Originally posted by caissad4
No, Jesus was a man. He is still quite dead.[/b]
Have you seen his body? Over 500 witnesses during that time say otherwise.
I think most historians would agree with the following: 1. Jesus lived 2. He was crucified and buried in a tomb. 3. He was discovered missing. After all, both Jewish and Roman traditions admit to an empty tomb. These resources range from Josephus to a compilation of 5th century Jewish writings called the "Toledoth Jeshu". In short, it is positive evidence from a hostile source making it most believable.
Still not convinced that the tomb was empty? If so, then what will we say? Did the disciples move their message outside of Jerusalem if they had made up such a story? No, they remained and preached that he arose IN Jerusalem. How could they unless the tomb was empty? As Gamaliel, who was a member of the Jewish high court put it, the rise of the Christian faith could not have come about if the tomb were still occupied. In short, if the disclipes were to make up the story that the tomb was empty, it would have behooved them to take their message to a far away country and forsaken Jerusalem altogether.
So the obvious conclusion for nonbelievers is that the disciples "stole" the body. In fact, what other conclusion could you arrive at? So here you have a group of disciples who shrank away in fear as their leader was taken from them and denied their affiliation with him in fear of retribution. In three days the disciples grew a pair of gonades and then risked their own lives and overpowered the Roman gaurds who were gaurding the tomb and moved the huge stone to remove the body. Why were the gaurds there? It was because they knew the prophesy's about his resurrection. There is no other explanation. Then these same disciples, who knew that their message was based upon lies and fraud dedicated their very lives to promoting it? Had there been visible benefits accrued to them from their efforts? Did they elicite prestige, wealth, increased social or material benefits? No. For their efforts they were beaten, stoned to death, or hung on a cross upside down. Apparently, all of the dicsiples were comfortable with being tortured and killed for a lie.
Of course, the empty grave has troubled critics for years. One critic offered the "Wrong Tomb" theory. Kirsopp Lake proposed the theory that the women who reported that the body was missing had mistankenly gone to the wrong tomb. If so, all the Jewish authorities would have had to have done is produce the body to publically disprove the disciples and end their ministry.
Another theory proposed by Venturini was the "swoon" theory. This theory proports that Jesus did not really die. In fact, he was just buried alive in a tomb.......for three days after hanging on a cross and having a spear run into his side. He then popped to his feet and began appearing to his followers immediatly afer coming out of the tomb. Er....um....yea.
Maybe you would like to offer a skeptics theory of your own not yet presented?
And lastly, what are we to say of the supposide eyewitness accounts of Jesus after the crucifixion? Were they unrealiable witnesses who were only interested in promoting a false cult? What about a hostile witness in Saul of Tarsus who later was known as Paul. He to said that Christ appeared to him and later converted because of it. This conversion comes from a man who spent his entire life persecuting the Christian church and proclaiming them to be heretics. He did all this to only be arrested later and martyred. Once again, we seem to have people willing to die for a lie they know to be untrue. Why?
As far as I am concerned, eyewitness testimony is far stronger than personal testimony. I much prefer other men writing about Christ than Christ himself. After all, there is power in testimony as any lawyer would say. In fact, we don't have just one gospel, we have four. We don't have just one disciple, we have twelve etc. I don't know of any other religions who use this approach. Most are formed by one man sitting down and writing the way it is. Anyone can do that. Of course, don't forget all of the prophesies about the Messiah hundreds of years prior. In short, they are witnesses as well.
Of course, don't forget about all of the witnesses of today who say that Christ has released them from sin or provided peace into their hearts etc. It would appear tha we have witnesses before, during, and after the coming of one Jesus Chrsit!!