9 arguments against the empty tomb
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07-10-2015, 11:24 AM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2015 11:51 AM by GotIssues.)
9 arguments against the empty tomb
I've posted this on a couple of other Christian forums in order to hear the objections. There aren't really any good ones in my opinion. Just thought I'd share for counter apologist and debate purposes.

First of all, I'd like to point out that an empty tomb does not prove a resurrection. The resurrection belief came from Jesus' followers believing he was vindicated by God and exalted to heaven. They experienced "appearances" or "visions" of Jesus which is what's recorded in the earliest reference to the resurrection in 1 Cor 15. These "appearances" became interpreted by the earliest Christians in different ways which led to disagreements on the nature of the Risen Christ. One of these trajectories that spun off was the belief that Jesus was "physically" raised (which became the orthodox view) as opposed to a more spiritual concept such as gnosticism and docetism. I concur with Bart Ehrman and think the empty tomb was a later legendary development that served the purpose to show that Jesus had been, in fact, "physically" raised.

1. It is improbable that Jesus was given a proper burial at all considering he was executed by the Romans who usually left bodies up on the cross to serve as a warning. The bodies were eaten by scavengers and what was left was thrown into a mass grave. It was not Jews who killed Jesus, and so they had no say about when he would be taken down from the cross. Moreover, the Romans who did crucify him had no concern to obey Jewish law and virtually no interest in Jewish sensitivities. If they put a sign above him that read “King of the Jews” it makes more sense to leave him up on display for a while to serve as an example to those passing by rather than handing him over immediately upon request. If Jesus was allowed a proper burial then he was the exception, not the rule.

=====================================

2. It is extremely improbable that a respected member of the Sanhedrin (Joseph of Arimathea), which just demanded that Pilate have Jesus killed, would concern himself with the body of a man condemned and executed as a criminal messianic pretender - the King of the Jews.

"If the corpse of Jesus had really been removed by his enemies, the tradition would have grown like this. Jesus was laid in a common grave, like anyone who had been executed. Soon people found this intolerable, but knew that none of his followers had shown him, or could have shown him, the least service of love. A stranger did, and preserved his body from the ultimate shame. Now this could not have been an insignificant stranger, but had to be someone who could dare to go to the court authorities; he had to be a counsellor. The name was to be found in the Gospel tradition, like any other name, and gradually - this last phase is reflected in the Gospels themselves - the pious stranger became a secret...or even an open...disciple of Jesus (Matthew 27:57), someone who did not approve of the counsel and action of the Sanhedrin (Luke 23:50-51)...someone who was a friend not only of Jesus but also of Pilate (Gospel of Peter 3). So the story of Joseph of Arimathea is not completely impossible to invent." Hans Grass, Ostergeschehen und Osterberichte, pg. 180.

=====================================

3. In regards to the burial of Jesus it should be pointed out that the authors of the gospels appear to present their hero Jesus as receiving an increasingly noble rather than a shameful burial. The later additions also attempt to “Christianize” Joseph by making him into a “good guy” but these details are conspicuous in their absence from Mark.

Mark says Joseph of Arimathea was a respected member of the Council (Sanhedrin). Matthew and John turn Joseph into a "disciple" of Jesus. Luke 23:51 says he “had not consented to their decision and action.” Mark has the body wrapped in a newly purchased linen cloth and laid in "a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock." Matthew 27:60 has the variant "in his own NEW tomb, which HE HAD hewn in the rock" - that means Joseph himself or workers commissioned by him hewed out the tomb which is not the case in Mark. Luke 23:53 has "rock-hewn tomb." Matthew says that he laid him in his own tomb and Luke 23:53/John 19:41 notes that it was a tomb "Where no one had ever been laid." All of these are later additions to the oldest Gospel Mark and they are all apologetic attempts to show that Jesus had an honorable burial as opposed to a dishonorable one.

Jews buried criminals in entirely different locations. This was in accordance with the Mishnah Sanhedrin 6:5:

"And they did not bury them in the graves of their fathers, but two burying places were arranged for the Court (Beth Dīn), one for (those) stoned and (those) burned, and one for (those) beheaded and (those) strangled."

