Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Genesis Of Belief In The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ (Part 1)

AP: Many people have pointed out the contradictions in the canonical Gospels surrounding the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection is the single most important event in Christianity. It's true, those contradictions are there. And they nearly jump off the page. I don't wish to comment on this fact, which is obvious and easily verifiable with pen and paper. I want to take a different approach. I'd rather focus in this post on other aspects the resurrection of Jesus, especially those affecting the early history of the Christian group.

For example, how is it possible that the resurrection narratives contain such contradictions, and why do they contain them? If Jesus' resurrection is so important to the early Christian community and why these stories may be contradictory, as being so important was- for the fact primitive community? Some people say this question isn't important at all. The resurrection is simply a mere subjective psychological phenomenon of hallucination, suffered by some members of the community. But in the methodology of ancient history, the "hallucination" hypothesis is based on a burning desire for something that can explain what happened. It only offers a superficial explanation, though. It is also the task of a historian to explain exactly why the belief in the resurrection arises and to offer an explanation as to why the alleged event is attested by so many different characters according to the narratives. And, on top of all that, the historian should be able to explain why there are such vast differences and divergent accounts.

In my opinion one plausible explanation for belief in the resurrection of Jesus is that it arises out of the intense affection for Jesus among female disciples (not males), like the affection of a woman who has lost a child or a husband who suddenly fell ill and passed away. In times of loneliness, crying, feeling of helplessness, etc., many of these women talk about the deceased as though they are still present. They might even talk to them, or talk about how they can feel the deceased one's presence.

This isn't quite the best place to pause, but it will get the wheel's spinning. How is it that the belief in Jesus' resurrection can be attributed to female disciples of Jesus? We'll pick up here next.

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