Monday, February 18, 2008

What can we be sure of - Jesus or NT Wright?

Matthew 28:17 says ’some doubted’, even after allegedly seeing the resurrected Jesus, and allegedly seeing all the proofs the resurrected Jesus supposedly gave.

NT Wright has no doubts about the resurrection and is living proof that if people really had seen a resurrected Jesus, they would not have had those doubts.

We just have to look at modern Christians like NT Wright, and know that these stories of doubting disciples must be false.

Wright writes ‘Equally, Matthew, like the others, describes a Jesus who comes and goes, appears and disappears, and is doubted at the very end by some of his close and obedient associates….’ (page 646, of the Resurrection of the Son of God)

What was there to doubt, when the risen Jesus had gone out of his way to prove his resurrection?

How can these stories possible be true, if some of his closest and most obedient associates doubted , even after Jesus did everything possible to convince them?

Would Christians burst out laughing if they read stories of the closest associates of Joseph Smith doubting that he had been given scripture to translate into English?

Would they think the whole story was rubbish, if not even the closest and most obedient associates of Joseph Smith were convinced by the alleged 'proofs' that Joseph Smith allegedly gave?

Why then has Wright no doubt , when even some of the closest and obedient followers of Jesus did not find the proofs given by Jesus convincing?

Why doesn’t Wright share the doubts of Jesus closest and most obedient associates?

Wright assures us that Matthew did not mean to imply that there were any splits or disunity. How Wright knows that is beyond me, but if you want to fill a 700-page book , you need an awful lot of speculation to fill up the pages.

Wright announces ‘We can be sure however that this strange comment would not have occured to anyone telling this story as pure fiction….’ (page 643)

Suffice it to say that Wright gives no sources, or methodology, or any way of testing his claim that we can be ’sure’ that it is not ‘pure’ fiction. (If not pure fiction, is it not at least partly fiction?)

How can we be sure? Wright never gives any arguments for his certainty, or any proofs of his ability to think himself into the mind of an anonymous person of 2,000 years ago and know for sure what would have occurred to that anonymous person and what would not have occurred to him.

It is remarkable that Wright thinks it is possible to doubt proofs supplied by the Son of God himself, but we are not allowed to doubt the words of a Bishop of Durham. The pronouncements of the Bishop of Durham can be taken as sureties, while the proofs that Jesus gave were not enough to dispell doubt.

But Wright's certainty is a proof that the stories are false of disciples who see the risen Jesus and then doubt.


Blogger MG said...


I just found your blog and it looks interesting; I look forward to reading it in the future.

Your post is quite thought-provoking. Though I like Wright, he is going overboard if he actually thinks that there is proof of the resurrection (though I don't recall him ever saying that).

I hope you don't mind if I ask your opinion on something:

What implications do you think there would be if we applied the principle of embarrassment to the troubling statement in Matthew? What would that indicate to you about the credibility of Matthew?

1:06 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Thank you for your kind words.

I think the anonymous author of Matthew found the behaviour of the disciples embarrasing so he tried to spin the idea that they had been doubters all along.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

What seems to be the most likely meaning behind "But some doubted"? Evidently, it was something too embarrassing for the writer of Matthew to spell out.

So I find it to be that some doubted that Jesus had died, as Paul later insisted. Instead, a clinical death, or near-death, followed by full recovery, seems called for, provided medical assistance was supplied inside the tomb during the three days and nights.

With this scenario, clauses within the gospels suggesting that he could appear and disappear at will, or pass through a closed door, were necessary editorial additions to a true underlying source document.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Antonio Jerez said...

although as far as I can see we appear to be in he same sceptic camp, I think you are actually on the wrong track on this topic. If we want to deal with folks like Wright and his sympathizers we have to be at least as knowledgable, if not more, in exegetical matters as they. And here I think you fail. Sometimes CONTEXT means all. I don´t think Mathew wanted to imply in 28:17 that those present were doubting that Jesus was indeed resurrected. Take a look at what the disciples are actually doing in 28:17. They fell down ON THEIR KNEES (prosekyne in greek" and WORSHIPPED Jesus. The thing some disciples seem to be doubting is if it is appropiate to WORSHIP Jesus as a divine being. We know that this was a hot topic in early christianity and this is what the author seem to be getting at here. Yes, it is appropiate to worship Jesus as a divine being

1:25 PM  

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