This is the eighth in a series of posts dealing with death and resurrection of Jesus.
In their desire to cast doubt on eyewitness testimony to the resurrection of Jesus, one of the things that anti-theists run up against are details in the account that simply wouldn’t be there if the accounts were invented, exaggerated, or flat out lies.
When it comes to comments about the Gospel writers having an agenda or that they were biassed in favour of Christianity, my first thought is, “So what?” It can’t be legitimately claimed that the writers were liars just because they wanted to promote the facts of Jesus’ life. Does that mean the Richard Dawkins is lying in his promotion of atheism? Well, ok, bad example.
Unlike Richard Dawkins, there are many, many examples that point to the integrity of character that was present in the Gospel writers. And there are many, many items in their writing that point to the truth contained in their biographies of Jesus. I’ve already pointed to the inclusion in the accounts of the guards and Joseph of Arimathea. These are two items that someone simply wouldn’t have put into an account when concocting a series of lies to promote an agenda in that time and locale in history .
Another example is the inclusion of women being the first witnesses to the resurrection. Yes the women had a close relationship with Jesus. Yes they supported His ministry. Yes they loved Him. But the value of women at that time in Palestine was on par with dogs. Old rabbinical sayings of the time go: “Let the words of the Law be burned rather than delivered to women” and “Blessed is he whose children are male, but woe to him whose children are female.” Women’s testimony was regarded as so worthless that they weren’t allowed to serve as legal witnesses in a Jewish court of Law.
It is a testament to the huge impact that Jesus had upon His male followers regarding the status of women that they put into history the fact that women were the first witnesses to the resurrection event. It is certain that if the accounts of Jesus’ life were legendary or lies, it would have been written that men discovered the empty tomb. Biassed or not the writers of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were honest in their depiction of the historicity of what took place.
Sceptics act as though the Gospel accounts were written by New York Times best selling authors or by a potential Nobel Laureate in literature who wrote a fiction so refined and so diabolical that billions of people have been duped.
Reality is, the writers were not refined or gifted authors. They would have never thought of some of the things that I’m describing in this series of posts if they hadn’t actually taken place.