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Barrister Andrew Zak Williams puts the Resurrection on trial.
Tags: Religion Christianity
I am just quoting the authors words (watch out for the quotation marks!), before making an argument that the belief in the resurrection is an important thing, to be taken seriously, not so much as a rational/irrational proposition, rather as one of faith (an arational proposition).
What evidence would prove the resurrection had taken place? Anyone can say they think it did? Texts will never prove it happend - its a question of faith.
No one forces a belief in Christ. But UK athiests require others to believe Christ did not exit and seek to impose their view.
"The religious hectoring among these comments is absurd but sadly predictable"
actually the two comments below by 'Speculation...' and 'simplistic straw man' are far from abusive and have some points that need answering so do not just dismiss them. To label this as "predictable" "hectoring" shows a desire to shut down debate.
"presents and analyses the main arguments that say that the resurrection really happened."
Well isn't the point that he presents the argument he wishes to demolish. It is a mis-representation of what would really happen in court. He also uses selective and speculative sources to attack the argument. To thus say his argument is "fair" would be absurd.
"not a single argument to contradict anything in the piece"
The contradiction you are seeking comes in the form of a demand for more detail and less selectivity. It is a suggestion that actually a few sentences dismissing speculation will not do - this is a much more complexed topic and the author has selected brevity as the magazine format demands. The citing of the book 'the Resurrection of the Son of God' shows that actually this aruement is more detailed than you like to pretend by reducing it to a comment forum. The fact you want a full contradiction in a forum would perhaps say something about the base level you and the author reduce this too. Why not read that book and come back with your contradictions?
The religious hectoring among these comments is absurd but sadly predictable.
A writer presents and analyses the main arguments that say that the resurrection really happened. When he concludes that they are not good arguments, how do the believers respond? In short, with abuse but not a single argument to contradict anything in the piece!
Personally I think it's a very fairly presented piece. And if you are looking at evidence, you can hardly complain if it comes down against one side or the other.
The real question is, does father christmass exist or not.
Yes, it's a wonderful sport to run down and slag off the Christian religion. But if you're so brave dear author of this trash, let me see you do the same thing on a Muslim holy day, let me see you show such blatent disrespect for Muslim traditions and beliefs. What's that? You're afraid of the inevitable fatwah against you? Thought so. You may not believe in God or Jesus and that is your choice, but there are many many Christians around the world that have a choice, a choice to believe what they want to believe and heartily sick of lofty authors like yourself trying to make anyone who does something different and cleaves to a religion of choice as somehow stupid and idiotic for believing in God or Christ. All your sickening arrogance is tied up in the word 'apologist'. Why can't you leave Christians alone?
I've had similar conversations with muslims. Don't be so ridiculous! The reason I have is that I live a life pretty much free from primitive superstition and mumbo jumbo. I find you people hard to understand and I pity you in your fear and self importance.
I don't see why having a different opinion is "slagging off". No one's stopping you from enjoying your Easter. The spectre of Muslim fatwa is often ( always?) raised on ocassions like this but in the western world Christianity has been the dominant religion so that's what gets talked about.
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Isn't the resurrection just about the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere? Y'know plants grow.We get to eat again. Probably from some celebration well before christianity.
Meaning: The Lord remembers
Next week maybe , a lecture on Talmud and Yahweh ??
Are they true historical facts??
Can you lease publish your article on the time of Yom Kippur and Hanukkah?
That would be great !
"theologian John Shook suggests that Peter and James invented the resurrection account"
And many other theologians don't think this. Therefore, I find someone claiming to represent what would happen in a court slightly odd when they use selective data that points towards a clear bias..
John Shook's point is speculative to say the least... Why combat speculation with speculation? Would this happen in court? Your arguments are just as biased and unfounded as the one's you claim to disprove by using them. I agree with the point above - stop hiding behind your title 'barrister'. If John Shook's point was put on trial what would happen?
I find it strange when someone claims to be a "sceptic" as you do. What you mean by that is that your conclusions are beyond scepticism and the true conclusions of rational logic.
You should change your chief editor, his views should not be present on a rather good, journalist ensemble.
Of all the time in the year, you chose the most holy time in the calendar, to supposedly voice your new found inner quest of true meaning of human spirituality.
