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The Resurrection of Jesus is possible

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 423 times Debate No: 71411
Debate Rounds (4)
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Ok in the first 3 rounds we will go back and forth, and in the last round we will make conclusion statements. I will open with statements.

I'm asserting that the resurrection of Jesus is definitely possible due to several reasons

A) the apostles were inspired to go out and lay down their lives for their cause. 11 out of 12 of the apostles died by execution, and one was exiled. They traveled as far as India and Ukraine to spread the church. So here, their dedication and desire to spread the faith is unquestionably strong. No normal person would go out and proclaim a false teaching to their death without serious mental heath problems. These people were clearly affected by the events surrounding the death of Jesus and went to vast lengths to tell people about it.
So, now that it is established that the apostles were extremely affected by this event and died for it, the question arises of why they would do such things if they knew it didn't happen or if they heard only rumors. There must have been a certain event that seemed worthy enough to die (and be tortured) for.

B) there are multiple independent writings and sources that attest to such works. This is called the bible. While I seems Jesus, Moses, and all of the popes got together and schemed the bible together, it is actually just an assembly of independent books that attest to Jesus. Which means yes, the gospels (more the synoptic vs johns, not necessarily all totally original) and the books of the New Testament and mostly different authors. Different and multiple people wrote about the event, most without other biblical references. Different people also had separate experiences with the resurrected Jesus.
Even non biblical books, such as the Babylonian Talmud (essentially history of Judaism) express the belief that something more was going on. The Talmud specifically spoke of Jesus' "sorcery" and how it drew jews towards him.

C) the account has Jesus buried by Joseph of arimathea, and found by women. Since Joseph of arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin, the apostles would have been hostile to him and his beliefs, so it is unlikely that they would write that down if it wasn't true.
The gospel account has Jesus' tomb being discovered by a woman, a strong contrast to other stories of heroes and legends of the time. Women were not in Jesus' inner 12, and did not do much in terms of theology during the life of Jesus. And adding to that was their status in society at the time, which was second class to say the least. All this would have made it very embarrassing for a gospel writer to have a woman discover the tomb. If it was false, and made up, it may as well be Peter of Paul. But instead, the gospels depict them hiding out, while the women find the tomb. This makes it more likely that they weren't lying.

D) Jesus never specifically said "I will rise from the dead" in a very literal sense during the gospels (unlike the eucharist), so it would not be necessary for that to be a part of the theology for it to spread. The apostles had no bible to reference passages that could foreshadow the resurrection. Also, in other large religions, the leaders died also. Muhammad died, Buddha died, and so on. While their followers may have been sad, the religions/philosophies spread anyway.
So, that means it would not have been necessary for christianity to have a resurrection story, and the apostles could have gone out anyway and spread the word about his life. But no, they specifically went about preaching the resurrection, and died for it. They went to great lengths to profess this, when if it was a lie, it would not have necessarily been needed anyway for a religion to develop


First off i would like to say that i am a christian so i do believe in the resurrection, but after reading the pros points i believe that they are flawed.

Point A: The fact that the apostles went out and spread the word of Christ does not have anything to do with proof of him resurrecting, and the thought of someone giving there life for something they truly believe in is a common idea. It's not like its the first time its happened or that it never happened again. In the ancient Greek times we can see this at the battle of Marathon. The hopolite soldiers went out to battle the mighty Persian army, and won, but when the Persians tried to sail around the Athenians sprinted back many miles in full gear to fight another battle for their city. We also see today stories today of soldiers jumping on a grenade, or radical Islamist blowing themselves up for their cause.

My point is that people go to extreme lengths for their religion, country, family etc., even risking their own lives to do so. So the simple fact that the apostles risked there lives to preach the word of Christ proves nothing. In fact Romans commonly risked there lives praying in secret for their Christian beliefs. Point A proves does not prove that Jesus could have been resurrected.

Point B: It is commonly known that the bible has been altered throughout the years it has been in this world. Catholic Priests have added and taken out verses from the bible. It has also been translated numerous times which can be cause for misconceptions and false translations. The bible would also be considered an extreme bias to this debate, and it can not be held as truth. There are also other religious texts on this earth, and based of the pros logic in his first argument, that would also make them true sense there are also numerous individual writings of them. They also do not mention Jesus in their books. So in that case the Resurrection of Jesus could not be possible.

Point C: Pro presents here that because of how woman were treated in these times, and because a woman found Jesus, it must be true because who would admit that a woman was the one to find Christ the Almighty.

This is extremely flawed! Woman during the Augustan era were actually treated fairly well. Unlike Greek times woman were allowed to divorce and speak there minds. During this time many woman were seen as equal to men. This simple fact throws out the entirety of pros point C. Pro has still not proven a possibility of a resurrection at this point.

