Board index Resurrection of Christ

The resurrection of Christ is the fulcrum of everything we believe, and a turning point in history, no matter what you believe. If it's real, the implications are immense. If it didn't happen, the implications are immense. Let's talk.

Re: What is the evidence for the resurrection?

Postby jimwalton » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:23 am

> You're just asserting the same thing over and over while ignoring the refutations.

I haven't ignored them, I've countered them and explained how you are mistaken and not understanding the meaning of the texts.

> There you go reading in the ascension again.

It's legitimate to read in the ascension for several reasons.

1. Paul is aware as all of us are that his conversion was not until after the ascension. Therefore we know what he knows: Paul did not see Jesus before his ascension.

2. Paul knows about the ascension as a reality. Phil. 2.9-11 along with other texts speaks of Christ's exaltation to the right hand of the Father. If Jesus were still walking the earth (not having ascended) or if he has since died a natural death, writing like this is sheer nonsense.

> This is not reported until Luke/Acts!

As I have said, there are a number of reputable scholars who feel that Luke may have been written concurrent with Paul's letters because "there is no internal evidence that Luke was acquainted with Paul's writings," and the events of Acts don't mention significant events in the early 60s. And since Luke was a fellow-traveller with Paul, we don't have to wait for Luke's writings for he and Paul to be sharing information. Thirdly, there is no hard evidence for when Luke was written, so you can't build your case as if it's a settled fact. Therefore your case fails.

> You don't just get to read in something from a later source when the earliest sources

The problem with your case is that you can't determine with certainty when Luke was written, and your whole case is founded on a particular date of writing.

> Paul makes no distinction between pre and post ascension appearances

Yes he does. I've already established this, and yet you give no information to refute it. All you say is, basically, "No he didn't." That's not evidence or a case, but merely a refutation with information.

> nor does he indicate a time period where the Risen Jesus was on earth before ascending to heaven!

You're right, Paul does not. Luke does that, and Paul and Luke were traveling companions. Since we don't know when and with whom Luke was doing his research into the story of Jesus, you cannot take a firm stance on what information Luke (and therefore Paul) had at his disposal and when they had it.

> nor does he indicate a time period where the Risen Jesus was on earth before ascending to heaven!

Well, I guess that would up to a debate judge to assess, but I have met it quite well with little rebuttal from you. "Paul does not indicate any type of experience or 'seeing' other than visions and revelations." I have already established by linguistic and contextual evidence that he did (there's not much benefit in writing it yet a third time), and yet your rebuttal is "No he didn't." You have to do better than that to support your case.

> Paul says he had an "inner revelation" in Gal. 1:12-16

Yes, Paul did have such things, but in Galatians he's speaking of something different than what he is talking about in 1 Cor. 15.8. In Galatians he is speaking of his particular understanding of the gospel.

> Luke has Paul say he had a "heavenly vision" involving a bright light and a voice where no actually person was "seen."

There was a bright light. We are not told what Paul saw, so you can't assert "no actually person was seen." And we have already covered the "heavenly vision" of Acts 26.19. The Greek word is ὀπτασίᾳ, which means "Vision; a sighting; an appearance." Again, from this term we can't determine with certainty what Paul saw. We have to get that information from places other than this.

> Paul "sees" Jesus in a vision though so this obviously was not "normal human seeing." I've already shown, and you admitted, that the verb commonly meant spiritual or metaphorical "seeing."

Actually, I said something quite different. I said it can mean spiritual seeing, metaphorical seeing, or actual seeing—the context decides. Then I gave you multiple evidences that actual seeing is what Paul intended.

> You're assuming something more "physical" when it's just not there!

I gave you multiple evidences that it is there. I gave you linguistic and contextual analyses, as well as the corroborating comments from several NT scholars, including Tom Wright. I made my case quite soundly.

> So when Paul says Jesus "appeared" to the 500 or the Twelve he could just be talking about a mass shared spiritual experience like people have today in church who pray, sing, or speak in tongues together.

Paul could not have meant that, as I have already explained. In 1 Cor. 15.3-7 Paul uses a 3-fold sequence of hoti ophthe…epeita ophthe…epeita ohthe to indicate that the resurrection appearances being mentioned are qualitatively identical to each other—those of the disciples is the same as those of the 500. Since Thomas was invited to reach out and touch Jesus' wounds, and since Jesus was cooking on the beach, the evidence is in favor of a physical appearance and not a mass spiritual experience. There is actually no evidence that leads us to conclude it was a mass shared spiritual experience. In addition, the sermons of Peter after Pentecost are explicitly that of a physical, bodily resurrection (Acts 2.31-32; et al).