A special grave was not necessary for crucified people, since crucifixion was not an official Jewish penalty. Josephus comments on the end of a biblical thief, ‘And after being immediately put to death, he was given at night the dishonorable burial proper to the condemned’ (Jos. Ant. V, 44). Somewhat similarly, he says of anyone who has been stoned to death for blaspheming God, ‘let him be hung during the day, and let him be buried dis- honorably and secretly’ (Jos. Ant. IV, 202). - Maurice Casey
https://books.google.com/books?id=nOiRBQ...&q&f=false

The Tosefta 9:8-9 states that criminals may not be buried in their ancestral burying grounds but have to be placed in those of the court. This is justified by a quoting of the Psalm of David: "Do not gather my soul with the sinners" (26:9). In b. Sanhedrin 47a - "a wicked man may not be buried beside a righteous one."

Archaeologist Jodi Magness (“What Did Jesus’ Tomb Look Like?,” pg. 48) argues:

“There is no evidence that the Sanhedrin or the Roman authorities paid for and maintained rock-hewn tombs for executed criminals from impoverished families. Instead, these unfortunates would have have been buried in individual trench graves or pits.”

Magness also notes that there is no surviving evidence that these tombs were inscribed with names, and thus they could have very easily been completely anonymous:

“After the trench was filled in, a rough headstone was often erected at one end … the headstones are uninscribed, although some may once have had painted decorations or inscriptions that have not survived.”

Therefore, we should infer that if the Jews obtained Jesus' body, this is how he would have been buried - in a criminal's grave, not in a "new" or "empty" "rock-hewn" tomb where "no one had ever been laid" as the later gospels describe.

The earliest Christians and the author of Mark could have seen in Jesus' body being placed in such a burial site the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:9 "And they (Sanhedrin) made his grave with the wicked (criminal burial/crucified between two criminals) and with the rich (Joseph of Arimathea) in his death." So the composer of the narrative just "fulfilled" prophecy by creating the story of the empty tomb.

Luke has Paul say in Acts 13:29 it was "they" - the Jews (plural) who buried Jesus. Acts 13:29 also fits perfectly well with him being thrown in a common criminal's tomb.

"When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb [μνημεῖον]."

This passage does not provide independent corroboration of the rock-hewn tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, since the Greek word used to describe the burial site — μνημεῖον — can also be used to refer to unmarked graves in the ground. For example, the same author uses the word in Luke 11:44 to refer to ground burials:

“Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves [μνημεῖον], which people walk over without knowing it.”

As such, this separate burial tradition does not contradict the hypothesis outlined above that Jesus probably received a ground burial in an unmarked grave. But even if the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea was historical, its emptiness can still be explained through a temporary burial — in which Jesus’ body had been taken down to abide by the regulations of the Sabbath, and was only temporarily put in Joseph’s tomb for storage — only to later be reburied in a criminal graveyard before the third day. - Matthew Ferguson, https://adversusapologetica.wordpress.co...pologetic/

=====================================

4. There is evidence of a conflicting burial tradition. In addition to Acts 13:27-29 which Luke has Paul say it was "the Jews" plural, "those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers" who executed Jesus and then says "they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb", an early variant of John 19:38 also has "they" as in "the Jews" taking Jesus away for burial. This is also found in the Gospel of Peter 6:21 "then they (the Jews) drew the nails…and gave the body to Joseph” and in Justin Martyr: Dialogue 97.1 "towards evening they (the Jews) buried him". The Secret Book of James has Jesus refer to how he was "buried in the sand" meaning it was a shameful burial and mentions no tomb at all. All of these sources are attested early enough to reflect another burial tradition. This conflicts with the synoptics which have Joseph of Arimathea acting alone.

=====================================

5. Paul indicates no knowledge of an empty tomb. He does not reference a Joseph of Arimathea, angel, the women, nothing. I acknowledge that the absence of a detail from Paul does not on its own indicate ahistoricity, given the brief summary nature of his account and the obvious differences with the style of the later narrative accounts. But elements that would have helped Paul's argument greatly are conspicuous by their absence. If Paul was arguing for a physical revivification and knew of an "empty tomb" tradition, for example, it's very strange it gets no mention in 1 Cor 15. The Greek audience he's addressing didn't believe in bodily resurrection. He goes through all that "spiritual body" stuff but not mentioning the empty tomb is quite suspicious. The creed in 1 Cor. 15:4 states that Jesus “was buried” (ἐτάφη); however, this verb simply describes generic burial and can refer to ground burials, such as outlined above, in addition to tomb burials, making it too vague to corroborate the later burial traditions in the Gospels. That Jesus "was buried" means he was dead. This makes the lack of mention of an empty tomb more remarkable, not less.

