Monday, April 01, 2002
Cal, my argument is essentially that since Jesus said he was the Son of God and resurrected, then he was either a fool, a liar, or actually was exactly what he claimed to be. If he was a fool, then he certainly couldn't have accomplished his miracles. If he was a liar, then he gained absolutely nothing for his lies except death, and didn't even bother to defend himself at his trials. The possibility of him surviving scourging, crucifixion, and burial and totally regaining his health within three days are just about zero. If he was a hallucination, then he was a very interesting one, in that he manifested himself in the same way to different people (even one of his most bitter enemies, who was persuaded to give up his wealth and power for a life of poverty, hardship, imprisonment, and ultimately martyrdom). You would think that someone like Paul, who had Roman citizenship, a high-quality Greek education, was a respected Pharisee who had studied under the famous rabbi Gamaliel, would've given it up if he'd been in it for the power or money, since he could easily have lived an easy life. Similarly, all the apostles had to do was keep quiet or recant, and they would've been able to live out their lives in peace. Yet none of them did this. Why? If the only accounts of the time say that the event was true, then skeptics need to provide something that can fill the "resurrection-shaped void" in the story.
Let me give heavy credit to Matthew for good use of HTML tags in his post. It was like a symphony for the eyes.