Jesus’ Resurrection: Fact #4

Paul, a devout believer in Judaism, who persecuted believers in Jesus, tells of how he had an experience with the risen Jesus, which probably caused his radical belief in Jesus as God. In his letters to Corinth (1 Corinthians 15-9-10), Galatia (Galatians 1:13-24) and Philippi (Philippians 3:6), Paul tells of how he used to persecute believers in Jesus and how firm his faith in Judaism was, yet he went on to become a believer in the same Jesus that He used to persecute people over. Describing Jesus appearance to him, Paul said “and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born” (1 Corinthians 15:8).

Paul’s belief that he had an experience with the resurrected Jesus is crucial in the historicity of Jesus, as Paul was an enemy of Jesus and His disciples. A case can be made that Jesus’ disciples wanted to believe in Jesus’ resurrection because of the embarrassment and curse the death of Jesus brought to them. Think about it, Jesus’ disciples had left their employments and family so they can follow Jesus everywhere because they believed He will conquer His enemies and rule with them just as it’s prophesied by their prophets, and all of a sudden He was crucified and cursed by God. The only thing that would have saved the disciples from shame was the miraculous resurrection of Jesus, and it can’t be put past them that they could have invented the story that Jesus was resurrected and appeared to them. It can be safely concluded that the disciples were biased, and had hoped for the resurrection of Jesus for their own selfish reasons, but there’s no suggestion whatsoever that Paul had hoped for the resurrection of Jesus.

Paul was happy that Jesus was crucified, and he had intended to crucify as many of Jesus’ followers as possible. We are told by Luke in his Book of Acts how Paul was approving the stoning of a Jesus’ follower called Stephen, and how he went on a man-hunt to persecute and arrest Jesus’ follower. So we have no suggestion whatsoever that Paul would have hoped to see Jesus resurrected. As such Paul’s account of the risen Jesus is the most important piece in this puzzle as he was a foe of Jesus, and he couldn’t have invented this story as he had nothing to gain from it. Bart D Ehrman said “There is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus’ real but glorified body raised from the dead”.

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2 Comments »

  1. Paul Douglas said

    There is no evidence outside of the Bible that any of this “Paul Story” is true. No corroboration from independent, outside sources; nothing, nada, zilch. Who cares what someone who obviously wanted to promote this new religious sect claims Paul said? Its ridiculous to think this is a “fact”. It is totally hearsay “evidence”. Why don’t you apply the same rigorous standards of proof to Christianity that you would to Islam or to Mormonism? If one of their followers came up and tried to prove Mohammed was a prophet from God, or Joseph Smith had a revelation from the angel Moroni who gave him golden tablets to translate (that mysteriously then disappeared), you rightly would be very skeptical of their “evidence”, which is only found in their holy books. Why are you not skeptical of the outlandish claims of your own holy book?
    There is no, genuine outside corroboration of any of the Jesus claims in the bible. None.

  2. When a super skeptic like Bart Ehrman agrees with the Paul story, and when no New Testament Historian or any historian for that matter disputes the issue then we don’t have to go digging for extra sources. We have Paul’s testimony in his own words that he himself wrote. You are the only one who disputes Paul’s testimony, so perhaps you should provide a basis for your disagreement and evidence that would prove that what we say about Paul is not true.

    And why is Luke and Paul himself not good sources?

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