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You are here: Issues Issues Volume 11 Number 6 Did He Or Didn't He?Jewish Views of the Resurrection of Jesus

Did He Or Didn't He?Jewish Views of the Resurrection of Jesus

Jewish scholars have paid more attention to the person of Y'shua (Jesus) in the last hundred years than they have in the previous nineteen hundred. None deny his Jewishness. After all, Jesus was born to a Jewish mother, lived in Israel and taught a group of Jewish disciples. He also celebrated Jewish holidays. Modern Jewish theologian and rabbi, Pinchas Lapide, notes:

The love of Jesus and the academic interest in him and his impact were implanted in me by Jewish teachers like Joseph Klausner, for whom Jesus was the most Jewish of all Jews," Martin Buber, who perceived him as "his great brother," and Leo Baeck, the last luminary of the German school of rabbis, who in the year 1938 at the time of the Nazi Kristallnacht managed to write of him: "We see before us a man who according to all the signs of his personality discloses the Jewish character, in whom the purity and worth of Judaism is so specially and so clearly revealed.1

The main areas of debate and speculation among Jewish scholars about Jesus concern his words. Which did he actually say and which, if any, were added later by other writers who wanted to put forth their own versions of his message?

Did Jesus live? No dispute. Did he die? Absolutely. Yet one issue which is rarely examined by Jewish scholars is the historical event upon which his message stands or falls: his resurrection from the dead. It is the belief in this event which his first century followers took to heart and boldly proclaimed to the rest of the world. It is the central claim of the New Testament. One of his followers, Paul, put it this way:

If we hoped in Messiah in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.

1 Corinthians 15: 19-20

[Students discussing the resurrection]

Until recently, most Orthodox Jews could reject the resurrection of Y'shua, on the basis that they do not accept the idea of a Messiah who dies and is then resurrected. However, in the summer of 1996 a curious situation developed in the Orthodox community. The Lubavitch Chasidim were hailing their rebbe, the late Menachem Mendel Schneerson, as King Messiah. He had died two years earlier, yet they were expecting him to rise from his grave. Other Orthodox Jews found this notion to be an embarrassment. Then, the membership of the of the Rabbinical Council of America (1,000 Orthodox rabbis) passed a resolution stating,

There is not and has never been a place in Judaism for the belief that Mashiach ben David will bring his Messianic mission only to experience death, burial and resurrection before completing it.2

In response to this, noted Orthodox rabbi, Ahron Soloveitchik (Yeshiva University dean and head of Brisk Yeshiva in Chicago) offered his own comments. While he stated that he did not believe Menachem Schneerson to be the Messiah, he said that the idea of a Messiah who dies and is later resurrected "cannot be dismissed as a belief that is outside the pale of orthodoxy."3

This quote fueled the controversy even more, as Lubavitch rabbis were quick to embrace his words and non-Lubavitch rabbis were just as quick to explain how Soloveitchik's words were taken out of context.

Today, as some Lubavitch still fervently believe in Schneerson's return, the debate over the concept of a dead and resurrected Messiah continues.

In light of the renewed interest in the Jewish community concerning the death and resurrection of Messiah, it is time for another look at the resurrection claims of Y'shua. This kind of inquiry may be too threatening to many Jews. For the Lubavitchers who now believe in the death and resurrection of Messiah, considering Jesus' claims would cast doubt on their own convictions regarding Menachem Schneerson. Despite this open debate among the Orthodox concerning resurrection, Y'shua remains a non-candidate for the position of Messiah.

For most non-Orthodox Jews, however, there is a variety of other reasons to reject the resurrection of Y'shua. The Jewish atheist, for example, will categorically deny the supernatural. Along with the parting of the Red Sea, the provision of manna in the wilderness, and the sun standing still, resurrection is not a possibility.

The Jewish agnostic believes that since we can't know one way or the other, the issue is irrelevant to pursue. "How can we judge," the agnostic postures, "nearly two thousand years later, the veracity of supposed 'eye-witness accounts.'"

Others are more pragmatic and espouse that since they have never seen anyone rise from the dead, it is simply not logical to believe in such a thing.

Finally, there is a cultural response from the Jewish community which often makes the issue a moot point long before it is ever taken seriously. Namely, "We Jews don't believe that Jesus rose from the dead because Jesus is not for us Jews to consider--period."

But whether or not the rabbis or the secularists or agnostics give us permission to believe, that does not make it true or false. The resurrection of Y'shua, as with any historical event, must be explored and examined on the weight of the evidence. It is not logical to say that it is okay for Gentiles to believe in the resurrection but it is not acceptable for Jews to believe. Either it happened or it didn't. As Maimonides once declared,

A truth, once it is established by proof, neither gains additional force from its acceptance by all scholars, nor loses any force if all reject it...4

So, exactly what evidence is there to support the claim that Y'shua rose from the dead?

