The Instigator
iTruthSeeker
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
TheEpicTricycle
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

Is it Reasonable to Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
iTruthSeeker
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 406 times Debate No: 85596
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

iTruthSeeker

Pro

Welcome, this debate will be discussing if it is reasonable to believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead based on evidence, testimonies and events that took place regarding this issue.

I look forward to this debate and I challenge any who are willing to objectively argue this issue as I will be arguing that IT IS reasonable to believe in the resurrection.

Structure will be as follows:

Round 1: Personal Introduction/Acceptance... (No opening arguments/statements)

Round 2: Opening statements/arguments

Round 3: 1st Rebuttal

Round 4: 2nd Rebuttal

Round 5: Final Rebuttal/Conclusion

TheEpicTricycle

Con

I accept this debate and will be arguing why it is unreasonable to believe in the resurrection of Jesus.

Good luck
Debate Round No. 1
iTruthSeeker

Pro

Alright, best wishes to my debater as well. I appreciate your acceptance of this debate.

Lets begin,

I believe that this question has the utmost importance in everybody lives and is crucial to the Christian faith.. That is, "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain." - 1 Corinthians 15:14

So what reasons do my fellow Christians and I have that Jesus is in fact, risen? Well, lets first start by understanding how a historical case for Jesus resurrection might look like.. We need to look at the case objectively.. Mainly, what is the best explanation for the events that took place during that time period in history. Would the "best explanation" for the events lead us to reasonably assert that Jesus did rise?

Looking at the case objectively, here are my 2 main contentions:

1). There are 4 historical facts that need a plausible explanation

2). The best explanation for these events in the resurrection of Jesus


Fact #1: After Jesus was crucified, He was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimethia:


We have four biographies of Jesus, by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which have been collected into the New Testament, along with various letters of the apostle Paul. Now the burial account is part of Mark’s source material for the story of Jesus’ suffering and death. This is a very early source which is probably based on eyewitness testimony and which the commentator Rudolf Pesch dates to within seven years of the crucifixion. Moreover, Paul also cites an extremely early source for Jesus’ burial which most scholars date to within five years of Jesus’ crucifixion. Independent testimony to Jesus’ burial by Joseph is also found in the sources behind Matthew and Luke and the Gospel of John, not to mention the extra-biblical Gospel of Peter. Thus, we have the remarkable number of at least five independent sources for Jesus’ burial, some of which are extraordinarily early.
and Since Joseph of Arimethia is part of the Jewish Sanhedrin,


There was an understandable hostility in the early church toward the Jewish leaders. In Christian eyes, they had engineered a judicial murder of Jesus. Thus, according to the late New Testament scholar Raymond Brown, Jesus’ burial by Joseph is “very probable,” since it is “almost inexplicable” why Christians would make up a story about a Jewish Sanhedrist who does what is right by Jesus.

For these and other reasons, most New Testament critics concur that Jesus was buried by Joseph of Arimethia in a tomb. According to the late John A. T. Robinson of Cambridge University, the burial of Jesus in the tomb is “one of the earliest and best-attested facts about Jesus.”


Fact #2: Jesus tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers the Sunday after the crucifixion.

Among the reasons which have led most scholars to this conclusion are the following:

1. The empty tomb is also multiply attested by independent, early sources.

Mark’s source didn’t end with the burial, but with the story of the empty tomb, which is tied to the burial story verbally and grammatically. Moreover, Matthew and John have independent sources about the empty tomb; it’s also mentioned in the sermons in the Acts of the Apostles (2.29; 13.36); and it’s implied by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian church (I Cor. 15.4). Thus, we have again multiple, early, independent attestation of the fact of the empty tomb.

2. The tomb was discovered empty by women.

In patriarchal Jewish society the testimony of women was not highly regarded. In fact, the Jewish historian Josephus says that women weren’t even permitted to serve as witnesses in a Jewish court of law. Now in light of this fact, how remarkable it is that it is women who are the discoverers of Jesus’ empty tomb. Any later legendary account would certainly have made male disciples like Peter and John discover the empty tomb. The fact that it is women, rather than men, who are the discoverers of the empty tomb is best explained by the fact that they were the chief witnesses to the fact of the empty tomb, and the Gospel writers faithfully record what, for them, was an awkward and embarrassing fact.


Fact #3: on different occasions and circumstances, different individuals and groups of people experienced appearances of Jesus alive from the dead

This is a fact which is virtually universally acknowledged by scholars, for the following reasons:

1. Paul’s list of eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection appearances guarantees that such appearances occurred.

