: Jesus mother and the woman. The centurion solider, the disciples and other that was there that day the solider that beat him. The accounts of the historians such as Josephus, Talmud, and Tacitus, Lucian could also attest to the eye witness of Jesus crucifixion. Jesus disciples believe that he rose and appeared to them 1. The disciples themselves claimed that the risen Jesus and appeared to them. The evidence is simply the disciples all of them stated he appeared to them. There is the oral testimonies and creeds the written works such as 1 Corinthians 15:3 to the early church. 2. Subsequent to Jesus death by crucifixion ,his disciples were radically transformed from fearful, cowering individuals who denied and abandoned him at his arrest and execution into bold proclaimers of the gospel of the risen Lord. They remained steadfast in the face of imprisonment, torture and martyrdom. Unlike Watergate not one of them changed their story under great duress. They sincerely believed that Jesus rose from the dead. There is almost unanimous by scholars to this belief on the part of the disciples. The church persecutor Saul was suddenly changed. Prior to Paul’s conversion he was a devout Jew with no intention of becoming a Christian he was a persecutor of the Christians but while he was on his way to arrest more Christian he had a letter to bring them bound and in chains to prison it was at this point he had an encounter with the risen Jesus. Paul’s conversion was on primary evidence not secondary evidence he did not believe based on what other believing saints told him about Jesus. Paul like the other disciples was willing to suffer for the gospel even to the death. The fact that he believed he saw the resurrected Savior cannot be disputed. There is also testimony of secular historians that agree to the fact of Pauls’ conversion. Due to the early writing of Paul it has been accept as historically reliable. James, the skeptic and brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed. In James we do not have the profile of someone who had a delusional experience that resulted in him becoming a Christian. James as like Paul a devout Jew under the law is not willing to follow a false Messiah. He was Jesus brother but he had no faith in him. James was a skeptic, his converting to Christianity was based on what he perceived was a personal appearance by the risen Savior. James also suffered death for his faith. Paul in Corinthians 15:7-8 then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles and last of all he appeared to me also. The Empty Tomb. Gary Habermas discovered that roughly 75 percent of scholars on the subject accepted the empty tomb as a historical fact. There are three factors for the empty tomb. First the Jerusalem Factor: in the arid climate of Jerusalem, a corpse’s hair, stature, and distinctive wounds would have been identifiable, even after fifty days, Second, regardless of the condition of the body the enemies of Jesus would still have found benefits in producing the corpse. Enemy attestation: a testimony given by a source that hates the person. It benefits the causes and is reason to believe the testimony is true. The testimony of the women: the woman was of low esteemed and their testimony was regarded as questionable. I have no problem accepting the minimal approach to the resurrection. It is not so much what I have read in the text, but what I have read in scripture there is an empty tomb because our Lord lives he is not dead. My eternal life hinges on what that empty tomb represent. I agree with Habermas either Jesus rose from the dead confirming his claims to divinity or he was a fraud. I dare say Jesus was no false teacher or false Prophet. The resurrection is the key to the gospel. Both biblical evidence and eyewitness account along with the eternal witness Christ is raised. If Jesus did not rise I have no hope. My sin would still be separating me from God. My faith in Christ would be a vain thing. I would be afraid to die and had not found a cause for living. Why is it important to deal with the question of “legend” as it pertains to the resurrection? What is the relationship between the early dating of New Testament documents and the dispelling of accusations that the resurrection story developed as a legend? Why is it so important that resurrection testimony be dated back to the years immediately following the crucifixion of Christ? Why is the recognition of “creeds” so important in establishing an argument refuting the “legendary development” objection to resurrection? It is important to deal with the question of “legend” as it pertains to the resurrection because these theories are designed to purposely change the event of what actually happen. Upon close examination these legends are not found to be very creditable there is three legend theory mentions in our text the first of these is embellishment theory stating Jesus disciples never claimed that he raised from the dead. Second a non-historical literary style seem reasonable at first but is cannot account for the empty tomb. Third myths in other religions .the opposing theories fails to account for all the evidence place Jesus resurrection in a different category (85-86). The text implies the fact of Paul and James conversions by experience and testimony Jesus had risen from the dead refutes the claims of the three opposing legends. A fable would not have convinced Paul or James that Jesus had raised. What is the relationship between the early dating of the New Testament documents and the dispelling of accusations that the resurrection story developed as a legend? It is important to destroy the lies of legends so the church does not have to deal with the fallacy that the Christian religion is built on embellishments. The bible was composed during the first century. The New Testament was written within 30 to 40 years of Christ death. There were many eye witnesses who were still alive to hush those who were trying to embellish the Christian belief. It is important to establish the testimonies as close to the time of crucifixion as possible in doing so it is possible to prove the resurrection was not at a later date. Therefore Creeds and oral traditions were a popular means to pass along important information in a format friendly to memorization were implemented and they had to have out dated the New Testament documents in order for the New Testament writers to use them. The Gospel of Mark can be dated 60AD this would be about 30 years after the crucifixion of Christ. It appears Paul wrote 1Corinthian 15:3-5 with in the first five years of Jesus crucifixion this would have been about the time Paul became a Christian and hears this in the form of a creed or oral testimony. The above verse of scripture states that Jesus died and was resurrected and seen by many witnesses .This could only mean Paul got it directly from the disciple. We can rest assure that we have in the New Testament today is the same teaching it were when the apostles were alive. Our foundation is built upon Jesus Christ and the apostles. Our Lord took twelve men and turned the world upside down. After all these year no embellishment has been found in the scriptures which the faith of God’s people rest upon. Can one “prove” that Jesus was raised from the dead? Why are why not? Can evidence from the case for the resurrection be used to further any other apologetic inquires or arguments? If so which ones? The author of out text Habermas state when it comes to history we can only speak of probability, not 100 percent certainty. Christians are not to be discouraged, because in historical terms Jesus resurrection cannot be established with absolute certainty. The author went on to say virtually nothing can be established with 100 percent certainty. When it comes to any event that occurred in antiquity, the historian attempts to decide the matter with some degree of historical certainty. He has no videotapes or photographs available to him (30). According to the text Christians should be delighted to find that evidence for Jesus resurrection is extremely compelling, even when using only a small collection of strongly attested historical facts to support the events. The resurrection is also an excellent starting point for confirming the trustworthiness of the Bible. The disciples devoted themselves to spreading the teaching of Jesus Christ. They were willing to suffer and die for a reality of such importance. These writings can only be found in the New Testament (30). From the textual reading Jesus resurrection is the spotlight of major Christian doctrine and practice. Belief in it is a requirement for salvation. Though it we are assured of God’s love for us and our inheritance in heaven and the truthfulness of our Christianity. This is the foundation for and argument for the trustworthiness of the New Testament (29).
GaryR.Habermas,Michael R. Licona. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publication, 2004.
J. ED Kmomoszewski,M.James Sawyer ,Daniel B Wallace. Reinventing Jesus. Grand Rapids MI: Kregel Publication, 2006.