I was just now browsing through posts from seven years ago, and came across this one, which is related to questions I get from time to time. It is an absolutely fundamental issue for Christian faith, but I almost *never* see anyone talk about it. Surprising! Here’s the interesting question and my response (back when I was starting just to do work on the resurrection stories for my book How Jesus Became God).
Are we to understand from this that some of the actual disciples, the inner circle, doubted? Is this the origin of the “Doubting Thomas” character in John? Maybe not everyone got a vision of the risen Christ? Perhaps these are hints that after the crucifixion some of the group ran away and DIDN’T come back!
This is a question specifically about the stories of the resurrection of Jesus, and it is one that I’ve been pondering myself intensely for a couple of weeks. It would help to have the data in front of us.
The tradition that the disciples doubted that Jesus was raised from the dead – even though they have seen him – is in every Gospel that has resurrection appearances (i.e., Matthew, Luke, John; it may be suggested in Mark; and it is clearly implied as well in Acts). But why in the world are they doubting he was there, if they’re seeing, hearing, and touching him???
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