=====================================

6. It is not multiply attested as apologists like to assert. Matthew and Luke both copied Mark. John was written at such a late date that it was likely influenced by the Markan empty tomb story. Since both M and L both copied Mark, the empty tomb story would have been well known and circulating in the Christian communities by the time the author of John wrote his gospel. In any case, John's Passion narrative cannot be demonstrated to be independent of the Markan empty tomb story.

=====================================

7. Similar stories involving the disappearance of bodies and "heavenly assumptions/rapture stories/translation fables" were quite common in this time period. A Jewish example is found in the Testament of Job 39:8-13; 40:3-4. The disappearance/assumption motif is used to explain what happened to the bones of Job's dead children. They were taken up to heaven by God and glorified.

A more interesting Greek example is found in the 1st century novel by Chariton, Chaereas and Callirhoe 3.3. The hero Chaereas visits the tomb of his recently dead wife saying he "arrived at the tomb at daybreak" where he "found the stones removed and the entrance open. At that he took fright." He finds it empty and concludes that one of the gods has taken Callirhoe up to heaven.

Sound familiar?

This is just an example of how common the idea of apotheosis was in the period and shows how there was already a set of tropes that the Gospels could adapt for their narratives.

“Roger David Aus has discovered what inspired Mark’s story of the enormous rolling- stone. This is the stone which was ‘rolled’ from Jacob’s well (Gen. 29.3, 8, 10). This stone was ‘large’ already at Gen. 29.2, and the shepherds explain that they cannot water their flocks until the stone is rolled away (Gen. 29.8). In later Jewish tradition, there are three shepherds (corresponding to the three flocks of Gen.29.2), who could not roll the stone away, whereas Jacob did so (e.g. Neof I on Gen. 29.8, 10). In story mode, it was thus perfectly reasonable for Mark to have three women who knew they could not roll away the stone, and wondered who would remove it. Jacob was a young man when he rolled away the stone from the well, and it is a natural interpretation of Mark’s narrative that the stone had been removed from the tomb by the angel, who is described as a ‘young man’ (Mk 16.5).

In Jewish tradition, Jacob’s well was the same as Abraham’s well, Isaac’s well and above all Miriam’s well or Moses’ well, which accompanied the Israelites in the wilderness. The well is described as ‘like a rock’ which ‘rolled along’ (e.g. Tanḥ. Bemidbar 2, 21, on Num. 1.1). Jewish tradition interpreted Num. 21.18-20 to mean that the well ended its journey ‘at the top of Pisgah’, where Moses died (Deut. 34.1-5). Pisgah is interpreted as Ramatha, ‘height’ (e.g. Tg. Ps-J. Num. 21.20 rmth’), and Joseph coming from Arimathea is sufficient to remind a storyteller of this. Pisgah is also interpreted in some passages of the LXX with terms which mean ‘hewn from rock’ (e.g. Num. 21.20), which could have caused a storyteller to say that Joseph placed Jesus in a tomb ‘hewn from rock’ (Mk 15.46), or a genuine tradition that Jesus was placed in a tomb for criminals which was in fact ‘hewn from rock’ could have further helped a storyteller to make up his story about the big rolling-stone and the young man.”
- Maurice Casey, cf. Roger David Aus, Death, Burial and Resurrection pp. 139-197.

The fact that such strong parallels exist indicates that invention of the story is a likely possibility.

=====================================

8. It is improbable according to archaeology. In regards to Mark's "rolling stone" door (Mark 16:3-4) the use of the Greek word ἀποκυλίω (to roll away) indicates that the stone closing the tomb was round. A survey of First Century Jewish rock cut and cave tombs by Amos Kloner found that 98% of them were closed by square stones prior to 70 AD, with only 4 (out of over 900) closed by a rolling round stone. After 70 AD, however, round stones became far more common. So this detail seems to be indicating the kind of tomb in the later First Century (when Mark was writing), or it could be that the tomb itself, an element conspicuous by its absence in Paul's version, was an addition to the story.

Kloner says that the word can also mean "to move" but he is incorrect. http://lexiconcordance.com/greek/0617.html The word was only used in regards to round objects or rolling something “rounded”. Square blocking stones could only be “pulled” back/away. Source: Did a Rolling Stone Close Jesus' Tomb?

