Friday, 15 August 2008

The Surprise of the Resurrection Narratives (Part 2)

Surprise 3: The Resurrected Jesus is Not the Radiant, Heavenly Figure

If the resurrection stories were made up we would expect them to reflect the Jewish expectation of a heavenly, sparkling figure like in Daniel 12:2-3. (A text picked up by Jewish contemporary writings. See Wisdom 3:9) The resurrected Christ as narrated in the Gospel stories is not a sparkling figure of power. He seems much more mundane than that, and retains his wounds. If you were going to concoct a story about resurrection why not make it fit the expectation of the target audience? Exactly, you would. And the resurrection narratives just don't.

Surprise 4: The Women as Primary Witnesses.

If the stories were made up no author of the first century AD is going to make the primary witnesses to an incredible event women. This is exactly what the Gospel narratives do. (And to reinforce the point, have a look at what Paul says about the first witnesses of the resurrected Jesus; he omits the women. see 1Cor 15:5-9) Women were not accepted as legal witnesses in the ancient world. Again, a very strange thing to do if the stories are concocted.

Check out the link below to compare the stories of the empty tomb and resurrection of Jesus in parallel format:

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