Paul tells us that Jesus appeared to his chief disciple Peter, then to the inner circle of disciples known as the Twelve; then he appeared to a group of 500 disciples at once, then to his younger brother James, who up to that time was apparently not a believer, then to all the apostles. Finally, Paul adds, “he appeared also to me,” at the time when Paul was still a persecutor of the early Jesus movement (I Cor. 15.5-8). Given the early date of Paul’s information as well as his personal acquaintance with the people involved, these appearances cannot be dismissed as mere legends.

2. The appearance narratives in the Gospels provide multiple, independent attestation of the appearances.

For example, the appearance to Peter is attested by Luke and Paul; the appearance to the Twelve is attested by Luke, John, and Paul; and the appearance to the women is attested by Matthew and John. The appearance narratives span such a breadth of independent sources that it cannot be reasonably denied that the earliest disciples did have such experiences. Thus, even the skeptical German New Testament critic Gerd Lüdemann concludes, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”

Fact #4: the original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe that Jesus rose from the dead despite the fact that to their worldview, it was impossible.

Think of the situation the disciples faced following Jesus’ crucifixion:

1. Their leader was dead.

And Jewish Messianic expectations had no idea of a Messiah who, instead of triumphing over Israel’s enemies, would be shamefully executed by them as a criminal.

2. Jewish beliefs about the afterlife precluded anyone’s rising from the dead to glory and immortality before the general resurrection of the dead at the end of the world.

Nevertheless, the original disciples suddenly came to believe so strongly that God had raised Jesus from the dead that they were willing to die for the truth of that belief. But then the obvious question arises: What in the world caused them to believe such an un-Jewish and outlandish thing? Luke Johnson, a New Testament scholar at Emory University, muses, “Some sort of powerful, transformative experience is required to generate the sort of movement earliest Christianity was.” 5 And N. T. Wright, an eminent British scholar, concludes, “That is why, as an historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.” 6

In summary, there are four facts agreed upon by the majority of scholars: Jesus’ burial, the discovery of his empty tomb, his post-mortem appearances, and the origin of the disciples’ belief in his resurrection.


Now to my 2nd contention: the best explanation of these facts is that Jesus rose from the dead

This, of course, was the explanation that the eyewitnesses themselves gave, and I can think of no better explanation. The Resurrection Hypothesis passes all of the standard criteria for being the best explanation, such as explanatory power, explanatory scope, plausibility, and so forth. Of course, down through history various alternative naturalistic explanations of the resurrection have been proposed, such as the Conspiracy Hypothesis, the Apparent Death Hypothesis, the Hallucination Hypothesis, and so on. In the judgment of contemporary scholarship, however, none of these naturalistic hypotheses has managed to provide a plausible explanation of the facts.

So to conclude, I think it is perfectly reasonable to believe that Jesus rising from the dead is THE BEST explanation regarding the facts. Therefore, my debater must provide an alternate explanation of these facts that do not contradict modern contemporary scholarship. I look forward to hearing your response.

Sources"
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

Raymond E. Brown, The Death of the Messiah, 2 vols. (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1994), 2: 1240-1.

N. T. Wright, “The New Unimproved Jesus,” Christianity Today (September 13, 1993), p. 26.

N. T Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis, Minn.: Fortress Press, 2003), p. 710.


TheEpicTricycle

Con

TheEpicTricycle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
iTruthSeeker

Pro

Looks like my opponent had an issue meeting the deadline.... No worries.. I will continue using Round 1 as my Round 2 "rebuttal"


TheEpicTricycle

Con

In order to believe in this resurrection, you will have to believe
1) That things can raise from the dead.
2) we have been a species for no less than 100,000 years, and you would have to believe that for 98,000 years, us as a species would have suffered and died, around 25 years old, probably of our teeth. Mostly dying at birth. and for 98,000 years heaven watched with complete indifference. Then, about 2,000 years ago, god said, "okay, enough of this death. I think I'll send a self-proclaimed incarnation of myself to bronze age Palestine as a human sacrifice and that should end all this needless extinction." Not to china where they can read, no, the most poorest part of Palestine.

I must ask us all, is this really reasonable?

To quote David Hume, "Which is more likely, that the whole natural order be suspended, or that a Jewish minx should tell a lie?"

vote con
Debate Round No. 3
iTruthSeeker

Pro

iTruthSeeker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
iTruthSeeker

Pro

My sincerest apologies! I had no access to computer and was unable to post my rebuttal.... That being said, I will treat my last round as a rebuttal/conclusion to my case.

I want to thank my opponent again for his earlier response.. I must admit however.. I find it lacking it its intellectual scope. Let me explain...