=====================================

9. We have no record of Jesus' tomb being venerated or even the location mentioned until it was "discovered" in the 4th century. Quite strange for the exact spot where God raised Jesus from the dead to go unnoticed/unmentioned for 300 years don't you think? Jewish tomb veneration was increasing during this time period. The site of the tomb where a Resurrection by God happened would not have been forgotten. The site would have been as important to their preaching as it is in the narrative accounts of all four Gospels. The objection "because Jesus was alive" or because "his body wasn't there" doesn't work because the Church of the Holy Sepulchre became venerated when Jesus was supposedly "alive" and without his remains. The lack of evidence for the veneration of Jesus’ tomb is good evidence that there was no such tomb.
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07-10-2015, 11:39 AM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2015 11:49 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: 9 arguments against the empty tomb
To add to the conversation, and first and foremost, I completely agree that an empty tomb does not a resurrection make Big Grin

Someone here had recently done quite an exhaustive breakdown of the language of the resurrection itself, and darned if I cant find it. I liked it so much I saved it, but not who wrote it so I wont post it.

There is a lot that doesnt add up in reference to the basis of Christianity, which is the resurrection of jesus. Without the resurrection, there is no basis for Christianity. The whole concept of incarnation and atonement becomes toilet paper.

Some of my favorite hammers are the earth going dark (Matthew 27:51-53) and the zombie invasion (Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44-48) which apparently no one in the world noticed and bothered to make record of at the time.

..and dont get me started on the prop called the shroud of turin.

As you pointed out, there are not multiple, independent verifications of the resurrection. The anonymous author of mark wrote his story, the anonymous authors of Matthew and Luke based their stories on Mark. Speaking of Mark; All scholars agree that the last 12 verses of Mark, are highly dubious and are considered interpolations. The earliest ancient documents of mark end right after the women find the empty tomb. This means that in the first biography, on which the others based their reports, there is no post-resurrection appearance or ascension of jesus.

It is a great story, could use some more dragons....or heck, a least one iota of supportive evidence.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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07-10-2015, 11:42 AM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2015 11:51 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: 9 arguments against the empty tomb
(07-10-2015 11:24 AM)GotIssues Wrote:  I've posted this on a couple of other Christian forums in order to here the objections. There aren't really any good ones in my opinion. Just thought I'd share for counter apologist and debate purposes.

First of all, I'd like to point out that an empty tomb does not prove a resurrection. The resurrection belief came from Jesus' followers believing he was vindicated by God and exalted to heaven. They experienced "appearances" or "visions" of Jesus which is what's recorded in the earliest reference to the resurrection in 1 Cor 15. These "appearances" became interpreted by the earliest Christians in different ways which led to disagreements on the nature of the Risen Christ. One of these trajectories that spun off was the belief that Jesus was "physically" raised (which became the orthodox view) as opposed to a more spiritual concept such as gnosticism and docetism. I concur with Bart Ehrman and think the empty tomb was a later legendary development that served the purpose to show that Jesus had been, in fact, "physically" raised.

1. It is improbable that Jesus was given a proper burial at all considering he was executed by the Romans who usually left bodies up on the cross to serve as a warning. The bodies were eaten by scavengers and what was left was thrown into a mass grave. It was not Jews who killed Jesus, and so they had no say about when he would be taken down from the cross. Moreover, the Romans who did crucify him had no concern to obey Jewish law and virtually no interest in Jewish sensitivities. If they put a sign above him that read “King of the Jews” it makes more sense to leave him up on display for a while to serve as an example to those passing by rather than handing him over immediately upon request. If Jesus was allowed a proper burial then he was the exception, not the rule.

=====================================

2. It is extremely improbable that a respected member of the Sanhedrin (Joseph of Arimathea), which just demanded that Pilate have Jesus killed, would concern himself with the body of a man condemned and executed as a criminal messianic pretender - the King of the Jews.

"If the corpse of Jesus had really been removed by his enemies, the tradition would have grown like this. Jesus was laid in a common grave, like anyone who had been executed. Soon people found this intolerable, but knew that none of his followers had shown him, or could have shown him, the least service of love. A stranger did, and preserved his body from the ultimate shame. Now this could not have been an insignificant stranger, but had to be someone who could dare to go to the court authorities; he had to be a counsellor. The name was to be found in the Gospel tradition, like any other name, and gradually - this last phase is reflected in the Gospels themselves - the pious stranger became a secret...or even an open...disciple of Jesus (Matthew 27:57), someone who did not approve of the counsel and action of the Sanhedrin (Luke 23:50-51)...someone who was a friend not only of Jesus but also of Pilate (Gospel of Peter 3). So the story of Joseph of Arimathea is not completely impossible to invent." Hans Grass, Ostergeschehen und Osterberichte, pg. 180.

=====================================

3. In regards to the burial of Jesus it should be pointed out that the authors of the gospels appear to present their hero Jesus as receiving an increasingly noble rather than a shameful burial. The later additions also attempt to “Christianize” Joseph by making him into a “good guy” but these details are conspicuous in their absence from Mark.

