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this example of people rising from the dead n the bible is probably an embellishment or false

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/12/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 462 times Debate No: 60384
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this example of people rising from the dead in the bible is probably an embellishment or false

51 When Jesus died, the curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom. Also, the earth shook and rocks were broken. 52 The graves opened, and many of God"s people who had died were raised from death. 53 They came out of the graves. And after Jesus was raised from death, they went into the holy city, and many people saw them. -Matthew 27:51

Aside from Jesus healing people, this appears to me as the biggest supernatural event in the Gospel: Other people rising from the dead, out of graves!

The fact this story is only mentioned in one of the gospels (and incredibly briefly at that) is interesting. More interesting, perhaps, is that we have a range of non-Biblical records from a similar time, and this event is not recorded. Frankly, it would have been. Corpses stumbling through the streets is not something that people idly dismiss. Even for the people not all that interested in "yet another prophet", but just wanted to eke out their existence - this would have been a huge event.

I know this won't be popular, but it seems the most likely explanation is that this was an embellishment, perhaps intended to resonate with a particular audience, but equally perhaps just accidentally added during the oral tradition (IIRC the gospel of Matthew is usually dated between 40 and 70 years after these events).

The problem, though, is that it is not kosher to suggest/acknowledge this view, because it raises the ugly question: "if that bit is an embellishment, what else is?", and throws the "divine inspired" into chaos. But: I know plenty of Christians who raise an eyebrow at this part of Matthew, particularly because it is so throwaway.


I accept this intriguing subject of a debate.

I challenge you, my opponent, firstly why we would question the miracles the Bible says Jesus performed for other (dead) people, when probably the most significant event in the whole Book is when Jesus himself died and rose again--or is this what we are debating?

Second, why would anyone want to change the stories recorded in someone's journal? [1]

The case for Christ started when people began noticing how odd Jesus was in His life on earth and how He did "supernatural" things (like heal people and raise them from the dead). He did this to show His power, his authority as God, and--my opinion--His love for us. If Jesus really is the Messiah and the all-mighty God who created everything/one, why would His miracles on earth be so astounding? We can look at all the evidence for Creation(ism) and know that it is not to be taken lightly, nor is it fabrication. [2], [3]

Next round I will confront my opponent's thoughts on why some miracles in the Bible are fake. As for this round, I didn't know what exactly we were focusing on so I will await what DG says next.

Debate Round No. 1


dairygirl4u2c forfeited this round.


My opponent forfeits.
Debate Round No. 2


con just asked a bunch of irrelevant questions and made irrelevant points, just made some blank assertions.

we dont have any reason to think someone's journal would be tampered with. but that claim was never made.

to look at the supernatural things jesus did isn't looking at this verse in particular. where is the historical record of people rising from the dead? and the supernatural things you mention are only backed by teh bible itself anyways, not historical record.


"we dont have any reason to think someone's journal would be tampered with"

Exactly, so why would somebody's journal be an embellishment?

"where is the historical record of people rising from the dead? and the supernatural things you mention are only backed by teh bible itself anyways, not historical record."

You contradict yourself. If the Bible is a collection of journals, worship/song books, and prophesies that were most likely NOT tampered with, why isn't it considered a historical record? But as I see your point, I will show you how people could've risen from the dead.

1. Jesus is God, according to the Christian Holy Book which is God's Word. God is capable of anything and everything He wants to do/happen. Jesus is God in the form of man, and He walked on earth to show us important morals, spiritual things in life, and that He paid the price of all of our sins by dying on the Cross painfully yet victoriously, and He is powerful enough to rise again. Why is it such a surprise that God, the evident Creator of Life and Death, can't raise people back from the dead? (There is countless scientific and historical evidence for Creationism and even for theism in general so that's not a case right now.)

2. After his crucifixion Jesus was buried by Joseph of Arimathea in a tomb. Jesus" burial is multiply attested in early, independent sources. 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. [1]

3. As a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea is unlikely to be a Christian invention. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. On different occasions and under various circumstances different individuals and groups of people experienced appearances of Jesus alive from the dead.

7. The original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe that Jesus was risen from the dead despite their having every predisposition to the contrary. Think of the situation the disciples faced following Jesus" crucifixion:
A) 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.
B) 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.

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.

Outside of the Bible there is also proof that Jesus was real (and that He is God). If I can prove Jesus was/is also the all-powerful God, we don't need to cast doubt on the stories of resurrections.

1. Reporting on Emperor Nero's decision to blame the Christians for the fire that had destroyed Rome in A.D. 64, the Roman historian Tacitus wrote:
"Nero fastened the guilt...on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of...Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome..."
Notice, first, that Tacitus reports Christians derived their name from a historical person called Christus (from the Latin), or Christ. He is said to have "suffered the extreme penalty," obviously alluding to the Roman method of execution known as crucifixion. This is said to have occurred during the reign of Tiberius and by the sentence of Pontius Pilatus. This confirms much of what the Gospels tell us about the death of Jesus. But what are we to make of Tacitus' rather enigmatic statement that Christ's death briefly checked "a most mischievous superstition," which subsequently arose not only in Judaea, but also in Rome? One historian suggests that Tacitus is here "bearing indirect . . . testimony to the conviction of the early church that the Christ who had been crucified had risen from the grave.

2. Pliny, the Roman governor of Bithynia in the Asian Minor, wrote a letter dated around AD 112. In it he asks Trajan's advice about the appropriate way to conduct legal proceedings against those accused of being Christians. At one point in his letter, Pliny relates some of the information he has learned about these Christians:
"They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food--but food of an ordinary and innocent kind."

I have explained why Jesus is real and why he is/was powerful enough to perform resurrections on others including himself. I am sad that my opponent forfeited because this could've been a good debate. Still, Pro challenged me and I was able to refute her arguments and inquisitions.

Thank you and vote Con!

Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Truth_seeker 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited and con made a stronger argument based on sources by scholars and arguing that God can resurrect a human from the dead.