Point D: Pro shows again his/her lack of knowledge in history. First of Buddhism and Islam were not around at the time of the story of Christianity. This disproves that the bible had to have a Resurrection story, because of these other large religions. Plus Romans at the time commonly believed in the idea of several gods that had immortal life and slept with mortals.They also believed in stories of great heroes being resurrected as gods because of their great deeds they did in life. So the simple thought that Jesus was resurrected could not be a uncommon and unheard of idea during this time period. The apostles were risking their lives because they were preaching the ideas of there being one god, where as i have already stated that the Romans at the time believed in several gods. At many times Christians were just being killed because of an emperors hate for them, as we can see vastly in Nero and Caligula.

The Pro has presented no facts or good philosophical reasoning for there to ever be a resurrection of Christ. Round goes to Con!
Debate Round No. 1


Well, first of all I'm not sure why you're contending this is you agree with me. Don't understand how you could "win".
Also you misunderstood many of my examples.

A) yes, you're example is correct that the Greeks and Spartans did fight and die for their countries, as all soldiers sign up to do. But the difference is that Athens and Sparta were things. It is not debated that they existed. Fighting for a country is fighting for an identity that is in no way non existent. The resurrection is a hotly contended topic that is not proven and can never be fully proven (I'm just saying it's very possible). So, yes the apostles went out and died for not only their faith (which is one thing that is definitely a thing and is existent), but also specifically taught of the resurrection until the death. Like point D, I pointed out that the Christian faith could possibly have grown without a resurrection. So the apostles specifically went out with this in their minds.
You're example would be valid if Spartan soldiers went out and died for their leader who had just risen from the dead or something.

B) ah.. a good old Protestant argument that has little to no validity of substance to it. You cannot assert that catholic priests altered the bible (when in fact Martin Luther took out major books to help his doctrine) when we literally have many bibles and documents going back to pe- middle ages. The latin vulgate and the Greek Septuagint, if translated correctly, are still the same. Yes, you could say translation but that does not remove the fact that these are seperate accounts of the resurrection. Marks gospel, for one, lacks theology so much, that it is written just like a historical document. I am also not holding the bible as truth, I am just using it to point out the independent sources.

You misunderstand my argument about the other sources. I am not using them as facts, but simply as a tool to show that multiple people with little to no affiliation wrote about a similar topic with very similar results. Your argument at the end of B makes no sense.

C) yes you could say they were treated better than in other areas of the world, but it does not change the fact that if it were made up or a legend, it would make no sense to have the apostles, our church fathers and heroes, hiding, while the women who was a former prostitute making the discovery. This and the tomb of Joseph of arimathea would not be a very popular thing for someone to just say as a Christian and would only damper one of the most crucial teachings.

Again, I am not proving the resurrection, just asserting that it is very possible and in no way attempt to prove it with that statement.

D) con again majorly misunderstands what I am saying. I did not imply that buddha or Mohammad were around with Jesus, I only used the religions as examples. Both their founders died, and both became 2 massively popular religions. So my point is that christianity did not necessarily need the resurrection to become a validated religion. But instead they go into a new level of theology with this teaching that did not need to be utilized. If there was no resurrection , why make up an entire story completed with the ascension just because?


I contended this because i believe that your statements were flawed, and i don't agree with them.

A) people in Greek and roman times did many things for the gods and goddesses that they never had proof for. The whole story of Athens name is mythology but there was still a city named Athens. It is not unique to the time that apostles risked their lives to spread the word of Christ. Pros point is invalid and flawed.

B) "ah.. a good old Protestant argument that has little to no validity of substance to it". says Pro, but when i go to to type in to Google "has the bible been altered," i get 11,600,000 results. The first few you click on and read will give you countless examples of differences between companies that make the bible. Verses are altered with different words, and even to have different meanings. So if i can pick up to Christian bibles and see that they are different even in our highly advanced world today, whose to say that word of mouth didn't cause a few inconsistencies in the bible. We also get everything we know from Jesus's time from one man that wrote it down, Paul. The other separate books were written decades and even centuries later. There are even discrepancies from Paul's writings to the writings we see happen later. Pro shows more invalid and flawed points!

C)To say that the significance of people writing down that a prostitute found Jesus proves possibility is not a very thought out argument. up until Roman Empire times prostitutes were actually the only woman that could speak publicly and do as they pleased without being ridiculed. The apostles had reasons to hide out at these times, were as a prostitute had no worries in the streets.

D) Pro here seems to ignore my argument that a resurrection was not anew concept and that there were far more unbelievable stories of the Greek and Roman gods that were held true during the time of Christ. Pro still shows lack of knowledge concerning the times around the supposed resurrection.
Debate Round No. 2


This is the last round before conclusions

Once again Con misunderstands and incorrectly uses examples.