Mark says Joseph of Arimathea was a respected member of the Council (Sanhedrin). Matthew and John turn Joseph into a "disciple" of Jesus. Luke 23:51 says he “had not consented to their decision and action.” Mark has the body wrapped in a newly purchased linen cloth and laid in "a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock." Matthew 27:60 has the variant "in his own NEW tomb, which HE HAD hewn in the rock" - that means Joseph himself or workers commissioned by him hewed out the tomb which is not the case in Mark. Luke 23:53 has "rock-hewn tomb." Matthew says that he laid him in his own tomb and Luke 23:53/John 19:41 notes that it was a tomb "Where no one had ever been laid." All of these are later additions to the oldest Gospel Mark and they are all apologetic attempts to show that Jesus had an honorable burial as opposed to a dishonorable one.

Jews buried criminals in entirely different locations. This was in accordance with the Mishnah Sanhedrin 6:5:

"And they did not bury them in the graves of their fathers, but two burying places were arranged for the Court (Beth Dīn), one for (those) stoned and (those) burned, and one for (those) beheaded and (those) strangled."

A special grave was not necessary for crucified people, since crucifixion was not an official Jewish penalty. Josephus comments on the end of a biblical thief, ‘And after being immediately put to death, he was given at night the dishonorable burial proper to the condemned’ (Jos. Ant. V, 44). Somewhat similarly, he says of anyone who has been stoned to death for blaspheming God, ‘let him be hung during the day, and let him be buried dis- honorably and secretly’ (Jos. Ant. IV, 202). - Maurice Casey
https://books.google.com/books?id=nOiRBQ...&q&f=false

The Tosefta 9:8-9 states that criminals may not be buried in their ancestral burying grounds but have to be placed in those of the court. This is justified by a quoting of the Psalm of David: "Do not gather my soul with the sinners" (26:9). In b. Sanhedrin 47a - "a wicked man may not be buried beside a righteous one."

Archaeologist Jodi Magness (“What Did Jesus’ Tomb Look Like?,” pg. 48) argues:

“There is no evidence that the Sanhedrin or the Roman authorities paid for and maintained rock-hewn tombs for executed criminals from impoverished families. Instead, these unfortunates would have have been buried in individual trench graves or pits.”

Magness also notes that there is no surviving evidence that these tombs were inscribed with names, and thus they could have very easily been completely anonymous:

“After the trench was filled in, a rough headstone was often erected at one end … the headstones are uninscribed, although some may once have had painted decorations or inscriptions that have not survived.”

Therefore, we should infer that if the Jews obtained Jesus' body, this is how he would have been buried - in a criminal's grave, not in a "new" or "empty" "rock-hewn" tomb where "no one had ever been laid" as the later gospels describe.

The earliest Christians and the author of Mark could have seen in Jesus' body being placed in such a burial site the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:9 "And they (Sanhedrin) made his grave with the wicked (criminal burial/crucified between two criminals) and with the rich (Joseph of Arimathea) in his death." So the composer of the narrative just "fulfilled" prophecy by creating the story of the empty tomb.

Luke has Paul say in Acts 13:29 it was "they" - the Jews (plural) who buried Jesus. Acts 13:29 also fits perfectly well with him being thrown in a common criminal's tomb.

"When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb [μνημεῖον]."

This passage does not provide independent corroboration of the rock-hewn tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, since the Greek word used to describe the burial site — μνημεῖον — can also be used to refer to unmarked graves in the ground. For example, the same author uses the word in Luke 11:44 to refer to ground burials:

“Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves [μνημεῖον], which people walk over without knowing it.”

As such, this separate burial tradition does not contradict the hypothesis outlined above that Jesus probably received a ground burial in an unmarked grave. But even if the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea was historical, its emptiness can still be explained through a temporary burial — in which Jesus’ body had been taken down to abide by the regulations of the Sabbath, and was only temporarily put in Joseph’s tomb for storage — only to later be reburied in a criminal graveyard before the third day. - Matthew Ferguson, https://adversusapologetica.wordpress.co...pologetic/

=====================================

4. There is evidence of a conflicting burial tradition. In addition to Acts 13:27-29 which Luke has Paul say it was "the Jews" plural, "those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers" who executed Jesus and then says "they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb", an early variant of John 19:38 also has "they" as in "the Jews" taking Jesus away for burial. This is also found in the Gospel of Peter 6:21 "then they (the Jews) drew the nails…and gave the body to Joseph” and in Justin Martyr: Dialogue 97.1 "towards evening they (the Jews) buried him". The Secret Book of James has Jesus refer to how he was "buried in the sand" meaning it was a shameful burial and mentions no tomb at all. All of these sources are attested early enough to reflect another burial tradition. This conflicts with the synoptics which have Joseph of Arimathea acting alone.