> Paul says there are different "types" of bodies in 1 Cor 15:40-44 and 2 Cor 5:1-4.

The only way to construe Paul as speaking of a non-bodily survival of death is to lift the paragraph out of its context. Egeiro and anastasis were words in regular use to denote something specifically distinguished from non-bodily survival, namely, a return to bodily life. There is no evidence to suggest that these words were capable of denoting a non-bodily state. There is no good evidence for belief in a nonphysical resurrection in Paul's writings. When Paul in this text speaks of a spiritual body, he is teaching about the transformation of corpses, not their abandonment. The refusal to admit a physical resurrection for some kind of spiritual equivalent is not possible from this text. Even Paul's continual reference to creation (with our new bodies being new creation) is a nod to physical bodies, particularly evident in 1 Cor. 15.45 (I notice you stopped your reference at v. 44). The central emphasis of the paragraph is on the transformation that will be required for those presently alive if they are to be part of the kingdom. People will not lose their bodies, but have them changed from their present state to the one required for God’s future.

> Paul never says or describes physical corpses being raised from graves.

Try 1 Cor. 15.51-54. "The dead will be raised." Tom Wright says, about v. 53: "These words have a different shading. Imperishable implies that no part can wear out or decay, immortal that the body cannot die. Paul probably intends the corruptible here to refer to those already dead, and the mortal to those still alive."

> 1. The appearances to Paul was a vision - check.
> 2. He uses the verb ὤφθη to describe this vision which had the connotation of purely spiritual encounters - check.
> 3. He gives no evidence of experiencing Christ in a way other than a "vision" or a "revelation" - check.
> 4. He talks about Jesus being exalted straight to heaven without mention of an intermediate period on earth which would rule out any chance for physical encounters - Rom. 8.34; 10.5-8; Eph. 1.19-23, 2.6-7, 4.7-10; Col. 3.1-4; Phil. 2.8-9 - check.

#1, uncheck. Vision (in Acts 26.19, the only place the word is used (It is not in Acts 9 or 22), as I have pointed out, can mean appearance and actual sight. Your case isn't strong enough to carry the day.
#2: uncheck. The meaning of ophthe is determined by the context. It's range of meaning is too broad to carry your case.
#3: uncheck. As per the 5 or 6 evidences I gave you, he repeatedly speaks of experiencing Christ by personal sight.
#4: uncheck.

Romans 8.34 makes no mention or implication of a straight exaltation without time on earth. It mere states important theological facts of death, resurrection, exaltation and intercession.

Romans 10.5-8. Whaaaat? There is nothing here that you claim as support to your point.

Eph. 1.19-23. The subject is the power of Christ and his rightful authority as sovereign. His walking on earth for 40 days has nothing to do with his point, so it's not pertinent. This text doesn't support your case because Paul is speaking here of theological sovereignty, not biological chronology.

Eph. 2.6-7 speaks of our resurrection and exaltation with Christ. It's pretty wild to claim this means Christ didn't walk on the earth after his resurrection.

These texts get nowhere near saying what you are attributing to them. You have not made your case. NONE of these texts confirm that Jesus never roamed the region after the resurrection and that all such claims of seeing Jesus were spiritual encounters. None of them.

> This as been decisively refuted.

We obviously disagree. You have found some commentators expressing a different opinion. That doesn't qualify as a "decisive refutation." Obviously we will never see eye to eye on this, since my contextual and linguistic analysis comes to a radically different conclusion than your sources.

> Where does he "admit to seeing Jesus in a different fashion than the disciples?" Where is this made explicitly clear?

Already explained. Read back through the thread.

> And exactly how were the Corinthians, being thousands of miles away, supposed to fact check people in and around Jerusalem?

Remembered that assembled in Jerusalem were people from all over the Roman Empire (Acts 2.5, 9-11). Some of the groups specified were from Turkey, Rome, and the lands in between. There's reason to believe these 500 were also from varied geographical regions, since that best fits Paul's case.

> General consensus about the Gospels.