[Statue of 'The Thinker']

Evidence from the New Testament

Some people will automatically question the documents of the New Testament when attempting to uncover the "historical Jesus." The assumption is that these writers were biased, attempting to interject their own agenda rather than recording what actually happened. But this attitude often stems more from our modern age of cynicism than from any familiarity with the New Testament itself. It is amazing that so many people who have little direct knowledge of the New Testament have dogmatic ideas about its contradictions or its historical inaccuracy. A familiarity with the New Testament should be the starting point of any discussion about Y'shua, if only to know what is the traditional view.

The first four books of the New Testament are called the gospels, the biographies of the life of Y'shua. Each one gives the account from the writer's own vantage point and all four mention the resurrection. When Y'shua was on the cross, his followers were defeated and faithless as they did not understand the necessity for his death. After the resurrection, Y'shua physically appeared to them and from then on, we see changed behavior in their lives. No longer were they cowardly and bumbling, but rather they were transformed into bold proclaimers of the message of the resurrection.

Following the gospel accounts is the book of Acts, which records the history of the first generation of Jewish followers who began to take this message around the world. Their message focused on the empty tomb. The remainder of the books in the New Testament (with one exception) consist of instructional letters, in which the resurrection is mentioned repeatedly as the basis for this faith.

History, it is said, is written by the winners. But at the time of the writing of the New Testament, the followers of Y'shua were a small, persecuted minority. They were hardly the group in power, able to say whatever they pleased. And as for their agenda, they felt compelled to promote the belief that Y'shua rose from the dead. Why else would the New Testament contain such embarrassingly truthful events of the fear, faithlessness and sin of the very community which was promoting this message?

The best way to recognize that the New Testament is actually an historical document is to read it. It is hard to come up with any other conclusion. One of the most famous Jews of this century did just that and discovered something quite remarkable. In a 1929 interview in the Saturday Evening Post, Albert Einstein was asked if he believed in the historical Jesus and he replied:

Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.5

 

The same documents which tell us that Y'shua lived also mention that he died and rose again. While no serious scholar doubts that Y'shua walked among us, skeptics (both Jewish and gentile) frequently attempt to extract the real history from these documents and throw away what they believe to be myth. Each year a new set of scholars steps up to the plate in an attempt to knock down the traditional life of Y'shua. These new positions are then readily embraced by those who are looking for reasons not to believe. Yet, by the following year a whole new school of thought emerges, taking exception with the previous year's scholarship and going off in a new direction. The Jesus Seminar is one popular example of this phenomenon.

We are left with the question: Were these first century Jewish believers in Jesus the most brilliant deceivers in history, able to interweave truth and fiction in a way that has not been reproduced or uncovered by centuries of challengers, or were they simply sharing the historical events as they happened when they described the resurrection of Y'shua? Until a compelling and lasting alternative is produced, the New Testament must be taken seriously when discussing the resurrection of Y'shua.

Evidence from Counter-Theories

What are some of the alternative explanations to these historical events? And what degree of faith does it take to believe these counter-theories?

1. Stolen by the Disciples

One popular theory about the resurrection, which is even mentioned in the New Testament itself as a charge by Jesus' detractors, is that the disciples stole the body. This provides a convenient excuse not to pursue the issue further, but it ignores the facts.

Fact one: Had the body been stolen by his followers, all that would be needed to disprove the disciples' claim would be to produce the body. No body has ever been produced.

Fact two: There were Roman guards at the site of the tomb. How, then could any of Jesus' followers have stolen his body?

Fact three: There was a giant stone covering the tomb, which would have taken several people to move. The guards could not have overlooked such an operation.

Fact four: Historically, we know that the early followers of Y'shua were persecuted for their belief. They were offered two options: renounce their belief in the resurrection or die. It seems unlikely that, were the disciples to have stolen the body, they would have all been ready to die rather than confess their deeds. It is true that people die everyday for beliefs which are not true. But these are lies which they fully believe to be true. How often do people die for what they know to be a fabrication?

Fact five: Whatever else can be said about the original followers of Y'shua, they themselves certainly believed that Y'shua rose from the dead. They did not steal the body.

2. Swoon Theory

This position states that Y'shua went to the cross and that his hands and feet were pierced, but that he did not actually die. Rather, he merely fainted. Then, after being placed in a damp tomb-bleeding and without food or water for three days-- Y'shua was revived and was healed. He then somehow rolled away the stone, got past the guards and went on to tell others that he had indeed risen from the dead.