=====================================

5. Paul indicates no knowledge of an empty tomb. He does not reference a Joseph of Arimathea, angel, the women, nothing. I acknowledge that the absence of a detail from Paul does not on its own indicate ahistoricity, given the brief summary nature of his account and the obvious differences with the style of the later narrative accounts. But elements that would have helped Paul's argument greatly are conspicuous by their absence. If Paul was arguing for a physical revivification and knew of an "empty tomb" tradition, for example, it's very strange it gets no mention in 1 Cor 15. The Greek audience he's addressing didn't believe in bodily resurrection. He goes through all that "spiritual body" stuff but not mentioning the empty tomb is quite suspicious. The creed in 1 Cor. 15:4 states that Jesus “was buried” (ἐτάφη); however, this verb simply describes generic burial and can refer to ground burials, such as outlined above, in addition to tomb burials, making it too vague to corroborate the later burial traditions in the Gospels. That Jesus "was buried" means he was dead. This makes the lack of mention of an empty tomb more remarkable, not less.

=====================================

6. It is not multiply attested as apologists like to assert. Matthew and Luke both copied Mark. John was written at such a late date that it was likely influenced by the Markan empty tomb story. Since both M and L both copied Mark, the empty tomb story would have been well known and circulating in the Christian communities by the time the author of John wrote his gospel. In any case, John's Passion narrative cannot be demonstrated to be independent of the Markan empty tomb story.

=====================================

7. Similar stories involving the disappearance of bodies and "heavenly assumptions/rapture stories/translation fables" were quite common in this time period. A Jewish example is found in the Testament of Job 39:8-13; 40:3-4. The disappearance/assumption motif is used to explain what happened to the bones of Job's dead children. They were taken up to heaven by God and glorified.

A more interesting Greek example is found in the 1st century novel by Chariton, Chaereas and Callirhoe 3.3. The hero Chaereas visits the tomb of his recently dead wife saying he "arrived at the tomb at daybreak" where he "found the stones removed and the entrance open. At that he took fright." He finds it empty and concludes that one of the gods has taken Callirhoe up to heaven.

Sound familiar?

This is just an example of how common the idea of apotheosis was in the period and shows how there was already a set of tropes that the Gospels could adapt for their narratives.

“Roger David Aus has discovered what inspired Mark’s story of the enormous rolling- stone. This is the stone which was ‘rolled’ from Jacob’s well (Gen. 29.3, 8, 10). This stone was ‘large’ already at Gen. 29.2, and the shepherds explain that they cannot water their flocks until the stone is rolled away (Gen. 29.8). In later Jewish tradition, there are three shepherds (corresponding to the three flocks of Gen.29.2), who could not roll the stone away, whereas Jacob did so (e.g. Neof I on Gen. 29.8, 10). In story mode, it was thus perfectly reasonable for Mark to have three women who knew they could not roll away the stone, and wondered who would remove it. Jacob was a young man when he rolled away the stone from the well, and it is a natural interpretation of Mark’s narrative that the stone had been removed from the tomb by the angel, who is described as a ‘young man’ (Mk 16.5).

In Jewish tradition, Jacob’s well was the same as Abraham’s well, Isaac’s well and above all Miriam’s well or Moses’ well, which accompanied the Israelites in the wilderness. The well is described as ‘like a rock’ which ‘rolled along’ (e.g. Tanḥ. Bemidbar 2, 21, on Num. 1.1). Jewish tradition interpreted Num. 21.18-20 to mean that the well ended its journey ‘at the top of Pisgah’, where Moses died (Deut. 34.1-5). Pisgah is interpreted as Ramatha, ‘height’ (e.g. Tg. Ps-J. Num. 21.20 rmth’), and Joseph coming from Arimathea is sufficient to remind a storyteller of this. Pisgah is also interpreted in some passages of the LXX with terms which mean ‘hewn from rock’ (e.g. Num. 21.20), which could have caused a storyteller to say that Joseph placed Jesus in a tomb ‘hewn from rock’ (Mk 15.46), or a genuine tradition that Jesus was placed in a tomb for criminals which was in fact ‘hewn from rock’ could have further helped a storyteller to make up his story about the big rolling-stone and the young man.”
- Maurice Casey, cf. Roger David Aus, Death, Burial and Resurrection pp. 139-197.