In my opening statement.. I stated my 2 main contentions:
1). There are 4 historical facts that need plausible explanation
2). Jesus resurrection of the dead is the most plausible explanation for these facts

Now, my opponent has said NOTHING so far in regards to these 4 historical facts:
1).After Jesus was crucified, He was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimethia
2).Jesus tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers the Sunday after the crucifixion
3).on different occasions and circumstances, different individuals and groups of people experienced appearances of Jesus alive from the dead
4).the original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe that Jesus rose from the dead despite the fact that to their worldview, it was impossible.

Instead he replies: In order to believe in this resurrection, you will have to believe
1) That things can raise from the dead.

My friends, this is the presuppositions that we see in EVERY single atheists viewing of the evidence for the resurrection... That is,
1). They do not believe that things can be raised from the dead
2). Therefore it is unreasonable to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead

They COMPLELTY disregard the evidence leading straight toward the resurrection view.. and instead.. Invent a hypothesis that is within itself.. Highly controversial! Let me give you an example....

The leading hypothesis for the accounting's of these 4 pieces of historical data is the hallucination hypothesis... It essentially states that the experiences of the risen Jesus according to the eyewitness's was them projecting both auditory or visual hallucination's.. To put it simply. The disciples hallucinated Jesus.

This hypothesis is fraught with problems... Namely..

it doesn't account for the 500 eye-witness to Jesus from a group of both believers and non believers... clinical psychologist Gary A. Sibcy has commented, “I have surveyed the professional literature (peer-reviewed journal articles and books) written by psychologists, psychiatrists, and other relevant health care professionals during the past two decades and have yet to find a single documented case of a group hallucination"

It doesn't account for the radical life changing account of Paul... He was earlier known as Saul and was a feared persecutor of the earliest Christians.. Is it really possible that a man who hated Christianity and was know for ruthlessly executing Christians would hallucinate Jesus and radically change his life to the point of dieing in His name? No..

Another leading "hypothesis" to my earlier contention is that the disciples fabricated the story for their own political gains... Lets remember that all but 1 of the original disciples died for their devotion to Christ: (Phillip and Peter were crucified, Thomas was run through by a spear. Etc...).. Is it really reasonable that the disciples were willing to have themselves crucified for a lie? No.. Paul makes this point clear.. "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Guys.. These are some of the LEADING explanations by mainstream contemporary scholarship for the historical evidence I gave in my earliest contentions... The issue is.. In order to disregard the resurrection miracle.. these scholars need to create a miracle!! Lets take a minute, step back, and ask ourselves if it would take more faith to believe in my eyewitness's claims.. That is: "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures - 1 Corinthians 15." .. Or if it takes more faith to believe in these hilariously fallacious claims. That's for you to decide.

Now my opponent states: "you would have to believe that for 98,000 years, us as a species would have suffered and died, around 25 years old, probably of our teeth. Mostly dying at birth. and for 98,000 years heaven watched with complete indifference."

This is not the biblical account whatsoever.. Let me trace the biblical storyline..

1). God creates humanity... Humanity sins and is banished to live with the consequence of their sin... That is, for them to live in a world were death is a reality (Genesis 3:14)
2). God sets up a covenant with Abraham that one day, his descendant (Israelites) will eventually give rise to the "messiah" and free the world from the power of sin
3). Along comes Jesus who is both God and the fulfilled "Messiah", who breaks the power of sin by dieing on the cross to exact the perfect justice and the perfect mercy of God
4). Therefore, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Allowing for forgiveness and acceptance to be had by humans while continuing to respect the freewill that every individual has

To say that "heaven watched in complete indifference".. While the God of the universe allows Himself to be ripped to shreds and suffer one of the most horrendous formers of murder known to man in that His creation would be reconciled to him.. Is tremendously misguided.


My opponent then states: Then, about 2,000 years ago, god said, "okay, enough of this death. I think I'll send a self-proclaimed incarnation of myself to bronze age Palestine as a human sacrifice and that should end all this needless extinction."

Again, not biblical.. The "needless extinction" he refers to is the result of the freewill endowed on each human being by God.. Not the result of God randomly creating humans to be the object of his diluted fantasies to watch his creation suffer.. And just in case my opponent still thinks that the time of Jesus being revealed in history is just some random occurrence.. I would like him to look at the sheer amount of prophecies that were written THOUSANDS of years before Jesus was even born..