One offshoot of this theory came from the late Hugh Schoenfeld in his best selling book, The Passover Plot. Schoenfeld believed that it was Y'shua's plan to pretend to be the Messiah and that he attempted to fake his death by being given a drug (which would have made him swoon, giving the appearance of death). This plan was thwarted when a Roman soldier struck a spear into his side, which caused his death. The body was then hidden and when Y'shua's followers saw "an unknown young man," they mistook him for their risen Messiah.

Schoenfeld gave no reason as to why he accepted much of the New Testament as true and why he regarded some portions as suspect. Perhaps he would have been better off denying that Y'shua ever existed. At least then he would not have been promoting a theory which takes more of a leap of faith than the New Testament account itself. But he knew, as all skeptics do, that the New Testament cannot be dismissed lightly. It is a cohesive, coherent and convincing book.

3. One of Many Resurrections

While Hugh Schoenfeld accepted most of the New Testament as reliable history, only to take a detour around the resurrection, another modern Jewish scholar presents an equally interesting hypothesis. Pinchas Lapide is an orthodox Jewish scholar who has a very unorthodox view of the resurrection of Y'shua. He went so far as to declare,

I accept the resurrection of Easter Sunday not as an invention of the community of disciples, but as an historical event.6

Lapide examined the New Testament and concluded that the recorded events are too rooted in history for there to be any major revisions or deceptions involved in the writing. He believes that Y'shua physically rose from the dead. Amazingly, Lapide falls short of recognizing the implications of this truth for his own life. In his book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Lapide regards Y'shua as a type of role model for gentiles to prepare them for the coming of the Jewish Messiah. To reach this viewpoint, Lapide had to reject the very same documents which were the basis for his belief in Y'shua's resurrection in the first place. Indeed, the New Testament mentions on virtually every page the fact that Y'shua is the promised Messiah, the one whose coming was foretold by Moses and the Jewish prophets. There is no consistency or logic in Lapide's argument.

[Two people discussing the resurrection]

Evidence from Changed Lives

One response to all these "theories" is to say, "Who's to say what is true? It's all a matter of speculation." After all, one can reason, even in this century we are presented with mysteries to which we probably won't get answers--What ever happened to Amelia Earhardt? Who killed Kennedy? Was there a conspiracy in the death of Martin Luther King?

To some people, the controversy over these events is proof that we cannot possibly know for sure what happened concerning an incident which occurred almost two millennia ago.

However, the evidence for the resurrection of Y'shua goes far beyond the discussion of source documents and historical records. In fact, evidence is still being presented today as individuals are experiencing the changed life which is the result of that resurrection.

Y'shua was not a mere victim of a mob. Nor was his death an accident. It was the very purpose of his mission. He gave up his life as an atonement for sin. His words mean nothing apart from this final action. The "good news" is that the Messiah willingly stood in our place and, by dying, took the penalty which rightfully belongs to each one of us. But he didn't stay dead. By rising from the grave he defeated the power of sin and death and enables individuals to have a new relationship with God. And it is this power-- the power of the resurrection--which is available to anyone who believes. This power has been changing lives (of both Jews and gentiles) since the first century.

One Jewish man who knew of this life-changing experience was Alfred Edersheim, the British scholar and author of the last century. His book, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, was originally published in the 1880's and is still considered one of the most authoritative sources on the subject. His Jewish view of Y'shua pre-dated the more recent wave of Jewish scholars who have been increasingly curious about the New Testament. To conclude his chapter on the resurrection he writes,

The importance of all this can not be adequately expressed in words. A dead Christ might have been a Teacher and Wonder-worker, and remembered and loved as such. But only a risen and Living Christ could be the Saviour, the Life, and the Life-Giver--and as such preached to all men. And of this most blessed truth we have the fullest and most unquestionable evidence. 7

There is only one reason why a Jew should believe in Y'shua. It is the same reason why a gentile should believe. It has nothing to do with convenience or social standing. Nor does it have anything to do with Y'shua's good moral teachings. The only reason anyone should be for Y'shua is because of who he is and what he has done:

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Messiah Y'shua came into the world to save sinners.

1 Timothy 1:15

The claims of Y'shua stand alone, even when compared with the sayings of other religious leaders. And to punctuate his claims there is an historical event which stands as a challenge. The New Testament does not present the resurrection of Y'shua as merely part of a creed that must be followed by insiders. It is presented to all people as an historical fact, and there are only two possible responses to it. Either it happened or it didn't.

What do you think? Will your conclusion be determined by the reflex of tradition? Will you dismiss the issue because of twentieth century pre-suppositions? Or will you choose to explore an ancient tomb--where all too few have dared to look.