A) you don't seem to understand what I'm saying here. I understand that Greeks died for their cause, but the example doesn't work. They didn't just to die for the religion in general. Their passion is linked to the resurrection. If the resurrection didn't happen, then the great commission never happened, and therefore what the apostles cited as their command to spread the word never existed. Now, they didn't need a resurrection per say, but they definitely believed in one. Only total psychopaths would get together to plan out the biggest lie in history when it was not needed. The apostles died for the faith as well as the resurrection, and in many cases were presented with the option to deny Jesus' divinity and live, which essentially means denounce the miracles (and the greatest miracle of all, the resurrection). They chose not to do so, and were promptly executed. They died for Christianity. Not the name Christianity, but the system of beliefs. And the framework of that belief is that Jesus is divine and conquered death.

B) you misue a critical example here. First of all, the amount of search results has nothing to do with the conclusion. Earlier you blamed translations on catholic priests, now you say companies change the bible. Original bibles in Latin/Greek have not changed because we still have them. It is not companies changing the bible how they see fit, it is different sects of Christianity that change the bible in translation of what they think each word means best. Now, if you want to see an original bible, look at a catholic bible, and it will be as close as you can get to the early documents. Word of mouth does not apply because we literally have very early bibles. Also, in pre-medieval times, monks and priests would translate bibles exactly from another bible. The bible does not have to be changed to fit catholic doctrine because Catholics assembled the bible.

Con makes an extremely invalid and not thought out example by saying Paul was the sole or main source of information from Jesus' time. Besides the other books of the bible, there are many writings such as those of Tacitus, a prominent Roman historian during the times of the very army church pre 2nd century. Also the letters of Pliny the younger, governor of Asia minor who asked Rome about how to deal with the Christian problem. Back to the bible, con seems to disregard that these are Seperate documents not written by the same person.

C) con displays a very weak knowledge of the bible and the history of the times. Although these were the "Roman times", the world was not Rome. This was in Israel. Maybe in Rome a prostitute could walk around freely, but if you would've remebered, Mary Magadelene was about to be stoned by the people when Jesus told them that whoever had no sin to throw them irate stone. She was not a popular figure. They attempted to kill her, and according to the bible, Jesus pulled 7 spirits from her, so she dedicated her life to him. She wasn't walking around as a prostitute, she was walking around as a follower of Christ just as the apostles were. So, again, for a major apostles or church father to say Mary magalene, a woman who was nearly stoned, found Jesus and was the one to report it to the hiding disciples.

D) con again misunderstands everything I'm attempting to explain with d. The only point is that the apostles did not need the resurrection to legitimize the faith. The reason I brought up Islam is because Mohammad died without a spectacular performance or event, and the religion grew. There is no reason to make up an entire account of a story that they knew didn't happen. Why would they add this incredibly relevant and important issue to the faith when it was not needed? Multiple times in the bible it is said that if there is no resurrection basically the faith is a lie. They added this extremely important teaching that, if not true, 100% compromises then faith.


A) Pro has presented no evidence for the sole reason the apostles risked their lives to spread their word was because of their passion for the resurrection. Pro insists that the sacrifice of a life for an idea is proof enough to consider the resurrection possible. People kill themselves in cults because they believe that what the cult leader tells them. Christianity started as a cult and has had some dark times. Pro also admits that the apostles could have been all psychopaths and made the whole thing up.
B)"First of all, the amount of search results has nothing to do with the conclusion" Pro
" ah.. a good old Protestant argument that has little to no validity of substance to it" Pro
I have over 11 million results of validity. Pro contradicts himself.
When Catholic priests copied the bible they didn't copy it from another book, they listened to another priest reading it aloud to them. We know this through history to have caused generalizations, and shortened versions. They didn't exactly have whiteout during the middle ages. If we have the original bibles then why don't we copy them down word for word? Why do the different Christian faiths disagree? If they disagree, then where is the original bible so that we can see the true fact? Why are the Catholics the the correct ones? As you know they were the cause for much corruption and the crusades.

C) "Although these were the "Roman times", the world was not Rome. This was in Israel." Pro
Israel was part of the Roman Empire.
"Maybe in Rome a prostitute could walk around freely, but if you would've remebered, Mary Magadelene was about to be stoned by the people when Jesus told them that whoever had no sin to throw them irate stone."
What Proof is there of this event ever happening?
D) Pro still tries to legitimatize that the story of Islam and Buddhism's leaders affect the uniqueness and importance that it has to the story of Christ, but because these events happened after Jesus. They would be in fact original to themselves. Pro again ignores the the points i presented about the Greek and Roman religions before Christianity.
Debate Round No. 3


I will once again summarize my points again in conclusion.
Con is in either denial or just displays a lack of knowledge of wording or biblical history.