Hmm. Since I showed a variety of interpretations and you showed a consensus on one, then it's obvious there are a variety and not a consensus. Consensus means a lack of variety, and therefore my case is the stronger one.

At this point, having been back and forth repeatedly to the point of repetition, and having presented my evidence, I'm wondering if continuing the conversation would just be an exercise in frustration rather than progressing in thought or coming to a meeting of the minds. I obviously think my evidence is far stronger than anything you've given, and you think the opposite. I am as convinced about the veracity and strength of my analysis as you are of yours. Perhaps we need to part as friends at this point. I'm just not seeing what future discussion will yield, but I'll defer to you on that one.
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Re: What is the evidence for the resurrection?

Postby gnostic » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:08 am

jimwalton wrote:I haven't ignored them, I've countered them and explained how you are mistaken and not understanding the meaning of the texts.


No, you're just repeating yourself. Try reading through the last couple of posts.

It's legitimate to read in the ascension for several reasons.


Paul shows no knowledge of pre/post ascension appearances or of Jesus physically floating to heaven while the disciples watched. That chronology of events isn't given until Luke/Acts which comes after Paul, Mark, and Matthew. It is not legitimate to read in a later doctrine and just assume it comes from the earliest beliefs when the earliest sources nowhere mention it.

1. Paul is aware as all of us are that his conversion was not until after the ascension. Therefore we know what he knows: Paul did not see Jesus before his ascension.


Chapter and verse where Paul mentions the 40 days of appearances on earth followed by a physical ascension that was witnessed by the disciples? Just show me where he says that please.

2. Paul knows about the ascension as a reality. Phil. 2.9-11 along with other texts speaks of Christ's exaltation to the right hand of the Father. If Jesus were still walking the earth (not having ascended) or if he has since died a natural death, writing like this is sheer nonsense.


Sorry, that's just a straight exaltation to heaven. He gives no reason to think the Risen Jesus walked around on earth before floating up to heaven as later Luke/Acts would have it.

"The important point is that, in the primitive preaching, resurrection and exaltation belong together as two sides of one coin and that it implies a geographical transfer from earth to heaven (hence it is possible to say that in the primitive kerygma resurrection is 'resurrection to heaven')." - Arie Zwiep, The Ascension of the Messiah in Lukan Christology, pg. 127

"the general conviction in the earliest Christian preaching is that, as of the day of his resurrection, Jesus was in heaven, seated at the right hand of God. Resurrection and exaltation were regarded as two sides of one coin…" - ibid, pg. 130 https://books.google.com/books?id=QIW7J ... &q&f=false

As I have said, there are a number of reputable scholars who feel that Luke may have been written concurrent with Paul's letters


Scholarly consensus disagrees and that still doesn't address the problem of Paul, Mark, and Matthew showing no knowledge of this noteworthy event.

because "there is no internal evidence that Luke was acquainted with Paul's writings,"


The Acts seminar found otherwise.

"The Acts Seminar Report (Acts and Christian Beginnings) maintains that, contrary to the view that has long been widely held among biblical scholars, the author of Acts (with the routine caveats we call him Luke) did know and use the letters of Paul." http://vridar.org/2013/11/24/pauls-lett ... ar-report/

and the events of Acts don't mention significant events in the early 60s.


Argument from silence. The gnostic gospels don't mention those things either. Should they be dated early too? There's no talk about the destruction of the temple in Acts because Acts ends before the war starts. There would be no reason to record something that doesn't happen within the time period of the story he is telling.

And since Luke was a fellow-traveller with Paul, we don't have to wait for Luke's writings for he and Paul to be sharing information.


Many scholars have raised doubts that the “we” passages in Acts reflect the personal experiences of an authorial eyewitness. For example, William Campbell argues in the in The “We” Passages in the Acts of the Apostles (pg. 13):

“Questions of whether the events described in the “we” sections of Acts are historical and whether Luke or his source/s witnessed them are unanswerable on the basis of the evidence currently available, as even the staunchest defenders of historicity and eyewitnessing acknowledge. More important, the fact that Acts provides no information and, indeed, by writing anonymously and constructing an anonymous observer, actually withholds information about a putative historical eyewitness, suggests that the first person plural in Acts has to do with narrative, not historical, eyewitnessing.” https://celsus.blog/2013/12/17/why-scho ... e-gospels/

Thirdly, there is no hard evidence for when Luke was written, so you can't build your case as if it's a settled fact. Therefore your case fails.