Endnotes

  1. Rahner, Karl and Lapide, Pinchas, Encountering Jesus-Encountering Judaism-A Dialogue (New York: Crossroad Publishing Co. 1987), p. 104
  2. Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, June 21, 1996 (from article: "1,000 Orthodox rabbis reject claim rebbe was Messiah" by Debra Nussbaum Cohen, Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
  3. Jewish Week-American Examiner, July 5, 1996 (from article: "Messiah Debate Swirls Anew" by Eric Greenberg)
  4. Ausubel, Nathan, The Book of Jewish Knowledge, (New York, Crown Publishers, 1964), p. 485
  5. Saturday Evening Post, October 26, 1929
  6. Lapide, Pinchas, The Resurrection of Jesus, (Minneapolis, Augsburg Publishing House, 1983), p. 15
  7. Edersheim, Alfred, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971), p. 629

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0 # humblik 2014-05-31 12:59
I believe in the resurrection of Jesus. I'm curious about this verse, though. Are there any accounting records from the time period that could indicate that the payoff happened?

Matthew 28:12 NET
"After they had assembled with the elders and formed a plan, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,"
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0 # PleaseAnswer 2014-04-19 19:38
Hi, please can you answer these questions, my faith is shaken. If you believe in the bible not to lie, deceive or hide the truth then please answer this post not delete it:

According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (1) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.

The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10 and Isaiah 11:1). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father—and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David! (2)
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0 # Rich Robinson 2014-04-21 22:22
Why accept the authority of "Jewish sources" (rabbinics, Talmud etc.)? Yes, Jewish tradition says the Messiah will only be human but the Tanakh shows otherwise.
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0 # jesusisalive 2014-05-04 01:49
you just answered your question. Joseph, the step father was from David's descended. It says all in the bible. His powers were not supernatural qualities, they were all done by faith. Just like the prophets on the old testaments. If it was supernatural he would have just gotten off the cross or stop from people beating him or not liking him. In the old testament Isaiah and others talk about him. The Son of Man.
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0 # Bob Brown 2014-03-17 20:52
People need to remember, thousands of people lived in and around Jesus and saw his deeds whether just eating, walking, and drinking or miracles and heard his words. If the writers of the Gospels were making things up then the thousands of witnesses to Jesus' life would know the Gospels to be false. And if they knew the Gospels to be false then they would have said so, and some would have written rebuttals to the Gospels. No such rebuttals have been found. One must conclude that the words of the Gospels were accepted by people who had SEEN the events as written. Pretty powerful stuff if you think about it.
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0 # Gemmel 2013-06-25 05:03
If Jesus is Lord of your life, what will that look like for you?
Perhaps the easiest way to find out is to ask those for who it is true. The witness of Christian experience today is as strong as what it was for Jesus disciples 2000 years ago.
Praise God that Christians are not brainwashed. They can only come to God, as God draws them. We can know the truth of Christ through acceptance of the Bible as the infallible Holy Scriptures. How does the old testament measure up for Jews?
The New testament is no different in terms of accuracy.
From an unknown author
"I am glad that my knowledge of Eternal life is not built on the speculations of philosophers or even theologians but on the unimpeachable testimony of those who heard, saw, gazed at and handled Him in whom it was incarnate."

How can all people know today?
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved"
Romans 10:13.
See also Hebrews 11:6
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+1 # AK 2013-12-13 18:19
A men. I am one of those who was an agnostic and Jesus transformed me and continues to shape me every day.
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0 # Katrice 2013-05-15 11:20
Marco-I read Matthew 27, the entire chapter. When the Jews asked for Jesus tomb to have guards, you are claiming that, this could have been a perfect time for someone to steal Jesus body. But, Later I'm the chaper verse 66, says the chief priests went and made sure the tomb was secure while the guards watched. They would have known if a body was missing. You can only logically conclude that they looked in the tomb to make sure the body was there since the reason they asked for guards was to make sure the disciples did not steal the body. We also know from the text, in Matthew chapter 28:2 that an angel came and moved the boulder and sat upon it and verse 4 says the guards witnessed this and became frightened. It was not until after the angel spoke to both Mary's that the guards left to tell the priests what happened (verse 11).
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+1 # Jesse 2012-11-09 23:59
Several people on hear said something like "even if Jesus was resurrected it does not prove that He is the Messiah". Wrong. Jesus was asked point-blank by the chief priest if He is the Messiah, and Jesus claimed that He is. By God the Father raising Him from the dead, rapturing Him into heaven 40 days later and seating Him at His Right Hand in the sight of many, means that the Father affirmed Jesus' testimony of His divinity (Romans 1:4). This includes any claims to be the Messiah.