You should understand that religion, does not try to measure God, is by no means historical fact, and only addresses the higher levels of of conscious beings.
If I ask you why 1 +1 =2 ?, would you be fit to provide the proof and reasoning of the mathematical forefathers, is abstract evolution, the building of a new language, a mere alphabet..
Religion can be the same, is a mere alphabet, if you can not speak it, please do not abuse it.
The likes of you try to groom generation of individuals, that can recite information fed to them with absolute no grasp of the true meaning.
I wander when you were at school, and the teacher taught the Vietnam war, did you just memorise the dates and names in hope that you will recite them in the exam and consequently be the recipient of high grades, success and future integration in the society?
Did you for a moment challenge, or ask the teacher why, not When? it happened???
If you did, could you please write an article about it??
Finally, to be honest, If you do not believe that a religious figure, performed the acts that traditions dictates, can you please state your direct opinions on the matter?
Do you have the stamina to attack Mohamed, or even Buddha in the same manner? And if you do, which I seriously doubt, please do it on their most holy time!
Also now that you got to know the life of a deity, you should tells about life after death and we should all believe in you!
At the end of the day, no harm feelings, yet... of all the times...
Just makes me sad..
Strange to raise the Viet Nam Farrago as an example of historiography as a comparison to the Jesus myth.
For for the Viet Nam Farrago there is much evidence in documents, audio/video recordings, personal accounts both official & unofficial and finally the official histories that have been produced by the participants.
With Jesus it starts with the myth of his birth. Then later with no real evidence either physical as in corporeal or physical as in proof of existence in other ways viz. no financial accounts of any nature, no artefacts, no carpentry or tools, no buildings and no self authored manuscripts.
No inscriptions anywhere, be they on plaques or stelae. Understandably no portraits of Jesus, by Jews . but none from any other source neither as sculpture, bas relief, painting, on coins/medallions, nor in any other form you might care to choose.
There occurs not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. For all documents came well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either mostly unknown authors, people who had never met the earthly Jesus, or from straight out fraudulent accounts.
Furthermore there are no contemporary Roman records that show Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. There is however a description by Philo of Alexandria of PP from that period as not a very nice bloke.
The Gospel of Matthew written some 60 years later with the account of the so called Passover release which did not occur & the PP handwashing episode is fabrication.
For the NT was compiled/redacted to fit early Church needs, c.180 CE Irenaeus basing choice of the 4 canonical gospels on Geography, Meteorology & Symmetry as much as Theology, in Against the Heresies, ...
It is not possible that the gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. For, since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four principal winds, while the church is scattered throughout all the world, and the pillar and ground of the church is the gospel and the spirit of life; it is fitting that she should have four pillars, breathing out immortality on every side, and vivifying men afresh...
NT is not eyewitness, historical evidenced writing but mostly conjecture, hearsay, very selective "truth", in fact often lies.
Early Fathers of the Church, Clement , Eusebius, Jerome, John Chrysostom all adept at justifying deceit/lies for the good of the poor sinner.
...For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind ...
...And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived...
Chrysostom, Treatise On The Priesthood, Book 1.
As for other religions there is a similar problem concerning the myths that they have engendered.
What kind of article is this? I am not a Christian but I did study history and theology and eventually law. It seems that you create the a simplistic straw man argument that you attribute to Christians and then - surprise surprise - attack the argument you created for your opponents and it fell to pieces.
As you know, in court, the defendant would have his/her own representation and a lot more detail would be provided. Can I therefore suggest N.T. Wright's 'The Resurrection of the Son of God'.. It is about 600 pages more detailed than this. IF you can go through each one of his arguments and knock them down then that would be more impressive than knocking down a few arguments that you yourself set up.
I suspect you will never accept this challenge despite the fact that, as you knowm this is just simplistic bull-shit. The whole article relies on you saying you are a barrister -
Man's best hope in this mysterious life! Love God & your brother & you'll do fine. The scientist's bit of truth is pretty lonely...