Luke alludes to the destruction of the temple in Luke 21 and we know that Luke copied Mark which dates to around 70 CE. Therefore, it follows that both Luke/Acts were written after 70 CE. Luke 19:43-44 and 21:24 alters the ambiguous reference to a desecration of the temple in Mark 13:14 to the explicit actions of the Roman siege. This seems to presuppose the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

The problem with your case is that you can't determine with certainty when Luke was written, and your whole case is founded on a particular date of writing.


I'm going with the scholarly consensus view. So for a historical debate, that's all I need to do.

Yes he does. I've already established this, and yet you give no information to refute it. All you say is, basically, "No he didn't." That's not evidence or a case, but merely a refutation with information.


Where does Paul make a distinction in the nature of appearances? He uses the same verb for each and nowhere indicates any difference! Paul saying he was "untimely born" does nothing to show the appearance was different.

You're right, Paul does not.


Boom!

Luke does that, and Paul and Luke were traveling companions.


This is actually disputed. Luke contradicts Paul's letters in numerous places.

"Paul's appearance chronology does not match Luke's (or any other Gospel). Acts has Paul going right to Jerusalem after his conversion, but Paul says he waited three years. Acts has Paul going to Jerusalem five times, Paul says he went three times. Paul says he had only been to Jerusalem once prior to appearing before the council, Acts says he had been there twice. Acts has Paul present at the stoning of Stephen, but Paul says his face was still unknown in Judea until after his conversion. Acts has Paul still observing Jewish law, sacrificing at the Temple and condoning circumcision for conversion, all of which contradict everything Paul says he stands for in his own letters. Paul says in Acts that the Pagans don't know there is only one God, in Romans, he says they;ve always known it." https://www.reddit.com/r/AcademicBiblic ... m-comments

Since we don't know when and with whom Luke was doing his research into the story of Jesus, you cannot take a firm stance on what information Luke (and therefore Paul) had at his disposal and when they had it.


We actually do know what sources Luke used. He used Mark, Q, and the Septuagint.

Well, I guess that would up to a debate judge to assess, but I have met it quite well with little rebuttal from you. "Paul does not indicate any type of experience or 'seeing' other than visions and revelations." I have already established by linguistic and contextual evidence that he did (there's not much benefit in writing it yet a third time), and yet your rebuttal is "No he didn't." You have to do better than that to support your case.


No, you tried to claim that the word only meant "physical eyesight" then I blew that out of the water by showing you the definition. It commonly means the "spiritual" or "metaphorical" type of seeing and he equates his SPIRITUAL VISION of Jesus to the other "appearances" with the same verb ὤφθη in 1 Cor 15:5-8. If Paul had wanted to convey actual "eyesight" then he could have used other Greek words such as θεάομαι/theaomai, βλέπω/blepó, θεωρέω/theóreó, etc. It's still a fact that Paul nowhere indicates the Risen Jesus being experienced in a way other than a vision or a revelation. Those are the only ways he says Jesus was experienced - Gal. 1:12-16, Rom. 16:25-26, 1 Cor 15:5-8, Eph. 3:3-5, Acts 26:19.

Yes, Paul did have such things, but in Galatians he's speaking of something different than what he is talking about in 1 Cor. 15.8. In Galatians he is speaking of his particular understanding of the gospel.


Nope. Most commentators take Gal. 1:12-16, 1 Cor 9:1, 1 Cor 15:8 to all be references to his Damascus Road vision. This even includes conservative evangelicals. Let me know when you find another source that says the appearance to Paul was not a vision.

There was a bright light. We are not told what Paul saw, so you can't assert "no actually person was seen."


Acts 9:7 says the others saw no one. Obviously, if a physical person was there then he would have been seen. The reason they don't is because this was a personal VISION to Paul.

And we have already covered the "heavenly vision" of Acts 26.19. The Greek word is ὀπτασίᾳ, which means "Vision; a sighting; an appearance." Again, from this term we can't determine with certainty what Paul saw. We have to get that information from places other than this.


