Back to Christian apologists for a minute (from my post a few days ago). One common argument that the resurrection stories must be historical is that no one would invent the idea that the first witnesses to the resurrection were women; therefore the tomb really was empty (i.e. since no one would have made up the story that way). I get asked about that probably once every four or five months. I dealt with it on the blog — in fact exactly eight years ago. Here is the question I was asked about it and my response — the same one I would have today!
How do the stories of the women at the tomb found in the canonical gospels come to be told? As many scholars I’ve read have pointed out, having women, who were considered untrustworthy witnesses, as the first to see the risen Christ, was not exactly a way to get people to believe the stories. So why would the gospel writers tell the stories with the women in such a prominent place?
I have indeed heard this argument for many years. In fact, I used to make it myself. The argument is that since women were not considered reliable witnesses (since their testimony was not acceptable even in a court of law), then no one would have invented the idea that it was precisely women who discovered that Jesus’ tomb was empty and that he was, therefore, raised from the dead.
I have lots of comments about that view – the one I used to hold – but will give them only in short order now.
Want to see my response? You’ll need to be a member of the blog. Joining is resurrected easy: and it doesn’t cost much. Even better, every penny you pay (about 50 cents a week!) goes to help those in need. So why not???