Regarding the biblical text below:
|1.||Look for doubt or disagreement being displayed. If you see either write one example from the text.|
Are there any clues from the text that meeting the risen Christ is not like meeting an ordinary person?
For example, is Jesus recognised at first or only later? Do they first have to understand something important before then recognising Jesus?
Does the text anywhere try to insist that this risen Jesus is the same person as the one who died?
For example, what if Jesus after being on the cross was walking around crippled and injured? How would he then appear?
|Muslims say Jesus did not die on the cross, but God still did raise Jesus and Jesus will return.|
|Liberal Christians say that Jesus did die but the resurrection may be a continuation of the followers' faith under the guidance of God.|
|Evangelical Christians say the very same Jesus walked and talked before and after the resurrection.|
|A humanist would say Jesus did die on the cross but then no one can come back to life again. Perhaps followers saw visions in their minds and had expectations according to false beliefs.|
|4.||The language of the King James Bible was "old" even when it was published in 1611. Does the old language add to the mystery of the resurrection appearances? Alternatively, is it difficult to read and therefore causes confusion?|
|Discussion point: in what sense is the resurrection true, false or something else perhaps in between?|
4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. [Mary Magadalene, others and Peter at the empty tomb]
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
[They tell him about the experiences so far]
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
43 And he took it, and did eat before them.
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
They grieved and mourned greatly, saying, "How shall we go to the Gentiles and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Son of Man? If even he was not spared, how shall we be spared?"
Then Mary stood up and greeted all of them and said to her brethren, "Do not mourn or grieve or be irresolute, for his grace will be with you all and will defend you. Let us rather praise his greatness, for he prepared us and made us into men." When Mary said this, their hearts changed for the better, and they began to discuss the words of the [Saviour].
Peter said to Mary, "Sister, we know that the Saviour loved you more than other women. Tell us the words of the Saviour which you have in mind since you know them; and we do not, nor have we heard of them."
Mary answered and said, "What is hidden from you I will impart to you." And she began to say the following words to them. "I," she said, "I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to him, 'Lord, I saw you today in a vision.' He answered and said to me, 'Blessed are you, since you did not waver at the sight of me. For where the mind is, there is your countenance'. I said to him, 'Lord, the mind which sees the vision, does it see it through the soul or through the spirit?' The Saviour answered and said, 'It sees neither through the soul nor through the spirit, but the mind, which is between the two, which sees the vision, and it is...'"
But Andrew answered and said to the brethren, 'Say what you think concerning what she said. For I do not believe that the Saviour said this. For certainly these teachings are of other ideas."
Peter also opposed her in regard to these matters and asked them about the Saviour. "Did he then speak secretly with a woman, in preference to us, and not openly? Are we to turn back and all listen to her? Did he prefer her to us?" Then Mary grieved and said to Peter, "My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I thought this up myself in my heart or that I am lying concerning the Saviour?"
Levi answered and said to Peter, "Peter, you are always irate. Now I see that you are contending against the woman like the adversaries. But if the Saviour made her worthy, who are you to reject her? Surely the Saviour knew her very well. For this reason he loved her more than us. And we should rather be ashamed and put on the Perfect Man, to form us [?] as he commanded us, and proclaim the gospel, without publishing a further commandment or a further law than the one which the Saviour spoke." When Levi had said this, they began to go out in order to proclaim him and preach him.
According to Paul there was more than one vision, including that which he himself had. They are not described. They no doubt varied but they had one thing in common - the glorified Jesus was seen by his followers and only by his followers. At the time Paul was writing, say about 50 CE, the Easter faith rested solely on the testimony of visions.
But such is the nature of the enquiring human mind that it was not sufficient for the ongoing Christian community just to say that the glorified Jesus had been seen in visions. How did he get to be where he was, in heaven with God and sitting at God's right hand? So, in the second half of the first century, all sorts of stories began to emerge, such as that in John 21 where Jesus breakfasted with the disciples after their catch of fish.
Empty tomb & bodily resurrection
Attention then began to go back to Jerusalem where Jesus had been crucified. It was assumed that his body must have been buried in a tomb and in that case the tomb must now be empty. So a story arose of how the tomb was found empty by some women. The key to that story is the angel or mystery man robed in white who said, "The crucified Jesus whom you seek is not here, for he has risen." Some modern defenders of the historicity of the empty tomb, since they no longer believe in angels themselves, argue that that was late intrusion. Actually the story loses its point if it is eliminated. The words spoken by the angel are the foundation stone on which the story was built. It is the conviction that Jesus was risen which gave rise to the story of the empty tomb and not the other way round.
Because the empty tomb stories have long dominated the tradition, they shape our imagination when we hear the term "rising from the dead." When this was first used, however, it did not refer to someone coming out of a tomb. It referred to the rising from Sheol, the abode of the dead, and the ascension into heaven. This is reflected in the Johannine story of Mary Magdalene, where Jesus says, "Don't touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my father" (20:17). He was on his journey from the underworld of the dead to the heavenly world, and Mary had accidentally met him im on the way.
As soon as Christians were convinced they had a vision of the glorification of Jesus, and since they knew for certain he had been crucified and gone to the abode of the dead, then it followed that he must have risen from the dead. So stories of how that happened began to emerge. As the stories progressed the risen Christ was being described more and more in physical terms, and it is on the basis of these late resurrection stories that conservative Christians today defend what they call "the bodily resurrection."
|Further questions: look at John 21 - write about how it fits Lloyd Geering's explanation? What is odd about it contrasted with meeting someone ordinary and human?|
|Find biblical claims for the resurrection as vision and spirit, even pyschological experience, and as a body. Do you think the biblical evidence is confused?|
Use made of King James Bible