You're being really dishonest. The appearance to Paul was a vision. That's what Acts says it was. There's no escaping this. By your criteria, even the Greek word that means "vision" doesn't actually mean "vision." This is ludicrous. Tell me, why do all the modern translations render the word as "vision" if it doesn't actually mean that? http://biblehub.com/acts/26-19.htm

Call it an "appearance" from heaven if you like. It's still not a physical encounter with a formerly dead corpse that had returned to life like the gospels depict. So if you accept that is what the appearance to Paul was like then you can't claim he thought the "appearances" to the others were more "physical." Since he uses the same verb for each then he could have meant that they experienced "visions/appearances" from heaven too.

Actually, I said something quite different. I said it can mean spiritual seeing, metaphorical seeing, or actual seeing—the context decides. Then I gave you multiple evidences that actual seeing is what Paul intended.


The evidence in the New Testament says the appearance to Paul was a vision. So is the New Testament wrong? This is also the standard Orthodox view. So I guess all the theologians for the past two millennia were just wrong too?

I gave you multiple evidences that it is there. I gave you linguistic and contextual analyses, as well as the corroborating comments from several NT scholars, including Tom Wright. I made my case quite soundly.


Lol! The linguistic and contextual analysis supports spiritual visions, not physical encounters. Once you run out of quotes from your favorite evangelicals you don't have anything left. huh?

Paul could not have meant that, as I have already explained. In 1 Cor. 15.3-7 Paul uses a 3-fold sequence of hoti ophthe…epeita ophthe…epeita ohthe to indicate that the resurrection appearances being mentioned are qualitatively identical to each other—those of the disciples is the same as those of the 500.


Again, Paul uses the same verb for each "appearance" in the list. The only distinction he's making is in timing. This, in no way, distinguishes the nature of appearances.

Since Thomas was invited to reach out and touch Jesus' wounds, and since Jesus was cooking on the beach, the evidence is in favor of a physical appearance and not a mass spiritual experience.


Uh, you don't get that until gJohn 90-110 CE.

There is actually no evidence that leads us to conclude it was a mass shared spiritual experience. In addition, the sermons of Peter after Pentecost are explicitly that of a physical, bodily resurrection (Acts 2.31-32; et al).


Without any evidence of anything "physical" in the earliest source you can't just confidently claim "therefore, they weren't spiritual." For all we know, they certainly could have been! Also, Luke wrote Peter's speeches so he was just putting those words in Peter's mouth and expressing his own view, not necessarily Peter's.

The only way to construe Paul as speaking of a non-bodily survival of death is to lift the paragraph out of its context. Egeiro and anastasis were words in regular use to denote something specifically distinguished from non-bodily survival, namely, a return to bodily life.


"In the kerygmatic formulas, the preferred expression is that Christ "was raised" (from the dead). The slightly narrative, reportorial nature of these expressions corresponds exactly to the way in which Christ's death or crucifixion was imagined. The function of the motif is the same as the affirmations of vindication in the martyrologies. To be raised means to have overcome, been vindicated, granted divine reward, status and destiny in spite of death......Because the notion was mythic, "raised from the dead" meant the same thing as "vindicated," "exalted," "ascended," "enthroned," and could be elaborated by calling upon other myths of cosmic destiny (Wisdom, Son of God) or cultic sovereignty and presence (Lord)." - Burton Mack, A Myth of Innocence: Mark and Christian Origins, pgs. 112-113. https://books.google.com/books?id=fNSbW ... &q&f=false

"Some scholars have argued that the empty tomb is implied by the information ‘he was buried’ (1 Cor. 15.4). For example, Craig comments that ‘in saying that Jesus died – was buried – was raised – appeared, one automatically implies that an empty grave has been left behind.’ This reflects Craig’s own beliefs rather than those of Paul and other Second Temple Jews, and his supporting arguments are extraordinarily weak. For example, he tries to use the literal meaning of Paul’s Greek word egēgertai (1 Cor. 15.4), which is usually translated into English with a past tense, ‘was raised’, and which is a perfect tense which effectively means that Jesus was raised – a single event ‘on the third day’ – and that he is still raised, so a present state, not a mere past event. Craig argues that, like the other major New Testament word for rising from the dead (anistanai), egeirein means ‘awaken’ from sleep....All this involves taking language very literally at a time when beliefs were not sufficiently fixed for us to do so. Like Jesus’ own Aramaic term qum, these words could be used analogically to the degree that any author found fruitful to describe an incomprehensible act of God. Craig’s arguments illustrate the extent to which he thinks logically only within his ideological convictions, and their function is to remove one of the most important pieces of evidence in the primary sources: neither the earliest kerygmatic formulation, nor Paul himself, mentions the empty tomb." - Maurice Casey, Jesus of Nazareth, pg. 458-459 https://books.google.com/books?id=lXK0a ... &q&f=false

Ephesians 5:14
for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
It's definitely not used to denote physical resurrection here!