The fact that such strong parallels exist indicates that invention of the story is a likely possibility.

=====================================

8. It is improbable according to archaeology. In regards to Mark's "rolling stone" door (Mark 16:3-4) the use of the Greek word ἀποκυλίω (to roll away) indicates that the stone closing the tomb was round. A survey of First Century Jewish rock cut and cave tombs by Amos Kloner found that 98% of them were closed by square stones prior to 70 AD, with only 4 (out of over 900) closed by a rolling round stone. After 70 AD, however, round stones became far more common. So this detail seems to be indicating the kind of tomb in the later First Century (when Mark was writing), or it could be that the tomb itself, an element conspicuous by its absence in Paul's version, was an addition to the story.

Kloner says that the word can also mean "to move" but he is incorrect. http://lexiconcordance.com/greek/0617.html The word was only used in regards to round objects or rolling something “rounded”. Square blocking stones could only be “pulled” back/away. Source: Did a Rolling Stone Close Jesus' Tomb?

=====================================

9. We have no record of Jesus' tomb being venerated or even the location mentioned until it was "discovered" in the 4th century. Quite strange for the exact spot where God raised Jesus from the dead to go unnoticed/unmentioned for 300 years don't you think? Jewish tomb veneration was increasing during this time period. The site of the tomb where a Resurrection by God happened would not have been forgotten. The site would have been as important to their preaching as it is in the narrative accounts of all four Gospels. The objection "because Jesus was alive" or because "his body wasn't there" doesn't work because the Church of the Holy Sepulchre became venerated when Jesus was supposedly "alive" and without his remains. The lack of evidence for the veneration of Jesus’ tomb is good evidence that there was no such tomb.

* hear (the objections)

The Sanhedrin was never once in all of history called into session on Passover weekend. Not. Once. Thus the entire story was probably made up. The gospels are replete with contradictions and impossible time-frames.There is no ressurection to explain. There was probably no real Paul, and no Jesus. They made it all up. It's all a waste of time to even begin to argue. The gospels are relpete with stories and concerns from late 1st Century Judaism, which would be consistent with a cult hatching from 100 % fiction, or loosly based on one of a number of messiah figures. The gospels are entirely mythical, (as Carrier has pointed out). There was no Jesus to be resurrected. (Although there were a few messiahs who were said to be). If the Jews and Romans had gone to the trouble to execute someone who was an actual threat, and contemporary stories began to circulate that he was alive, they would have looked for him. Matthew said 500 others rose with him and invaded Jerusalem in a zombie invasion. No one in their right mind buys that nonsense.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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07-10-2015, 11:48 AM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2015 11:52 AM by GotIssues.)
RE: 9 arguments against the empty tomb
(07-10-2015 11:42 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  * hear (the objections)

The Sanhedrin was never once in all of history called into session on Passover weekend. Not. Once. Thus the entire story was probably made up. The gospels are replete with contradictions and impossible time-frames.There is no ressurection to explain. There was probably no real Paul, and no Jesus. They made it all up. It's all a waste of time to even begin to argue. The gospels are relpete with stories and concerns from late 1st Century Judaism, which would be consistent with a cult hatching from 100 % fiction, or loosly based on one of a number of messiah figures. The gospels are entirely mythical, (as Carrier has pointed out). There was no Jesus to be resurrected. If the Jews and Roman had gone to the trouble to execute someone, and contemporary stories began to circulate that he was alive, they would have looked for him. Matthew said 500 others rose with him and invaded Jerusalem in a zombie invasion. No one in their right mind buys that crap.

Thank you for the typo correction.

Ok but what about the arguments? You do realize that these are arguments against the empty tomb and thus against the claims against Christianity? If you're going to debate someone on this topic it doesn't really do much good to just say "Richard Carrier says it's all fiction". The 9 arguments actually show why the empty tomb is most likely fiction.

Probably the best defense I've ever read for the historicity of an actual human Jesus is by the atheist Tim O'Neill: http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2014/...again.html
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07-10-2015, 11:52 AM
RE: 9 arguments against the empty tomb
Thumbsup

Doesn't need 9. Undecided

living word
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07-10-2015, 11:55 AM
RE: 9 arguments against the empty tomb
I wasn't aware they ever fond the tomb of Jesus, so there's no way they can claim anything about it.

