Did Some Disciples Not Believe in the Resurrection?

In my previous post I pointed out that we simply don’t know how many of Jesus’ disciples came to believe that he was raised from the dead.  In my view there is actually some *evidence* that some of them never did believe it.  I lay the evidence out in my book How Jesus Became God.  It has to do with the fact that there is such a strong tradition of “doubt” in the resurrection among Jesus’ followers.  Here is how ...

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How the Crucifixion Destroyed Jesus’ Vision of the Future

I have been arguing that during his lifetime Jesus had come to think that he was the messiah of God, the one who would be king when God intervened in history to overthrow the forces of evil and establish a good kingdom here on earth.   A number of readers have asked how or why he would come to that view about himself.  I’m afraid the answer is that I don’t know, and either does anyone else.

There are, of course, lots ...

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Jesus, the Messiah, and the Resurrection

I have been talking about the early Christian understandings of Jesus as the messiah – not just the messiah, but the “crucified messiah,” a concept that would have seemed not just unusual or bizarre to most Jewish ears in the first century, but absolutely mind-boggling and self-contradictory.  I’ve been arguing that it was precisely the contradictory nature of the claim that led almost all Jews to reject the Christian claims about Jesus.

Several readers have asked me whether I think Jesus ...

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Ehrman Licona Debate – Prove Jesus Rose from Dead

On February 28, 2008 I flew back to (near) my home turf, Kansas City, Missouri where I debated Christian apologist Mike R. Licona on the topic, “Can Historians Prove that Jesus Rose from the Dead?” The event took place on at 7 p.m. held at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  You can guess whose side the crowd was on!

Mike is one person I’ve debated over the years with whom I have a very good relationship.  When we’re not going at ...

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Paul’s Gospel Message

QUESTION

And what do you make of Paul’s statement that he didn’t get the good news (= the resurrection and thus the triumph over death) from other humans but from the ‘risen Christ’ himself? If he persecuted the Christians because of a resurrection belief then he would have heard about it before, from other humans, no?

 

RESPONSE

Ah! This takes me to the issue that I was planning on posting about today anyway. Several people in their comments have ...

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Did Paul Invent the Resurrection?

QUESTION:

There is no doubt that Paul had visions of Jesus. And as we all agree the gospels (and Acts for that matter) were written AFTER Paul and certainly influenced BY Paul. In one way or another they reflect his way of thinking (to a certain degree).

Wouldn’t it be possible that the story of visions started with Paul only and was incorporated into the gospels because… well, how could it be that Jesus appeared to Paul and not to ...

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The Disciples who Doubted the Resurrection

In this post I continue discussing some of the issues that I learned about for the first time, or changed my mind about, while writing How Jesus Became God. This post is about an issue that I figured out (for myself) for the first time; I don’t know that other scholars have pointed this out in quite the same way. (Or if they do, I’ve forgotten about it.) It is about the tradition scattered throughout the Gospels that ...

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Women at the Tomb

Here I’ll continue my thread on topics that I changed my mind about or came to see in doing my research for How Jesus Became God.   One of the most important things I changed my mind about was the idea that Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty three days after his death.

When I was a Christian, of course I thought that was the case.   But even when I had become an agnostic I thought it was probably a historical ...

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Jesus’ Death and Resurrection in Mark

Here is my final post on Mark, following a literary-historical method. After this post I’ll have a reflection or two on the method, and then talk in much briefer fashion about other methods one might use to study the Gospels.

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Jesus’ Death as the Son of God

It is clear from Mark’s Gospel that Jesus’ disciples never do come to understand who he is. As we have seen, he is betrayed to the Jewish authorities by one of them, ...

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2009 Debate With Mike Licona: Can Historians Prove the Resurrection of Jesus?

I’ve decided to take a day or so off from my discussions of Reza Aslan’s Zealot, both for my sanity and yours.  Here, for a bit of variety, is a video of a debate that I had a few years ago with Mike Licona on the topic or whether historians can *prove* that Jesus was raised from the dead.  Mike thinks the answer is “yes”; I think the answer is “no way.”  It’s important to note: the debate was *not* ...

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