According to our earliest Gospel of Mark, the disciples don't even know what "rising from the dead" could mean - Mark 9:9-10.

Also, in Mk 6:14-29 it is claimed that some were saying John the Baptist had been "raised from the dead" and even that Jesus was the risen John in Mk. 8:27-28. Does this mean John was physically resurrected? Were they looking for his empty tomb too? It seems to be used here as a form of metempsychosis or reincarnation.

The only thing Jesus ever says about resurrection is in Mk. 12:25 - "when the dead rise, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" which implies we will be some sort of genderless angelic entity in heaven.

There is no evidence to suggest that these words were capable of denoting a non-bodily state. There is no good evidence for belief in a nonphysical resurrection in Paul's writings.


Paul thought they were different "spiritual bodies" in heaven. These type of "bodies" wouldn't have been on earth or physically interacted with.

When Paul in this text speaks of a spiritual body, he is teaching about the transformation of corpses, not their abandonment. The refusal to admit a physical resurrection for some kind of spiritual equivalent is not possible from this text.


It's debatable if Paul was talking about an "exchange" of bodies or of a literal transformation after death but you must realize he also talks about the people alive at the Parousia - 1 Thess 4:17, 1 Cor 15:51-54. Obviously, resurrected dead people and people who were still alive wouldn't go through the same process. With that said, Paul still indicates no earthly period where corpses will walk the earth. He still envisions a straight exaltation to heaven. If that was the earliest Christian view, the Luke/Acts Ascension is just a false myth. For a plausible "bodily exchange" interpretation see Adela Yarbro Collins' here: http://imgur.com/a/8gyHO

Even Paul's continual reference to creation (with our new bodies being new creation) is a nod to physical bodies, particularly evident in 1 Cor. 15.45 (I notice you stopped your reference at v. 44).


Uh, Paul is emphasizing the continuity of the person, not the physical body, and verse 45 explicitly says Jesus "became a spirit."

The central emphasis of the paragraph is on the transformation that will be required for those presently alive if they are to be part of the kingdom. People will not lose their bodies, but have them changed from their present state to the one required for God’s future.


And that's for people presently alive, not dead corpses that literally rise out of the ground.

Try 1 Cor. 15.51-54. "The dead will be raised." Tom Wright says, about v. 53: "These words have a different shading. Imperishable implies that no part can wear out or decay, immortal that the body cannot die. Paul probably intends the corruptible here to refer to those already dead, and the mortal to those still alive."


You're conflating the people alive with the dead in that passage. And it still doesn't necessarily say that "dead corpses will be raised from their graves and walk around earth." This can still be interpreted as the dead being given new spiritual bodies and being "raised" straight to heaven.

#1, uncheck. Vision (in Acts 26.19, the only place the word is used (It is not in Acts 9 or 22), as I have pointed out, can mean appearance and actual sight. Your case isn't strong enough to carry the day.


Lol! It literally uses the Greek word for "vision" and describes an encounter involving a bright light and a disembodied voice from heaven which other people present do not see or hear properly. What else do you need? Paul himself uses the word optasia interchangeably with apokalupsis in 2 Cor 12:1. Does he indicate any other type of experience of the Risen Christ?

#2: uncheck. The meaning of ophthe is determined by the context. It's range of meaning is too broad to carry your case.


And the context is that the appearance to Paul was a vision. Boom!

#3: uncheck. As per the 5 or 6 evidences I have you, he repeatedly speaks of experiencing Christ by personal sight.


Nope, every verb he uses can mean the "spiritual type" and Paul nowhere indicates the "physical seeing." You're just asserting that without evidence or argument. You must show your case to me more probable than its negation.

Romans 8.34 makes no mention or implication of a straight exaltation without time on earth. It mere states important theological facts of death, resurrection, exaltation and intercession.


"Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."

The logical sequence is "raised ---> at the right hand of God." This certainly can be interpreted as a straight exaltation to heaven and certainly doesn't provide any evidence of an intermediate period on earth.