Though someone thought this was it:

The Tomb of Jesus and the Body of Christ

It allegedly had Jesus' bones inside, not exactly empty.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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07-10-2015, 11:56 AM (This post was last modified: 08-10-2015 07:31 AM by GotIssues.)
RE: 9 arguments against the empty tomb
(07-10-2015 11:42 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  (as Carrier has pointed out).

On another thread Bucky reprimands me for not using "mainstream" scholars.

Proceeds to cite a fringe Jesus mythicist who is not mainstream by any means...Dodgy
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07-10-2015, 11:59 AM
RE: 9 arguments against the empty tomb
Sometimes I don't know why this is even a discussion except for the fact that so many gullible people believe this idiot story.

The hard truth is that resurrection magic doesn't happen, it just doesn't. But people like to tell tall tales about heroic figures to other people who like the comfort of hearing stories being told. It's a symbiotic relationships and it's produced all kinds of religions all containing lots of magical stuff.

Meh. That's about it. Drinking Beverage

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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07-10-2015, 12:02 PM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2015 12:08 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: 9 arguments against the empty tomb
(07-10-2015 11:48 AM)GotIssues Wrote:  
(07-10-2015 11:42 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  * hear (the objections)

The Sanhedrin was never once in all of history called into session on Passover weekend. Not. Once. Thus the entire story was probably made up. The gospels are replete with contradictions and impossible time-frames.There is no ressurection to explain. There was probably no real Paul, and no Jesus. They made it all up. It's all a waste of time to even begin to argue. The gospels are relpete with stories and concerns from late 1st Century Judaism, which would be consistent with a cult hatching from 100 % fiction, or loosly based on one of a number of messiah figures. The gospels are entirely mythical, (as Carrier has pointed out). There was no Jesus to be resurrected. If the Jews and Roman had gone to the trouble to execute someone, and contemporary stories began to circulate that he was alive, they would have looked for him. Matthew said 500 others rose with him and invaded Jerusalem in a zombie invasion. No one in their right mind buys that crap.

Thank you for the typo correction.

Ok but what about the arguments? You do realize that these are arguments against the empty tomb and thus against the claims against Christianity? If you're going to debate someone on this topic it doesn't really do much good to just say "Richard Carrier says it's all fiction". The 9 arguments actually show why the empty tomb is most likely fiction.

Probably the best defense I've ever read for the historicity of an actual human Jesus is by the atheist Tim O'Neill: http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2014/...again.html

Carrier has many REASONS and arguments. I use some of those. The literary mythical format of the gospels is one. I don't waste my time debating loonatics. Life is too short. True believers do not believe because of reason. Faith is a "gift of God". It's the abandonment of reason. There is really no way to "argue" someone into abandoning their faith. Deconversion is a complex process with many supports that need to rot slowly away.

But knock yourself out, if that's what you're into. I guess if you buy that there was a Jesus and a tomb, they might fly. I don't accept any of it.
http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2014/...again.html is a pile of dung, for many reasons. If that's the best, I feel sorry for you.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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07-10-2015, 12:09 PM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2015 12:14 PM by GotIssues.)
RE: 9 arguments against the empty tomb
(07-10-2015 12:02 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(07-10-2015 11:48 AM)GotIssues Wrote:  Thank you for the typo correction.

Ok but what about the arguments? You do realize that these are arguments against the empty tomb and thus against the claims against Christianity? If you're going to debate someone on this topic it doesn't really do much good to just say "Richard Carrier says it's all fiction". The 9 arguments actually show why the empty tomb is most likely fiction.

Probably the best defense I've ever read for the historicity of an actual human Jesus is by the atheist Tim O'Neill: http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2014/...again.html

Carrier has many REASONS and arguments. I use some of those. The literary mythical format of the gospels is one. I don't waste my time debating loonatics. Life is too short. True believers do not believe because of reason. Faith is a "gift of God". It's the abandonment of reason. There is really no way to "argue" someone into abandoning their faith. Deconversion is a complex process with many supports that need to rot slowly away.

But knock yourself out, if that's what you're into. I guess if you buy that there was a Jesus and a tomb, they might fly. I don't accept any of it.
http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2014/...again.html is a pile of dung, for many reasons. If that's the best, I feel sorry for you.

I buy that there was probably a Jesus. I think the empty tomb is a legend as I pointed out in the OP. For some reason I get the sense you don't actually read what you're responding to on here...

Quote:http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2014/...again.html is a pile of dung, for many reasons. If that's the best, I feel sorry for you.

Great argument you got there. Did you read the whole thing in 2 minutes?
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