A) I don't need to present you any other evidence other than the fact that they all died for christs divinity, which included the resurrection. You don't understand here.. Jesus didn't tell th apostles to kill themselves or do something. They did it mainly seperatly, and risked their own lives without being told to because they believed so strongly in this. This point is very similar to point d in that they believed so strongly in something that didn't necessarily have to be apart of the faith. Maybe they had bad times in the middle ages, but this is the first century bud.
Also sacrifice of a life for an idea or event does prove the persons dedication... I don't know what you're even trying to get at at this point.. This isn't contrary to any Christian Faith

B) con for some reason is insisting because Google gave him 11 million search results he must be right. Well if you search "should the United states dissolve" you get 22 million results. About double the results. So according to cons logic, double the legitimacy right? Nope, the amount of substance does not prove anything.
What are you talking about? Catholic priests for years copied off other bibles... We have early bibles so if we need to we could just check them to see how close they are and oh look, they're the same.. The only differences are in translation and between catholic and Protestant bibles because Martin Luther removed parts of it. Con asks why we don't just copy them down word for word if we have ancient bibles? Well first of all, they're in Latin Greek and Hebrew if you want to find a Latin Greek or Hebrew bible it will be the same. But languages can be interpreted different ways, so the differences are in translation not history.
The different Christian churches disagree because Martin Luther came up with the idea that every person can interpret the bible the correct way. (Didn't work out so well).. And now there are thousands of Christian churches that all claim different interpretations to fit their ideology. The only bible that remains unchanged from the council of nicea where they formulated the bible is the catholic bible. Translations may differ, but that's in no way priests changing verses for no reason. (Again, there is no reason for a catholic priest to change the bible.. It was made by Catholics so it fits the catholic doctrine).

Well I can't tell you for a fact that the Catholics are the "correct ones", but I can say that they are the "original ones". This is not a discussion of the crusades.. This is about 1000 years before that so your argument trying to invalidate the church doesn't apply. The church, while corrupted by monetary bribes and such for a short period of time, has never once changed its core doctrine, or its bible. So that is why I use the catholic bible. Because if you grab a Hebrew catholic bible you have the closed thing you can get to an original bible.

C) con shows either a lack of understanding of a purposeful twisting of words. Israel was apart of the Roman Empire, but again, many many miles from Rome. Your example was from the city of Rome and in no way applied to the entire empire. Israel mainly governed themselves, while the Romans stepped into the equation for large issues. This is why they attempted to stone Mary Magdalene. And how do I know this? Well the story comes from the bible, and has no theology in it so I don't see how it could come off as that illegitimate, especially considering that she plays a major role in the rest of the gospels. And because you claim you're a Christian, that should be a valid source.
Mary magdalene was again about to be executed before jesus stopped the crowd, and she joined him. Contrary to con's statement, in this region of the Roman Empire (aka Israel) women WERE treated as second class citizens, not being able to divorce and so on. So my reasoning is just that of the story was a legend, and not true, it would make little sense at the time to have a woman be the hero in this case. It is very unlikely such a thing would happen and only makes the legitimacy of a writing greater.

D) con, again, is seriously ignoring this point. This has nothing to do with time frame. It could apply in 3000 bc or now. To start the religion, they didn't need to add on a resurrection story. The ONLY reason I brought up other religions was to show they also became massive without a divine miracle at the end of their founders lives. So con, you cannot say any more about how the time frame affects the scenario. To clarify, of course resurrections were known in stories... But those are just stories.

As christianity makes clear, if the resurrection is false then the entire faith is false. So it is a major deal. Why would the apostles in their right minds ever add something that critical to the faith that was false. It would be very difficult to spread early on, because people wouldnt believe them because they would've known jesus is still dead in his tomb. That would've sounded more like a conspiracy theory. To give an analogy, that would be like adding to the end of the eulogy of ghandi's funeral "and after he died, he rose from the dead, gave one last speech and then died". No... You don't need to add that to the life of ghandi because a) the people that knew him know that didn't happen and b) his life is already legitimate, you don't need to attempt to legitimize it with crazy stories if you plan to start a religion.


A) Pro doesn't present any factual or scientific proof that a resurrection is possible
B) Pro claims that the bible has been unchanged by the catholic church, despite the numerous amount of evidence that says different
C) Pro says that a story from the bible is legitimate when in the 2nd round Pro states " I am also not holding the bible as truth." Pro throughout the debate has changed his mind several times
D) Pro still just waves off my previous points and does not try to factually deny them. Pro cherry picks the argument vastly.

Pro shows a lack of knowledge surrounding the history in which the resurrection may or may not have taken place. Pro dos almost nothing to rebut my points and cherry picks them. Pro shows no scientific proof of a resurrection being possible. Pro uses only bias and opinionated arguments throughout the debate. The lack of evidence and lack of proof Pro presents does not prove a possibility of the resurrection of Christ.
Debate Round No. 4
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