The skeptics on here need to read "The Case For Christ" by Lee Strobel and "The Resurrection Factor" by Josh McDowell. Both men are former skeptics who, in trying to disprove Christianity, ended up proving it and got saved thereof.
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-2 # Marco 2012-11-14 22:31
Only one gospel mentions the soldiers guarding the tomb (Matt.27:62).It says there that the leaders of the Jewish people came to Pilate on the day AFTER the Preparation Day,asking for a guard.So there is at least one night that the tomb was UNguarded...ample time for some of his followers,not necessarily his disciples but some other followers of his, to nab the body and take it somewhere else.What is also odd (and an obvious fabrication) is that the Jewish leaders would go to a Gentile's house on Pesach (the day after the Preparation Day).Regarding the alleged resurrection of jesus...check out Matt.27:50-53.Accord ing to this passage MANY people arose from the dead when jesus died.They actually went into Jerusalem appeared to all in the city AFTER the alleged resurrection.They must have given off a heck of a stench!! Can we really and honestly believe this ?
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+1 # Carlos 2013-01-17 21:21
Hello Marco, i read your message and i just want to say this...I've seen many miracles happen in front of my eyes, people deliberated from demons and healings in the name of Jesus Christ. These don't happen in the name of anyone else. if you don't believe me go check out a Hospital and you'll see how many people die hoping for a miracle. But whenever you are presented with the name of Jesus, something happens. I was as critical as you are; sometimes what God does...doesn't make any sense in our heads on why some stuff happens. But i could tell you that i've seen it with my own eyes. I've seen how God answers to prayers. There's one verse in the new testament that i hope you read: Matthew 13:58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

A lot of the times what you need is a little bit of faith and an open mind.
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0 # Vincent Flack 2012-09-09 23:19
There is reason to believe that Isaiah 53:8 originally read that "from the Rebellion of My People he was stricken TO DEATH. The captalized words were rubbed out of the Hebrew Bible at some time before Constantine but after Origen, an early Christian writer. Paul, however, speaks of the death of Jesus, his burial, and then again of his death at Romans 6:3-4--exactly as if he were reading the original version of Isaiah 53:8-9. That is why he writes to the Corinthians that Anointed died for our sins according to the Writings, and that he was buried. If he goes on to say that he rose again according to the Writings, you have only to read on past Isaiah 53:9 to the tenth verse to see why!
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+1 # Thordur Gudmundsson 2012-08-11 12:35
I am just wondering: The Bible says there were Roman guards. Why? Usually all men who were killed by the Romans by crucifixion were taken and thrown to mass graves or for wild beasts to eat. Why bother to watch out for one mans body? And even if they would have stolen the body? Then what? I think that wouldn´t have mattered much to the Romans who didn´t care much about jewish people in the first place.

Secondly. If there is a big stone there and hard to move. Why not let that be enough? As also having couple of souldiers standing there would have been an easy target for zealots.
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-1 # kabam! 2009-02-25 17:29
wArNeD aGaIn. sadooo oooooooosh!
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+1 # Ephrem Hagos 2008-10-18 06:13
The mystery and power the resurrection of Jesus (as source of self-sufficient life) is a globali-zation of the Mosaic incident of the self-sufficient fire in the burning but uncounsumed bush (Ex. 3: 1-15). The over- whelming evidence includes all the same-day pheno-mena reported in all the four Gospels and what can be powerfully experienced firsthand today as I have 34 years ago! This is what makes Jesus the Messiah, the Christ.
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+1 # Beulah 2008-03-26 15:07
What a great article! I especially appreciate all the quotes. This article will be saved for future reference for sure. :)
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+1 # Emmanuel 2008-03-18 12:28
Cara, it sounds like you were hurt by someone who said they believe in Jesus or by the Church you grew up in. What do you have against Jesus? Having read the Bible I would say the hope of salvation prophecized from days of old and fulfilled through Jesus is anything but hollow. The question is, are you willing to take part in the promises that God has to offer? If not, then they are hollow. The fullness of the Glory of God is only as full as you let it be. He gave us all this choice. Take Him at His Word and see what happens.
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+1 # Emmanuel 2008-03-18 12:27
Cara, it sounds like you were hurt by someone who said they believe in Jesus or by the Church you grew up in. What do you have against Jesus? Having read the Bible I would say the hope of salvation prophecized from days of old and fulfilled through Jesus is anything but hollow. The question is, are you willing to take part in the promises that God has to offer? If not, then they are hollow. The fullness of the Glory of God is only as full as you let it be. He gave us all this choice. Take Him at His Word and see what happens.
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+1 # Cara 2008-03-13 22:37
As interesting as this article is, it does absolutely nothing to prove the validity of Jesus' resurrection. Just because his followers were convinced he was the Messiah doesn't mean he was! How many have died because of their belief in Muhammad? So far, I've only come across very hollow and insubstantial explanations for the Jesus' identity. Oh, and I was raised a Christian. None of this is new to me.
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0 # Josh 2007-09-05 21:50
Since the ressurrection is of such importance, what do the accounts say? Who visited the tomb: 1 Mary (Joh), 2 Marys (Mat), or 2 Marys and Salome (Mar)? Who was in the tomb when they got there: no one (Luk), a young man (Mar), or an angel (Mat)? Which version is correct: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John?
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0 # Renee Christine 2006-12-05 15:01
Nice article. Actually awesome article.
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+1 # Mitchell Cohen 2006-10-31 15:23
Let us say that Jesus was resurrected. This does NOT make him Messiah, certainly NOT L-rd. Elijah the prophet also rose into the sky while still alive. Nor does performing miracles make one Messiah or L-rd. The sun stood still for Joshua, Daniel was thrown into fire and survived, Jonah was eaten by a whale and in a whale's stomach for 3 days and survived, etc. None of them were Messiah or L-rd, nor did any of them claim to be. Furthermore, the hebrew word "Moshiach" means "annointed one", NOT "Messiah". This is a mistranslation that has confused billions for the last 2,000 years.
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0 # PattyMichigan 2014-06-22 04:00
Quoting kabam!:
wArNeD aGaIn.