20 Prophecies Jesus Christ Fulfilled
Prophecies About Jesus Old Testament
Scripture
New Testament
Fulfillment
1 Messiah would be born of a woman. Genesis 3:15 Matthew 1:20
Galatians 4:4
2 Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1
Luke 2:4-6
3 Messiah would be born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:22-23
Luke 1:26-31
4 Messiah would come from the line of Abraham. Genesis 12:3
Genesis 22:18
Matthew 1:1
Romans 9:5
5 Messiah would be a descendant of Isaac. Genesis 17:19
Genesis 21:12
Luke 3:34
6 Messiah would be a descendant of Jacob. Numbers 24:17 Matthew 1:2
7 Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah. Genesis 49:10 Luke 3:33
Hebrews 7:14
8 Messiah would be heir to King David's throne. 2 Samuel 7:12-13
Isaiah 9:7
Luke 1:32-33
Romans 1:3
9 Messiah's throne will be anointed and eternal. Psalm 45:6-7
Daniel 2:44
Luke 1:33
Hebrews 1:8-12
10 Messiah would be called Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:23
11 Messiah would spend a season in Egypt. Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:14-15
12 A massacre of children would happen at Messiah's birthplace. Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew 2:16-18
13 A messenger would prepare the way for Messiah Isaiah 40:3-5 Luke 3:3-6
14 Messiah would be rejected by his own people. Psalm 69:8
Isaiah 53:3
John 1:11
John 7:5
15 Messiah would be a prophet. Deuteronomy 18:15 Acts 3:20-22
16 Messiah would be preceded by Elijah. Malachi 4:5-6 Matthew 11:13-14
17 Messiah would be declared the Son of God. Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:16-17
18 Messiah would be called a Nazarene. Isaiah 11:1 Matthew 2:23
19 Messiah would bring light to Galilee. Isaiah 9:1-2 Matthew 4:13-16
20 Messiah would speak in parables. Psalm 78:2-4
Isaiah 6:9-10
Matthew 13:10-15, 34-35

So I think its safe to say that my opponent is spewing the typical atheist misunderstanding of the biblical plot line and interjecting his own biased presuppositions.

I want however, to have YOU (the audience) look at the evidence as objectively as possible..

If Jesus really claimed himself to be God (John 8:58), claimed that he would die and be raised on the third day (Luke 9:22)... and claim that anybody who does not believe him will perish (John 12:47)... Shouldn't we at least look at the historical, and evidential credibility of what He said? Especially when a good 2.5 - 3 billion humans believe Him to be "the truth, the way, and the life"?

Guys if God is real.. Then by definition... He is able to raise people from the dead! If a man made these claims and all of the historical evidence led to the simple fact that he WAS raised.. Then what else are we to do but believe them?

Nonetheless, I hope this debate at least opened your mind to the possibility.. To the fact that all the mainstream "hypothesis" are all flawed in some sense and that it IS PERFECTLY REASONABLE TO BELEIVE IN THE RESSURECTION OF JESUS.

I urge you to continue your search. I believe it had the utmost importance in every body's lives.. in the words of the late C.S Lewis "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”



TheEpicTricycle

Con

TheEpicTricycle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by harrytruman 1 year ago
harrytruman
Isaiah 6:9-10 is G-d's instructions to Isaiah, NOT a Messianic prophecy.
Posted by TheEpicTricycle 1 year ago
TheEpicTricycle
sorry i missed the argument deadline, I dont have a computer at home, so ill pick up my slack in the next round.
Posted by iTruthSeeker 1 year ago
iTruthSeeker
I look forward to it.
Posted by Grenspal 1 year ago
Grenspal
You are a serious debater. That's hard to come by on this website. Expect a challenge in the future.
Posted by iTruthSeeker 1 year ago
iTruthSeeker
Thanks for the regards! I'm mainly interested in Christian apologetic's but i'd be willing to debate other topics that I am somewhat knowledgeable on.
Posted by Grenspal 1 year ago
Grenspal
Very, impressive! What other topics are you interested in debating?
Posted by iTruthSeeker 1 year ago
iTruthSeeker
I've been researching this material for a couple years.
Posted by Grenspal 1 year ago
Grenspal
iTruthSeeker, how long did you prepare for this debate?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by condeelmaster 1 year ago
condeelmaster
iTruthSeekerTheEpicTricycleTied
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Total points awarded:22 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited more times and didn't make any effort to refute Pro's arguments. However, Pro's reasoning was based upon the statement that biblical texts describe historical facts. The Bible, neither any other sacred text, is a reliable source of facts, so the whole argument is invalid. However, as I already said, Pro at least made an effort.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
iTruthSeekerTheEpicTricycleTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff more times, so conduct to Pro.