Thursday, June 08, 2006

DId Jesus preach a resurrection?

John's Gospel has lots of stories of Jesus preaching a resurrection.

So does Matthew's Gospel.

And if you read the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke, you can also find in them passages where Jesus teaches about the general resurrection.

So why did people who converted to Jesus-worship in Thessalonican and Corinth deny the general resurrection and believe that the dead were lost?

Surely the would have worked on the principle 'Jesus said it. I believe it. That settles it.'

And why would Paul not rub their noses in their lack of faith in the words of their Lord and Saviour?

I would have. I'm more than happy to quote the Gospels whenever it suits me.

It is pretty obvious that there were no stories circulating of Jesus preaching abouit a general resurrection, or it would never have been a controversial issue.

And that pretty much wraps up the idea of the Gospels being reliable. If they are wrong about that....

1 Comments:

Blogger JD Walters said...

Steve,

I just found this hilarious post on your site. Clearly you have never really studied St Paul's letters. Let's all turn to 1 Corinthians 15, class. We read (verse 12): "Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?" Emphasis on the word SOME. SOME people denied the general resurrection. It happens. Some people don't believe in evolution. Now why on earth would they not believe it? Surely they would have worked on the principle 'The scientists said it. I believe it. That settles it.' Seriously, though, Paul's letters do not make clear why exactly there were SOME people who did not accept the resurrection. Paul DOES 'rub their noses' in their lack of faith. See the above verse, as well as verses 1-4:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

Paul says that unless they receive this gospel, which he preached to them, they have believed in vain. Paul is reminding them of what he also received: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And it is simply not true that the Thessalonians had lost faith in the resurrection. Paul begins his letter by praising the Thessalonians for their faith: "so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come."

One of the things he praises them for is that they "wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come". He continues to applaud this faith through his letter.

And how on earth would those early converts be in a position to say "Jesus said it. I believe it. That settles it"? The Gospels weren't even written by then, dummy! All the earliest converts got were catechisms and hymns from the apostles, like the famous one in Philipians:

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The earlist converts did not have the words of Jesus as they were later recorded in the gospels. But you find exactly the same teaching concerning the resurrection in Paul's letters as you find in the later gospels. And if they were in Paul before the gospels, that means they go back even earlier in the Christian tradition, which means that resurrection belief was already part of the earliest Christian beliefs. I hope you wrote this post when you were drunk or something, because it's an embarassingly bad appraisal of the textual evidence.

10:36 AM  

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