sadooooooooooosh!

Mitchell, in Greek, Christ means anointed one.
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0 # Josh 2006-07-04 12:36
Melissa, did you just admit there is no truth to all of this and everyone who follows Jesus is doing so by blind faith? Have you taken what Mordechai said, on "ALL the articles", into account? He doesn't seem to be "picking apart the truth", but he seems to be asking quality questions. Either you have an answer for him or you don't. I think you said it well when you said he will not be convinced. He seems stronger than you sound.
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+2 # melissa 2006-06-06 14:28
Mordechai - It's so obvious just by reading all the comments you're leaving on all the articles (and I do mean ALL the articles), what your game is. Any more trying to "convince" you, is a waste of time. You're not going to be convinced, you don't come here to be convinced. You come here to tare down scripture. You come here to pick the truth appart. You come here to cause confusion for those earnestly seeking. You have already willingly rejected Messiah, and you come here to try and lure people away to your brand of thinking. You have been given the opportunity to hear the gospel over and over again here, and you have rejected it. Your blood will be on your own hands.
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-2 # Mordechai 2006-06-03 23:22
Tanya: John clearly says that no one but Jesus went to heaven and Kings counters it. Further, Paul (I Cor. 15) thinks that Jesus was raised on the 3rd day in accordance with scripture, but if you look at Mat. 12:40, he says he'll be in the earth for 3 days and 3 nights. Compare with Mat. 28 where Mary checks the tomb after 3 days and 2 nights and Jesus is gone. Jesus was wrong and was not raised in accordance with scripture! Malvina: When the Torah was given, every Jew was present, so we know it happened. The Torah retells the events with Avraham, Moshe, and the like. Why would I question its authenticity? With Jesus, only one man says he reappeared to 500. Which 500? Does he give any specific information? Sounds shady.
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+2 # Malvina 2006-05-30 21:18
Mordechai, It is interesting that you demand demographics of the area where Jesus was burried/resurrected, but you don't demand the same for others in the Bible like Moses, Abraham and so forth. If you are an open minded person, then why are you close minded about Yeshua?!Picking and choosing parts of the Bible that suit your comfort zone is not going to help you find the Truth.
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0 # Theo 2014-01-14 15:50
Maybe because those others are not put forth as a GOD.
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+3 # Tanya 2006-05-09 18:37
I have a comment for Mordechai. In reference to your comment you stated about John 3:13 and 2 Kings 2:11. Eliajah did not die, but went directly into heaven. Jesus died, and was resurrected. There is a difference. I suggest you read 1 Corinthians 15: 1-58.
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-2 # Mordechai 2006-05-09 07:51
Oh, and by the way, if you knew history, you would know that Roman guards were killed for sleeping on the job (as in Matt. 28:11-14), so any amount of money wouldn't get them to admit doing so. I suspect this episode (all of 28) didn't actually happen.
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0 # Mordechai 2006-05-09 07:48
It's not human tendency but G-D's Law that testimony be taken, especially when it comes to events as important as this. When Paul said he appeared to 500 hundred people, he did not give any specifics. Was Paul there when Jesus showed himself to the 500? Did anyone step up and say he was there when Jesus reappeared? Why didn't Paul at least say where it was or any demographics of the area? I could make the same claim but it wouldn't mean it's true. Would you believe me if I said King David returned and showed himself to 1000 people? Of course not. For that to be verified, I would have to tell you where, when, and who saw it. Without that, it's just one man's fancy.
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0 # David 2012-12-15 06:37
All scripture is inspired by God and is good for teaching. If we are not to believe Paul saying that Jesus appeared to 500 then why should we believe what Moses said about creation and all the things that happened before he was born? We believe because God is the true author of the old and new testament.
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+4 # Malvina 2006-04-29 21:32
Mordechai, Jesus appeared to over 500 people. Our human tendency is wanting to hear other's testimony and see the results of it. There are miracles happen everyday and people still call them a "coincidence". And what happened to us Jews when we saw all the miracles mentioned in the Torah? We still disobeyed God!! And we were punished for it. If you know Roman history, then you would know that Roman soldiers were killed for disobeing orders. If the order was to burry Jesus' body then I assure you that there would have been some witnesses and none of the desciples would bother puting their lives on the line as they did. I recommend this site... www.leestrobel.com for an investigative common sense answers.