Romans 10.5-8. Whaaaat? There is nothing here that you claim as support to your point.


It shows that Jesus has been in heaven since his resurrection. Again, no intermediate earthly period is mentioned.

Eph. 1.19-23. The subject is the power of Christ and his rightful authority as sovereign. His walking on earth for 40 days has nothing to do with his point, so it's not pertinent. This text doesn't support your case because Paul is speaking here of theological sovereignty, not biological chronology.


Again, the logical sequence is "he raised Christ from the dead ----> and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms"
I'm missing the mention of the "40 days" of physical appearances followed by a witnessed physical ascension. Where does Paul give any hint of that?

Eph. 2.6-7 speaks of our resurrection and exaltation with Christ. It's pretty wild to claim this means Christ didn't walk on the earth after his resurrection.


No, what's "pretty wild" is to read something in that isn't actually there.

These texts get nowhere near saying what you are attributing to them. You have not made your case. NONE of these texts confirm that Jesus never roamed the region after the resurrection and that all such claims of seeing Jesus were spiritual encounters. None of them.


Taken as a whole, they all show my case to be more probable than not. And if you want to claim Paul believed that "Jesus roamed the region after the resurrection" then you'll actually have to provide evidence for that.

1. The earliest exaltation Christology found in Paul's letters and Hebrews indicates a direct exaltation to heaven without an intermediate period on earth. Read pages 125-131 for the form critical evidence. https://books.google.com/books?id=QIW7J ... &q&f=false

2. You don't get the Ascension proper until Luke/Acts which most scholars date after 85 CE. This means that Paul, Mark, and Matthew don't mention it so to read it in is just anachronistic from a historical perspective.

There's also the strong argument from silence that can be made from Paul's omission of the empty tomb in 1 Cor 15. His silence is striking since he is trying to convince the Corinthians that if they don't believe in the "a resurrection of the dead" - 1 Cor 15:12-13 then they necessarily can't believe in Jesus' resurrection. Paul is also trying to explain "with what type of body do they come?" - v. 35. It's significant that he doesn't mention the empty tomb, people touching Jesus, discarded grave clothes, the disciples eating with Jesus post-Resurrection or them watching his physical body fly to heaven because those things would surely have helped to strengthen his argument!

We obviously disagree. You have found some commentators expressing a different opinion. That doesn't qualify as a "decisive refutation." Obviously we will never see eye to eye on this, since my contextual and linguistic analysis comes to a radically different conclusion than your sources.


But I've demonstrated that your contextual and linguistic analysis is flawed and the appearance to Paul was a vision. You are just either unable or unwilling to accept what the texts actually say.

Already explained. Read back through the thread.


You wrote that he uses the term "untimely born" and I showed exactly why that doesn't work. Got anything else?

Remembered that assembled in Jerusalem were people from all over the Roman Empire (Acts 2.5, 9-11). Some of the groups specified were from Turkey, Rome, and the lands in between. There's reason to believe these 500 were also from varied geographical regions, since that best fits Paul's case.


Okay, well let me know when you find an early source that says these people didn't experience something spiritually. Because Paul equates his "vision" of Jesus with whatever they experienced.

Hmm. Since I showed a variety of interpretations and you showed a consensus on one, then it's obvious there are a variety and not a consensus. Consensus means a lack of variety, and therefore my case is the stronger one.


Wow, you are denying the evidence when it's slam dunked right in front of you! I guess all those PhD scholars are just wrong about the field that they are experts in, huh? I have a feeling that your "variety" comes from evangelicals with faith commitments and an obvious bias to date the gospels early, rather than people who take a more objective evidence based approach. The scholarly consensus exists and I have proven it. You could at least be honest and admit that. Feel free to float around in your bubble and deny it I guess.

At this point, having been back and forth repeatedly to the point of repetition, and having presented my evidence, I'm wondering if continuing the conversation would just be an exercise in frustration rather than progressing in thought or coming to a meeting of the minds. I obviously think my evidence is far stronger than anything you've given, and you think the opposite. I am as convinced about the veracity and strength of my analysis as you are of yours. Perhaps we need to part as friends at this point. I'm just not seeing what future discussion will yield, but I'll defer to you on that one.


I'm pretty sure it's clear from anyone else reading this post who actually has presented the better case and is actually being honest with the evidence. Perhaps we should just let them decide and call it a day?
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