Rabbi to Jesus

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The Minimal Facts of the Resurrection

The following content belongs to Please Convince Me and Aaron Blake.
written by Aaron Brake

“The evidence for the resurrection is better than for claimed miracles in any other religion. It’s outstandingly different in quality and quantity.”
—Antony Flew—

INTRODUCTION

The truth of Christianity stands or falls on the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Paul himself said, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”[1] Here the Apostle provides an objective criterion by which to judge the legitimacy of the Christian worldview. Show that Christ has not been raised from the dead and you will have successfully proven Christianity false. Conversely, if Jesus didrise from the dead then His life and teachings are vindicated. The Christian faith, as it turns out, is falsifiable. It is the only religion which bases its faith on an empirically verifiable event.[2] Continue reading

Stabbing Luke

In a story about the USA census National Public Radio took a dagger to Luke, the Physician, and author of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament.   Why bother NPR?  It is a silly thing to do.   The unnamed commentator (that is all she is, not an expert) said that the census that Luke recorded likely did not happen at the time of the birth of Jesus.  “Likely”?  Why even both mentioning. It was irrelevant to the current USA census and the commentator was missing some data.

Except for the understanding of Doctor Luke, no one in the modern era can be certain that a census did or did not happen.  Here is the conclusion of Biblical Archaeology.

… Quirinius’s personal chronology is not fully known, particularly around the years of Jesus’ birth. Thus, it is not impossible that he held another office at the time which Luke appropriately describes with (h[gemoneuontoj thj Suriaj) hegmoneuontos tēs Surias, a description as we saw which could also appropriately describe the office from which he took his well-known census. In short, it is most likely under this otherwise unattested office that Quirinius officiated over what Luke describes. To say more would go beyond the present evidence; to say otherwise, would, as we saw, strain the syntax. As such, I. Howard Marshall is probably right when he suggests that Luke’s full vindication lies buried somewhere, waiting to be unearthed.51 Until then, Luke’s historiographical track record (well-documented in other places52) and the implausibility of such a monumental miscalculation, especially considering his method of and purpose for writing (cf. Luke 1:1–4),53 should forestall the rather premature conclusions noted initially. Moreover, for those of us with a high view of Scripture, the fact that Luke’s record is indeed part of Scripture suggests that these conclusions are not only premature but are, in the end, simply wrong. Further evidence will only demonstrate this more conclusively.

Time will tell.  Maybe in eternity we will know (if it is at all relevant then).

Related:

Biblical Archaeology article