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0 # Mordechai 2006-02-11 23:37
Erin, if my friend returned from the dead and had an important message that all the Jews should hear, he wouldn't appear only to me; he would appear to every Jew. Who would believe me that he came from the dead with a message and only told a select few? G-D didn't want people to believe just because of a miracle? All the miracles at Mount Sinai and in Egypt fly in the face of your statement. With those miracle G-D proved HE exists, controls everything, and the Jews are HIS people who have HIS Torah. If anybody would be at least as keen on hiding the body as the apostles, it would be the guards who were constantly around the body, so they would take the body and pin it on the disciples.
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+1 # Mordechai 2006-02-11 23:24
Rachel, when dealing with NT events, one must see if it matches that which was written in the Torah. For example, if the NT says that no man has ever gone up to Heaven except Jesus (John 3:13), you have figure out how that works in accordance with II Kings 2:11 (Elijah went up to Heaven). Jesus is a Paschal offering? Was he offered on the afternoon of the 14th? Was he a first-year, unblemished male of the flock? Was his blood thrown on the Altar? How is he a Paschal offering? Moses was commanded by G-D to speak to the Jews and Pharoah about leaving Egypt and he didn't fear enemies. No emissary of G-D was killed while carrying out a mission, so who did these 500 have to fear?
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+1 # kris 2012-12-08 14:26
doesnt say Elijah went to heaven. There is another word used in the text.
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0 # Rich Robinson 2012-12-10 17:22
Actually it says he "went up" ha-shamayim, which is "to heaven."
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+2 # Erin 2006-02-07 23:32
And, more than anything else: If anyone had managed to get past the soldiers guarding Jesus' tomb, and stolen his body, that would only have been the apostles. If then they stole it and buried it somewhere secretly, would they go onto a life of teaching, harship, of travels, of arrests, of imprisonment, of gruesome deaths, knowing all along they were lying? Why woulf anyone do that? Would they write as they wrote, words brimming with confidence and certainty? It seems more likely they would have slipped into obscurity trying to continue their humble lives.
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+2 # Erin 2006-02-07 23:25
Is is possible that the apostles had any interest in the names and age group of the crowd? Wouln't rightly the apostles still be quite dumbstruck from all that had happened and was still happening? Wouln't you be, if your dearest person arose from the dead, appeared in front of you out of thin air, and you knew your life would change forever from then on? Also, more importantly, there was NO reason anymore for Jesus to convince anyone of anything. His ministry had finished. The mission had gone from his hands to the apostles' hands-they would do the preaching. And, another thing that I feel quite sure of-God and Jesus did not want people to believe just because of a gigantic miracle (Jesus had said 'bleesed are those who believe without having seen' to Thomas).
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+1 # Rachel 2006-02-07 23:24
If I may write a few thoughts on your questions Mordechai.... When I deal with NT events, I try my best to put myself in that age and time, not stay in the present watching a well-documented TV show. Sometimes, a movie like Jesus of Nazareth helps me "see" the lanscape and the people....I then think that a few days earlier Jesus had been arrested and crucified as the Passover lamb. His apostles had been prepared and destined by him to go all over the world and teach all people, not to get arrested themselves right after his resurrection. So whatever meeting with 500 people they had, was informal, and trying to stay out of the eyes of Jewish priests and enemies. Cont.
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-1 # Mordechai 2006-01-22 17:18
Cynthia: I wasn't telling anybody here to provide the witnesses. I was saying that Paul didn't say anything about the "witnesses" such as location, age group, whatever. In the case of Mount Sinai, every Jew was present, so all you'd have to do is find a Jew and ask if it happened. With your concert, all you'd have to do was find people with the same ticket stubs. If the concert was the basis of a religion, that's how you'd answer that question. If he returned, he would be a totally sprirtual being. Why would a spiritual being need a physical body? But the source in question here (Christian bible) doesn't have convincing evidence that he was not grave-robbed, or even that he was ressurrected.
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+2 # Cynthia 2006-01-19 17:07