Does it really matter? If you accept the entire story in a literal sense it invalidates most of what we think we know and believe about reality. If you accept it as some sort of myth or symbol, then it becomes just another myth or symbol. People who want to believe in the literal resurrection seem to want to believe that the story of the resurrection proves there is a God who is all loving and forgiving, who can and will bring us all back from the dead, because they are really terrified of their own mortality. I can't really blame them for this but it really does clash with my need to be grounded in some sort of reality. But, is it really important to have an intellectual position on this? We might have an emotional position, a moral position although how can anybody critique a being who is boundless and described in scripture as beyond conception or description? How can we even pretend that we can conceive of the infinite? I just keep an open mind as much as I can and try to live the sort of life I think and feel that I should. Tibetan Buddhism does say that the peaceful deities com e from the heart and the wrathful deities come from the mind, and all of them are the same but one should concentrate on the heart. This may not solve the issue of the resurrection of Jesus, but it's good enough for me.
"Remember his family was said to have fled to the east to avoid the slaughter of the innocents by Herod."
That didn't happen.
"If Jesus was not resurrected, though, what really happened? " It is a philosophical "anti-real" question of history, we can not make a "real"certainty out of it.
It is not difficult to come up with a theory that a conspiracy to delude followers was made. But no convincing contemporary record exists that attests to such a theory, and martyrs did go to their deaths --in some cases when if they recanted they would have avoided their death-- furthermore if it is true it makes a theological narrative that makes an intuitive prophetic sense and gives meaning to the spiritual intuition of many, before and after the event. This sense is not the sense of the "physical possible", but the metaphysical need of the mythos being made a real part of the logos.
"The truth is that we will never know. This is a debate that will not die ... and if it does, it will probably come back to life." True... that's because the mythos in man's soul will always call on the logos of our minds - its a longing in our nature, a whole to be filled with an answer to a arational question, i.e., what is it all about?" Jesus's resurrection is the alpha and omega point that makes meaning of man's knowing parts whole.
What a load of tosh. If he was chocolate he would eat himself.
What is the New Statesman getting involved in this sort of rubbish for anyway? Christianity is one of the least believable of all religions (and I say this as a person who has spiritual beliefs). But you are never going to convince any committed Christian that it makes the slightest difference to them what you say.
Doesn't 'faith' mean 'I have NO evidence but I believe it'? I have no objection with that, just as long as the faithful do not try to force a way of life on the rest of us on the basis of their belief.
I have no objection with that, just as long as the faithful do not try to force a way of life on the rest of us on the basis of their belief.'
But they do. Just look at your calendar, or go to Tesco.
And you do not object.
Grrr, Tescos is open during the time I'm at church, but closes soon after. It's opening hours do not suit Christians!
Real church is not for Sundays, and pews. Real church is for anytime, anywhere. Accept nothing less.
Are you talking about Wodan's day and all the rest? If Tesco wasn't closed on Sunday for easter it would be closed for some other vacation.
"If you seek to find me, look in neither timber nor stone." Even today they will seek to crucify a man for preaching against the capitalist state of affairs.
I saw a documentary about ten years ago about a theory that Jesus was a Tibetan monk. If you distill down the message attributed to him in the bible (Do unto others, etc.), what he was preaching was essentially Buddhism. Remember his family was said to have fled to the east to avoid the slaughter of the innocents by Herod, so it is entirely plausible that they came under Buddhist influence wherever they ended up. The resurrection could simply signify the reincarnation of his soul, while the ascention into heaven could simply be the fact that his body went to a monastery in the Himalayas. The monks' coffins would feature carvings depicting how they died. Interestingly, there is a monk's coffin in that part of the world featuring depictions of the injuries Christ was attributed as having suffered on the cross.
I can see many potential flaws in Williams' argument, and so it is just as bad as the apologetic Christians he seems to be attacking.
Why reference a trial in a modern day court, what is the crime that may or may not have been committed?
The only insight into what you think might have happened, is that it is a hoax? If it is a hoax, what is the motivation behind such a hoax?
You seem not to deny that Jesus lived at that time and was crucified. Who do you think Jesus is/was? What do you make of the statements he made before death? Do you doubt that he *could* raise from the dead, do you doubt that he brought others back to life?
I recall a preacher telling me many years back that the Resurrection was a historical fact right up there with the existence of Julius Caesar. But you'll believe that only if you limit your investigations to a superficial level.
Itll be interesting to see the tirade of religiously-fuelled abuse this piece will attract.