Did the Resurrection REALLY Happen?
Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Here are four things upon which modern scholars universally agree:
1. Jesus died and was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
2. A group of women found the tomb empty on Easter morning.
3. Over 500 people really and truly believed that they saw Jesus alive afterward.
4. The Christian faith exploded to all the known world in a very short period of time thereafter.
The best explanation for these events is that Jesus really did rise from the dead. But here are 3 alternative explanations, and why each has been discredited.
a. The disciples stole Jesus' body. This theory has been universally rejected by critical scholars and survives only in the popular press. This theory is rejected for several reasons, not the least of which is that the disciples were all killed for their faith. People will allow themselves to be martyred for what they believe to be true, but will not die for a lie.
b. Jesus did not really die on the cross. This theory has been entirely abandoned by critical thinkers for medical facts about crucifixion.
c. The disciples hallucinated. This theory too has been rejected by scholars as psychologically impossible. Hallucinations are usually associated with mental illness or drugs. And while one person can hallucinate, a large group of people do not hallucinate together.
I, for one, believe that Jesus REALLY AND TRULY rose from the dead. If this is a fact of history, it affects everything else: politics, science, philosophy, history, sociology. For the entire article from our Faith Facts website, and the classical evidentiary apologetic on the resurrection, click on Modern Scholarship and the Resurrection.