Mordechai 4) "If he actually returned he wouldn't need his body"...please explain where this line of thinking comes from, as I am unfamiliar with it, and I would like to know how you "know" this. As far as grave robbing goes, there is much historical evidence to suggest that this did not happen. There is a whole chapter devoted to it in a book called "The Case for Christ". Of course, if you were to read it, you might still choose to believe the grave was robbed. Ultimately, since we cannot go back in time and experience what happened first hand, we can only draw conclusions. But if this idea that Jesus was ressurected is uncomfortable for you to accept, no amount of evidence will sway you. It is like being on a jury, I imagine, in that you have to look at the evidence presented, and then go beyond it and see what you see to be the truth.
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+2 # Cynthia 2006-01-19 17:06
Mordechai 3) I attended a Paul McCartney concert 2 years ago that was a pretty "big deal" to me as I'm a huge fan. I cannot give you the name of any other people who attended except for my friend Julie (who came with me), and another friend Jon and his girlfriend Wendy, who sat separately from us, but whom I saw through binoculars. By your reasoning regarding the witnesses, because I cannot give you the names of more than a few people who attended, I must be making up this story. I believe the reason Jesus case is so "alarming" is not because of the *historicity* of the writings, or the intergrity of the authors, etc, are necessarily faulty, but rather because the *implications* of what happened are so enormous, so hard to understand (I cannot get my mind around resurrection) and confront people in a very pivotal way, whether believer, a part of another faith tradition, or atheist/agnostic. Cont
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0 # Cynthia 2006-01-19 16:39
Mordechai: I sense an anger in you because you perhaps feel uncomfortable w/beliefs that are counter to what you hold dear. I struggled with similar feelings for many years, and it has only been in the past 2 weeks that I've been open to exploring the truth and am willing to let that exploration take me to wherever it leads--I don't have a predetermined criteria for what the truth must look like. The arguments you put forth seem to support conclusions that you already embrace. Same for the Christian viewpoint. Personally I believe that the only way to come to what truth is, is to divest all emotional connection to a specific outcome, and consider the arguments put forth. It is in that hope that I will offer a few comments to your points made above. (And I wish to be clear that I am far from a scholar so, if you choose to, you could certainly bring up subjects that would be beyond my current state of knowledge, to which I cannot reply with anything but pure conjecture.) (con t)
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0 # Mordechai 2006-01-16 16:21
1) You show me one person present at Mount Sinai who later doubted it ever happened. There is doubt when there is a lack of convincing and adequate evidence. 2) So God chose the first witness? Jesus couldn't? 3)Paul tells the Corinthians all that had happened, but notice in chapter 15 that he keeps the name count low and doesn't give an amazingly high number of people (he also mentions apostles twice). So we have 500 unnamed people, apostles twice, Peter, James, and Paul (no mention of the women. Odd). He also says some have died, so they can't verify the claim. Of course the people mentioned will vouch, but what of the 500? You would have to look for them, but they were not named! Accountability is avoided! 4) If he actually returned he wouldn't need his body, so "grave robbed" is still a good answer.
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+2 # Malvina 2006-01-13 20:42
"...Some doubted" can be interpreted as a statement that today we also have doubters, no matter how much evidence they have been presented. It was a woman, who saw the resurrected Jesus first. In a Jewish tradition woman's opinion wasn't important. Obviously it was important enough to God to make her the first witness, how untraditional. By the way, His grave wasn't robbed, because He appeared after His resurrection to over 500 people, 1 Corinthians 15:6.
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-2 # Mordechai 2005-12-26 03:18
If you ask me, an empty tomb only proves his grave was robbed. Who's to say the Roman guards didn't take the body?
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+1 # Annie 2013-05-12 22:07
Firstly, scripture says that a heavy rock sealed the grave. Secondly, when the guards woke up in the morning, they saw that the body was gone and an angel was there instead.
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0 # Mordechai 2005-12-25 01:39
This article states, "After the resurrection, Y'shua physically appeared to them...". But, as you'll see in Matthew, the text follows this passage with, "...but some (of his disciples) doubted". Are we supposed to follow those who did believe, or those who didn't? Further, if he really was resurrected, why didn't he show everybody that he was awake? I would think he would, especially if it's such a crucial element of Christianity.
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+1 # Annie 2013-05-12 22:04
To those who doubted, Y'shua showed his side and hands, which were pierced. No longer was there any doubt.
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